[Avionics Today 11-12-2014] Airbus has received Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) type certification for the first variant of its latest commercial airliner, the A350-900 XWB. The agency's approval of the newest version of the A350 follows the type certification awarded by the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) in September
. In October, EASA followed its initial approval by issuing a certification for Extended-range Twin Engine Aircraft Operations (ETOPS), making it the first aircraft ever to achieve such approval ahead of its entry into service.
FAA Administrator Michael Huerta, Associate Administrator for Aviation Safety Peggy Gilligan and Airbus Group Inc. Chairman Allan McArtor. Photo: Airbus.
Final certification from the FAA concludes a flight test campaign that featured five aircraft accumulating more than 2,600 flight test hours. According to Airbus, as of the end of October, the A350 XWB's backlog includes 750 orders from 39 different customers worldwide.
The A350-900 is the 315 seat mid-size variant of the A350 family. Airbus is also developing a smaller 276-seater A350-800 variant and a slightly larger A350-1000 variant with capacity for 369 seats. Avionics companies with systems featured on the A350 XWB include Thales, which provides the Integrated Modular Avionics (IMA), air data and inertial reference unit, interactive control and display system, and the In-flight Entertainment (IFE) and In-flight Connectivity (IFC) systems.
Rockwell Collins provides the information management on-board system, communication system and the landing and navigation systems including its Multi-Mode Receiver (MMR) and digital low range altimeter. And Honeywell supplies the Flight Management System (FMS) and the Airbus Aircraft Environment Surveillance System, which integrates the Traffic Collision Avoidance System, Mode S Transponders, Weather Radar and the Enhanced Ground Proximity Warning System modules into one system, reducing as many as eight avionics boxes to two.