Airbus launches A350 to rival Boeing's Dreamliner

Airbus launches A350 to rival Boeing's Dreamliner

Toulouse : France | Jun 14, 2013 at 8:31 AM PDT
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Airbus First Flight for the A350

Airbus, Boeing's staunchest rival in the aerospace industry, is all set to flaunt its brand new jet into the air for the first time.

Meet the A350—a futuristic jet that is expected to set new standards in fuel efficiency and environmental performance.

Airbus will pitch the long-range, twin-engine plane as a direct competitor to Boeing's radical 787 Dreamliner, which reportedly has taken aircraft technology to new heights.

Although the A350 is based on its existing A330 model, it comes with a lighter fuselage, new wings and new engines in order to compete with Dreamliner's fuel efficiency, according to the BBC.

Furthermore, it also has state-of-the-art aerodynamics, and a new custom-designed power unit provided by Rolls Royce, the engine manufacturer of the design Airbus.

Reportedly, the designer Airbus is the result of a decade-long hard work invested by the European company to rival Boeing’s Dreamliner. A350 is Airbus effort to push the threshold in passenger comfort, aerodynamics and fuel efficiency.

Compared to Boeing’s 787, the A350 offer airlines the opportunity to combine long-range services with improved fuel efficiency. Airbus claims that the A350, by all means, will consume 25 percent less fuel than the current generation of aircrafts which can be compared to A350. Furthermore, Airbus also claims that noise and emissions will be well below current limits.

Click here to know more about the features of A350.

While Boeing had the advantage over Airbus by releasing the first Dreamliner in September 2011, two battery malfunctions in January 2013 led to the grounding of the Dreamliner, damaging the plane manufacturer’s reputation.

Boing 787 used lithium-ion batteries—used in laptops and mobile phones, due to their light weight and potential to store large amount of energy. Such batteries were never experimented in commercial aircrafts.

Boeing overlooked the fact that lithium-ion batteries were prone to overheating. After a quick preventive fix, Boeing resumed its 787 flights again in April.

Taking a cue from Boeing’s failure, Airbus stalled the plans of using lithium-ion batteries in the A350 and will go ahead with the proven nickel-cadmium technology.

The aircraft now stands on the tarmac at Airbus' headquarters in Toulouse, France, ready to woo customers with its state-of-art features and futuristic design.

“More than 600 orders have already been placed, and more deals look set to be announced at next week's Paris Air Show, where Air France is reportedly considering the purchase of 25 A350s plus options for another 35,” the BBC reported.

Airbus has not set a date for the new jet's first test flight; however, there's speculation that European company will showcase the A350 at the Paris Air Show next week.

*Sources linked to within text.

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The engine for Airbus' new A350 XWB jetliner made its successful maiden flight on 18 February, 2012. Installed on the A380 flying testbed aircraft, the Rolls-Royce Trent XWB powerplant demonstrated its performance and fuel efficiency during an airborne evaluation of more than five hours.
aymaan30 is based in New Delhi, Delhi, India, and is an Anchor on Allvoices.
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