19 May 2013

A350 XWB First Flight date depends on previous on-ground tests as for example the “rejected takeoff at high speed” test.

Having been painted, the MSN001 will shortly be turned over to pilots and flight-test engineers, who will monitor it from the first flight through more than 12 months of rigorous trials culminating in certification and service entry.

Tests to be done before the aircraft gets airborne include running engines through controlled cycles, taxiing at low and high speeds, and a so-called rejected takeoff at high velocity to check that brakes, spoilers and thrust reversers all work properly to bring the aircraft to a controlled standstill.

Still, the remaining A350 testing schedule may not be plain sailing, with scope remaining for hitches with the plane’s electronic systems during final trials, according to Tecop International President Hans Weber, a physicist and aerospace expert who advises the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration. “Software glitches are one of the biggest worries in these systems,” Weber said in an interview. “Everything on the plane is ultimately controlled by software, and it can be a lengthy effort to find a glitch and fix it.”

Depending on these tests, the First Flight date will be fixed but could be the week before Paris Air Show (starting on 17/June). With a live-video signal that will be follow in all Airbus sites in big video-walls and in streaming by internet all around the world, the event could have a massive media coverage converting this “Toulouse Air Show” in the unofficial start of the Paris Air Show. The take off -around 10 am- will be follow by many people in the other side of the fence of the Toulouse Airport and the flight could take between 4 and 5 hours.

Based on the article “Airbus A350’s Paint Job Points to Paris-Show Blow for Boeing” published in Bloomberg

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