Airbus A350 XWB test aircraft nears completion
Nov. 6, 2013, Toulouse, Fra. - The fifth and final aircraft of the Airbus A350 XWB flight test fleet, MSN5, has entered final assembly line with fuselage joining process currently underway.
The development comes closely after the arrival of three fuselage sections at the A350 XWB final assembly line in Toulouse, France.
MSN5 is the second of the A350 flight test aircraft that will feature a passenger cabin.
It will be ready for its maiden flight in the first quarter of 2014.
The aircraft will used particularly to perform cabin related flight tests, and will also participate in early long flights where 'passengers' are Airbus employees.
This enables the cabin and related systems to be submitted to near realistic operations to deliver a mature cabin at the time of entry into service.
In addition, MSN5 will also carry out route proving flights to demonstrate to the certification authorities that the jetliner has an ability to perform in airport operations.
"The aircraft will be ready for its maiden flight in the first quarter of 2014."
The two A350 XWB test aircraft, MSN1 and MSN3, have completed more than 500 flight test hours in at least 100 test flights to date.
Airbus's A350 XWB twin-engine jetliner is the latest in the company's passenger aircraft portfolio.
The new fuel-efficient aircraft family provides a range of new-generation aircraft that meets the market's requirements in size, range, revenue generation, passenger comfort and the environment.
Airbus's A350 XWB aircraft currently has more than 760 firm orders from 39 customers worldwide, with first delivery to Qatar Airways scheduled for second half of 2014.