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Airbus A350 XWB Development

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Saturday December 2, 2006

 

EADS board approves launch of Airbus A350 XWB to rival Boeing's Dreamliner

 

PARIS (AP) - The board of Airbus parent EADS approved the launch of the Airbus A350 XWB, the mid-sized jet designed to rival Boeing's 787, the company said Friday.

 

In a statement, European Aeronautic Defence and Space Co. said funding for the new plane would come "predominantly from the company cash flows,'' but gave no details. Its success would depend on the successful implementation of cost-cutting plans at Airbus, EADS said.

 

The decision by the EADS board, meeting in Amsterdam, comes a week after shareholders called off an earlier board meeting amid a dispute over how the plane would be funded.

 

...

 

READ MORE HERE: http://snipurl.com/13vrj

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Airbus had to do it, otherwise it was 'exit' or 'end of exercise' :o

 

EADS Gives Green Light For Airbus A350

December 1, 2006

The board of European aerospace group EADS gave the green light on Friday for the development of the Airbus A350, its latest design for a mid-sized jet, EADS said in a statement.

 

EADS did not disclose the costs of developing the A350 XWB, or extra-wide body, but industry analysts have estimated it would cost around EUR10 billion euros (USD$13.3 billion). :o

(Reuters)

 

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Let’s hope A350 will incorporate more modern technology and design than 787.

 

:drinks:

 

Actually, it looks mysteriously somewhat a carbon copy of the latter mentioned aircraft. hehehe I remember Gibby passing the joke recently that airlines that operate both types may have problems at the gate when 787 crews board A350XWB birds thinking that it was actually a 787 at the gate! hehehe i guess the airline would have to print LARGE BOEING or AIRBUS titles below the wind-shields to help pilots (and ground crews alike) identify the aircraft :D

 

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Like to share with you all some A350 XWB news:

 

EADS Gives Green Light For Airbus A350

 

December 1, 2006

Airbus parent EADS decided on Friday to go ahead with a new mid-sized airliner to compete with Boeing in their fight for market share and restore pride battered by delays to its A380 superjumbo.

 

The pan-European company said its board had agreed after months of uncertainty to build a re-engineered version of the A350, the "extra-wide-bodied" A350 XWB, after an earlier version proved unpopular in competition with Boeing's 787 Dreamliner.

 

The market for such 200-350-seat jets is estimated in the thousands, compared with 149 current net sales for Airbus's 555-seat A380 whose deliveries have been delayed for two years.

 

The gap highlights a sharp reversal in the USD$50 billion cut-throat airliner industry Airbus shares with Boeing.

 

"EADS has taken the right decision," French Transport Minister Dominique Perbent said in a statement. "The commercial success of European civil aviation depends on maintaining a full range of latest-generation aircraft... to meet very strong growth in traffic expected in coming years."

 

The go-ahead to build the plane is a victory for Airbus CEO Louis Gallois, who salvaged the project from management turmoil and collateral damage to Airbus finances from the A380 crisis.

 

EADS said the A350 would enter service in 2013 compared with 2008 for the 787, but promised it would be "a step ahead of its competitor."

 

The A350 XWB will be wider than a 787 though narrower than Boeing's current 777, another competitor.

 

EADS did not disclose the cost of the project, which industry analysts estimate at some EUR10 billion (USD$13 billion) compared with an original budget of just over EUR4 billion. Most of the cost will be met from cashflow, EADS said.

 

Both the cost and the way the project is funded are sensitive issues, given pressure from the United States over state aid and friction among shareholders including the French government, German car firm DaimlerChrysler and French media firm Lagardere.

 

The United States has complained to the World Trade Organization about the past use of state development loans and has said any launch aid for the A350 is "unacceptable."

 

The European Union is counter-suing the United States over defense contracts and tax breaks it regards as aid for Boeing.

 

The Financial Times reported that the financing package to be presented to the board included up to EUR4 billion in financing backed by France, Germany, Britain and Spain.

 

"We're seeking further information from the European Union. Obviously, the reports of EUR4 billion in state-guaranteed funds are not encouraging," US Trade Representative spokeswoman Gretchen Hamel said.

 

The earlier design for the A350 called for government loans of a little over EUR1 billion.

 

Anxious to spread the financing, EADS said the deal would bring new "risk-sharing partners" into Airbus, referring to deals that bring in outside investment in return for a share of the gains and in some cases a share of the workload and jobs.

 

Airbus has offered China a 5 percent share in the A350.

