Airbus A350

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A350
Artist impression of side view of jet aircraft in airline livery
Illustration of Airbus A350 XWB concept in Etihad Airways livery
RoleWide-body jet airliner
National originMulti-national
ManufacturerAirbus
First flightExpected in 2013[1]
IntroductionPlanned for 2014[1][2]
StatusUnder development, early production[3]
Unit costA350-800: US$245.5 million, 190M (2012),[4]
A350-900: US$277.7M, €215M (2012),[4]
A350-1000: US$320.6M, €248M (2012)[4]
 
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A350
Artist impression of side view of jet aircraft in airline livery
Illustration of Airbus A350 XWB concept in Etihad Airways livery
RoleWide-body jet airliner
National originMulti-national
ManufacturerAirbus
First flightExpected in 2013[1]
IntroductionPlanned for 2014[1][2]
StatusUnder development, early production[3]
Unit costA350-800: US$245.5 million, 190M (2012),[4]
A350-900: US$277.7M, €215M (2012),[4]
A350-1000: US$320.6M, €248M (2012)[4]

The Airbus A350 is a family of long-range, wide-body jet airliners under development by European aircraft manufacturer Airbus.[Nb 1] The A350 will be the first Airbus with both fuselage and wing structures made primarily of carbon fibre-reinforced polymer.[5] 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.[5] 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.[6] Development costs are projected to be 12 billion (US$15 billion or £10 billion).[7] The airliner is scheduled to enter airline service during the second half of 2014.[8] As of 20 January 2012 (2012 -01-20), 561 orders had been placed for the new aircraft.[9]

Contents

Development

Early designs

When Boeing announced its Boeing 787 Dreamliner programme, it said the lower operating costs of this aircraft would make it a serious threat to the Airbus A330. In public announcements, Airbus initially rejected this claim, stating that the 787 was itself just a reaction to the A330, and that no response was needed for the 787. Airlines pushed Airbus to provide a competitor, as Boeing had committed the 787 to have 20% lower fuel consumption than the Boeing 767.

Airbus initially proposed the A330-200Lite, a simple derivative of the A330, which would feature improved aerodynamics and engines similar to those on the 787.[10] The company planned to announce this version at the 2004 Farnborough Airshow, but did not proceed.[10] On 16 September 2004, then-Airbus president and CEO Noël Forgeard confirmed that a new project was under consideration during a private meeting, which was held with prospective customers.[10] But Forgeard did not give a project name, and did not state whether it would be an entirely new design or a modification of an existing product. The airlines were not satisfied, and Airbus committed €4 billion to a new airliner design.[10] The original version of the A350 superficially resembled the A330 due to its common fuselage cross-section and assembly. A new wing, engines and a horizontal stabiliser were to be coupled with new composite materials and production methods applied to the fuselage to make the A350 an almost all-new aircraft.[10] On 10 December 2004, the boards of EADS and BAE Systems, then the shareholders of Airbus, gave Airbus an "authorisation to offer (ATO)", and formally named it the A350.[10][11]

On 13 June 2005 at the Paris Air Show, Middle Eastern carrier Qatar Airways announced that it has placed an order for 60 A350 aircraft. In September 2006 the airline signed an memorandum of understanding with General Electric to launch the GEnx-1A-72 for the aircraft.[12][13][14] Emirates decided against making an order for the initial version of the A350 because of weaknesses in the design,[15][16] but has since ordered A350 XWBs.[17]

On 6 October 2005, full industrial launch of the programme was announced with an estimated development cost of around €3.5 billion.[10] This version of the A350 was planned to be a 250- to 300-seat twin-engine wide-body aircraft derived from the design of the existing A330. Under this plan, the A350 would have modified wings and new engines, while sharing the same fuselage cross-section as its predecessor. As a result of a controversial design, the fuselage was to consist primarily of Al-Li, rather than the carbon-fiber-reinforced polymer (CFRP) fuselage on the 787. It was to see entry in two versions: the A350-800 capable of flying 8,800 nmi (16,300 km) with typical passenger capacity of 253 in 3-class configuration and the 300-seat (3-class) A350-900 with 7,500 nmi (13,900 km) range. It was designed to be a direct competitor to the 787-9, and 777-200ER.[10]

