Last A350 test aircraft departs on maiden flight

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Airbus’s fifth and final A350 test aircraft has departed Toulouse on its maiden flight, taking the programme into the last stage of certification.

The Rolls-Royce Trent XWB-powered aircraft, MSN5, took off at around 09:40.

Airbus is to use the aircraft for cabin operability tests and route proving, as well as extended operations trials.

The airframer had originally expected MSN5 to fly earlier this year but the interior has been undergoing adjustments in preparation for the route work.

Like MSN2 the aircraft is fitted with a full passenger cabin. Airbus says MSN5 "embodies the operationally definitive configuration for type certification duties".

Airbus projects that MSN5’s flight programme will last around 300h, finalising the certification of the twin-engined type.

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