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SINGAPORE: Testing on agenda as A350 makes public debut

Airbus has integrated testing and pilot demonstrations into the A350’s excursion to the Singapore air show, which marks the public debut for the big twinjet.

The aircraft at the show – MSN3 – is one of the two A350-900s currently engaged in the flight-test programme operating from Airbus’s Toulouse headquarters. The positioning to Singapore flew via Doha in Qatar to enable the aircraft to be shown off to launch customer Qatar Airways, says Airbus chief test pilot Peter Chandler.

“We took the opportunity of coming via Doha to spend a few days there as Qatar Airways is the launch customer,” he says. “We did integrate some warm weather tests there and we’re doing a bit of testing here.”

During the stop in Doha, the first airline pilots were able to get their hands on the A350 when two Qatar Airways crew members were invited to fly the aircraft. During the air show, two Singapore Airlines pilots have also spent some time at the controls. The pilots were all current Airbus pilots and found the transition to the A350 straightforward, says Airbus.

The A350 will operate its longest flight to date at the end of the show when it returns non-stop from Singapore to Toulouse with an estimated sector time of around 14h.

See the latest news and views from this year's Singapore Airshow

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