Europe's largest passenger plane makes maiden flight

Europe's largest passenger plane makes maiden flight
By Catherine Hardy with Reuters
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Europe's largest twin-engined passenger jet has taken to the skies for the first time. The Airbus A350-1000 is seeking the hog the limelight from Boeing's popular 777.


Europe’s largest twin-engined passenger jet has taken to the skies for the first time.

The Airbus A350-1000 is seeking to hog the limelight from Boeing’s popular 777.

It is a larger cousin to the new-generation A350-900, which entered service last year.

Both are built from similar materials to Boeing’s mid-sized 787 Dreamliner.

The stats

The lightweight, carbon-fibre A350-1000 is seven metres longer than the A350s already in service.

It has 366 seats and can carry 40 more people.

Debut flight

The aircraft began its three-hour debut flight from Toulouse in France just after 0940 GMT.

It was watched by some of the airline bosses who have invested in the 356 million US dollar jet.

The aircraft involved is one of three test planes facing a winter of intensive flight testing before the A350-1000 enters service in the second half of 2017.

The business

The aircraft is designed to break Boeing’s virtual monopoly in the lucrative “mini-jumbo” segment.

This typically involves large, twin-engined jets carrying 350 people.

What they are saying

Fabrice Bregier, the chief executive of Airbus, says he is confident the A350-1000 will be delivered on time next year.

In tweets

#DidYouKnow? The #A350FF will be a key milestone for the #A350-1000 programme development, kicking off the flight test campaign.

— Airbus (@Airbus) November 24, 2016

On top of the 40 more seats, the key attributes of the #A350-1000, the largest twin engines aircraft ever build by Airbus</a>. <a href="">#A350FF</a> <a href=""></a></p>&mdash; Airbus (Airbus) November 24, 2016

#INFOGRAPHIC: The latest member of the #A350 XWB Family takes to the skies today kicking off the flight-test programme.

— Airbus (@Airbus) November 24, 2016

The final pieces of the puzzle – engines & landing gears #A350-1000. #A350FF scheduled tomorrow, 10.30 local time (weather permitting)

— Airbus (@Airbus) November 23, 2016

She's in the skies! Congratulations Airbus</a> - we just witnessed the first ever take off of the <a href="">#A350</a>-1000 here in Toulouse. <a href="">#A350FF</a> ✈️ <a href=""></a></p>&mdash; Alex Macheras (AlexInAir) November 24, 2016

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