Toulouse - Today (On September 22), Airbus marks another milestone. The manufacturer delivers the very first A350-900 Ultra Long Range (ULR) widebody jet to launch customer Singapore Airlines (SIA). The aircraft will take off from Toulouse later today for Singapore Changi Airport where it will be located.
With a range of 9,700 nautical miles (17,964 kilometers), a maximum take-off weight (MTOW) of 280 tonne and over 20-hours non-stop flying, the A350-900ULR can fly further than any commercial aircraft in service today.
Singapore's A350-900ULR will enter into service on October 11 on the non-stop Singapore - New York route with an average flying time of 18 hours and 45 minutes, the longest non-stop commercial flight in the world. Following New York, SIA will launch two more non-stop transpacific routes, to Los Angeles and San Francisco.
Singapore's flag carrier has already deployed its A350-900s and A350-1000 primarily on the long-haul routes, but there is also demand in the market for direct flights on ultra-long-haul routes.
The new member of the A350XWB family is a modified variant of the A350-900. The main modification on the aircraft is the improved fuel system, increasing the fuel capacity from 24,000 liters to 165,000 liters. This enhancement in the fuel storage capacity extends the range of the Airbus' new jetliner without requiring additional fuel tanks.
The A50-900 variant also features many aerodynamic improvements, including heightened winglets, carbon fiber fuselage, and wings, and the new fuel-efficient Rolls-Royce XWB engines.
As of the end of August 2018, the European manufacturer has received 890 firm orders for the A350 XWB family aircraft from 46 customers worldwide.
SIA is one of the biggest customers of the Airbus' A350 XWB Family. The airline has placed an order for 67 A350-900 in total, including the seven Ultra Long Range variants.
The new aircraft of the Asian carrier is configured to accommodate 67 passengers in Business Class and 94 passengers in Premium Economy Class.
Including today’s delivery, Singapore Airlines' A350 XWB fleet now stands at 22 devices.
image credit: Airbus