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Miles flown for stories
2014: 269,302
2013: 330,818

Updated: Photos of First Airbus A350 XWB That Will Fly Completes Main Structural Assembly

The first A350 XWB flight test aircraft has moved to the Station 30 ground test station at Airbus’ final assembly line in Toulouse, France following its structural assembly and initial electrical power-on in the facility’s main assembly hall (Station 40) . Image from Airbus. CLICK FOR LARGER.

The first A350 XWB flight test aircraft has moved to the Station 30 ground test station at Airbus’ final assembly line in Toulouse, France following its structural assembly and initial electrical power-on in the facility’s main assembly hall (Station 40) . Image from Airbus. Click for larger.

This is a copy and paste from a press release issued by Airbus…

Airbus has successfully completed the main structural assembly and system connection of A350 XWB ‘MSN1’ – the first flight-test aircraft. The aircraft is depicted here on its wheels for the very first time moving out of the main assembly hall (Station 40) at the recently inaugurated “Roger Béteille” A350 XWB Final Assembly Line in Toulouse. It then entered the adjacent indoor ground test station (Station 30).

The structurally-complete no. 1 A350 XWB flight test aircraft is shown during its transfer at the Airbus final assembly line in Toulouse, France – moving from Station 40 in the main assembly hall to the adjacent indoor ground test station (Station 30) . Image from Airbus. Click for larger.

The structurally-complete no. 1 A350 XWB flight test aircraft is shown during its transfer at the Airbus final assembly line in Toulouse, France – moving from Station 40 in the main assembly hall to the adjacent indoor ground test station (Station 30) . Image from Airbus. Click for larger.

The assembly work performed in Station 40 included the successful electrical power-on of the aircraft’s entire fuselage and wings. Soon work in Station 30 will start by testing the aircraft’s hydraulic system, followed by the full electric and hydraulic power-on of the aircraft which will be completed by around the end of the year. This will mark the start of several weeks of comprehensive functional system testing.

With its main structural assembly and system connections complete, the first A350 XWB flight test aircraft (designated MSN1) was moved from the main assembly hall to the adjacent indoor ground test station at Airbus’ final assembly line in Toulouse, France . Image from Airbus. Click for larger.

With its main structural assembly and system connections complete, the first A350 XWB flight test aircraft (designated MSN1) was moved from the main assembly hall to the adjacent indoor ground test station at Airbus’ final assembly line in Toulouse, France . Image from Airbus. Click for larger.

After the A350 XWB MSN1 exits station 30, the aircraft will go through a series of extensive production and certification / development tests, be painted and have its engines installed. It will then be delivered to the flight-line and be readied for its first flight in mid-2013.

UPDATE: Airbus has confirmed that the front doors on the A350, as shown in this photo, will be closed on the ground during normal operations. “The forward set of doors only will be open when the gear is being extended or retracted,” Airbus stated to AirlineReporter.com. “The reason that they are open in this picture is that the aircraft is not hydraulically “active” at the point when the picture was snapped and there was no reason to close the doors for the short road trip.”

ANA PRESS RELEASE: Announcement of Model Change for Boeing 787 Aircraft

TOKYO June 19, 2012 – ANA today announces an adjustment to its order for Boeing 787 Dreamliners. The four B787-8 aircraft due to be delivered from fiscal year 2013 onwards will now be replaced by B787-9 aircraft. The decision to order more of the larger 787-9 variant will give ANA greater flexibility as it expands its international route network. The total number of aircraft on order remains at 55, split between 36 B787-8 aircraft and 19 B787-9 aircraft.

ANA is the launch customer for the Dreamliner and has so far taken delivery of seven of the 55 aircraft. The aircraft has entered service on domestic Japanese routes and Haneda – Frankfurt since last autumn. ANA plans to launch long-haul 787 services from Tokyo to Seattle and San Jose on the US West Coast in the current fiscal year.

Note: This is pulled directly from ANA’s Press Release. This post will not show up on the blog’s homepage and will not show up in syndications… you need the direct link to access.

PRESS RELEASE: VIRGIN AMERICA SEEKS U.S. DOT APPROVAL FOR CODESHARE WITH VIRGIN AUSTRALIA

Directly from Virgin America’s Press Release:

San Francisco – June 11, 2012 – Virgin America, the award-winning U.S. airline, announces today that it is requesting U.S. Department of Transportation approval to place the Virgin Australia code on Virgin America services from Los Angeles to Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Fort Lauderdale, Philadelphia, Portland, Seattle and Washington D.C.  Once approved, this will be the first-ever codeshare agreement for the California-based carrier, building on a 2009 interline agreement with Virgin Australia that paved the way for a more seamless travel experience for guests flying between Australia and the U.S. This will offer seamless booking on a single ticket for guests traveling from Australia to multiple destinations in the U.S.  Virgin America’s recent move to a new reservations system allowed the carrier to initiate this first codeshare alliance as well as significantly expand its interline partnerships in recent months.

“We believe this partnership will be welcomed by travelers on both sides of the Pacific, especially our most loyal guests – those who seek out the upscale service and amenities that the Virgin branded carriers are known for around the world,” said Diana Walke, Virgin America’s Vice President of Planning and Sales. “With touch-screen entertainment, an international grade First Class, a premium Main Cabin Select product and an award-winning Main Cabin – our product offerings are uniquely matched to Virgin Australia.  With this new partnership, U.S.-Australia travelers will be assured best-in-class guest service in three well-aligned classes of service – throughout their journey.”

Earlier this year, Virgin America announced an enhancement to its Elevate® frequent flyer program that allows members to earn and redeem  points across the combined route network of the Virgin family of carriers.  And last month, all three award-winning Virgin airlines – including Virgin Atlantic – joined forces for the first time ever to launch a joint entertainment, digital and out-of-home “Virgin Skies” advertising campaign to convey the unique Virgin in-flight experience in the Los Angeles market and mark the airlines’ global frequent flyer partnership.  The centerpiece of the campaign includes the creation of an independent short film shot entirely on three commercial Virgin flights while at 35,000 feet.  For more on the campaign, including behind-the-scenes footage from the filming, visit: www.flyvirgin.com/#film

“The United States is a very important market for Australia; it is the third most popular international destination for Australian visitors and our fourth biggest source of overseas visitors to Australia,” said Virgin Australia Group Executive of Alliances, Network and Yield Merren McArthur.  “Today’s announcement means Virgin Australia guests can connect seamlessly to key leisure and business hubs and earn frequent flyer points and status credits in the process.”

The new codeshare agreement will not change the airlines’ existing interline agreement, through which guests already enjoy a seamless “Virgin” experience at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX).  Under the codeshare, guests will check-in once and receive all their boarding passes. Domestic to international connections at LAX are within the same terminal (Terminal 3), so guests traveling from the U.S. to Australia do not have to re-clear security.  Both airlines will transfer baggage between connecting flights and to guests’ final destinations – with customs clearance of guests and bags still required for travelers coming from Australia to the U.S.

Note: Press Release posts do not show up on the blog’s homepage and will not show up in syndications… you need the directly link to access.