22 December 2014

Milestone: 1st A350XWB delivery to Qatar Airways

First A350 XWB aircraft has been delivered today to Qatar Airways launch customer in an event held  in Airbus Delivery Center in Toulouse, France.


The MSN6 is the first series airplane and the first of consecutive 8 aircraft that will be handover by Qatar Airways.

Handover comes 8 years and 3 weeks after the A350 program, in its current guise, was launched in 2006 by Airbus to take on the Boeing 777 and 787.

The A350 XWB redefines the way people fly for the coming decades and opens up a new era in comfortable, efficient long-haul air travel when it enters service with Qatar Airways, renowned for leading the industry to new heights in service excellence.

The A350 XWB embodies the most advanced technologies and breakthrough innovations in aerodynamics, light-weight materials and aircraft systems.

Powered by ultra-fuel-efficient and very quiet Rolls-Royce Trent XWB engines and an extra-wide, bright and spacious cabin, the A350 XWB promises to be a firm favourite with travellers who will discover a whole new way of flying. Airlines will also benefit from unequalled levels of operating efficiency and cost effectiveness.

Pictures Source : Airbus

Based on the press release “Opening a new chapter in aviation, first delivery of A350 XWB to Qatar Airways”, based on the press release “Airbus delivers first ever A350 XWB to Qatar Airways” and based on the article “Qatar Airways Takes Delivery Of First Airbus A350” published in Aviation Week.

21 December 2014

A350 ready to fly from the nest.

"The A350-900 is now ready to fly from the nest and be enjoyed by airlines and passengers." said  Airbus President and CEO Fabrice BrĂ©gier at ceremony of Type Certification by EASA on 30 September 2014.

The first A350 will be received tomorrow by launch customer Qatar Airways. It is ready for service. This historic delivery of Airbus’ first A350 XWB will mark another major milestone for this advanced widebody jetliner.

The A350 XWB program has been particularly busy during 2014 as Airbus and other stakeholders worked toward the headline-making initial handover. This activity was highlighted by the continuation and completion of A350-900 flight testing; which was followed by Type Certification by the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), received in September and November, respectively. 

Lasting just over 14 months, which is an industry record, the A350-900 flight test and certification program comprised a 5-aircraft fleet which performed over 2,600 flight hours in total and over 600 flights. During this campaign, Airbus successfully completed the certification trials which took the airframe and its systems beyond their design limits to ensure airworthiness criteria are fully met.

The period between Type Certification and Entry Into Service is less than 3 months when for A380 was 12 months.

All pictures: Source Airbus

Based on the press release "Ready for service: first A350 XWB delivery follows a robust development programme"

20 December 2014

A350 manufacturing process by Minute Physics. Video

Minute Physics has issued a video to explain “how airplanes are made” and the A350 manufacturing process has been taken as the reference. Behind-the-Scenes of an Airbus A350 being built! is the title.

Click the picture to watch the video

This educational video especially created by Henry Reich has images from Airbus-sites in France, Germany and UK and it brings the opportunity to have a global view on the A350 XWB development in 5 minutes.

Click the picture to watch the video

19 December 2014

Formal welcome to first Qatar A350 on 7/Jan in Doha

Qatar Airways has set a new date of 7/January for ceremonies at its home hub in Doha.

Source: Airbus

Qatar, the launch customer for the A350 widebody, was originally scheduled to receive the first aircraft at Airbus’ delivery center in Toulouse 13/Dec, then hold formal ceremonies at Hamad International Airport on 15/Dec.

However, the airline suddenly announced last week that the delivery and ceremonies would be delayed.

Qatar then rescheduled the handover in Toulouse to 22/Dec but the ceremonies in Doha will not take place until 7/Jan, presumably to allow for the Christmas and New Year holidays.

Source: Airbus

Many VIPs and journalists typically attend new aircraft first-delivery ceremonies, but if the Doha event was rescheduled for during the holidays, there would likely have been minimal attendance.

Based on the article “Qatar sets Jan. 7 date for A350 ceremonies in Doha” published in ATW

18 December 2014

3 aircraft/month production rate at A350 FAL.

Finnair’s first A350 (MSN18) has entered the final assembly line at Toulouse, as Airbus maintains pressure on its ramp-up phase for the type.

This aircraft is set to be the first of 19 that Finnair is ordering. Final assembly is already underway for additional A350s bound for Qatar Airways (MSN6 to MSN13) as well as Vietnam Airlines(MSN14 to MSN17).

A350 program manager Didier Evrard stated during an investor forum in London that 12 customer aircraft are in progress at Toulouse, and that the production rate has reached 3 aircraft per month.

Vertical fins up to MSN25 have been manufactured at the facility in Stade while the plant in Getafe has built tail-cone sections up to MSN35 and horizontal stabilizers up to MSN23.

“By having the certification done quickly, we now have a very stable definition that we can safely base our industrial ramp-up on,” says Evrard. This ramp-up will start next year.

All pictures: Source Airbus
Based on the article “Twelve customer A350s in final assembly” published in Flight Global.

17 December 2014

First A350 Rudder assembled in China.

Hafei Airbus Composite Manufacturing Center (HMC), a joint venture between Airbus and its Chinese partners, began delivering locally assembled rudders for the Airbus A350 XWB this week.

The rudders manufactured at HMC will be delivered to Airbus Stade-site in Germany, where they will be fixed to the A350 vertical stabilizer, and then delivered to the Final Assembly Line inToulouse (France).

Source: Manuel Belleli

Rudders are one of the major components that HMC manufactures for the Airbus A350 XWB program. Airbus and Chinese authorities signed an agreement in 2007 for 5% of the A350 XWB airframe to be manufactured in China.

Manufacturing Center at Harbin (China)

"This is an important milestone for the Manufacturing Center and for our long-term partnership with the Chinese aviation industry as well. HMC will play an important role in contributing to the ramp-up and the success of the program," said Rafael Gonzalez-Ripoll, Airbus China COO.

HMC was put into production in 2009. It mainly produces components for Airbus A320 series and A350 XWB.

Based on the article “Airbus Chinese venture delivers A350 XWB rudders” published in Xinhua

16 December 2014

Qatar´s A350 will demo sound emissions at Heathrow in January.

Qatar Airways maintains the target of 15/January to start the commercial flights between Doha and Frankfurt.

Source: Airbus

During the month since the take over (planned for 22/Dec) the MSN6 will be used to train Qatar-pilots, engineers, Hamad International Airport staff.

Source: Airbus

And the aircraft will also be flown to London’s Heathrow airport for a week of trials to measure the sound emission “to prove to the world, especially to the British community, how quiet this plane is,” Qatar Airways CEO Al Baker said.

Source: Airbus

These kind of tests will be regularly done in all Head of Version aircraft for each new Customer, as noise levels are needed because each airline has it's own unique layout giving each head of version a different acoustical performance. 

Based on the article “No delay in first A350 commercial flight, says QA” published in The Peninsula