Promotional designation: A350 XWB

TYPE: Wide-bodied airliner.

PROGRAMME: Earlier hints of project, as counter to longer-range variants of Boeing 787 Dreamliner, gained credence at Farnborough Air Show, July 2004; A350 designation confirmed two months later. Originally conceived as lighter-weight, longer-range A330 derivative, achievable by ‘maximum effect with minimum change’. However, reappraisal in 2004-05 resulted in virtually new design having only some 10 per cent commonality with A330, while retaining almost identical external appearance. Go-ahead approved 10 December 2004. Original basic definition frozen in late April 2005, and go-ahead announced 6 October 2005, with service entry then targeted for mid-2010. However, major reappraisal took place during first half of 2006 as result of airline feedback, resulting in fresh presentation 17 July 2006 at Farnborough International Air Show, now of much-revamped design with title A350 XWB, indicating eXtra Wide Body, and three additional projected variants.
Following formal programme launch on 1 December 2006, revised programme for XWB now looking at design freeze in third quarter 2008; first flight mid-2011; service entry in mid-2012 for A350-900, with -800 following in about 1Q13 and -1000 in 1Q14.

CURRENT VERSIONS: A350-800: Up to 270 passengers in three-class configuration; 334 kN (75,000 lb st) class engines.
A350-900: Up to 314 passengers in three-class configuration; 387 kN (87,000 lb st) class engines.
A350-900F: Freighter version of -900.
A350-900R: Ultra-long-range version of -900.
A350-1000: Up to 350 seats in three-class configuration or 375 in all-economy class; 423 kN (95,000 lb st) class engines.

CUSTOMERS: Conditional orders for 140 of original A350 by October 2005 from Air Europa (10 -800s plus two on option; first to commit, in December 2004); US Airways (20); Qatar Airways (60 -800/900s); GECAS (10); Kingfisher (five -800s); TAM (eight -900s); Alafco (12 -800s plus six on option); CIT Group (five); plus 10 undisclosed.
Firm orders 100 (69 -800s and 31 -900s) for XWB by mid-November: see table. Additional commitments at that time for 122: Bangkok Airways (six), China Aviation Supplies (20), GECAS (10), Qatar Airways (60), Singapore Airlines (20) and Yemenia (six). Break-even estimated at approximately 450 sales.

AIRBUS A350 ORDERS
(at mid-November 2006)
Customer Version Qty
Air Europa 800 10
Alafco 800 12
CIT Leasing 800 5
Eurofly 800 3
Finnair 900 9
ILFC 800/900 8/8
Kingfisher Airlines 800 5
TAM 900 10
TAP-Air Portugal 800/900 6/4
US Airways 800 20
Total 100

DESIGN FEATURES: Major changes compared with original A350 design (see 2006-07 Jane's All the Worid’s Aircraft) are: (1) a new cabin cross-section 0.305 m (12 in) wider than the A330, with parallel section from door 1 to door 4 and 51 cm (2 in) wider panoramic windows; (2) new wing with 3° more sweep, increasing econ cruising Mach number to 0.85; (3) new engines (see Current Versions) offering more thrust, a 2 per cent improvement in sfc and 5 per cent lower maintenance costs; and (4) new systems derived from the A380, 10 per cent lower airframe maintenance, and fly-by-wire pilot commonality with A320/340/380.
Wing sweepback increased to 33° at quarter-chord.

FLYING CONTROLS: Inboard wing slats replaced by A380-type ‘droop nose’ leading-edges.

STRUCTURE: Generally as for A330, but materials breakdown differs, with most of structure now made up of composites (45 per cent), Al-Li (17 per cent), steel, aluminium and titanium. CFRP used extensively in wings, keel, floor beams and rear pressure bulkhead; Al-Li in fuselage; titanium for engine pylons; ‘Glare’ fibre/metal laminate for parts of upper fuselage. Laser welding of some fuselage panels. Three-spar CFRP wings with metal ribs. Planned to outsource about 5 per cent of manufacture to China and 3 per cent to Russia.

