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PICTURE: Qatar-branded test A350 breaks cover

Airbus has unveiled the joint Qatar Airways branding on its fourth A350-900 test aircraft, MSN4, which is shortly to enter the flight programme.

The colour scheme features the logo of Qatar Airways, the first customer for the type, on the forward fuselage, winglets and Rolls-Royce Trent XWB engines.

Airbus's test livery covers the rear of the twinjet, which bears test registration F-WZNW, while a banner reading 'A350 XWB Launch Customer' transitions from Qatar's maroon colours to Airbus's blue.

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Airbus unveiled the scheme as Qatar Airways chief Akbar Al Baker visited the line at Toulouse where the first A350 for the carrier is undergoing final assembly.

MSN4, one of five airframes for the certification programme, will undergo external noise and lightning tests, as well as avionics development. It will also be used for pilot and maintenance crew training.

“I am pleased with what I have seen during my visit," says Al Baker. "It gives me every confidence that the programme is well on track for our first delivery in 2014."

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