 

Airbus chief Louis Gallois said last week the planemaker would also outsource EUR1.8 billion euros worth of work previously done inside its factories to help cut cost.

 

"The A350 XWB is going to be financed predominantly from company cash flows, with strong contribution from the Power8 program and from risk sharing partners," EADS said.

 

Airbus is in the midst of a EUR2 billion restructuring plan called Power8 to help overcome cash shortages left by the delay in deliveries of the A380.

 

Finnair Welcomes Airbus A350 Decision

 

December 3, 2006

Finnish flag carrier Finnair said on Saturday it welcomed Airbus parent EADS' decision to go ahead with a re-engineered version of the A350 plane, after months of uncertainty.

 

Finnair has ordered nine A350 planes with options for four more originally for delivery between 2011 and 2013 to help expand long-haul traffic to Asia.

 

The pan-European EADS said late on Friday it had agreed to build the "extra-wide-bodied" A350 XWB, after an earlier version flopped in competition with Boeing's 787 Dreamliner, due in 2008.

 

"Our original contract is still in place," Finnair spokesman Taneli Hassinen said.

 

Airbus decided in July to scrap the first version of A350 it had launched in October 2005, as several would-be buyers demanded more advances over the current, 20-year-old A330 model.

 

Also, Airbus' difficulties with the development of its bigger A380 plane had cast doubts over the future of A350.

 

EADS said on Friday the A350 would enter service in 2013.

 

Airbus did not disclose the cost of the project, which industry analysts estimate at some EUR10 billion (USD$13.2 billion) compared with an original budget of just over EUR4 billion.

 

"We are in a favorable position in terms of price (of the A350) as we signed the contract before Airbus made the decision for a redesign," Hassinen said.

 

No Decision On Airbus A350 Funding

 

December 4, 2006

Airbus confirmed on Monday that its newly approved A350 XWB would be funded by a combination of internal and external market sources and did not rule out taking government development loans.

 

However, Airbus President and Chief Executive Louis Gallois told a news conference that no decision had been taken, or was imminent, on whether to approach European governments for loans for funding that the United States has attacked for being illegal subsidies.

 

Confirming the plane's total development cost of EUR10 billion (USD$13.32 billion), Gallois said parts of the project would be shared with outside risk-sharing partners.

 

"The financial resources must be sufficient and sustainable," Gallois said.

 

Gallois said that a capital increase was one of the options under discussion and he noted that the financial markets were interested in Airbus parent EADS but there was no big hurry.

 

Gallois is also co-chief executive at EADS.

 

Gallois renewed Airbus' criticism of Boeing on the grounds that it too receives hidden government subsidies.

 

"We are all aware in our hearts that the 787 is based on highly subsidized spending. There is government funding on both sides of the Atlantic. We are discussing with governments future R&D funding but other options are on the table."

 

"We have no imminent cash needs. We are only asking for a level playing field. No decision has been taken or is imminent."

 

Gallois said Italy's Finmeccanica could be involved in the production of the A350, if it wanted to, while another Airbus executive said that Chinese and Korean firms could also be involved.

 

Commercial director John Leahy said he expected some cancellations from one of the 10 airlines which had signed up for an earlier version of the A350.

 

Earlier on Monday, French Finance Minister Thierry Breton said France did not exclude participating in a capital increase at EADS as part of the financing for the A350 wide-body aircraft.

 

"The four governments concerned have announced that they would provide guarantees at similar conditions," he said in an interview with La Tribune newspaper published on Monday.

 

He said the financing for the A350 was not yet finished but half of the amount would come from cost savings and the other half from financing in which all concerned parties, including shareholders, would participate.

 

"In any case, we will play our role in line with our commitments. We will accompany this financing," he said, noting the peak of financing needs for EADS would be in 2009-2010.

 

In Germany, a government spokesman said talks over finding investors in EADS were not yet over but would continue.

 

DaimlerChrysler wants to reduce its 22.5 percent stake but the French and German governments want to maintain a balance between investors of the two countries. Lagardere is the French industrial investor.

 

Airbus parent EADS decided on Friday to go ahead with a new mid-sized airliner to strike back against Boeing in their dogfight for market share and restore pride damaged by delays to its A380 superjumbo.

 

The pan-European company said its board had agreed after months of uncertainty to build a re-engineered version of the A350, the "extra-wide-bodied" A350 XWB, after an earlier version flopped in competition with Boeing's 787.

