The Airbus A350 eXtraWide Body (XWB) test aircraft, manufacturer’s serial number (MSN) 2, is now at the US Air Force’s Eglin Air Force base in North West Florida at the McKinley Climatic Laboratory.
This month MSN2 will undergo testing, which Airbus describes as, “extreme hot and cold temperatures that the unique facility can sustain in a testing environment.” This testing follows assessments in the Middle East and Northern Canada. The arrival of the A350 into service represents another next-generation aircraft with a large belly hold, adding more capacity to the airfreight market.There are four test aircraft flying in the A350 XWB programme. Together they have accumulated around 1,600 flight test hours in more than 350 flights. The certification process for the programme is progressing on schedule – certification is anticipated in the third quarter of 2014 with entry into service in the fourth quarter of this year.