A350FF

The first Airbus A350 lifts off. Photo from Airbus.

The first Airbus A350 lifts off. Photo from Airbus.

At almost exactly 10:00am local time in Toulouse, France, the first Airbus A350 successfully took off with many on lookers locally and over 20,000 viewers on Airbus’ live feed. Six crew on board took the A350-900 XWB for a four hour test flight which will be the first of many to get to the 2,500 flight hours required for certification. The first aircraft, MS001, will be joined by four other test aircraft to get there.

“I congratulate the whole A350 XWB development team for having completed the first flight preparation in a record time,” Airbus President and CEO Fabrice Bregier said. “I also wish to thank the first flight crew today for taking this aircraft where it wants to be – in the sky. I would also like to extend my gratitude to all our teams in the design offices, at programme and manufacturing level, the ground crews as well as our colleagues in airlines and suppliers and many others who helped define this all-new aircraft. The A350 XWB which has flown today, integrating the latest available technologies, is now entering the final stage of its development. And it is ready. Ready to head towards certification and entry-into-service in the second half of next year.”

If you were not one of the hardcore #AvGeeks who were up during the first flight, you can watch the replace of the live stream on Airbus’ website. Can also see the landing of the A350 via MrAxe26 on YouTube.

The Airbus A350 prepares for its first flight with a little flag waving. Image from Airbus.

The Airbus A350 prepares for its first flight with a little flag waving. Image from Airbus.

Flight. It is a beautiful thing. Image from Airbus.

Flight. It is a beautiful thing. Image from Airbus.

A350 XWB MSN1 preparing for the first flight on June 14. Guy Magrin, Experimental Flight Test Pilot with Airbus since 2003 and Project Pilot for the A350 XWB;

A350 XWB MSN1 preparing for the first flight on June 14. Guy Magrin, Experimental Flight Test Pilot with Airbus since 2003 and Project Pilot for the A350 XWB. Photo by Airbus.

With chase plane. Photo by Airbus.

With chase plane. Photo by Airbus.

EDITOR-IN-CHIEF & FOUNDER - SEATTLE, WA. David has written, consulted, and presented on multiple topics relating to airlines and travel since 2008. He has been quoted and written for a number of news organizations, including BBC, CNN, NBC News, Bloomberg, and others. He is passionate about sharing the complexities, the benefits, and the fun stuff of the airline business. Email me: david@airlinereporter.com

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3 Comments

Well, the Airbus site came through. A lot of fluff, t he the take off, fly-by and landing are there. June 14, 2013 is clearly an Airbus Day and congratulations, Airbus!
Will this change the outlook for our own Boeing 787 and 777X? Heck no. One need only look at the order books of both companies to realize that today’s market easily has room for both airframers. While the airplanes are similar in many ways, they are also different enough that airline customers often have legitimate reasons for choosing one over the other, or, perhaps eventually using both brands. As much as individuals may wish to see one brand prevail over another, neither company has the manufacturing capacity to fill all orders within a reasonable time frame. With sincere congratulations to Airbus, I remain a loyal, lifelong Boeing fan and hell yes, that is just one AvGeek’s personal opinion.
Unrelated to today’s accomplishment by our friends at Airbus, I think it would be most enlightening to know the typical, never-published *Actual Selling Price* of the 787 and A350 airplanes. I have to wonder if one has any genuine cost advantage over the other.
Nice try with the live feed, but Internet problems can and do happen, especially with high-demand, HD video-dense presentations. I don’t see this as Airlinereporter’s fault, but simply pushing more bits that a blog configuration is designed to handle.

Vladimir Filakovac

“Nice try with the live feed, but Internet problems can and do happen, especially with high-demand, HD video-dense presentations. I don’t see this as Airlinereporter’s fault, but simply pushing more bits that a blog configuration is designed to handle.”

Dear Cook,
Airbus did a great work with the live event from 9am – 4pm, with interviews, documentaries and all with live HD stream. Initially I had problems with the HD stream, but they made second link for the stream in low res which was without problems. From a marketing standpoint it was an excellent event – I had the opportunity to watch it from the beginning to the end and I was pleasantly surprised.
Regards,
Vladimir

John-Alan

The *Actual Selling Price* will vary from airline to airline. Just about no customer will pay the actual list price. Instead the price will be negotiated and will vary depending on any number of factors, such as quantity of orders, being a launch customer (and thus having to deal with teething troubles), how likely the customer is to switch brands, maintenance & servicing contracts, when the customer wants delivery, etc, etc.

Occasionally a bank financing a purchase lets something slip when they’re putting out a call for investors, but other than that it’s usually a closely guarded secret.

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