 

Rolls-Royce To Power Airbus A350 XWB

 

December 4, 2006

British aero-engine maker Rolls-Royce said on Monday it had signed an agreement with Airbus to provide its next-generation Trent engine for all variants of the European planemaker's new A350 XWB plane.

 

Rolls-Royce said the contract followed a preliminary agreement announced at the Farnborough International Airshow in July. It did not give a value for the deal.

 

"The Trent XWB will offer a range of thrusts from 75,000lb to 95,000lb to power all versions of the A350 XWB which is due to enter service in 2013," Rolls-Royce said in a statement.

 

"The latest noise and emissions reduction technology will ensure that the engine meets all current and proposed environmental legislation with significant margins."

 

The A350 XB is Airbus's much-delayed attempt to catch up with US rival Boeing, whose own mid-size 787 "Dreamliner" project has been selling rapidly.

 

(Reuters)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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That's good news. I just wish the A350 will carry with it the A330's elegant tiptoe landing that often results in very smooth touchdowns. One landing I experienced at BKI was so smooth it was not noticable at all. The only indication the plane has touched the runway was that the speedbrakes were starting to deploy.

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More A350 XWB news evolves:

 

Airbus Steps Up Rhetoric On Boeing Subsidies

 

December 4, 2006

Airbus launched a preemptive strike against Boeing over subsidies as it drew a veil over the funding of its own re-engineered A350 mid-sized jet on Monday, saying Boeing's rival 787 model was padded with government assistance.

 

Anxious to avoid fueling a trans-Atlantic dispute over aircraft aid, the European plane maker refused to say whether it would apply for government development loans for the EUR10 billion (USD$13.3 billion) A350 but said nothing had been ruled out.

 

The subsidiary of European aerospace company EADS also hinted at a possible capital increase among a number of market measures it said it was considering to help pay for the project, which overlaps with costly delays to its A380 superjumbo.

 

"We are all aware in our hearts that the 787 is based on highly subsidized spending. There is government funding on both sides of the Atlantic. We are discussing with governments future R&D funding, but other options are on the table," Airbus President and Chief Executive Louis Gallois said.

 

"We have no imminent (cash) needs. We are only asking for a level playing field. No decision has been taken or is imminent."

 

Boeing contends that the traditional practice of funding Airbus projects with development loans from the four governments that support Airbus -- Britain, France, Germany and Spain -- violates international standards on hidden subsidies.

 

Washington supports Boeing's case and has launched what could become the largest trade dispute at the World Trade Organization, matched by a counter-suit from the European Union.

 

Airbus and Boeing snipe about funding on an almost a daily basis, but Monday's launch presentation for the latest version of the A350 represented a step-up in rhetoric from Airbus, which has previously taken a lower-key stance on government aid.

 

"We are not in a defensive attitude. We are clearly in an offensive attitude on the heavily subsidized 787," Gallois said.

 

Airbus says Boeing benefits from over USD$3 billion in tax breaks from Washington state and fat defense contracts from the US government which reduce its costs on civil aircraft development. Boeing denies receiving any government assistance.

 

Pointing to alternative financing methods, the French government said it did not exclude participating in a capital increase. The government owns 15 percent of EADS.

 

Talk of a capital increase comes at an uncomfortable time for EADS' biggest shareholder DaimlerChrysler, which wants to cut its 22.5 percent stake to 15 percent. It is in talks with German banks about transferring the shares.

 

A German government spokesman said talks over finding investors in EADS were continuing.

 

Monday's slick presentation signaled the start in earnest of a commercial dogfight between Airbus and Boeing for a rapidly growing segment of the USD$50 billion world aircraft market, which saw record sales last year.

 

Boeing was first to spot opportunities for long-range air travel spanning 200 to 350 seats, as Airbus turned its back on the mid-sized market to bet on size with its A380 superjumbo. Airbus then came up with a cheaper A350 design that sold poorly.

 

The European planemaker responded in July by abandoning a 30-year-old fuselage design in favor of a wider shell.

 

Its new A350 XWB -- for "extra wide body" --- will enter service from 2013, a year later than it had stated in July. But it aims to leapfrog the 787 by also targeting Boeing's recently built 777-300ER, which has a USD$40 billion order backlog.

 

Nonetheless, Airbus recognizes it has much catching up to do, as the 787 outsold the earlier version of the A350 by over four to one. Airbus wants to hold on to as many of the old version's customers as possible but concedes some may cancel.

 

Airbus sales chief John Leahy said that while Boeing had the edge in the first wave of the "replacement" market -- the market for replacing old jets, which makes up 35 percent of total demand -- Airbus would be ready in time for a second wave from 2013.

