Assembly of MSN5, the 5th and final member of the A350 XWB flight test fleet is now underway with the fuselage joining process. This follows the recent arrival of the 3 fuselage sections at the A350 XWB final assembly line in Toulouse, France.
MSN5 is the second of the A350 flight test aircraft that will feature a passenger cabin and will have the same paint livery than MSN2. This aircraft will fly for the first time in May/2014 and will be used essentially to perform cabin related flight tests.
It will also participate in the Early Long Flights where the “passengers” are Airbus employees. This allows the cabin and related systems to be submitted to near realistic operations in order to ensure a mature cabin at entry into service.
In addition, MSN5 will carry out Route Proving flights to demonstrate to the certification authorities that the aircraft performs perfectly in airport operations. MSN005 is also planned for ETOPS certification.
MSN5 is the first aircraft of the batch2 and several weight optimization modifications are already implemented. It will be the first A350 with nickel-cadmium batteries and although it will not fly too much in the certification program (around 4 months) the MSN5 is the certification standard aircraft.
Based on the press release published “Fifth and final A350 XWB test aircraft enters final assembly line”