The Luftwaffe, the German Air Force, broke the record for the longest Airbus A350 flight, after the aircraft flew 17,000 kilometers (10,500 miles) non-stop from Cologne, Germany, to Canberra, Australia.
The journey, which lasted 19 hours, was part of the testing campaign of the ACJ350-900 XWB of which the Luftwaffe took delivery in August 2020. It is the world’s first government aircraft based on the A350-900. The conversion was carried out by Lufthansa Technik, with the inclusion of a conference room, a lounge, and a modern kitchen, for a capacity of 25 passengers. Airbus also fitted the A350 with special avionics, such as a Large Aircraft Infrared Counter-Measure system (LAIRCM) to protect the planes from incoming missiles.
However, the record could be broken in the future, as the ACJ350 is advertised to be able to fly for up to 22 hours with a range of 20,550 kilometers (12,800 miles). The impressive feat is made possible by the aircraft’s carbon fiber fuselage and wings that reduce its weight.
The second A350 to be used by the Luftwaffe for the transport of the German government representatives completed its maiden flight at Airbus’ main facility of Toulouse-Blagnac on November 20, 2020. The complete fleet of three aircraft should be delivered by 2022.