 

Airbus is delivering three models of the A350 -- starting with a 314-seat version in 2013, the A350-900; followed by a 270 seat version in 2014; and a 350-seat 777-challenger in 2015.

 

The 787 comes to market around five years earlier in two main versions -- the 210-250 seat 787-8 and the 250-290 seat 787-9.

 

Both the Airbus and Boeing planes are twinjets designed with fuel-saving materials for long trips such as Paris-Singapore.

 

Airbus meanwhile said its A380 project, hit by costly delays due to wiring installation problems which caused a huge profit warning, was making progress but the situation remained "tense."

 

But the future of a freight version of the plane was left hanging by a thread after US leasing company ILFC switched an order for five freighters to five passenger versions.

 

The move leaves express service United Parcel Service as the freight version's only customer after rival FedEx canceled.

 

and.....look at this :o :

 

British Airways To Talk To Airbus About New A350

 

December 4, 2006

British Airways said on Monday it would talk to Airbus about its new wide-bodied A350 XWB aircraft and was not worried the plane would not be developed in time to fit into its fleet-expansion plans.

 

"No, it is not too late. I am very pleased to see Airbus move forward," BA Chief Executive Willie Walsh told reporters.

 

"The timing is helpful actually... 2013 entry into service is good for BA."

 

Airbus parent EADS decided on Friday to go ahead with the new mid-sized jet to compete against Boeing's 787 "Dreamliner" in their fight for market share.

 

BA has invited Airbus and Boeing to tender for new planes. The airline plans to gradually replace its fleet of 114 long-haul aircraft, starting from 2009.

 

(Reuters)

 

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Airbus Sees New A350 Buyer In Weeks

 

June 5, 2007

Airbus is confident of securing a new customer for its A350 mid-sized airliner in coming weeks, possibly before the June 18-22 Paris air show.

 

"We will see another order for the A350, maybe before Le Bourget (the site of the biennial show)," Airbus President Louis Gallois told reporters late on Monday.

 

In a sign that the buyer is likely to be a stock market-listed company, Gallois said that although it was preferable to announce high-profile orders at the air show, the customer may be obliged to announce the deal beforehand.

 

The weeks running up to the world's biggest annual air shows, which rotate each year between Le Bourget outside Paris and Farnborough in Britain, are traditionally a quiet period as some companies store up announcements for maximum effect.

 

But Air France stole some of the thunder from manufacturers by announcing a USD$7 billion aircraft order split between Airbus and Boeing two weeks ago, immediately after its board had made the decision.

 

As a listed company, Air France KLM must comply with rules on the quick disclosure of significant deals and Gallois' remarks imply the next A350 customer will be listed too.

 

Air France is expected to confirm its own orders at Le Bourget this year. They include an order for two more A380 superjumbos, 30 A320-family single-aisle aircraft from Airbus and 18 wide-body 777 long-haul aircraft from Boeing.

 

In another announcement rushed out ahead of the Paris air show, Qatar Airways signed a preliminary deal with Airbus last week to supply 80 A350 aircraft worth USD$16 billion.

 

The announcement was timed to coincide with a state visit to France by the Emir of Qatar.

 

It could be firmed up and entered into the Airbus order books -- a significant event for financial analysts -- at Le Bourget, if the airline completes the process of making pre-delivery payments (PDPs) in time for the show. Gallois did not rule out this happening in time to boost this year's haul of air show orders.

 

Gallois said it was "realistic" to expect that Airbus would reach 200 firm orders for the recently redesigned and relaunched A350 by the end of this year. It currently has 13 firm orders.

 

Gallois also told reporters he expected the planemaker to announce sales at the air show for each category of aircraft that it produces. He did not say whether this included any A380 aircraft beyond the Air France order.

 

However, he did not expect Airbus to find a brand new buyer for the troubled A380 superjumbo, whose deliveries have been delayed for two years by wiring installation problems, before the first jet is delivered to Singapore Airlines in late 2007.

 

That will give the world's largest airliner a chance to prove itself in what Airbus hopes will earn it a vote of confidence from one of the industry's benchmark operators.

 

Airbus has been focusing on offering deals for extra A380s to customers who have already bought the plane as part of deals being negotiated to compensate for the delays.

 

With the A350, Airbus is battling to catch up with Boeing in the market for a new generation of lightweight mid-sized airliners, following massive success of Boeing's 787 Dreamliner.

 

Among some of the widely watched industry battles, Airbus is seen in talks to sell the A350 to unlisted Emirates.

 

However Boeing's 787, which is due to enter service 5 years before the A350 in 2008, has left little room for its Airbus rival so far, with 524 of its two main 787 models sold.

 

Boeing has also sold 43 examples of a smaller regional version of the 787 for use in Japan, but some Airbus officials are skeptical this variant of the plane will actually enter service, saying it is uneconomical.

 

Airbus says it will be able to turn the five-year delivery gap to its advantage by offering technology the 787 lacks.

 

But a potentially even tougher battlefield could open up if Boeing opts soon to update its larger and older 777 series, operating in a market segment which is also coveted by the A350.

 

(Reuters)

 

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Apparently, it's Kingfisher from India:

 

Kingfisher To Place 'Big' Airbus Order

 

June 6, 2007

India's Kingfisher Airlines will place a "big" order for Airbus aircraft at this month's Paris air show, its chief executive was quoted as saying on Tuesday.

 

"It's a big order, at least for us," Kingfisher chief executive Vijay Mallya was quoted as saying on the margins of an air travel industry event in Canada by France's La Tribune newspaper. He gave no details, the newspaper said.

 

Mallya, who also heads Kingfisher's parent, UB Group, reaffirmed the airline would also "transform" its original order for five of Airbus' planned A350 aircraft into new versions of the jet.

 

An Airbus spokeswoman declined to comment on the report.

 

(Reuters)

 

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Airbus had to do it, otherwise it was 'exit' or 'end of exercise' :o

Cannot agree more with that !!

 

What amazes me is the conviction (or rather lack of) with which both A and B manufacturers have stood by their visions for future air travel. It wasn't that long ago that A was so convinced hub to hub in mega metal tubes (380 ?) is the way to go, pooh pooing B's 7E7 (as it was known then) And, A was adamant point to point routes in smaller birds (guess which one) will be the only solution to airport congestion.

 

A few years down the road, we have B's 748i and now A's A350XWB being offered.

 

I'm sure the slick salesmen and salesladies at both A & B will have their stories to spin !! :)

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Cannot agree more with that !!

 

What amazes me is the conviction (or rather lack of) with which both A and B manufacturers have stood by their visions for future air travel. It wasn't that long ago that A was so convinced hub to hub in mega metal tubes (380 ?) is the way to go, pooh pooing B's 7E7 (as it was known then) And, A was adamant point to point routes in smaller birds (guess which one) will be the only solution to airport congestion.

 

A few years down the road, we have B's 748i and now A's A350XWB being offered.

 

I'm sure the slick salesmen and salesladies at both A & B will have their stories to spin !! :)

 

let's wait and see what is big news that they will have from the Paris airshow.=)

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Kingfisher To Place 'Big' Airbus Order

 

Seems to be A340's :blink:

 

Kingfisher Airlines in alliance talks; plans to order five A340s

 

Wednesday June 6, 2007

While shoring up its domestic presence with its pending acquisition of Air Deccan, Kingfisher Airlines has big long-haul plans as well, including a possible alliance tie-up, Chairman and CEO Vijay Mallya said at this week's IATA AGM in Vancouver.

 

"The delivery of our long-haul fleet of five A340-500s will be starting in February 2008," he said, which will lead to the launch of daily nonstop flights from Bangalore to San Francisco in April and New York JFK in June. "Our [A340-500] will have a very luxurious configuration and thoroughly spectacular service, including a bar for our economy class passengers," he said.

 

A source close to the airline said that Kingfisher will add to its long-haul fleet with an order for five A340-600s that will be announced at this month's Paris Air Show. "We need more widebody aircraft for 2009-10 because of the late delivery of our A380s," Mallya explained. The carrier has A330s, A350s and five A380s on order. The latter are expected to operate daily flights from Mumbai and Delhi to JFK starting in 2011.

 

Last week, Kingfisher parent United Breweries Group announced the acquisition of 26% of Bangalore-based LCC Air Deccan parent Deccan Aviation, plus the promise to purchase an additional 20%. With a combined 71 aircraft and a 33% market share, Mallya said the airlines will carry 17.9 million passengers this year and dominate the Indian market along with the merged Jet Airways/Air Sahara and Air India/Indian Airlines. "The three carriers are controlling 80% of the Indian aviation market now," he said.

 

Regarding the three major alliances' effort to establish a foothold in India, he said that each already has invited Kingfisher to join. He refused to offer further details but said he expects the airline to post an operating profit in FY08 and be in position to report a net profit the following year.

