The first flight of the Airbus A350-900. Photo from Airbus.
There is quite a bit that has to happen to make sure a new aircraft type has a successful first fight. While most of us were able to enjoy the first lift off from the outside, Airbus has shared quite a few of the details on what it was like to experience the first flight from the inside. Airbus uses photos, video and narrative to paint a detailed picture on the A350’s first flight and we wanted to make sure you do not miss it.
Learn and see more: A350 XWB Magazine: #03 â€œThe Time is Here: The Time to Flyâ€
The Airbus A350 (MSN001) during its first flight. Image from Airbus.
Airbus flag waving from the flight deck of the A350. Photo by Chris Sloan.
An excerpt from Chris Sloanâ€™s story onÂ Airchive.com:
The first half of 2013 and has certainly been a busy year in the annals of commercial aviation. In January the worldwide fleet of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner was grounded; not taking to the skies again until May. On Valentineâ€™s Day, American Airlines and USAirways announced a blockbuster merger creating the worldâ€™s largest airline and effectively ending the legacy airlines consolidation game in the United States. In early March, Bombardier rolled-out the CSeries CS100, the first in a line of airliners that could not only be a game changing regional jet, but possibly challenge the Airbus A320 / Boeing 737 duopoly.
These headlines alone would make any year exceptional, but only midway through the year another major event loomed large. On June 14thÂ Airbus embarked on flying for the first time whatâ€™s likely the last â€œtotally clean sheetâ€ large airliner for the rest of this decade â€“ the A350 XWB. Even with roughly 2 days notice, there was absolutely no way I was going to miss this historic event. I, along with many had suspected June 13thÂ or 14thÂ would be â€œD-Dayâ€ for the A350 so I had my bags packed and reservations on hold just in case.
As we would learn later, Airbus had this week as a target for the last 9 months. Much has been already written about the A350 over the last 7 years and its maiden flight, I want this piece to take you with me on what it was like moment by moment to be there and witness aviation history. First, letâ€™s go back to the future for a little A350 XWB refresher.
Learn more about the Airbus A350 and see photos of the first flight at Airchive.com
This post will be updated as new Airbus A350 events unfold. All times will be in PST, nine hours behind local time inÂ Toulouse, France.Â
6/14 7:45am – We have posted the “A350 first flight” story with photos.
6/14 7:00am – Due to server issues, we were not able to update after 10:20pm, our apologies.
6/14 01:05am – Almost right on time, the first Airbus A350 took flight.
6/13 10:20pm –Â We made the mistake of time zones. Toulouse is in CEST, but Airbus was reporting times in UTC. Our apologizes. The live stream should start at midnight PST, the first flight is set to happen at 1am 6/14 PST. Thanks for Chris with Airchive.com (who is in Paris) for confirming.
6/13 8:00pm –Â Although the Airbus press release said live feed will start at 10pm PST, the live feed code above shows midnight. Trying to clarify, but we might just have to wait and see when it starts.
STORY FROM 8:50AM June 13th:
The first Airbus A350-900 XWB is scheduled to have its first flight at 10:00am UTC tomorrow, Friday June 14th. For those of you in the US, that means either an early morning (4am EST) or a late night (1am PST). But worth it? Heck yes. When is the next time we will all be able to share in the first flight of a major new aircraft? It will be quite sometime [after the Cseries].
The first flight will take place in Toulouse, France and comes just before the Paris Air Show that is scheduled for next week. Airbus plans to deliver the first A350-900 XWB in the second half of 2014 to its launch customer Qatar Airways.
Starting at 7:00am UTC (aka 1am EST and 10pm PST) Airbus will provide a live feed via their website www.A350XWBfirstflight.com. Be sure to also follow along via AirlineReporter.com, our Twitter (hashtage is #A350FF) and our Facebook page.
Want a run-down of the Airbus A350 and what it means? Check out Jack Harty’s A350 story on Airchive.com for all the background.
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