Airbus has started preparing its A350-900 prototype for a second stage of flight tests, having completed initial assessments on primary aircraft systems.

The first flight-test aircraft, MSN1, has logged 92h flight time since first becoming airborne on 14 June.

As well as the Rolls-Royce Trent XWB engines and fuel system the tests covered the landing-gear and brakes, ram-air turbine, cabin pressurisation and electrical systems.

Early tests have also been conducted on the autopilot and autoland capabilities of the A350.

Airbus says the aircraft will spend time on the ground undergoing maintenance and modification of its flight-test installations.

The next stage of the test campaign is scheduled to begin in August.

Ten pilots have flown MSN1 during the first month of its flight-test programme. MSN1 and MSN3 have heavy instrumentation and will be used for the main airframe system checks, while three other aircraft will have specialist roles.

Source: Air Transport Intelligence news