 

 

 

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Airbus has given the first detailed briefing on the advances it will offer in the flightdeck of the A350 XWB.

Key new features include what it claims is a revolutionary electronic flight bag concept, dubbed "class 2-plus", which will enable pilots to dock their laptop computers with flightdeck hardware and operate and view them through the aircraft's on-board interfaces.

 

"We have combined the benefits of the class 2 and class 3 EFB solutions," Airbus test pilot Jean-Michel Roy says.

The airframer has also revealed how it has evolved the A380's cockpit philosophy into a simpler arrangement for the A350 with greater interactivity.

 

"With the A350 we have the EFIS, ECAM [electronic centralised aircraft monitor], FMS [flight management system] and OIS all displayed on the same screens and they all interchangeable," says Roy.

 

More: http://www.flightglobal.com/articles/2009/07/31/330426/airbus-outlines-key-features-of-a350-flightdeck-takes-innovative-electronic-flight-bag.html

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Airbus has given the first detailed briefing on the advances it will offer in the flightdeck of the A350 XWB.

Key new features include what it claims is a revolutionary electronic flight bag concept, dubbed "class 2-plus", which will enable pilots to dock their laptop computers with flightdeck hardware and operate and view them through the aircraft's on-board interfaces.

 

Hope the flight deck system is immune to virus.

 

:drinks:

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A350 systems testing gathers pace on flightdeck and cabin engineering mock-ups

Airbus is undertaking intensive testing of A350 XWB systems across its various plants as part of the ongoing development effort to ensure a high level of equipment maturity ahead of the twinjet's first flight a little over two years from now.

 

The XWB's systems development is following a similar programme to that of the A380, with cockpit mock-ups, integration benches and "Aircraft -1", "Aircraft 0" and "Cabin 0" test platforms being used by engineering teams ahead of the construction of the first flight-test aircraft.

 

Airbus has just completed the "Class 2" mock-up of the A350's cockpit, which will be used to hone the flightdeck layout while the Aircraft -1 development simulator is helping to fine-tune control laws.

 

"We've had a Class 1 mock-up, but this didn't have real components in it," says A350 chief engineer Gordon McConnell. "The Class 2 mock-up has all the prototypes of the final equipment, so it's got real controls, and a real overhead panel, which we've not had before. It allows us to work on the final tuning of the pilot interface, lighting balance and ergonomics."

 

For the last year, Airbus engineers have been using the A350's Aircraft -1 simulator in Toulouse, which incorporates some prototype hardware and software models for various systems such as flight control architectures for some 300h of testing.

 

The Aircraft -1 platform is a complete cockpit built into one of the A380 simulators which, other than the windshield shapes, is representative of the A350's flightdeck. "It has real displays, flight control laws, and a vision system, so we can actually fly the aeroplane," says McConnell. "This has enabled us to do a lot of important testing, such as the examination of handling qualities with flight control system failures, to validate the control laws."

 

The next phase of systems ground-testing will be undertaken on the Aircraft 0 integration simulators and iron-bird hydraulic/flight control system test rig. Construction is now underway in Toulouse and it is due to become operational towards the end of the year.

"One of the main purposes of the mechanical part of the rig is to carry out endurance testing the hydraulic system for certification purposes," McConnell says. "But we can also link it to the Aircraft 0 cockpit simulator, which allows us to 'fly' the aeroplane and exercise all the hydraulic and electrical systems as if they're on the aircraft."

 

Another important A350 "zero-test" item is what Airbus calls the "Cabin 0 V&V (verification and validation) platform" in Hamburg, says McConnell. The mock-up, dubbed "MSN5011", is 37m (121ft) long and comprises fully equipped fuselage sections 11/12 (nose), 13/14 (forward) and 16/18 (aft), with three passenger doors on each side and the three cargo hold hatches. It will be fully furnished with seats, lining and monuments in a layout based on the arrangement of the A350 cabin flight-test aircraft MSN002.

 

"The cabin can be linked to functional system integration benches, such as the air system - to look at air distribution - or the IFE system," says McConnell. "This will enable us to achieve a good standard of maturity before we fly our first furnished aircraft, MSN002."

 

Pictures & report: http://www.flightglobal.com/articles/2010/05/07/341564/pictures-a350-systems-testing-gathers-pace-on-flightdeck-and-cabin-engineering-mock-ups.html

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Airbus has formally inaugurated the A350 plant at Broughton in the UK, which will manufacture wings for the twinjet family.

