5 MARCH 2018
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The first Ultra Long-Range version of the A350 XWB – or A350-900ULR in the preferred Airbus designation – has rolled out of the Airbus final assembly line in Toulouse.
It is claimed to be able to fly further than any other commercial airliner and will enter service with launch operator Singapore Airlines later this year. The carrier has ordered seven of the aircraft for non-stop flights between Singapore and the US, including the world’s longest commercial service, Singapore – New York.
Following completion of the airframe assembly, the first aircraft will undergo extensive ground tests before installation of Rolls-Royce Trent XWB engines and then embark on a short flight test programme.
This will be to certify the changes over the standard A350-900 that will bring the additional range capability, including a modified fuel system that increases fuel carrying capacity by 24,000 litres, without the need for additional fuel tanks.
The test phase will also measure enhanced performance that Airbus says has been made possible by aerodynamic improvements, including extended winglets.
The aircraft has a maximum take-off weight of 280 tonnes and is claimed to be capable of flying up to 17,964km (9,700nmi), or more than 20hr non-stop, thanks to the latest aerodynamic design, carbon fibre fuselage and wings and fuel-efficient engines.
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