Airbus has unveiled its A350 XWB cabin ahead of the opening of the Aircraft Interiors show in Hamburg.
Test aircraft MSN 002, hangared at the airframer’s local assembly and completions complex, is the first of the A350 test fleet to be outfitted with a cabin – in this case configured with a two-class layout designed to show off the twinjet’s “extra-wide” 221in (5.6m) fuselage and “fourth-generation” systems.
The economy-class cabin features nine-abreast, 18in-wide seats. MSN 002 – which made its first flight on 26 February – is also fully wired up with test instrumentation to monitor the climate control and other passenger-comfort systems. Dummy “passengers” each emit 100W to simulate the challenge posed to the air conditioning by real passengers.
The economy-class cabin features nine-abreast, 18in-wide seats
In the business-class section, the prototype shows off the A350’s “high ceiling” option. Huge storage bins on the sides are big enough to accommodate more than two carry-on items per business-class passenger, doing away with the need for the central overhead bins and opening up the cabin space.
Airbus is showing off its high-ceiling option for the A350 business-class cabin
MSN 002 will be carrying out a series of “early long flights” and “hot and cold” cabin trials to help ensure that cabin systems, like flight systems, are fully reliable when the first customer aircraft is delivered, to Qatar Airways, late this year.
Chris Emerson, Airbus senior vice-president of marketing, calls the A350 the only aircraft in its sector to truly offer “comfort without compromise”. Airlines, he says, have huge flexibility in specifying the interior of an A350: “It’s not a question of the number of seats; it’s a question of who’s in those seats and where they are going to.”