 

The North Factory facility was opened during a ceremony attended by UK prime minister David Cameron.

 

Cameron said the Airbus investment "underlines its confidence in the expertise" within the UK and the country's manufacturing base.

 

Construction began in 2008 and investment in the new plant will total €450 million. The facility is 23m tall and has a volume of over 1 million m³.

 

Initially it will produce wings for the A350-900 and subsequently for the shrink -800 and larger -1000 variants.

 

Airbus chief Tom Enders said the opening was an "important milestone" for the A350 ahead of final assembly.

 

It complements the West Factory at which wings for the Airbus A380 are produced.

 

Among the plant's features are a wood pellet biomass boiler with 830,000kWh annual output, solar tracking arrays and a solar water-heating system providing up to 30% of its hot water.

 

Broughton employs some 6,000 permanent and temporary personnel, and 650 will work in the new facility.

 

Source

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European Aeronautics, Defense and Space Co., reported higher profit for the third quarter and cautioned that the Airbus A350 jet will be delayed by a few months as it grapples with the complexities of new materials.

 

Net income advanced to 312 million euros ($422 million), or 38 cents a share, from 13 million euros, or 2 cents, a year earlier, Paris and Munich-based EADS said in a statement today. Analysts surveyed by Bloomberg had estimated a loss of about 30 million euros. Sales dropped 4 percent to 10.75 billion euros .

 

The Airbus subsidiary now plans to enter the A350 wide-body jet into service in the first half of 2014, compared with a previous plan of entry by the end of 2013. Airbus has said the program is its most complex project, as the new jet relies on advanced composite materials. Boeing Co. was more than three years behind schedule on its similar 787 Dreamliner.

 

“I am confident the commercial aircraft market combined with our strong backlog will sustain our growth in the years to come,” EADS Chief Executive Officer Louis Gallois said in the release.

 

The company will start final assembly in the first quarter of next year, and EADS said today it booked a charge of 200 million euros related to the program because of the delay.

 

EADS today lifted its guidance for revenue, orders and operating profit before some items, saying profit before one- time items will reach about 1.45 billion euros this year. Airbus will deliver as many as 530 aircraft, and book gross orders of about 1,500 units, EADS said.

 

Airbus, the source of two-thirds of EADS sales, has delivered 418 aircraft so far this year until the end of October. The backlog for the A350 includes 75 for the A350-1000 and 373 for the A35-900, slated for end-of-2013 entry into service. The smallest, 250-seat A350-800 variant, which passengers have been moving away from to switch to larger models, has 119 orders.

 

“The A350 XWB programme is advancing,” EADS said. “Manufacturing and pre-assembly of the A350-900 are progressing across all pre final-assembly sites.”

 

Source

 

Airbus A350 final assembly schedule slips to 2012

 

Airbus has slipped the development schedule of the A350-900, with entry into service set for the first half of 2014 and the beginning of final assembly put back to early 2012.

 

The airframer had been hoping to start final assembly of the twinjet by the end of 2011 but had increasingly indicated that technological issues, and a desire to avoid immature sections being delivered too quickly, could force a slip.

 

EADS chief Louis Gallois said the A350, in particular, continues to have "our highest management attention".

 

The Airbus parent confirmed the schedule slip in its third-quarter results disclosure.

 

It said the start of final assembly is now scheduled for the first quarter of 2012 and entry into service for the first half of 2014. The aircraft had been due to enter service in 2013.

 

EADS said it is booking a charge of €200 million ($270 million) against the A350 programme in its third-quarter figures.

 

Source

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EADS indicates "termination" of Airbus A340 programme

 

Airbus appears to have ended its A340 aircraft programme, according to details in the financial results of its parent company EADS.

 

The company said that the accounting implications of the "termination of the A340 programme" would result in a "positive one-off" of €192 million ($260 million) on its earnings before interest and taxes.

 

EADS did not provide further details of the cancellation.

 

The A340 programme was launched in 1987 alongside the twin-engine A330, and was a direct competitor to the long-range Boeing 777.

 

Sales of the both Airbus and Boeing twins climbed, but the A340 programme and its four variants yielded limited sales by comparison.

 

http://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/eads-indicates-termination-of-airbus-a340-programme-364548/

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The A340 has not received any orders in a long while and the last delivery was done some time ago. The current generation of A330s and B777s can perform all the A340's missions at lower costs.

 

With the A350 programme about to begin flight testing next year, Airbus needs to realign its resources to focus on the A350 programme. The A350 will replace the A340 - so its no great loss.

