The Constitution was made to guard the people against the dangers of good intentions." --American Statesman Daniel Webster (1782-1852)

Thursday, July 23, 2015

My Airbus Experience

     I a couple of weeks ago had the fortunate opportunity to see the new Airbus A350XWB.  The plane was doing the American tour to the American airlines.  I was one of the lucky ones that got selected to see the interior of the airplane.  I was really impressed with the interior, so far the Airplane has a good reputation with the airlines using her.  So far Qutar and Vietnam airlines are the only carrier using the A350 commercially.  My employer placed the order to replace the older 747-400 series and 767 series airplanes that are nearing their service life.  I understand that the Boeing couldn't provide the 787 series airplanes due to the backlog they have so we bought the Airbus instead. 

The Airbus A350 XWB is a family of long-range, twin-engine wide-body jet airliners developed by European aircraft manufacturer Airbus. The A350 is the first Airbus with both fuselage and wing structures made primarily of carbon-fiber-reinforced polymer. Its variants seat 280 to 366 passengers in typical three-class seating layouts. The A350 is positioned to succeed the A330 and A340, and compete with Boeing's 787 and 777.

The A350 was originally conceived in 2004, pairing the A330's fuselage with new aerodynamics features and engines. In 2006, Airbus redesigned the aircraft in response to criticism from several major prospective customers, renamed it the A350 XWB (extra wide body). Development costs are projected to be €12 billion (US$15 billion or £10 billion). As of June 2015, Airbus had received orders for 781 aircraft from 40 customers worldwide. The prototype A350 first flew on 14 June 2013 from Toulouse, France. Type certification from the European Aviation Safety Agency was received in September 2014 and certification from the Federal Aviation Administration two months later. On 15 January 2015, the A350 entered service with Qatar Airways, the type's launch customer.


The A350 XWB is Airbus’ all-new family of widebody aircraft that is shaping the future of medium- to long-haul airline operations – overcoming the challenges of volatile fuel prices, matching rising passenger expectations and addressing increasing environmental concerns. 
This new-generation jetliner – which entered commercial service in January 2015 – offers seating capacities between 280-366 with its three passenger versions: A350-800, A350-900 and A350-1000.
The A350 XWB is setting a new standard of efficiency in its class, with 25 per cent lower fuel consumption compared to its current competitor. It also brings a new level of passenger comfort, with more personal space and 18-inch wide seats in Comfort Economy. With Airbus’ newest widebody jetliner, it’s the “Xtra” that makes the difference.

The A350 XWB’s 220-inch fuselage cross-section was specifically designed for an optimum travel experience in all classes of service – providing ample room to incorporate the widest seats of any jetliner in its category, while also allowing greater lateral movement and more personal space for passengers on long-range flights. 

Adding to the pleasant atmosphere is the A350 XWB’s cabin design, which incorporates smooth curves, flowing lines, innovating lighting and wide windows; with straighter side walls and a flat floor in the cabin further increasing overall comfort and spaciousness.

By offering an extra inch of width compared to the 1960s-era 17-inch seat standard – when people were smaller and long-haul flights were rarely more than five hours – Airbus is focused on meeting the modern requirements of travelers, as long-range flights are now more frequent and cover greater distances. The A350 XWB also provides more space at shoulder level, as well as overhead stowage space for two roller-bags per passenger in business class.

A number of other key elements help Airbus’ A350 XWB deliver a more relaxing flight. Among them are this jetliner’s high-precision air management system; exterior noise levels that are as much as 21 EPNdB (Effective Perceived Noise Decibel) below ICAO Capter-4 requirements; and its fourth-generation in-flight entertainment systems with individual seat monitors.

 The test module mounted over the center wing section.  The information is the same information that is available to the pilots.  This plane is a test bed platform for all improvements and upgrades and the longevity of all the components. 

Airbus brought a new level of intelligence to the A350 XWB through its integration of robust and efficient state-of-the-art systems, which also increased reliability and lowered maintenance requirements. The use of fully-electrical three-axis flight controls provides enhanced flight safety, reduced pilot workload and a reduction in mechanical parts; and the Airbus-developed fully duplex network backbone improves data exchange capabilities aboard the aircraft. 

The A350 XWB’s all-new fuselage – built with carbon-fiber reinforce plastic (CFRP) – supports lower fuel burn, easier maintenance and increased resistance to corrosion. Simultaneously, the jetliner’s wings are more efficient and quieter due to their advanced design, and are able to adapt while airborne – tailoring it for maximum aerodynamic efficiency in the various phases of flight.

Other highly-innovative elements on the A350 XWB include its improved flight deck dimensions, built around an arrangement of six identical, interchangeable large displays; the state-of-the-art Rolls-Royce Trent XWB engines, which outperforms competitors in terms of fuel economy, emissions and overall efficiency; and the latest in-flight entertainment systems.

Airbus brings together the very latest in aerodynamics, design and advanced technologies in the A350 XWB to provide a 25 per cent step-change in fuel efficiency compared to its current long-range competitor. Contributing to this performance are the A350 XWB’s Rolls-Royce Trent XWB engines, which have the lowest carbon emissions of any wide-body power-plant; as well as jetliner’s innovative all-new Carbon Fiber Reinforced Plastic (CFRP) fuselage.

Rolls Royce Trent

    I really enjoyed the opportunity to see the new plane.  It felt strange being treated like a V.I.P when I am just an airplane mechanic.  I did notice the class distinction from me and the "office" people.   I actually touch airplanes( and cuss at them once and a while) on a regular basis and they just see pictures of them...Or am a bad person for saying that....


  1. Nice tour! Thanks for the update, and yeah, now go fix it... :-)

  2. Nice tour! Thanks for the update, and yeah, now go fix it... :-)

  3. Not intending any disrespect or snark, but after the Airbus accident in the South Atlantic, who gets the final vote, the pilots or the flight computer? Does the pilot's input override the flight computer, or vice versa?