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Airbus A350 XWB Powered By Rolls Royce Trent XWB Engines Make First Flight
By Mike Mitchell

June 14, 2013 - A new chapter has opened in Airbus’ 43 year history as the first A350 XWB, the world’s most efficient large twin-engine commercial aircraft, powered aloft this morning for its maiden flight at Blagnac in Toulouse, France at 10 AM local time. Equipped with Rolls-Royce Trent XWB turbofans, the A350 XWB first flight is took place over south western France. 

An international crew of six was on board, comprising two Flight Test Pilots, one Test Flight Engineer and three Flight Test Engineers. At the controls of the A350 XWB’s first flight were Peter Chandler, Airbus’ Chief Test Pilot, and Guy Magrin, Project Pilot for the A350 XWB.  

Accompanying them in the cockpit was Pascal Verneau, the A350 XWB Project Test Flight Engineer. At their flight test stations in the main aircraft cabin and monitoring the progress of the flight via an extensive array of flight test instrumentation were three flight test engineers: Fernando Alonso, Head of Airbus Flight & Integration Test Centre; Patrick du Ché, Head of Development Flight Tests; and Emanuele Costanzo, lead Flight Test Engineer for the Trent XWB engine. 

This first flight marks the beginning of a test campaign totaling around 2,500 flight hours with a fleet of five development aircraft. The rigorous flight testing will lead to the certification of the A350-900 variant by the European EASA and the FAA airworthiness authorities, prior to entry into service in the second half of 2014 with first operator Qatar Airways. 



The A350 XWB is Airbus’ all-new mid-size long range product line comprising three versions and seating between 270 and 350 passengers in spacious three class layouts. The new family will bring a step change in efficiency compared with existing aircraft in this size category, using 25 per cent less fuel and providing an equivalent reduction in CO2 emissions. To date the A350 XWB has already won 613 firm orders from 33 customers worldwide.

The Rolls-Royce Trent XWB is a series of turbofan engines developed from the Trent 1000. It is the latest engine of the Trent family, and is used exclusively for the Airbus A350 XWB. Take-off thrust: 75,000–97,000 lbf (330–430 kN) (flat-rated to ISA+15C). On 18 June 2007 Rolls-Royce announced that it had signed its biggest ever contract, with Qatar Airways, worth US$5.6 billion at list prices. This was for 80 Airbus A350 XWBs, powered by Trent XWB engines.

The Airbus A350 XWB is a family of long-range, two-engined wide-body jet airliners under development by European aircraft manufacturer Airbus. The A350 is the first Airbus with both fuselage and wing structures made primarily of carbon fibre-reinforced polymer. It will carry 250 to 350 passengers in a typical three-class seating layout, depending on variant. The A350 was originally conceived in 2004 as a largely new design, but with a fuselage based on the A330. This was rejected by some prospective customers. In 2006, Airbus redesigned the aircraft and renamed it the A350 XWB (for extra wide body).
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