On Thursday November the 23rd, the new Airbus A350-1000 made its maiden flight at the Airbus headquarters in Toulouse Blagnac, France. The aircraft took of at 10:42am local time with two Airbus test pilots and four engineers. Though the weather wasn’t great, spectators and planespotters gathered to watch the first takeoff of the new aircraft. Watch the official video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PDY7oPUti8I

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The first A350-1000 lifting off on its maiden flight – Photo from Airbus press release

 

The A350-1000 is the second variant of the Airbus A350XWB family. The first variant, the A350-900, completed its test flight in 2014 and is now in commercial service with Qatar Airways, Finnair, Vietnam Airlines, Singapore Airlines, LATAM, China Airlines, Cathay Pacific. The new A350-1000 has an ICAO designation of A35K and is a stretched version of the A350-900 designed to carry around 366 passengers. It is powered by two Rolls Royce Trent XWB-97 each capable of 97,100 lbs of thrust. On the other hand, the A350-900 is powered by the Trent XWB-84 and has been derated to 84,200 lbs of thrust. The A350-1000 has a range of 14,800km ( or 7,990 nautical miles), which is just short of the A359’s range of 15,000km (or 8,100 nautical miles).

The A350-1000 is designed to compete with the Boeing 777-300ER/777X and the 787-9. So far there have been 195 orders for the type, and deliveries are expected to begin in the second half of 2017. Major customers for the A350-1000 include United Airlines, Qatar Airways, Cathxay Pacific, British Airways, LATAM, JAL, Etihad, and Asiana.

Airbus press release: http://www.airbus.com/presscentre/pressreleases/press-release-detail/detail/first-a350-1000-becomes-airborne-for-its-maiden-flight/

Flight Global article: https://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/picture-a350-1000-takes-off-on-maiden-flight-431788/