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Airbus A350

France (2014)

Detailing the development and operational history of the Airbus A350 Wide-Body Long-Range Airliner.

 Entry last updated on 4/11/2018; Authored by Staff Writer; Content ©

  Airbus A350  
Picture of Airbus A350 Wide-Body Long-Range Airliner
Picture of Airbus A350 Wide-Body Long-Range Airliner

The Airbus A350 is intended to compete with the successful Boeing 777- and upcoming 787-series of passenger airliners.

The A350 is the latest Airbus contribution to the competitive wide-body, long-range airliner market. The aircraft is intended as a direct competitor to the popular Boeing 777 and the newer, though troubled, Boeing 787 "Dreamliner". Production of early-form airframes began in 2010 with a first-flight expected sometime in 2013. Barring developmental delays, committed airlines will begin receiving the product beginning in 2014 to which production is estimated to reach 592 units based on received orders to date (2013). As of this writing, there are commitments from 35 total airline firms worldwide.

The A350 was born from the Boeing 787 Dreamliner program announcement. Airbus was initially slow to react until customers required a competing type promising the savings of the advanced 787. With that, a modified version of the A330 emerged until enough changes were instituted that the aircraft was given its own company designation of "A350". However, its most important customers were not impressed with the Airbus reaction to the Boeing offering and pushed Airbus to produce an all-new design incorporating the latest in available technologies. This resulted in a completed reworked and refined A350 concept which was eventually approved while delaying the A350 program considerably.

Currently, the A350 will be marketed in five distinct production forms. The base airliner model will be the A350-800 with seating for up to 440 passengers in a 2- or 3-class seating arrangement (270 passengers feasible). The longer A350-900 and proposed A350-900R will feature seating for up to 475 persons across a similar 2- or 3-class arrangement (314 passengers feasible). The proposed A350-900F will be a dedicated freight hauler (90 tons of cargo) while the A350-1000 will be an expanded, lengthened passenger airliner with seating for up to 550 persons across a 2- or 3-class seating structure (350 passengers feasible). The A350-800 will sport a running length of 198.6 feet while the A350-900, -900R and -900F will see a length reaching 219.5 feet. The A350-1000 will be the longest of the family line with a length of 242.4 feet.
Internally, the A350 will sport a conventional airliner configuration. The flight deck is situated at the extreme front end of the vehicle and identified by the range of framed windows over the short, sloping nose assembly. Immediately aft of the flight deck is the passenger area which is spanned along either fuselage side by windows. Under the passenger area is the cargo hold. The freighter version of the A350 will naturally do away with the passenger seating elements to promote increased internal volume for additional hold space. Externally, the arrangement will be conventional, featuring two swept-back main wings at amidships and a traditional tail unit sporting a single vertical tail fin and dihedral horizontal planes. The undercarriage will be of the tricycle arrangement incorporating two main legs and a nose leg as standard.

All A350 forms will showcase a wingspan of 213 feet and carbon fiber-reinforced polymer construction throughout the wing assemblies and main fuselage. Power will be served through 2 x Rolls-Royce Trent XWB engines which will be developed in two distinct forms either outputting between 74,000 to 83,000lbs of thrust or 97,000lbs of thrust. Maximum speed is listed at 587 miles per hour with a cruise speed in the vicinity of 560 miles per hour. Range under load will reach from 5,000 nautical miles (A350-900F) to 10,300 nautical miles (A350-900R) depending on the variant in question. All will feature a service ceiling of approximately 43,000 feet.

As with other modern Airbus airliner products, the A350 will field an all-glass digital cockpit with fly-by-wire controls. The instrument panel will be dominated by six LCD screens for both pilot and co-pilot. The data system will be fully updatable with changing technologies which should make for a cost-effective investment in the long-run.

November 2016 - The stretched A350-1000 recorded its first-flight on November 24th, 2016. The product is set to enter service before the end of 2017.

April 2017 - The A350-1000 is scheduled to be delivered to customer Qatar Airways in late-2017.

February 2018 - Airbus has debut its A350-1000, billed the largest "twin", at Singapore Airshow 2018.
Airbus A350 Specifications
National Flag Graphic
Year: 2014
Status: Active, In-Service
Type: Wide-Body Long-Range Airliner
Manufacturer(s): Airbus - France
Production: 592
Supported Mission Types
Ground Attack
Close-Air Support
Airborne Early Warning
Electronic Warfare
Aerial Tanker
Passenger Industry
VIP Travel
Business Travel
Special Forces
Crew: 2
Length: 198.49 ft (60.5 m)
Width: 213.25 ft (65.00 m)
Height: 55.77 ft (17.00 m)
Empty Weight: 255,075 lb (115,700 kg)
MTOW: 573,202 lb (260,000 kg)

Installed Power
2 x Rolls-Royce Trent XWB turbofan engines delivering 79,000lbs to 97,000lbs thrust each.

Standard Day Performance
Maximum Speed: 587 mph (945 kph; 510 kts)
Maximum Range: 9,756 mi (15,700 km; 8,477 nm)
Service Ceiling: 43,097 ft (13,136 m; 8.16 mi)


Operators List
Brazil; China; Colombia; Ethiopia; Finland; Hong Kong; India; Iran; Ireland; Italy; Kuwait; Libya; Malaysia; Portugal; Qatar; Russia; Singapore; South Korea; Thailand; Tunisia; United Arab Emirates; United States; Vietnam; Yemen

Series Model Variants
• A350 - Base Series Designation
• A350-800 - Base 440 maximum passenger airliner; 79,000lb thrust engines.
• A350-900 - Lengthened 475 maximum passenger airliner; 84,000lb thrust engines.
• A350-900R - Proposed Lengthened 475 maximum passenger airliner; 93,000lb thrust engines.
• A350-900F - Proposed freighter; 93,000lb thrust engines.
• A350-1000 - Lengthened 550 maximum passenger airliner; 97,000lb thrust engines.

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