sends first A350 XWB into the sky
Airbus test pilots and
managers celebrated Friday after the long-awaited inaugural flight of the
Airbus A350 XWB went off without a hitch.
Aviation enthusiasts around
the world had their eyes on France as the aircraft took off from
Toulouse-Blagnac airport around 10 a.m. local time and landed safely about four
The test crew waved an Airbus
flag from a hatch above the cockpit as the aircraft taxied after its successful
The crew, who emerged to
applause from waiting friends and family, said the aircraft proved easy to
handle and performed well throughout the test program.
The A350 XWB is the first in a
family of super-efficient passenger planes Airbus designed to go head-to-head
with rival Boeing's 787 Dreamliner and 777s.
"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 first test plane,
"MSN1," was unveiled on May 13 at Airbus headquarters in