Airbus reports that the first flight-test A350-900, MSN1, has accumulated 92 flight test hours and performed well since its maiden flight on June 14.
The Airbus A350-900 flight-test program will total around 2,500 flight hours and will use a fleet of five development aircraft, according to Airbus.
During the first four weeks of the flight-test program, 10 Airbus test pilots flew MSN1 and collectively put the aircraft through its paces to get to know its handling qualities and behavior in flight.
Early flight-testing has already resulted in the clearance of operations throughout the entire flight envelope and initial testing of all key systems, according to Airbus. Key systems already tested include engines, electrics, ram air turbine), landing gear and braking, fuel and cabin pressurization, as well as a preliminary assessment of the autopilot and auto-land functions.
The manufacturer says A350-900 MSN1 will now undergo routine maintenance and upgrades of its flight-test instrument installation to ready it for the second phase of the flight-test program. This will start in August.
While MSN 1 undergoes routine maintenance and upgrading of its flight-test instrumentation, the Airbus design office will analyze the results of the initial flight tests.
The first Airbus A350 XWB development aircraft (MSN1) is fitted with heavy test instrumentation and throughout the flight-test program will be used for evaluation of handling qualities, icing properties, and systems and powerplant testing.
According to Airbus, the second aircraft (MSN3) to fly will also be equipped with heavy flight-test instrumentation and will be used for performance measurement and for high-altitude and hot-and-cold-weather testing, as well as for systems and powerplant tests.
Meanwhile, the third and fifth aircraft (MSN2 and MSN5) to fly will be equipped with passenger-cabin interiors and will carry out cabin and cabin systems tests, including performing long flights and route-proving.
The fourth aircraft to fly (MSN4) will have a light flight-test installation and will focus on external noise tests, lightning tests and training for the first customer pilot and maintenance teams.
Entry into commercial service of the first customer Airbus A350-900 is scheduled for the second half of 2014. It will then be followed into flight-testing and into service by, first, the shorter A350-800 and then the longer A350-1000.
To date, the manufacturer has recorded firm orders for 678 Airbus A350 XWB widebodies from 34 customers worldwide.