Over the past few weeks, Airbus has been taking their new A350-900 aircraft on route proving exercises around the world, in the effort to take the new plane closer towards type certification.
Type Certification is the point where aviation safety authorities judge the airworthiness of an aircraft in its manufacturing design and in commercial aviation where aircraft can be delivered to customers and fly commercial passengers.
During it’s tour, the A350-900 has visited 14 cities over three weeks, performing a mixture of long and short flights in all weather conditions flying 81,700 nautical miles (or 151,300 km) in some 180 flight hours.
Some interesting legs shown include the ultra long-haul legs of Johannesburg to Sydney, and Auckland to Santiago – showing the plane is capable of ultra long haul flying. Doha to Perth is in an interesting route – and will be of interest to launch carrier Qatar Airways.
So what next? Now the final parts of type certification needs to be completed so that deliveries can begin to Qatar Airways (as well as other airlines) who have ordered the A350 aircraft. Route proving is one of the last major hurdles for new aircraft to clear, proving they can do what they say they can in the real world.
For those on the hunt to fly new planes, the journey of the A350 from a development aircraft into an aircraft you can fly aboard is getting more closer each day…