Airbus rolls out first A350 XWB Ultra Long Range jet
The first Ultra Long Range version of the A350 XWB has rolled out of the Airbus final assembly line in Toulouse, France, on February 28, 2018. The latest variant of the A350 XWB family will be able to fly further than any other commercial airliner and will enter service with launch operator Singapore Airlines (SIA) later in 2018.
In a press release, Airbus states that altogether, SIA has ordered seven Ultra Long Range versions of the A350 XWB, which it will use on non-stop flights between Singapore and the U.S., including the world’s longest commercial service between Singapore and New York.
With the delivery of the new aircraft, SIA will be able to resume world’s longest non-stop commercial flights, since it discontinued flights to Los Angeles (7,560 nm) and Newark (9,020 nm) in 2013, when rising fuel prices made operation of the A340-500 used on those routes too expensive, Bloomberg reported at the time.
A350 XWB Ultra Long Range aircraft
Following completion of the airframe assembly, the first A350 XWB Ultra Long Range aircraft has now moved to an outdoor station where it will undergo extensive ground tests, prior to installation of its Rolls-Royce Trent XWB engines.
The aircraft will then embark on a short flight test program to certify the changes over the standard A350-900 that will bring the additional range capability. These include a modified fuel system that increases fuel carrying capacity by 24,000 liters (6,340 gallons), without the need for additional fuel tanks. The test phase will also measure enhanced performance derived from aerodynamic improvements, including extended winglets.
The A350 XWB includes the latest aerodynamic design, carbon fiber fuselage and wings, as well as new fuel-efficient Rolls-Royce engines, which will offer high levels of operational efficiency, with a 25 per cent reduction in fuel burn and emissions, and significantly lower maintenance costs. The aircraft also features an Airspace by Airbus cabin that offers the quietest twin-aisle cabin and new air systems.
With a maximum take-off weight (MTOW) of 280 tons (560,000 pounds), the A350 XWB Ultra Long Range is capable of flying up to 9,700 nautical miles or over 20 hours non-stop.
Airbus best-seller aircraft
To date, the European plane maker has recorded a total of 854 firm orders for the A350 XWB from 45 customers worldwide, making it one of the most successful wide-body aircraft ever.
SIA is one of the largest customers for the A350 XWB family, having ordered a total of 67 A350-900s and already taken delivery of 21 of the aircraft, including orders for the seven Ultra Long Range versions of the A350-900 model, according to the Airbus press release.
Earlier this month, on February 20, 2018, Airbus announced deliveries of the world’s first A350-1000 wide-body airliner to launch customer Qatar Airways at a delivery event in Toulouse, France.
The aircraft is the first of the 37 A350-1000s ordered by the carrier, which is the world’s largest A350 XWB family customer with 76 aircraft on order as well as the largest A350-1000 customer.
A350 XWB Family aircraft
According to the aircraft specifications provided by Airbus, the A350 XWB, which entered commercial service in 2015, is an all-new family of wide-body long-haul twin-engine airliners said to shape the future of air travel.
The aircraft family, developed to challenge the long-haul, high-capacity Boeing 777 and future 777-8X market, it consists of the A350-800, the A350-900, and the A350-1000 models, with development costs of these aircraft estimated at €11 billion ($13.4 billion).
The A350-1000, is the longest-fuselage version of Airbus family of twin-aisle, wide-body jetliners, measuring nearly 74 meters (243 feet) from nose to tail, with a range of 14,750 km (7,950 nm). In a typical three-class configuration, featuring the company’s 18-inch-wide economy class seats, the A350-1000 seats a total of 366 passengers. The aircraft entered into service in February, 2018.
The A350-900 jetliner measures nearly 67 meters (220 feet) and has the range of 15,000 km (8,100 nm). The jet accommodates 325 passengers in a standard three-class configuration. As with all A350 XWB models, its fuselage is built with carbon-fiber reinforced plastic (CFRP), which supports lower fuel burn, easier maintenance and increased resistance to corrosion. The aircraft entered into service in January, 2015.
The A350-800 is the shortest-fuselage version in the A350 XWB family of mid-sized wide-body airliners, measuring nearly 61 meters (200 feet). It accommodates 276 passengers in a typical three-class cabin, with a flight range of 15,270 km (8,245 nm). This model retains maximum commonality with the family’s other versions, using the same cross-section, cockpit and pilot type rating – along with common engines, systems, operating and maintenance procedures.
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