Airbus A350 XWB Spotting Guide
The A350 is the first Airbus composite aircraft with both fuselage and wing structures constructed primarily of carbon-fibre-reinforced polymer.
In July of 2006, during the Farnborough Airshow, the aircraft was designated the A350 XWB (Xtra-Wide-Body).
The A350 is built with over 70% advanced materials, combining carbon composites (53%), titanium and modern aluminium alloys, to create a lighter and more cost-efficient aircraft while also reducing maintenance requirements. The latest generation Rolls-Royce Trent XWB engines are quieter and more efficient.
The A350 design includes a wide fuselage cross-section, allowing seating arrangements ranging from an eight-abreast low-density premium economy layout to a ten-abreast high-density seating configuration. The XWB fuselage has a constant width from door 1 to door 4, unlike previous Airbus aircraft, to provide maximum usable volume. Fuselage width is 19' 7".
The XWB's nose section utilizes a configuration derived from the A380, with a forward-mounted nosegear bay and a six-panel flightdeck windscreen.
The A350's maiden flight took place in June of 2013 from the Toulouse–Blagnac Airport.
Orders and Deliveries
Current models include the A350-900 (ICAO A359) and the A350-1000 (ICAO A35K).
The first delivery of the A350-900 to launch customer Qatar Airways occurred in December of 2014. Delta Air Lines became the first U.S. airline to receive an A350, in July of 2017. Shown below is a recap of orders and deliveries through January, 2020.
|A350 Model||Number Ordered||Delivered|
On February 12, 2020, Airbus delivered its 350th A350, to Air France.
Airbus A350-900 Characteristics and Spotting Tips
The Airbus A350-900 design features twin-engines, a single passenger deck, a distinctive nose and winglets, and two 4-wheel main landing gear configurations. The overall length is 219' 5".
|Airbus A350-900 of Asiana Airlines showing its blended winglets|
|The unique 6-piece windscreen configuration of the Airbus A350|
Airbus A350-1000 Spotting Tips and Photographs
The A350-1000 design evolved from the A350-900, via the addition of 6 frames in front of the wing, and 5 frames behind.
The airliner received FAA and EASA certification on November 21, 2017. Airbus is targeting the first A350-1000 delivery before the end of 2017 to launch customer Qatar Airways.
Airbus A350-1000 design highlights include a twin-engine configuration, a single passenger deck, a distinctive nose and winglets, and two 6-wheel main landing gears. Its overall length is 242' 7". It is assigned ICAO Aircraft Type Designator A35K.
|Airbus A350-1000 with its dual 6-wheel main landing gear design|
Comparisons of the Airbus A350 with Similar Airliners
|Side-by-side view of the Airbus A350-900 (below) and Boeing 787-9 (top)|
|Airbus A350-1000 and Boeing 777-300 Side-by-Side Comparison|
The Airbus A350 employs a 6-piece windshield, while the similar shaped Boeing 787 features a cockpit with a 4-piece windshield.
Shown below is the windshield arrangement of the Airbus A350 and Boeing 787, and also the windshield of the Airbus A220.
|The different configurations of the cockpit windshield, seen from a front view, on the Airbus A350 with its 6-piece windshield, and Boeing 787 with its 4-piece windshield. Also shown is the windshield configuration of the Airbus A220.|
Airbus A350 Photographs
|Airbus A350-900 of Delta Air Lines|
|Airbus A350-900 of Cathay Pacific|
|Airbus A350-900 of China Airlines|
|Airbus A350-1000 ... 11 frames longer than the A350-900|
|Cathay Pacific's first Airbus A350-1000, delivered in June, 2018 (photo courtesy of Cathay Pacific)|