The second Airbus A350 XWB to fly, an A350-900 given the designation MSN3 by Airbus, landed back at Toulouse-Blagnac Airport shortly after 2:30 p.m. local time on October 14 after completing a first flight of approximately five hours.
Airbus test pilots Frank Chapman and Thierry Bourges flew Airbus A350 XWB test aircraft MSN3 on its first flight.
Accompanying them in the cockpit was Gérard Maisonneuve, a test flight engineer. Three other flight test engineers, Tuan Do, Robert Lignée and Stéphane Vaux, were on board to monitor the progress of the flight profile.
Similarly to MSN1, the first A350 XWB flight-test aircraft, Airbus A350-900 MSN3 is not equipped with a passenger cabin for now. Instead it features a heavy installation of flight-test instrumentation.
The first A350 XWB to fly (MSN1) took off on June 14 and has to date flown some 330 flight test hours in almost 70 flights.
These flights have been devoted to the identification and freeze of all flap and slat configurations, loads and aeroelastic testing; and evaluation of the aircraft’s handling characteristics and systems’ operation throughout the operational envelope.
Three more A350 XWB test aircraft will join MSNs 1 and 3 to perform the planned 2,500 hours of flight testing planned to produce the extensive data verification and documentation required for type certification.
The Airbus A350 XWB family has already won firm orders for 725 aircraft from 38 customers worldwide. The first delivery to a customer is planned for the second half of 2014, an Airbus A350-900 for Qatar Airways.