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.