Airbus faced almost immediate criticism on the A350 project from the heads of two of its largest customers, International Lease Finance Corporation (ILFC) and GE Capital Aviation Services (GECAS). On 28 March 2006, in the presence of hundreds of top airline executives, ILFC President Steven F. Udvar-Hazy lambasted Airbus' strategy in bringing to market what they saw as "a Band-aid reaction to the 787," a sentiment that was echoed by GECAS president Henry Hubschman. Udvar-Hazy called on Airbus to bring a clean-sheet design to the table, or risk losing most of the market to Boeing.[18][19] Several days later Chew Choon Seng, then CEO of Singapore Airlines (SIA), made a similar comment: "Having gone to the trouble of designing a new wing, tail, cockpit" and adding advanced new materials, Airbus "should have gone the whole hog and designed a new fuselage."[20] At the time, SIA was reviewing bids for the 787 and A350. Airbus responded by stating it was considering improvements for the A350 to satisfy customer demands.[21] At the same time, Airbus' then-CEO Gustav Humbert suggested that there would be no quick fixes: "Our strategy isn't driven by the needs of the next one or two campaigns, but rather by a long-term view of the market and our ability to deliver on our promises."[22]

Redesign and launch

As a result of these criticisms, in mid-2006 Airbus undertook a major review of the A350 concept. The proposed new A350 with a wider fuselage cross-section has become more of a competitor to the larger Boeing 777 as well as some models of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner. The new A350 fuselage allows 10-abreast high-density configuration.[23][24] The A330 and previous iterations of the A350 would only be able to accommodate 8 passengers per row in normal configurations. The 787 can accommodate 8 or 9 passengers per row, while the 777 can accommodate 9 passengers per row, with some airlines using 10-abreast seating. The A350 cabin is 12.7 cm (5.0 in) wider at the eye level of a seated passenger than the competing 787,[25] and 28 cm (11 in) narrower than the Boeing 777, its other competitor. (See Wide-body aircraft for a comparison of cabin widths and seating.) All A350 passenger models will have a range of at least 8,000 nmi (15,000 km).

Mock-up of aircraft cabin with white seats, indirect lighting and a bluish hue
Interior mock-up of the Business Class of the A350 XWB

On 14 July 2006, during the Farnborough Airshow, Airbus announced that the redesigned aircraft would be called A350 XWB (Xtra-Wide-Body).[26] There was some previous speculation that the revised aircraft would be called the Airbus A370 or A280, with Airbus going as far as accidentally publishing an advert referring to the aircraft as the "A280" on the Financial Times website. Within four days, Airbus achieved its first sale of the re-designed A350 when Singapore Airlines announced an order for 20 A350XWBs with options of a further 20. CEO Chew Choon Seng said that "it is heartening that Airbus has listened to customer airlines and has come up with a totally new design for the A350."[27]

On 1 December 2006 the Airbus board of directors approved the industrial launch of the A350-800, -900 and -1000.[28][29] The delayed decision on formal launch was a result of delays of the Airbus A380[30] and discussions about how the development would be funded. EADS CEO Thomas Enders stated that the A350 programme was not a certainty, citing EADS/Airbus' stretched resources.[31][32] However, it was decided programme costs are to be borne mainly from cash-flow. First delivery for the -900 was scheduled for mid-2013, with the -800 and -1000 following on, respectively, 12 and 24 months later.[28] At a 4 December 2006 press conference, a few new technical details of the A350 XWB design were revealed, but no new customers were identified. John Leahy indicated existing A350 contracts were under re-negotiation due to increases in prices compared to the original A350s contracted. On 4 January 2007, Airbus announced that Pegasus Aviation Finance Company had placed the first firm order for the A350 XWB with an order for two aircraft.[33]

The change to the XWB design imposed a two-year delay into the original timetable and almost doubled development costs from $5.3 billion to approximately $10 billion (£4.9 billion to £9.5 billion or €5.5 billion to €9.7 billion).[34][35] The total development cost for the A350 was estimated at $15 billion by Reuters (€12 billion or £10 billion).[36] Although the mid-2013 delivery date of the A350 remains unchanged, longer than anticipated development activities for the aircraft have forced Airbus to delay the final assembly and first flight of the aircraft to the third quarter of 2011 and second quarter of 2012 respectively. As such, flight testing will be compressed from the original 15 months to a 12 month schedule. A350 programme chief Didier Evrard stressed that the delays only affect the A350-900 and that the A350-800 and A350-1000 schedules remain unchanged.[37] On 12 November 2010, EADS CFO Peter Ring stated that the delivery date had slipped from mid-2013 to the second half of that year. Ring said the major reason for the schedule change is that the "transition phase from design to manufacturing is a bit longer."[38]

