The wings’ advanced structural design and
superior aerodynamics are both significant
contributors to the 25% fuel saving performance
of the A350 XWB. The Airbus A350 is a family of
long-range, wide-body jet airliners under
development by European aircraft manufacturer
Airbus. The A350 will be the first Airbus with
both fuselage and wing structures made primarily
of carbon fibre-reinforced polymer. It will
carry 250 to 350 passengers in three-class
seating, depending on variant.
The A350 was born as an A330-derived
minimum-changed competitor to the Boeing 787
Dreamliner and the larger Boeing 777, but was
unanimously rejected by prospective customers.
Airbus was forced to redesign the initial
proposal, but airlines voiced support for a
complete overhaul. The eventual proposal
incorporates major changes, which Airbus says
will be more fuel-efficient, with up to 8% lower
operating cost than the Boeing 787.
The redesigned A350 was marketed by Airbus as
the A350 XWB, where the XWB stands for Extra
Wide Body. 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 during the second half of 2014.
As of 20 January 2012, 561 orders had been
placed for the new aircraft