Saturday, March 2, 2013

PHOTOS: First Airbus A350 XWB with wings complete emerges for outdoor testing


Airbus has released some photos of the first A350 XWB – MSN001 – now showing its completed wings.

The aircraft has moved to its next phase of ground testing, from Roger Béteille A350 XWB FAL “Station 30” to the Clément Ader area “Station 18” in Toulouse. It is structurally complete and shows the installed winglets, belly fairing panels, main landing gear doors.

You can see one of the photos on this page – but I’ve posted a photo album with some more images on my Facebook page – click here to view them!

“The aircraft has recently completed successfully a series of indoor ground tests including stability tests on ‘movable’ elements such as rudder, elevators, ailerons and wing spoilers and landing gears extraction/retraction,” stated a press release from Airbus.

“The next steps which will take place outdoors at Station 18 will include three planned families of tests: Fuel tanks testing – including levels, flows, sealing and internal fuel transfer functions; pressure testing of the fuselage; and radio equipment testing.”

21 comments :

  1. Looks impressive. Let’s wait and see how the build quality goes compared to the Airbus A380.

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    1. Rahim, this Airbus is not complete, no power units attached to the wings(engines), which aid pressure testing of the fuel cells. weight changes the wing loads and shape, so how can they successfully test anything regarding the fuselage and wing sections if incomplete.

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  2. Nice photo. I read that the A350 will use cadmium batteries, but will saving the lithium-ion batteries for flight testing.

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  3. Nice wing shape! I hope it will fly at Paris Air Show in June...

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  4. Prasant Kumar SenapatiMarch 5, 2013 at 10:15 AM

    It is nice to see A350 in almost complete form. Good luck.

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  5. I wonder how beautiful this would look like with paint on.

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  6. I'll admit the aircraft looks nice, however it makes me wonder if it'll still have the same dreadful Airbus maintenance issues with structural cracking and corrosion.

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  7. Nurlan AKHMUKHANOVMarch 5, 2013 at 5:33 PM

    Wish all the best to the 1st Airbus A350 and aircraft designers, engineers, Airbus employees, and to test pilots I wish best of luck of his all tests and test sites... Machine, just amazing!!!

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  8. Not to sound snooty, but this is better than say, the Boeing 777 Because?
    I was more impressed with the A380, because of it's payload and range.
    But I got to say that I'm a Boeing fan. From the B-17 up!

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  9. John-Alan PascoeMarch 7, 2013 at 9:05 AM

    That's correct Paul; the production models will use NiCad batteries in order to reduce the risk of stricter certification requirements leading to delays. This presumably also means at least some of the prototypes will have to be equipped with NiCad batteries as well.

    However since the batteries have already been installed on MSN001 and it will not be used for the battery certification, they are leaving the Li-ions on board. Should Li-ion become sufficiently mature in future they can also switch back to Li-ions on the production models.

    If I recall correctly the weight penalty for switching to NiCad is about 60kg.

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  10. 60kg... per one/ few batteries?

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  11. Robert, according to this article: Airbus rules out lithium-ion battery in new plane
    http://www.smh.com.au/business/world-business/airbus-rules-out-lithiumion-battery-in-new-plane-20130216-2ejfc.html

    "Lithium-ion takes up half the space of nickel cadmium batteries. Boeing 787s use two units, while Airbus’s A350 had planned to use four, each smaller and with half the power of the Boeing batteries. The additional weight from switching back will be about 100 kilograms (220 pounds) per plane, a person familiar with discussions said last week." This according to Airbus.

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  12. John-Alan PascoeMarch 7, 2013 at 3:47 PM

    As far as I know 60 kg is the total penalty for switching all the batteries in the plane over.

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  13. Well looking at the nose section of it, it's obvious to me that it resembles the Boeing B787.

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  14. Well...60kg in total shouldn't be a crucial factor? I hope that problem with Li-on batteries will be sorted...if not....hmmm I think that this is not so big issue...time will show.

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  15. Ramanujam RajamaniMarch 10, 2013 at 2:01 PM

    Well, we haven't heard of , the likes of interiors , range of operation, take of and landing flexibilities. Wish the aircraft gets the certification, after all the endurance and time tested clearances.

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  16. Its nice to see the Airbus A350.

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  17. An Impressive looking aircraft. Thanks for sharing.

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  18. I think it is good, that they are making this.it looks good and should be produced on time.it helps aviation and all of the E.U. The USA has had a monopoly for too long.They give their own companies money under false grants.So E.U needs to monitor and help develop more technology.So we have a good balance.I think it will be better the the 787 in long run.

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  19. I believe the world needs new technology.it is great that the a350 is almost ready.We need to show the USA that EU has ability to compete.It will help balance all things.But it would be better if they use more Eu components and suppliers.

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