The A350 XWB flight test aircraft, have both taken to the skies above Toulouse, France for their respective first flights, bringing the total number of A350 XWBs now flying from two to four.
To date, the first two A350 XWB test aircraft to fly, MSN1 and MSN3, have already performed close to 1100 flight test hours out of the programme’s total 2500 hours planned for certification.
MSN2, with its special carbon fibre inspired livery, will be the first of the test aircraft to feature a full passenger cabin. This allows Airbus to start testing and validating all the cabin and passenger related systems. As part of these cabin tests, MSN2 will carry the first A350 XWB passengers during the Early Long Flights (ELF) in spring.
MSN4 bears the combined colours of Qatar Airways – the A350 XWB’s launch customer – and Airbus. MSN4 will be fitted with light flight test instrumentation and will, amongst other test activities, be used for low-weight flight envelope certification and external noise measurements.
The A350 XWB test fleet will be completed when the fifth A350 XWB test aircraft, MSN5, joins the fleet in spring. MSN5 will be used for the final certification.