First A350 XWB completes first flight
The first A350 XWB has completed its first fligth on Friday, 14 June. The aircraft landed back at Toulouse-Blagnac at 14.05 hours local time after four hours and five minutes.
The aircraft was flown by Peter Chandler, Airbus’ Chief Test Pilot, and Guy Magrin, Project Pilot for the A350 XWB. Accompanying them in the cockpit was Pascal Verneau, the A350 XWB Project Test Flight Engineer.
Monitoring the progress of the flight profile were the three flight test engineers: Fernando Alonso, Head of Airbus Flight & Integration Test Centre; Patrick du Ché, Head of Development Flight Tests; and Emanuele Costanzo, lead Flight Test Engineer for the Trent XWB engine.
For its first flight, the A350 XWB – carrying the registration F-WXWB – took off at around 221 tonnes. During the flight, which took the aircraft around south western France, the crew explored the aircraft’s flight envelope. The aircraft was accompanied by a chase plane to observe and film the various manoeuvres.
Its progress was monitored by experts on the ground in real-time via a direct telemetry link. This maiden flight marks the beginning of a rigorous test flight campaign involving five A350s, and around 2,500 flight hours. It will culminate in the aircraft’s certification followed by its entry into airline service in the second half of 2014 with first operator Qatar Airways.
Airbus President and CEO Fabrice Bregier said: “I congratulate the whole A350 XWB development team for having completed the first flight preparation in a record time.”