MIAMI — The Airbus A350-1000 is set to fly for the first time tomorrow, November 24, if weather conditions permit.
— Airbus (@Airbus) November 23, 2016
The aircraft (F-WMIL • MSN 59) is the first of three A350-1000 to join the test fleet. It is scheduled to take off at 10:30 local time from Toulouse-Blagnac Airport. The first flight is expected to last four hours approximately.
The stretched variant of the A350 family aircraft is on track for deliveries in the second half of 2017. To date, orders stand at 195 from eleven customers. The largest customer is Qatar Airways with 37 units, followed by United Airlines, the sole operator of the variant in the Americas, with 35 aircraft. Virgin Atlantic is the most recent customer with 12 aircraft ordered.
The A350-1000 is the longest fuselage version of the A350 family aircraft, and is to seat 366 passengers in a standard three-class layout o 7,950 nautical miles (14,720km). Intended to replace the Airbus A340-600, the new variant also comes as a competitor to the Boeing 777-300ER and Boeing 777-8X.
According to Airbus, the new aircraft’s wing has the same span of the A350-900, but 90% of the parts have been modified and the trailing edge has been extended to resize the wing for the additional payload and range.
The A350-1000 will be powered by Rolls-Royce Trent XWB-97 engines, the highest-thrust production powerplant ever built by the manufacturer at 97,000 lb.