Design phase

Although Airbus previously suggested Boeing's use of composite materials for the 787 fuselage was premature, and that the original A350s would be made from aluminium-lithium (Al-Li), the new A350 XWB will feature large carbon fibre panels for the main fuselage skin. After facing criticism for maintenance costs,[39] Airbus confirmed in early September 2007 the adoption of composite fuselage frames for the aircraft structure.[40][41] The composite frames will feature aluminium strips to ensure the electrical continuity of the fuselage (for dissipating lightning strikes).[42] Airbus will use a full mock up fuselage to develop the wiring, a different approach from the A380, on which the wiring was all done on computers.[43]

A critical component of the all-new airliner are the engines. Rather than the bleedless configuration used on the Boeing 787, Airbus has confirmed that it will further develop a full bleed air system on the engines.[44][45][46] Rolls-Royce has agreed with Airbus to supply a new variant of the Trent engine for the A350 XWB, currently called the Trent XWB. After the low-speed wind tunnel test, Airbus froze the static thrust at sea level for all three proposed variants in the 330–420 kN (74,000–94,000 lbf) range.[47] In June 2007, Rolls-Royce announced that it had signed its biggest ever contract with Qatar Airways for the Trent XWB to power 80 A350 XWBs on order from Airbus worth $5.6 billion at list prices.[citation needed]

General Electric (GE) has stated it will not offer the GP7000 engine on the aircraft, and that previous contracts for the GEnx on the original A350 did not apply to the XWB.[48] Engine Alliance partner Pratt & Whitney seems to be at odds with GE on this, publicly stating that it is looking at an advanced derivative of the GP7000.[49] In April 2007, Airbus former chief executive Louis Gallois held face-to-face talks with senior GE management over developing a new variant of the GEnx engine for the A350 XWB.[50][51] In June 2007, Airbus' Chief Operating Officer John Leahy indicated that the A350 XWB will not feature the GEnx engine, saying that Airbus wants GE to offer a more efficient version for the new Airbus airliner.[52] Since then, largest GE engines operators Emirates, US Airways, Hawaiian Airlines and ILFC have selected the Trent XWB for their A350 orders. In May 2009, GE said that if it reaches a deal with Airbus to offer the current 787-optimised GEnx for the A350, it will only power the -800 and -900 variants. GE believes it can offer a product that outperforms the Trent 1000 and Trent XWB, but has been reluctant to support an airframe that competes directly with its GE90-115B-powered 777 variants.[53]

In January 2008, French-based Thales Group won the US$2.9 billion (€2 billion) 20-year contract to supply avionics and navigation equipment for the A350 XWB. Thales competed against Honeywell and Rockwell Collins for the flight deck supply contract.[54] US-based Rockwell Collins and Moog Inc were chosen to supply the horizontal stabiliser actuator and primary flight control actuation, respectively. The flight management system will include several new safety features.[55]

Regarding cabin ergonomics and entertainment, in 2006 Airbus had signed a firm contract with BMW for development of an interior concept for the original A350.[56] On 4 February 2010, Airbus signed a contract with Panasonic Avionics Corporation to deliver in-flight entertainment and communication (IFEC) systems for the Airbus A350 XWB.

Production and testing

The A350 XWB production programme sees extensive international collaboration and investments in new facilities. According to Flight Global, Airbus constructed 10 new factories across Western Europe and the US, with extensions carried out on 3 further sites.[57] Among the new buildings was a £570 million (US$760 million or €745 million) composite facility in Broughton, Wales, which would be responsible for the wings.[58] In June 2009, the National Assembly for Wales announced provision of a £28 million grant to provide a training centre, production jobs and money toward the new production centre.[59] Another new construction facility was the composite rudder plant in China, which was opened in early 2011.[60][61]

Airbus planned to introduce new techniques and procedures to cut assembly time in half.[62] Airbus manufactured the first structural component in December 2009.[63] Production of the first fuselage barrel began in late 2010 at its production plant in Illescas, Spain.[64][65] Construction of the first A350-900 centre wingbox was set to start in August 2010.[66]

