Skip to main content
Part of complete coverage on

Airbus rolls out new A350 XWB

By CNN Staff
May 14, 2013 -- Updated 0831 GMT (1631 HKT)
The third A350 XWB test plane with a 'carbon' livery unveiled at Airbus HQ in Toulouse on January 2, 2014. The third A350 XWB test plane with a 'carbon' livery unveiled at Airbus HQ in Toulouse on January 2, 2014.
HIDE CAPTION
A350 XWB equipped for passengers
Airbus A350 XWB
Airbus A350 XWB unveiled
Airbus A350 XWB
Airbus A350 XWB
Airbus A350 XWB
Airbus A350 XWB
Airbus A350 XWB
Airbus A350 XWB
A350 XWB vs. 787
Airbus A350 XWB
<<
<
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
>
>>
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • A350 XWB is Airbus' new family of super efficient aircraft
  • New plane will undergo more tests before maiden flight in summer
  • Plane seen as company's response to Boeing's 787 and 777

(CNN) -- Airbus has showed off its new A350 XWB, rolling out its first flyable plane on Monday fresh from the paintshop in company livery.

The aircraft is the first in a family of super efficient passenger planes Airbus designed to go head-to-head against rival Boeing's 787 Dreamliner and 777s.

"XWB" means "extra wide body." There are three members in the A350 family: the A350-800, the A350-900 and the A350-1000, which seat 270, 314 and 350 passengers respectively, in three-class seating.

The largest of the three lightweight carbon-composite aircraft, the A350-1000, is 73.88 meters long and has a range of approximately 8,400 nautical miles, or 15,600 kilometers. The catalog price is US$320.6 million. As of March 31, there were 110 orders for the A350-1000 among a total of 616 orders from 34 customers. Most orders, 414, have been for the A350-900.

Click to expand: A350 v Boeing 787  Click to expand: A350 v Boeing 787
Click to expand: A350 v Boeing 787Click to expand: A350 v Boeing 787

The plane unveiled on Monday at Airbus HQ in Toulouse, France is the latest milestone in what has been a turbulent production history for the A350.

Critics have said the A350 program -- first launched in 2007 -- was a poorly-designed, hasty response to Boeing's 787.

Dreamliner battery fix: Behind the scenes

"The company, which was hip-deep in sorting out A380 development, simply hadn't foreseen the huge pent-up demand for a more efficient 250-seat airliner, and tried to take the easy way out by offering a re-engined version of its A330," aviation journalist David Kaminski-Morrow, air transport editor of Flightglobal.com, told CNN in an earlier report.

Airbus reworked the design, configurations and technology to increase the plane's range and efficiency.

The unveiled plane, which Airbus have tagged "MSN001," will undergo final tests before its maiden flight expected in June.

Airbus said it took less than a week to complete the aircraft painting. Last month, engines were installed, ground vibration tests and flight test instrumentation verification were completed.

Read more: What does the A350 mean for travelers?

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
August 19, 2014 -- Updated 1514 GMT (2314 HKT)
Airlines and airports are going high-tech to reduce your time in line.
August 26, 2014 -- Updated 0115 GMT (0915 HKT)
Ever wondered what it takes to get that movie to your inflight screen? This special report details who, what and how much it takes to bring you the best in IFE (we'll explain).
July 30, 2014 -- Updated 1835 GMT (0235 HKT)
Takeoff on one of Airbus' new A350WXB test planes is a strangely quiet experience.
August 12, 2014 -- Updated 0906 GMT (1706 HKT)
Cars, craft beer, yetis? Since when did in-flight purchases get so strange?
July 17, 2014 -- Updated 1426 GMT (2226 HKT)
CNN takes a look at the new car-plane hybrid that brings affordable recreational air travel to the masses.
July 17, 2014 -- Updated 0339 GMT (1139 HKT)
It is the world's busiest route and there are few lengths airlines won't go to in the hopes of getting a piece of the action.
July 16, 2014 -- Updated 2136 GMT (0536 HKT)
Cathay Pacific was pronounced the world's best airliner of the year at the industry's leading awards ceremony in Farnborough on Tuesday.
July 11, 2014 -- Updated 0221 GMT (1021 HKT)
It's not some miserable dystopic movie scene about class polarization, it's a real thing that could arrive soon.
June 30, 2014 -- Updated 1253 GMT (2053 HKT)
Latest model of aircraft affectionately known as the Queen of the Skies gets the red ribbon treatment, but jumbo jets are facing tough times
June 12, 2014 -- Updated 1409 GMT (2209 HKT)
Aviation industry execs say they must focus more on customer experience.
June 5, 2014 -- Updated 1559 GMT (2359 HKT)
Could air passengers of the future could board planes via personal transport pods?
June 24, 2014 -- Updated 1723 GMT (0123 HKT)
A passenger is suing an airline for flying him to the wrong continent, and other surprisingly common destination mix-ups.
July 3, 2014 -- Updated 1657 GMT (0057 HKT)
Dreading airport security, lost luggage or that middle seat? These travel headaches could be a thing of the past by 2024, according to a new report on the future of travel.
June 24, 2014 -- Updated 0800 GMT (1600 HKT)
Fancy stripping off before a flight and getting sweaty with fellow passengers? Finnair think you might and is backing its idea with a sauna in its new airport lounge.
July 14, 2014 -- Updated 1526 GMT (2326 HKT)
This month, a young aviatrix will honor the woman she was named after by flying the same route made legendary in 1937.
ADVERTISEMENT