June 11, 2013
Airbus has scheduled first flight of the A350 for 10 a.m. June 14 from Toulouse-Blagnac airport. The flight is expected to last about four hours.
The aircraft, MSN001, today underwent high speed taxi tests on the runway, one of the last elements before clearance for first flight.
Airbus has already named the six-strong flight crew for the first flight. Peter Chandler, the company’s chief test pilot, will be at the controls of MSN001, along with Guy Magrin, an A350 project pilot. The two pilots will be accompanied in the cockpit by Pascal Verneau, project test flight engineer. Three experimental flight test engineers—Fernando Alonso, Patrick du Che and Emanuele Constanzo—will monitor the flight at test stations installed in the cabin.
After take-off, the aircraft is planned to climb to an initial altitude of 10,000 ft. and a speed of around 200 kt. In terms of speed, center of gravity and other parameters such as altitude the aircraft initially will be kept in the middle of its envelope. The take-off and initial phase of the flight will be performed in direct law with the flight control computers disconnected.
Once the gear has been successfully retracted, flight control computers will be switched on and speed increased up to the higher end of the range at around 25,000 ft. High speed and high altitude testing is to be performed at up to 43,000 ft. before approach and arrival preparations begin.
The aircraft is then scheduled to make a fly past over the runway at 1,000 ft. before returning for landing.
Airbus plans to fly the aircraft over the Paris air show next week, but that is subject to post-flight analysis and clearance.