Airbus A350 makes first visit to Perth: 10 August 2014
12 August 2014
The new Airbus A350-900 visited Perth on 10 August 2014 as part of route proving test flights.
F-WWYB, the fifth development aircraft, landed on Perth Airport’s runway 21 from Doha (Qatar) at 3:15pm, using callsign ‘AIRBUS 402’, signifying that it was the second flight in the fourth series of route proving flights. It departed back to Doha at 11:17pm as ‘AIRBUS 403’, before continuing on to Moscow (Russia) and Helsinki (Finland), then back to Toulouse.
F-WWYB successfully completed its series of Route Proving trials from 24 July to 13 August 2014. Route Proving trials are required as part of Type Certification, to demonstrate the A350’s readiness for airline operations, including standard maintenance checks, typical airport operations and airport compatibility. Certification is expected later in 2014.
During the trials, the A350 flew approximately 81,700 nm (151,300 km) in 180 flight hours, with all flights performing on schedule. It visited 14 cities worldwide over 20 days, including a trip over the North Pole, flying over all of the world’s oceans its World Tour. The aircraft also operated from Johannesburg Airport (South Africa), 5,558 feet (1,694m) above sea level, including a test of automatic landing capabilities on a local flight from Johannesburg. It also demonstrated its ability to fly ultra-long routes or Extended range Twin Operations (ETOPS), during flights from Johannesburg to Sydney and Auckland to Santiago (Chile).
F-WWYB was operated by Airbus flight crews as well as Qatar flight crews on the route from Doha to Perth, Moscow and Helsinki. Pilots from the European Aviation Safety Agency also participated and flew the aircraft on two legs.
The new A350 is expected to deliver a 25% reduction in fuel-burn against similarly sized aircraft using Rolls-Royce Trent XWB turbofan engines and its lighter carbon fibre fuselage and wings. Each A350-900 is estimated to cost around US$277.7 million. At the end of June 2014, the A350 XWB had won 742 orders from 38 customers worldwide.
Qatar Airways has ordered 43 of the 315-seater A350-900, with deliveries starting late in 2014 and 37 of the 369-seater A350-1000, with deliveries starting in 2017. The airline expects to have nine A350-900s in service by the end of 2015, followed by one delivery each month in 2016 and two per month in 2017. The type will be used on Perth services from early 2015.
Airbus official video – forward to 1:25 to see the Doha-Perth part of this route proving flight, including a cockpit view of the landing at Perth: