Airbus’ MSN005 developmental A350 XWB jetliner continues on the third trip of its global route-proving tour to demonstrate the aircraft’s readiness for airline operations. In this phase, the aircraft received warm welcomes in Johannesburg, South Africa; Sydney, Australia; Auckland, New Zealand; Santiago, Chile then flew to Sao Paulo, Brazil before returning to Toulouse, France.
The fifth and final A350 XWB flight test aircraft – which is designated MSN005 – took to the skies for the first time on 20 June 2014. This milestone maiden flight confirmed that the A350 XWB development programme is operating at full speed and on track for certification during the third quarter of 2014. As the second passenger cabin-equipped A350 XWB, MSN005 will be tasked with route proving and ETOPS validation.
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Airbus has successfully performed certification testing to demonstrate the A350 XWB’s ability to operate on wet runways. During these tests at Istres, France, the flight-test aircraft, MSN004, travelled through troughs containing at least 22mm of water depth, at a variety of speeds, starting at 60kts, and successively increasing to around 140kts.
A350 XWB MSN004 successfully undertakes water ingestion tests at Istres in May 2014
This test validates how the aircraft would behave on a very rain-soaked runway, and verifies that neither the water under the aircraft nor the spray generated by the nose landing gear will enter the engines or APU. For the test, the “water trough” was created by applying to the runway’s surface grooves and rubber strips inserted in the grooves to retain the water. This pool measured 100m long by 29m wide. The aircraft performed several runs as planned in order to test various cases, including the use of reverse thrust. The results will be analysed by the Airbus Design Office, which will extrapolate them to predict a variety of typical operational scenarios.
The A350 XWB’s is on track for certification in Q3 2014, to be followed by entry into service with Qatar Airways in Q4. The first four A350s now flying have together accumulated around 1,600 flight-test hours and over 350 flights. The flight-test fleet will be completed with the fifth aircraft, MSN005, in the coming weeks.
Airbus produces great high quality videos. Here is one of the last ones, the A350XWB flight test campaign.
Since Feb 26, 2014, Airbus has doubled from two to four the number of A350 WXB flight test aircraft with the simultaneous maiden flights of MSN2 and MSN4 – both of which were performed from Toulouse, France. MSN2 is the first developmental aircraft to feature a full passenger cabin, allowing Airbus to begin validating all related systems; while MSN4 will be used for multiple test activities – including low-weight flight envelope certification and external noise measurements among others.