Airbus’ A350 XWB Project pilots have been
heavily involved in cockpit and systems design
and integrations from the operational
perspective. The three remaining first flight
test crew members, all of them Experimental
Flight Test Engineers, will be working at
dedicated flight test stations and managing the
progress of the flight profile:
Fernando Alonso, Flight Test Engineer with
Airbus since 1982 and Head of Airbus Flight &
Integration Test Centre since 2007, Patrick du
Ché, Flight Test Engineer with Airbus since 2001
and currently Head of Development Flight Tests
since 2012, and Emanuele Constanzo, Flight Test
Engineer with Airbus since 2004 and lead Flight
Test Engineer for the Trent XWB engine.
The Airbus A350 XWB is a family of long-range,
wide-body jet airliners under development by
Airbus. The A350 will be the first Airbus with
both fuselage and wing structures made primarily
of carbon fiber-reinforced polymer. It will
carry 250 to 350 passengers in three-class
seating, depending on variant.
The A350 was originally conceived in 2004 as a
widely new design, but with a fuselage based on
the A330. This was rejected by some prospective
customers. The 2006 redesigned A350 was named by
Airbus as the A350 XWB, where the XWB is an
acronym extra wide body.
Airbus stated that it will be more
fuel-efficient and have operating costs up to 8%
lower than the Boeing 787.
The launch customer for the A350 is Qatar
Airways, which ordered 80 aircraft across the
three variants. Development costs are projected
to be US$15 billion. The airliner is scheduled
to enter airline service in mid-2014. As of
February 2013, 617 aircraft have been ordered.