The first Airbus A350 lifts off. Photo from Airbus.
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.
â€œI 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 â€“ 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.â€
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.
A350 XWB (MSN1) First Engine Run, Toulouse, France. Photo by Airbus.
On Sunday, The first Airbus A350-900 (MSN1) successfully completed starting up its engines, making it one step close to flight. Although Airbus is not stating when the A350 will have its first flight, many are hoping it will be in time for the Paris Air Show, which will run from June 17-23.
MORE: Photos + Video: First Airbus A350 Comes Out of Paint
When the first flight occurs there will be six crew members on-board: two flight test pilots, one test flight engineer and three flight test engineers. The two test pilots will be Peter Chandler, an Experimental Flight Test Pilot with Airbus since 2000 and Chief Test Pilot since 2011 and Guy Magrin, an Experimental Flight Test Pilot with Airbus since 2003 and Project Pilot for the A350 XWB.
Airbus plans to deliver the first A350-900 XWB in the second half of 2014 to its launch customer: Qatar Airways.
Lufthansa, Singapore Air, Emirates and Qantas Airbus A380s sit in Toulouse. CLICK FOR LARGER.
Photo was taken by A380_TLS, who also has a lot of other great photos from Airbus in Toulouse. Hat tip to Jon Ostrower for pointing this out.
Four Airbus A380s at Toulouse. Click for larger.
What a great areal shot. Here you have four Airbus A380s at Toulouse, France. They will be delivered to Qantas, Emirates, Korean Air and China Southern.
Image by Weiyi Shi via Airliners.net with permission