The flight-test programme of the Rolls-Royce Trent XWB is to begin using the A380 development aircraft in early 2011, ahead of engine certification at the end of 2011. The first engine test on the Trent was made in June 2010.[67] The forward fuselage of the first A350 aircraft was delivered to the factory on 29 December 2011.[68] The final assembly of the first A350 static test model was started on 5 April 2012.[citation needed]

In June 2011, the A350-900 was scheduled to enter service in the first half of 2014, with the -800 to enter service in mid-2016, and the -1000 in 2017.[69] In July 2012, Airbus delayed the -900's entry date by three months into the second half of 2014.[2]

Design

In September 2007, Airbus rolled out new design advances to a gathering of 100 representatives from existing and potential XWB customers. The A350 XWB will be built on the technologies developed for Airbus A380 and will have a similar cockpit and fly-by-wire systems layout.[70] The A350 XWB will be made out of 53% composites, 19% Al/Al-Li, 14% titanium, 6% steel and 8% miscellaneous.[71] This compares to the Boeing 787 Dreamliner, which consists of 50% composites, 20% aluminium, 15% titanium, 10% steel and 5% other.[72] October 2008 was the Airbus internal goal to freeze the design and Airbus expects 10% lower airframe maintenance cost and 14% lower empty seat weight than competing aircraft.[73]

Airbus says that the new design provides a better cabin atmosphere with 20% humidity level during flight and typical cabin altitude at or below 6,000 ft (1,800 m), pressurisation at 6,000 ft (1,800 m) and flow management system that adapts cabin airflow to passenger load with draught-free air circulation.[5] Airbus is aiming to certify the A350 with 350 min ETOPS capability upon service entry.[74]

Fuselage

Standard nine-abreast configuration mock-up of the economy class of the A350

The new XWB fuselage will have a constant width from door 1 to door 4, unlike previous Airbus aircraft, to provide maximum usable volume.[75] The double-lobe (ovoid) fuselage cross-section will have a maximum outer diameter of 5.97 m (19.6 ft), compared to 5.64 m (18.5 ft) for the A330/A340.[76] The cabin's internal diameter will be 5.61 m (18.4 ft) wide at armrest level compared with 5.49 m (18.0 ft) of the Boeing 787[77] and 5.86 m (19.2 ft) of the Boeing 777. It allows eight-abreast 2–4–2 arrangement in premium economy layout, with the seats being 49.5 cm (19.5 in) wide between 5 cm (2.0 in) wide arm rests. Airbus says that the seat width will be 1.3 cm (0.5 in) greater than a 787 seat in the equivalent configuration. In the nine-abreast, 3–3–3 standard layout, the XWB's seat width will be 45 cm (18 in) which will be 1.3 cm (0.5 in) wider than the proposed equivalent seat layout for the Boeing 787.[5][78] A ten-abreast high-density configuration is also available.[23] Passengers are promised more headroom, larger overhead storage space and wider panoramic windows than current Airbus models.

Wings

The A350 will feature new all-composite wings that will be common to the three proposed variants.[79] With an area of 443 m2 (4,770 sq ft)[80] it will be the largest wing ever produced for a single-deck widebody aircraft.[75] The geometric wingspan of 64.8 m (213 ft)[80] is 4.5 m (15 ft) greater than that of the A330. This is the same span as the long-range Boeing 777-200LR/777-300ER, which has slightly less area.[81] The wing tip will not sport Airbus' traditional wingtip fences, but instead will curve upwards over the final 4.4 metres (14 ft) in a "sabre-like" shape.[75] The new wing will have 31.9° of sweep,[80] helping to increase typical cruise speed to Mach 0.85 and maximum operating speed to Mach 0.89.

A new trailing-edge high-lift system has been adopted with an advanced dropped-hinge flap (similar to that of the A380), which permits the gap between the trailing edge and the flap to be closed with the spoiler.[82] The manufacturer has extensively used computational fluid dynamics and also carried out more than 4,000 hours of low- and high-speed windtunnel testing to refine the aerodynamic design,[83] achieving the final configuration of wing and winglet on the "Maturity Gate 5" on 17 December 2008.[84]

The wings are produced in the new £400M/46,000 square metres (500,000 sq ft) North Factory at Airbus Broughton, employing 650 workers, in a specialist facility constructed with £29M of support from the Welsh Assembly Government.[85]

Nose

A350 XWB new nose and general arrangement inside forward fuselage

The XWB's nose section will adopt a configuration derived from the A380 with a forward-mounted nosegear bay and a six-panel flightdeck windscreen.[86] This differs substantially from the four-window arrangement in the original design.[87] The new nose will improve aerodynamics and enable overhead crew rest areas to be installed further forward and eliminate any encroachment in the passenger cabin. The new windscreen has been revised to improve vision by reducing the width of the centre post. The upper shell radius of the nose section has been increased. The nose is likely to be constructed from aluminium but Airbus is currently running trade-off studies considering a one-piece carbon fibre structure. According to Gordon McConnell, A350 Chief Engineer, a carbon fibre structure would need titanium reinforcements for birdstrike protection, thus the aluminium structure is the best cost-wise.[88]

Cockpit and avionics

The revised design of the cockpit dropped the A380-sized display and adopted 38 cm (15 in) LCD screens. The new six-screen configuration will have two central displays mounted one above the other (the lower one above the thrust levers) and a single (for each pilot) primary flight/navigation display, with an adjacent on-board information system screen.[89] Airbus says the new cockpit will allow advances in navigation technology to be placed on the displays in the future plus flexibility and capacity to upload new software and to combine data from multiple sources and sensors for flight management and aircraft systems control.[90] The A350 XWB will also feature a head-up display.

The avionics will be a further development of the integrated modular avionics (IMA) concept found on the A380. The A350's IMA will manage up to 40 functions (versus 23 functions for the A380) such as undercarriage, fuel, pneumatics, cabin environmental systems, and fire detection.[87][91] Airbus says benefits will include reduced maintenance and lower weight because IMA replaces multiple processors and LRUs with around 50% fewer standard computer modules known as line-replaceable modules. The IMA runs on a 100-Mbit/s network based on the avionics full-duplex (AFDX) standard, already employed in the A380 instead of the architecture used on the A330/A340.

Powerplant

The Trent XWB family comprises two basic engines to power the three A350 variants. The baseline 370 kN (83,000 lbf) thrust version for the A350-900 will be derated to 330 kN (74,000 lbf) and 350 kN (79,000 lbf) for the -800, while an upgraded 432 kN (97,000 lbf) thrust version will power the A350-1000. The higher rating 432 kN (97,000 lbf) engine will have some modifications to the fan module - it will be the same 118-inch diameter but will run slightly faster and have a new fan blade design - and some increases in temperatures brought by new materials technologies coming from its research programmes. The basic 248 t MTOW -800 will be offered with a 330 kN (74,000 lbf) sea-level-thrust rating, while the 279 t MTOW option will have 350 kN (79,000 lbf) thrust. Airbus also plan to offer a 'hot and high' rating option flat-rated at 350 kN (79,000 lbf) at higher altitudes and temperatures which uses the full capability of the -900's 370 kN (83,000 lbf) thrust engine prompted by the operating requirements for Middle Eastern launching customers Qatar Airways, Emirates, and Etihad.[92]

The Trent XWB will feature a 118-inch (300 cm) fan diameter and the design will be based on the advanced developments of the Trent 900 (Airbus A380) and Trent 1000 (Boeing 787). The Trent XWB may also benefit from the next-generation reduced acoustic mode scattering engine duct system (RAMSES), which is a noise-dampening engine nacelle intake and a carry-on design of the Airbus's "zero splice" intake liner developed for the A380.[93] Engine thrust-reversers and nacelles will be supplied by US-based Goodrich Corporation.

The A350 XWB will feature a 1,268 kW (1,700 hp) Honeywell HGT1700 auxiliary power unit,[87] which has 10% greater power density than the previous generation of Honeywell's 331 APU family. Honeywell will also supply the air management system: the bleed air, environmental control, cabin pressure control and supplemental cooling systems.[94] The ram-air turbine will be supplied by Hamilton Sundstrand and will be located in the lower surface of the fuselage.[95] The generator requirement for the ram air turbine is 100 kVA compared to 150 kVA for the A380.

Fuel and hydraulic systems

Parker Hannifin will supply the complete fuel package: inerting system, fuel measurement and management systems, mechanical equipment and fuel pumps. The fuel tank inerting system will feature air-separation modules to generate nitrogen-enriched air that will be used to reduce the flammability of fuel vapour in the tanks.

Parker will also provide hydraulic power generation and distribution system: reservoirs, manifolds, accumulators, thermal control, isolation, software and new engine- and electric motor-driven pump designs. Parker estimates the contracts will generate more than US$2 billion (€1.5 billion or £1 billion) in revenues over the life of the programme.[96]

Mock-up of the A350 nose gear at ILA 2012

Undercarriage

Airbus adopted a new philosophy for the attachment of the A350’s main undercarriage as part of the switch to a composite wing structure. Each main undercarriage leg is attached to the rear wing spar forward and to a gear beam aft, which itself is attached to the wing and the fuselage. To help reduce the loads further into the wing, a double side-stay configuration has been adopted. This solution resembles the design of the Vickers VC10.[97]

Airbus devised a three-pronged main undercarriage design philosophy encompassing both four- and six-wheel bogies to ensure it can keep the pavement loading within limits. The A350-800 and A350-900 will both have four-wheel bogies, although the -800's will be slightly shorter to save weight. Both will fit in the same 4.1 m (13 ft) long bay. The proposed higher weight variant, the A350-1000 (and the A350-900R, which is being proposed to British Airways, with -900 size but with sufficient fuel capacity to allow nonstop London-Sydney flights) will use a six-wheel bogey, with a 4.7 m (15 ft) undercarriage bay.[98] French-based Messier-Dowty will provide the main undercarriage. The nose gear will be supplied by Liebherr-Aerospace.[99]

Variants

A350 variants

There are three variants of the A350 and all were launched in 2006.[100][101] In July 2012, the A350-900 is scheduled to enter service in the second half of 2014;[2] then the -800 in mid-2016, and -1000 in 2017.[69][102] All variants are also to be offered as corporate jets by wholly owned subsidiary Airbus Executive and Private Aviation.

A350-800

The A350-800 will seat 270 passengers in a 3-class with a 9-abreast layout. It will have a range of 15,400 km (8,300 nmi).[80] It is designed to compete with the Boeing 787-9 and to directly replace the Airbus A330-200. In January 2010 Airbus announced that the -800 would be developed as a simple shrink of the -900, incorporating minor changes to the systems and structure and share more hardware with the -900 rather than as an optimised variant as was previously planned. This increased commonality will allow a higher maximum takeoff weight, which will increase the range (or payload) of the A350-800 compared to initial plans. The change will increase fuel burn by "a few per cent", according to the programme's marketing head, Sophie Pendaries.[103]

The -800's fuselage is 10 frames shorter (six forward and four aft) than the -900 aircraft. The baseline -800 will be offered with an MTOW of 248 t (550,000 lb), MLW of 190 t (420,000 lb), MZFW of 178 t (390,000 lb), and 330 kN (74,000 lbf) thrust engines. An optional 11-tonne (24,000 lb) increase in MTOW, to 259 t (570,000 lb) with a corresponding increase of MZFW to 181 t (400,000 lb), MLW to 193 t (430,000 lb), and a higher thrust 370 kN (83,000 lbf) engine (common with -900 engine thrust) was announced by Airbus in April 2010 to be made available for customers as an option. While the increased weights compensate for the increased empty weight of the aircraft and associated minor fuel burn penalty due to maintaining commonality with -900, it also resulted in an increase in the aircraft maximum structural payload capability by 3 t (6,600 lb), or 459 km (248 nmi) of additional range.[104][105] As development continues, Airbus plans to decrease structural weight in the -800, which should be around airframe 20.[106]

A350-900

The A350-900 is the first A350 model and seats 314 passengers in a 3-class cabin 9-abreast layout. It has a standard design range target of 15,000 km (8,100 nmi). Airbus says that the A350-900 will have a decrease of 16% MWE per seat, a 30% decrease in block fuel per seat and 25% better cash operating cost than the Boeing 777-200ER.[107]

The -900R and -900F variants also have been proposed but not yet launched. These are to feature the higher engine thrust, strengthened structure and undercarriage of the -1000.[108] Range of the "standard" A350-900R was estimated to 17,600 km (9,500 nmi), which would be boosted to about 19,100 km (10,315 nmi) by these design improvements to compete with the Boeing 777-200LR and be capable of non-stop flight from London-Heathrow to Auckland. The -900 is designed to compete with the Boeing 777-200ER and replace the Airbus A340-300. The -900R was expected to enter service in 2016.[109]

A350-1000

The A350-1000 has an 11-frame stretch over the -900[100] and will enter service after the -800. It is the largest variant of the A350 family and will seat 350 passengers in a 3-class cabin 9-abreast layout.[110] It will have range of 15,600 km (8,400 nmi). It is designed to compete with the Boeing 777-300ER and replace the Airbus A340-600.

The A350-1000 will feature a slightly larger wing than the -800/900 models; a trailing-edge extension increasing its area by 4%. This will extend the high-lift devices and the ailerons, making the chord bigger by around 400 mm, optimising flap lift performance as well as cruise performance.[100]


Orders and deliveries

Net orders
(cumulative by year)
As of 31 August 2012 (2012 -08-31)

As of August 2012, 34 customers have placed 558 firm orders for the A350 XWB.[111]

Airbus A350 firm orders
A350-800A350-900A350-1000Total firm orders
11835288558

Source: Airbus orders data as of August 2012[111]

Orders and deliveries
2006200720082009201020112012Total
Net orders203301332278-283558
Deliveries

Source: Airbus orders data as of August 2012[111]

Specifications

Specifications are preliminary until design is finished.

ModelA350-800[103]A350-900A350-900R[112]A350-900F[112]A350-1000
Cockpit crewTwo
Seating, typical270 (3-class)
276–312 (2-class)
440 (maximum)
314 (3-class)
315–366 (2-class)
475 (maximum)
-350 (3-class)
369–412 (2-class)
550 (maximum)
Overall length60.54 m (198.6 ft)66.89 m (219.5 ft)73.88 m (242.4 ft)
Wingspan64.8 m (213 ft)
Wing area443 m2 (4,770 sq ft)~460 m2 (5,000 sq ft)
Wing sweepback31.9°
Overall height17.05 m (55.9 ft)
Fuselage width5.96 m (19.6 ft)
Fuselage height6.09 m (20.0 ft)
Cabin width5.61 m (18.4 ft)[113]
Maximum takeoff weight259 t (571,000 lb)268 t (591,000 lb)298 t (657,000 lb)308 t (679,000 lb)
Maximum landing weight[105]193 t (425,000 lb)205 t (452,000 lb)233 t (514,000 lb)
Maximum zero fuel weight[105]181 t (399,000 lb)192 t (423,000 lb)220 t (485,000 lb)
Manufacturer's empty weight115.7 t (255,074.8 lb)[114]
Maximum cargo capacity28 LD3 or 9 pallets36 LD3 or 11 pallets90 t (198,000 lb)44 LD3 or 14 pallets
Cruise speedMach 0.85 (903 km/h, 561 mph, 487 knots, at 40,000 ft/12.19 km)
Maximum cruise speedMach 0.89 (945 km/h, 587 mph, 510 knots, at 40,000 ft/12.19 km)
Maximum range
(with passengers and baggage)[105]
15,700 km (8,480 nmi)15,000 km (8,100 nmi)19,100 km (10,300 nmi)9,250 km (4,990 nmi)
Maximum cargo payload
15,600 km (8,420 nmi)
Maximum fuel capacity129,000 l (34,100 US gal)138,000 l (36,500 US gal)156,000 l (41,200 US gal)
Service ceiling43,100 ft (13.1 km)43,100 ft (13.1 km)
Engines (2×)RR Trent XWB
Maximum thrust capability79,000 lbf (351 kN)84,000 lbf (374 kN)93,000 lbf (414 kN)93,000 lbf (414 kN)97,000 lbf (431 kN)

Sources: Airbus,[80][110][113] Flight Global[115]

See also

Related development
Aircraft of comparable role, configuration and era
Related lists

Notes

  1. ^ A consortium originally comprising European aerospace companies from the UK, France, Spain and West Germany, Airbus is now fully owned by EADS and since 2001 has been known as Airbus SAS. It is commonly known simply as Airbus though.

References

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External links

External images
Airbus A350 XWB Cutaway
Airbus A350 XWB Cutaway from Flightglobal.com