The Airbus A350 XWB is a family of long-range, two-engined wide-body jet airliners and the first Airbus with both fuselage and wing structures made primarily of carbon-fiber-reinforced polymer. It can carry 250 to 350 passengers in a typical three-class seating layout, or maximum seating of 440 to 550 passengers, depending on variant. This plane is often considered a direct competitor to the Boeing 787 Dreamliner. Continue reading for more.
5. Qatar Airways Has Already Ordered 80
The launch customer for the A350 is Qatar Airways, which ordered 80 aircraft of all three variants. Development costs are projected to be &euro12 billion (US$15 billion or £10 billion). The airliner is scheduled to enter airline service in 2014. As of December 2013, Airbus has received orders for 812 aircraft from 39 customers around the globe.
4. Cabin Technology
The mood inside the airplane is managed by a full-LED lighting system that creates more than 16 million different color options. The Air Management System changes out all of the air every two to three minutes, ensuring a draft-free environment and consistent temperature.
At over 55 feet high, the plane is about as tall as a five story residential building. The A350 XWB's weight of 221 tons is equivalent to 24 adult elephants.
Designed to be efficient from gate-to-gate, the A350 XWB saves up to 25% lower fuel burn per seat when compared to the current competing jetliner. On average, 10.5 million liters of fuel will be saved per year, which is the equivalent to the fuel consumption of around 7,500 mid-size cars.
1. Fuel Tanks
Commercial aircraft have eight fuel tanks - the A350 XWB only has three. One tank is located below the fuselage, while the other two are in the wings. The A350 XWB's airframe boasts 70% of advanced materials - bringing together the best attributes of composites (>50% overall), titanium and advanced aluminum alloys exactly where they are needed.