Toulouse - The Airbus A350-900, MSN 216, the first version of the Ultra Long Range variant, made its maiden flight. The A350-900 will enter service in the second half of the year at the Singapore Airlines, which will allow direct flights to the United States between Singapore and Newark. the longest route in the world.
The Ultra Long Range version of the A350 XWB successfully completed its first flight on April 23, 2018. The ULR (Ultra Long Range) variant of the A350XWB family is able to fly further than any other commercial aircraft.
The Rolls-Royce Trent XWB powered aircraft has started a short flight test program to certify the changes compared to the standard A350-900, which will extend its flight range to 9700 nautical miles (17,964 km) , and allow it to fly for more than 20 hours.
These changes include a 280-tonne maximum take-off weight (MTOW), and a modified fuel system increasing the fuel capacity without the need for additional fuel tanks.
The test phase will also measure the performance of the aerodynamic improvements, including the new winglets. Once these changes on ULR variant are certified, all A350-900s will benefit from these aerodynamic improvements and the increased MTOW by 5 tonnes.
Neither Singapore Airlines nor Airbus have a specific delivery date for the first A350-900ULR. The Star Alliance company is expected to receive seven copies in total with a cabin configuration of 162 passengers: 68 in Business Class, 94 in Premium (2 + 4 + 2).
The seat suppliers would be the same as in the A350-900s of Singapore's flag carrier, Jamco in Business Class and Zodiac Aerospace in Premium.
Singapore Airlines has already put into service 21 of the 60 standart A350-900 expected over the years.
As of the end of March 2018, Airbus recorded a total of 854 firm orders for the A350 XWB family, from 45 customers worldwide.