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A350 XWB: Moving Forward For The First Flight In Summer..!

As competition in the global aircraft industry intensifies, A350 XWB is ready to start the next phase of its ground testing program:

First A350 XWB with wings complete emerges for outdoor testing …

The first A350 XWB – MSN001 – now showing its completed wings, 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. The aircraft is structurally complete and shows the installed winglets, belly fairing panels, main landing gear doors. 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. 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.

A350XWB Ground Testing 1

 

More importantly, Airbus wants to achieve the first flight of A350 XWB during this summer by following the testing schedule of the aircraft:

EADS Results Rise, But Concerns Linger Over A350XWBAviation International News

The task of keeping development of the new Airbus A350XWB airliner on track for service entry in the second half of 2014 “remains challenging,” the European airframer’s parent company EADS acknowledged at a press conference. According to EADS chief financial officer Harald Wilhelm, “there is no room left in the schedule” to achieve A350 certification according to the revised timetable, but the company remains confident of achieving an A350 first flight “this summer”. Announcing increased revenues and profits for 2012 on February 27, EADS reported that its earnings before interest and tax of €3 billion ($3.9 billion) for 2012 were dented by a  €251 million ($331.3 million) charge associated with engineering work needed to fix a problem with cracked wing rib feet on the A380 and by a previously disclosed  €124 million ($162.4 million) charge covering delays in the A350XWB program. Nonetheless EADS group revenues climbed 15 percent, to €56.5 billion ($74 billion), and net income was up by 19 percent at  €1.2 billion ($1.6 billion) and record Airbus deliveries of 522 aircraft last year were a big contributor to this result. Net income was also boosted by a strengthening U.S. dollar, which boosted Airbus income from aircraft sales. However, EADS chief executive Tom Enders told reporters in Berlin that the group, which also includes Eurocopter, defense division Cassidian and space unit Astrium, still has work to do to improve its bottom line. “Going forward, the focus on the bottom-line growth remains our priority number one as a management team,” he commented. “And there’s still some way to go to meet our profitability targets.”

On the other hand, after the serious problem batteries caused in Boeing 787 Dreamliner, Airbus decided to follow its “plan B” by dropping the lithium-ion batteries option:

Airbus Is Dropping The Batteries That Have Caused Boeing So Much Trouble – Business Insider

Airbus is dropping the lithium-ion batteries it had planned to use in its new A350 XWB passenger jet, in favor of a more proven alternative, it announced.The lithium-ion batteries that competitor Boeing uses in its Dreamliner jet are at the center of ongoing investigations into the safety of the plane, after two fires on different aircraft last month. The 50 Dreamliners Boeing has delivered so far have been grounded since January 16, and the planemaker has warned airlines it will likely miss deliveries of the new jet, a financial blow.

Finally, innovative solutions in commercial aircraft production is the only way for defeating the global competition between major aircraft producers. The A350 XWB is the best example for this approach…

 

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