The old adage is “God willing, weather permitting”……..
If all goes well, we shall see the first flight of a brand new aircraft, the Airbus A350 XWB. Airbus indicates the A350 XWB first flight is planned for today, weather conditions permitting.
The A350 will be the first new commercial aircraft model, excluding variants of existing models, from the stables of the two behemoth airframers, Boeing and Airbus, in almost three and a half years.
The Boeing 787 made its first flight in December 2009. The last new aircraft from Airbus was the A380 double-decker super-jumbo which first flew in April 2005, over eight years ago.
The A350 XWB “MSN1” will take off from Toulouse-Blagnac airport at around 10:00 am local time (08:00Z, 13:30 IST). You can view live coverage on the special A350 first flight website starting from 07:00 UTC, 12:30 IST.
The A350 XWB is the all-new mid-size long range product line comprising three versions and seating between 270 and 350 passengers in typical three-class layouts.
In the mean time, three videos for your enjoyment. One an accelerated timeline of MSN1 being assembled, the second, the painting of MSN1, and the third explains the Rolls Royce Trent XWB, the most powerful engine on any Airbus aircraft till date, even more powerful than those on the A380.
You can also see the A350 performing its taxi testing earlier this week prior to the first flight.