26 MAY 2014
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Airbus has flown the fifth A350 XWB and says that it is on schedule for an entry-into-service date at the end of this year with lead customer Qatar Airways. It is only available with variants of the Rolls-Royce Trent engine. To date the European conglomerate has totalled 812 orders (as against the competing Boeing 787 with 1,031 firm commitments and 140 in service).
Briefing journalists, Daniel Wenninger, Airbus senior director, A350 Programme Americas, said that the fifth test aircraft, MSN005, will join the flight-test programme very soon. “We are on track for certification in the third quarter this year and for customer delivery in the fourth quarter,” he said. MSN005 will be equipped with a full cabin.
MSN006, meanwhile, is on the final assembly line and will be the first aircraft to go to Qatar. Production rate will ramp from three a month this year to five a month in 2015 and 10 a month in 2018.
Wenninger said that some 1,700 flight hours have been completed – about 70% of the programme’s 2,500 flight-hour target.
A fully fitted A350 is expected at Farnborough (from 15 July) in the colours of Qatar Airways which is also the largest customer with 80 on order. www.a350xwb.com
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