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Miles flown for stories
2014: 258,704
2013: 330,818

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Photos & Video: Airbus A350 XWB Conducts Extreme Temperature Testing in Florida

The Airbus A350 endures -40 deg C during cold testing - Photo: Airbus

The Airbus A350 endures -40 degrees Celsius during cold testing – Photo: Airbus

Airbus took MSN002A350-900 test bed aircraft, to the US Air Force’s McKinley Climatic Laboratory to give it a bit of a chill. Eglin Air Force Base, which hosts the lab, is located in the sunny state of Florida, but is able to provide low temperature testing. The A350 XWB was subjected to “multiple climatic and humidity settings,” including temperatures from 113 deg F (45 C) down to -40 deg F (-40 C).

During engine tests, to keep the aircraft in place, it had to be chained down. But it was important to make sure the engines could start up and operate at different temperatures.

Many of the A350 systems were checked during the tests including the in-flight entertainment, air conditioning, galleys, and water & waste systems. Luckily for us, Airbus did a great job documenting the process via photos and video.

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Airline Livery of the Week: Air Caraïbes and its Tropical Feel

An Air Caraïbes Airbus A330 touching down at St. Martin - Photo: Bernie Leighton

An Air Caraïbes Airbus A330 touching down at St. Martin – Photo: Bernie Leighton | AirlineReporter

Air Caraïbes is based at Pointe-à-Pitre International Airport (airport code: PTP) in Guadeloupe. It is a French airline, founded in July of 2000, that mostly flies from Paris to destinations in the Caribbean. In 2012, the airline flew 1.2 millions passengers, 750,000 of which were on long-haul routes.

It operates a fleet of five Airbus A330s (one -200 and four -300s) and three ATR 72s. They currently have six A350s on order (three for the -900 and three for the -1000).

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Airbus Shows Off Special Qatar Airways’ Livery on Fourth A350

A Hybrid Qatar Airways livery is painted onto the latest Airbus A350XWB - Photo: Qatar Airways

A hybrid Qatar Airways/Airbus livery is painted onto the latest test A350XWB – Photo: Airbus

In Toulouse, France this past week, Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al Baker made a visit to inspect the Airbus A350XWB manufacturing line ahead of the first delivery of the type to the airline later this year.  As Al Baker inspected the A350 line, along with senior Qatar & Airbus management, Airbus revealed a special livery for their latest aircraft (MSN004).

MSN004 was painted in a hybrid Airbus & Qatar Airlines launch customer livery.  Part Qatar Airways at the front, and the standard Airbus livery in the rear, the most noticeable features are the striking Oryx logos, not only on the aircraft body but also on the unique A350 winglets.

The aircraft will soon join the Airbus test fleet, where it will will be used for external noise and lightning tests, avionics development & certification, and training for the first customer pilots & maintenance teams.

Continue reading Airbus Shows Off Special Qatar Airways’ Livery on Fourth A350

Record-Breaking Day Kicks Off Dubai Airshow

Just-launched Boeing 777-8X & 777-9X, ordered in record numbers at Dubai Air Show - Image: Boeing

Just-launched Boeing 777-8X & 777-9X, ordered in record numbers at the Dubai Airshow – Image: Boeing

The first day of the 2013 Dubai Airshow kicked off with a bang.  As we slept, Boeing racked up 225 new orders for their newly-launched 777X program.  With the existing 34 orders from Lufthansa, the official launch of the plane comes with huge order support from customers.  “We are proud to partner with each of these esteemed airlines to launch the 777X – the largest and most-efficient twin-engine jetliner in the world,” said Boeing Commercial Airplanes President and CEO Ray Conner. “Its ground-breaking engine technologies and all-new composite wing will deliver unsurpassed value and growth potential to our customers.”

Night-time rendering of Boeing 777-9X - Image: Boeing

Night-time rendering of Boeing 777-9X – Image: Boeing

The 777X program wasn’t the only Day One winner for Boeing, however.  Etihad also booked orders for 30 787-10s, which brings their total Dreamliner orders up to 71 – making them the largest airline customer for the 787 and pushing the program over 1,000 orders.  Mideast short-haul carrier flydubai also made an order for 100 Boeing 737 MAX8 birds.

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Images: Japan Airlines Makes Large Airbus Order

Japan Airlines became the A350 XWB’s first Japanese customer with a purchase agreement for 31 aircraft – composed of 18 A350-900s and 13 A350-1000s - Image: Airbus

Japan Airlines became the A350 XWB’s first Japanese customer with a purchase agreement for 31 aircraft – composed of 18 A350-900s and 13 A350-1000s. Image: Airbus

Japan Airlines (JAL) today announced that for the first time in the carrier’s history, they are making a purchase from Airbus.  Previously, the airline had been an entirely Boeing customer, apart from operating some A300s they had for a short period of time after the merger with Japan Air System. JAL currently operates both their long-haul and domestic fleets with a mixture of 737s, 767s, 777s & of course the 787 Dreamliner.

The Airbus order was made up of 31 A350 XWB’s (18 of the 900 model, 13 of the 1000) with a further option of 25. This is also the first time that a Japanese airline has ordered the aircraft type.

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