LANDING GEAR: Generally similar to A330, but structural weight-saving obviates need for centre-fuselage bogies. Messier-Dowty main units.

POWER PLANT: Twin Rolls-Royce Trent XWB turbofans on all versions initially; General Electric GEnx alternative may be offered for -800 and -900 later. Fuel capacity 142,421 litres (36,750 US gallons; 30,601 Imp gallons).

ACCOMMODATION: Two pilots and eight cabin crew. Twin-aisle layout with typical seating capacity as listed under Current Versions, eight (2-4-2) or nine abreast (3-3-3) in economy and six abreast (2-2-2) in first/business class. Modular cabin, designed to be re-configurable overnight.
Underfloor capacity (-800) 26 LD3 containers or eight pallets and two LD3s, or (-900) 11 pallets or 34 LD3s; plus, in both cases, bulk cargo volume. Rest areas for flight crew below flight deck, for cabin crew above rear bulk hold area. Economy class seats 44.5 cm (17.5 in) wide for nine-abreast layout, or 49 cm (19.25 in) for eight abreast; improved headroom (1.63 m; 5 ft 4 in) at window seats; sidewall panels resculpted to increase cabin internal width.

SYSTEMS: Electrical power generation by engine bleed air. Cabin pressurised to 1,830 m (6,000 ft) or less equivalent altitude and humidity increased to 20 per cent to improve passenger comfort. Flow management system adapts cabin airflow to passenger load as further environmental improvement. Hydraulic system 207 bar (3,000 lb/sq in). Honeywell HGT 1500 provides 1,119 kW (1,500 shp) for air conditioning, engine starting and in-flight emergency power.

AVIONICS: Flight control architecture includes A380 onboard information system, HUD, vertical display, dual integrated standby instrument system (ISIS), onboard airport navigation system and ‘brake to vacate’ airport guidance system. Honeywell RDR-4000 weather radar.

Following details all provisional:

DIMENSIONS, EXTERNAL:

  • Wing span: 800, 900: 61.09 m (200 ft 5 in)
  • Length overall: 800: 59.00 m (193 ft 6¾ in)
    • 900: 64.87 m (212 ft 10 in)
  • Fuselage: Max width: 5.91 m (19 ft 4¾ in)
  • Height overall: 800: 17.17 m (56 ft 4 in)
    • 900: 16.61 m (54 ft 6 in)

DIMENSIONS, INTERNAL:

  • Cabin:
    • Length: 800: 45.57 m (149 ft 6 in)
    • 900: 51.94 m (170 ft 5 in)
  • Max width: 800, 900: 5.36 m (17 ft 7 in)
  • Aisle width:
    • first/business class: 53.3 cm (21 in)
    • economy class: 46.4 cm (18¼ in)
  • Bulk hold volume: 800, 900: 19.7 m³ (695 cu ft)
  • Total volume (pallets + LD3s + bulk cargo):
    • 800: 114.7 m³ (4,050 cu ft)
    • 900: 147.2 m³ (5,200 cu ft)

AREAS:

  • Wings, gross (reference): 362.0 m² (3,896.5 sq ft)

WEIGHTS AND LOADINGS:

  • Max T-O weight:
    • 800: 245,000 kg (540,125 lb)
    • 900: 265,000 kg (584,225 lb)
    • 1000: 290,000 kg (639,350 lb)
  • Max wing loading: 800: 676,8 kg/m² (138.62 lb/sq ft)
    • 900: 732.0 kg/m² (149.93 lb/sq ft)
    • 1000: 801.1 kg/m² (164.08 lb/sq ft)

PERFORMANCE (estimated):

  • Max operating Mach number (MMO): 0.86
  • Long-range cruising speed: M0.83
  • Econ cruising speed: M0.85
  • Range with max passengers and typical international reserves, incl 200 n mile (370 km; 230 mile) diversion:
    • 800: 8.800 n miles (16,297 km; 10,126 miles)
    • 900: 7.500 n miles (13,890 km; 8,630 miles)