One thousand. It's a number which has literary and poetic power – the symbolism of the beginning of a new cycle – and whose digits resemble, fortuitously, the wheels of a triple-axle main landing-gear.
Some of which might have been deliberately considered when Airbus picked the name of its largest twinjet.
For an aircraft that underwent such a jittery conception, the A350-1000 seems to have had a surprisingly trouble-free upbringing.
It had not even featured when Airbus initially unveiled its original A350 concept, a two-aircraft family in the 245- to 285-seat sector, intended to compete with the Boeing 787.
Airbus introduced the -1000 when it scrubbed the A350 for the A350 XWB, ambitiously opting to take on not just the 787 but the higher-capacity Boeings – including the 777-300ER, the US big twin which had entered service two years before.
That was never going to be simple, and the -1000 struggled to convince crucial customers, forcing Airbus to overhaul the design – and not to everyone's satisfaction.
But if the indecision over what precisely to build seemed unpromising, the smoothness of the -1000's development is far more encouraging.
With certification secured, and service entry on track, Airbus has made an auspicious start on the tough task of chasing down the 777-300ER's enviable sales record. The hard work is over. Bring on the hard work.
Source: Flight International