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A340 - the long goodbye

 

It is somewhat ironic that as Boeing starts production of its 1,000th 777, Airbus is calling time on its rival after acknowledging zero prospect of more sales.

 

While stubbornly-high fuel oil prices ultimately killed off the A340 - even Toulouse has long acknowledged its four-engined configuration means a higher thirst than the 777 - the reality is that Airbus has struggled almost since launch.

 

When it launched the A340 back in the late 1980s, Airbus made one fatal error. Having beaten Boeing to market with its A340 and its medium-range twinjet sister, the A330, it took the view that Boeing - burdened by the difficult birth of the 747-400 and a likely need to respond to the A320 with an all-new single-aisle - did not have the resources to commit to an all-new widebody. Perhaps Boeing even helped Airbus apply this logic by codenaming its studies "767-X".

 

The A340's launch was more a stutter. After initially being powered by the spectacular IAE V2500 "Superfan" (a geared turbofan promising significant fuel burn savings - sound familiar?), Airbus was forced into an embarrassing scramble to bring in CFM International when IAE was scared off by the technical risks.

 

However, real problems started when Boeing launched the all-new 777 in 1990 and its salesmen systematically went through Airbus's hard-fought A340 customer base. So by the time the big Boeing made its debut in 1995, Airbus was already looking for ways to develop the A340 into a new niche. Through a stretch and new engines, Airbus spent $2 billion creating the A340-500/600, which was briefly the world's longest airliner and, significantly, a serious rival to the 747-400. Boeing was bound to be reluctant to want to compete with its "queen of the skies" and, in any case, faced a huge technical hurdle convincing an engine maker to create a suitable engine.

 

As A340 production peaked in 2003, just after the new model's introduction with 33 deliveries, this looked like a smart move. But once again history shows that Airbus called it wrong, for with GE's help, Boeing created the 777-300ER which alone has now sold 545 units, compared with only 379 for the entire A340 production run.

 

In contrast, the A330 has sold almost 1,200 units. One can only imagine how much more impressive this sales tally could have been if Airbus had got over its four-engined obsession and thrown its weight behind the A330 much earlier in the programme's life.

 

 

http://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/a340-the-long-goodbye-364589/

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http://youtu.be/cMjFf1N5juw

 

A350's Trent XWB engine makes successful first flight on Airbus’ A380 test aircraft

 

Promising start to engine flight-test campaign one year ahead of A350 first flight

 

Flight tests to ensure high level of maturity from day one

 

18 February 2012: The A350 XWB’s new engine – the Rolls-Royce Trent XWB – has successfully made its maiden flight aboard Airbus’ dedicated A380 “Flying-Test-Bed” aircraft. The aircraft took off from Airbus facilities in Toulouse and performed a flight of more than five hours during which the engine covered a wide range of power settings at altitudes up to 43,000ft. The aircraft handling qualities were evaluated from low speeds to Mach 0.9. The engine not only operated flawlessly, but also demonstrated its new-generation fuel efficiency and low noise.

 

The Trent XWB development engine, specially fitted with test sensors to measure hundreds of parameters, was mounted on the A380’s inner left engine pylon, replacing one of the aircraft’s Trent 900 engines. The crew on board this first flight were: Airbus Experimental test pilots Terry Lutz and Frank Chapman; Experimental Test Flight Engineer Pascal Verneau; and Flight Test Engineers Emanuele Costanzo and Tuan Do.

 

“The A350 XWB’s engine performed excellently during its first flight-test, just as we expected,” said Charles Champion, Executive Vice President of Engineering at Airbus. “This is a promising start to the Trent XWB’s flight-test programme which will ensure a thorough real-life testing of the engine, nacelle and its systems.” He adds: “This will allow for a high level of powerplant integration, maturity and reliability to be achieved by the time it flies on the first A350 XWB aircraft.”

 

Commencing around one year prior to the A350 XWB’s first flight, this engine flight-test programme is scheduled to accumulate around 175 flight hours – some three times more airborne flying hours than on previous programmes. This will be accomplished over a seven month period and will include hot weather as well as icing condition testing campaigns. It will also test the advanced nacelle and thrust reverser system provided by Goodrich.

 

The overall objective of these flight-tests is the early and systematic validation of all performance aspects of the engine and also the associated systems. In turn, this will contribute to significantly ‘de-risking’ the A350 XWB’s development well ahead of entry-into-service. The first results of this flight-test campaign are expected this summer.

 

Source: Airbus

Edited by flee

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