Airbus took MSN002, A350-900 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.
Due to the size of the aircraft, crew at the facility had to start preparations six months before MSN002’s arrival.
This is just part of the testing required for the Airbus A350 to be validated and prepared for delivery later this year.
Here are additional photos and a video of the climate testing process: