29 July 2014

A350 World Tour continues; MSN5 will be flying between Hong Kong and Singapore until 31/July.

The Airbus A350 XWB landed for the very first time at Hong International Airport (HKAI) last 28/July.

Photo by @Ed_Chai

The aircraft, MSN005 has to fly a representative airline schedule, demonstrating its maturity for airline operations. This route proving exercise is the last of the trials required for Type Certification, which is expected in September this year. The aircraft will be operated by Airbus flight crews with Cathay and Singapore crews witnessing some flights.

Photo by @nl273

For its visit to Asia, the MSN5 arrived directly in Hong-Kong from Toulouse and will carry out crucial hot and humid tests similar to normal airline operations in the region. The aircraft will perform a series of high frequency flights between Hong-Kong and Singapore over 3 days before departing back to Toulouse on 31/July.

Photo by @Ed_Chai

Airbus A350 will then depart to Johannesburg, South Africa, on 2/August. The A350’s World Tour will end on 13/August after visiting 14 airports around the world. 


Based on the press release “AIRBUS A350 XWB arrives in Hong Kong for the first time ever”

28 July 2014

A350 overweight concerns were part of the reason for Emirates´ Order cancellation.

In this article by FT, it is stated that Emirates Airline dropped the contract for 70 A350s last month partly because of concerns about the aircraft’s weight, and therefore its fuel consumption.

“Although the prototype A350s doing test flights are 3 tonnes heavier than the specification of the midsized version of the aircraft, Mr Brégier said this would not be an issue with the jets delivered to customers, adding: «We will deliver . . . the performance we guaranteed to our customers.»”

In the article there is available an interview with Airbus CEO Mr. Brégier who answers to many questions concerning the A380 and the A330neo too.

All photos © Airbus

Based on the article “Airbus to step up wide-body challenge to Boeing” published in The Financial Times

27 July 2014

Hawaiian Airlines cancels their A350-800 order the week after Farnborough Airshow.

If the Farnborough Airshow balance for the A350 was poor with only 4 A350-900 included in the MoU of Air Mauritius, it could be in red-numbers if Hawaiian Airlines announcement of switching from their 6 A350-800 to A330-800neo would published one week before.

Hawaiian Airlines has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Airbus for 6 A330-800neo aircraft, replacing a previous order placed by Hawaiian for 6 A350-800s.

Airbus now has only 28 firm orders left for the A350-800, the smallest version of the A350 XWB family. The A350-800 trails its larger cousins by a wide margin, with 543 orders for the -900 and 169 for the -1,000 on its books. The total orderbook for the A350 XWB family is 740.

It’s widely thought that the program will be canceled once Airbus is contractually able to do so. The 28 remaining firm orders are from Aeroflot (8), Asiana (8), AWAS (2) and Yemenia (10).

Airbus has been trying to convince its customers to convert orders to the larger A350-900 or the A330neo. CEO Fabrice Bregier said last week at the Farnborough International Airshow that the company felt the A330neo — which was launched at the airshow — was a “more efficient solution.”

Hawaiian was considered to be one of the customers most difficult to convince of the move because of the airline’s long-range requirements. Its decision is a major breakthrough for Airbus.

Based on the article “Airbus A350-800 loses more orders” published in Wichita Business Journal and based on the article “Airbus A350-800 Order Book Down To 28 Aircraft“ published in Aviation Week.

26 July 2014

Last critical test done prior to A350 certification. Braking at high speed and high weight.

Airbus has carried out last 19/July the maximum-energy rejected take-off with its MSN1 prototype at the Istres base, final major test prior to certification of the A350-900.

While the A350 had already conducted rejected take-off tests (‘High Energy Rejected Take-Off’ HERTO) some months ago with MSN3, the maximum-energy event is intended to examine the extreme case of a rejection at high speed and high weight with braking capability at its limits.

Airbus says the brakes reach a temperature of around 1.400 ºC as a result of the energy absorbed in stopping the aircraft.

Under the certification criteria the aircraft must remain standing for 5 min before firefighters can cool the brakes.


Airbus says the test was "successfully performed" and the test team received full support from the “DGA (Délégation Générale pour l’Armement) – Essais en vols”, which played a key role in facilitating the test. The maximum-energy test (MERTO) is left until last because of the risk of damage to the aircraft.

The video of this test will be populated in coming weeks buy Airbus.

Based on the article “A350 rejects take-off at maximum energy” published in FlightGlobal

25 July 2014

A350 route proving all around the world for 3 weeks.

MSN5 flight test prototype, equipped with cabin interiors, has already began a 3-week route-proving campaign, marking the start of the final certification stage for the A350-900.

This aircraft that is equipped with a furnished cabin comprising 265 seats, will operate a “world tour” taking in 14 airports across the world and a route via the North Pole.

Tests will include performance from high-altitude airfields, automatic landings, as well as airport turnaround and handling, to prove the Rolls-Royce XWB-powered aircraft is ready for airline operations.

Route-proving flights will be operated by Airbus crews with participation from airworthiness-authority pilots from the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA). Some flights will be flown with passengers on board, said Airbus.

The program will comprise 4 trips, each of which begins in Toulouse:
Trip 1: Toulouse-Iqaluit-Frankfurt-Toulouse
Trip 2: Toulouse-Hong-Kong-Singapore-Hong-Kong-Toulouse (Hong Kong to Singapore several times)
Trip 3: Toulouse-Johannesburg-Sydney-Auckland-Santiago de Chile-Sao Paulo-Toulouse
Trip 4: Toulouse-Doha-Perth-Doha-Moscow-Helsinki-Toulouse

Based on the article “Airbus kicks off A350 route-proving trials” published in FlightGlobal

24 July 2014

A350-1000 assembly and marketing overview (4/4)

Program Executive Vice President Didier Evrard said the first A350-1000 tooling has been installed in partner factories in preparation for initial manufacture of subassemblies, which is scheduled to begin during the 4th quarter of this year.

 Examples include tooling for aft- and forward-fuselage side shell molds; center wingbox front, lower, rear and upper panels; pylon composite spars; and machining of landing-gear side-stay forgings.

Airbus strategy and marketing executive vice president Dr. Kiran Rao claims that on long haul routes the A350-1000 will have cash operating cost (COC) per seat some 25% lower than that of the current Boeing 777-300ER. 

Compared to the 777-9X, Rao estimates a 5% COC-per-seat benefit and 15% COC-per-trip advantage (assuming a two-class cabin layout over 4,000 nm, fuel price of $3 per U.S. gallon, and with the A350-1000 and (10-abreast) 777-9X configured for 369 passengers and 405 passengers, respectively).

All photos © Airbus

Based on the article “Airbus Gives Update On A350-1000” published in AIN 

23 July 2014

A350-1000 update and manufacturing overview (3/4)

Airbus has started manufacturing forgings for the root joint on the centre wing-box of the A350-1000. Centre wing-box assembly will commence by the end of this year with the aim of delivering it to the St Nazaire plant in 2015.

A350 programme chief Didier Evrard, speaking during the Farnborough air show, added that Airbus started work on carbonfibre wing-box covers in June at Stade and Illescas.

He said these components have a long lead time on the A350-1000 and amount to “the longest pole in the tent”.

Based on the article “First A350-1000 parts take shape” published in Flightglobal.