As far as the visitors to the Paris Air Show were concerned, Airbus saved the best for last.
As part of its third test flight from Airbus’ Toulouse headquarters in southwestern France, the no. 1 A350 XWB headed north to offer a show-stopping performance in the skies above Le Bourget Airport today – where a large crowd gathered to witness the fly-by of this new highly-efficient widebody jetliner.
The aircraft, designated MSN1 in Airbus’ numbering system, made a dramatic entrance over Le Bourget at approximately 1:30 p.m. – marking its first appearance at a public event. Cheers and applause from the crowd drowned out the A350 XWB’s quiet Rolls-Royce Trent XWB engines as the aircraft flew along the air show runway before clearing the area and entering the cloud cover.
Piloted by Airbus Captain Peter Chandler and Captain Guy Magrin, the A350 XWB’s fly-by was performed with the authorisation of the France’s DGAC civil aviation authority, and supported by Paris Air Show organisers – who allocated a slot in Friday afternoon’s aerial display.
The A350 XWB performed its maiden flight on 14 June 2013 from Toulouse and followed that with another mission this week, before its fly-by at the Paris Air Show. These initial flights opened a test and certification campaign that will total approximately 2,500 hours with a fleet of five development aircraft.