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
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.
At the end of January 2020, the A350 XWB Family had received 935 firm orders from over 50 customers worldwide. On February 12, 2020, Airbus delivered its 350th A350, to Air France.
Current models include the A350-900 and the A350-1000.
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". It is assigned ICAO Aircraft Type Designator A359.
|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)|