InFlight 1/200th scale IF359MU001 China Eastern Airlines Airbus A350-900 B-304D with stand. Available to pre-order at Flying Tigers.
The Airbus A350 XWB is a family of long-range, twin-engine wide-body jet airliners developed by European aircraft manufacturer Airbus. The A350 is the first Airbus aircraft with both fuselage and wing structures made primarily of carbon-fibre-reinforced polymer.Its variants seat 280 to 366 passengers in typical three-class seating layouts. The A350 is positioned to succeed the A340, and compete with the Boeing 787 and 777.
The A350 was originally conceived in 2004, pairing the A330’s fuselage with new aerodynamics features and engines. In 2006, Airbus redesigned the aircraft in response to criticism from several major prospective customers and renamed it the A350 XWB (extra wide body). Development costs are estimated at €11 billion (US$15 billion or £9.5 billion). As of November 2016, Airbus had received 810 orders for A350s from 43 customers worldwide. The prototype A350 first flew on 14 June 2013 from Toulouse, France. Type certification from the European Aviation Safety Agency was received in September 2014 and certification from the Federal Aviation Administration two months later. On 15 January 2015, the A350 entered service with Qatar Airways, the type’s launch customer.The 280 tons MTOW A350-900 is the first A350 model and typically seats 325 passengers over a 8,100 nmi (15,000 km) range. Airbus says that per seat, the Boeing 777-200ER should have a 16% heavier MWE, a 30% higher block fuel consumption and 25% higher cash operating costs than the A350-900. The −900 is designed to compete with the Boeing 777, and 787, while replacing the Airbus A340-300 and A340-500.
The A350−900R extended-range variant was proposed featuring the higher engine thrust, strengthened structure, and landing gear of the 308 tons MTOW -1000 to give a further 800 nmi (1,500 km) range. An A350−900F freighter with a 5,000 nmi (9,300 km) range and a similar payload and volume to the 91.7 t and 440 m³ MD-11F should be studied after the -1000 is done and if there is market demand.
After the Boeing 787-10 launch at the 2013 Paris Air Show, Airbus was discussing with airlines a possible -900 Regional with reduced MTOW to 250 tonnes and 2×75,000 lbf (330 kN) thrust. Etihad Airways was interested in this version optimised for routes of up to 6,800 nmi (12,600 km) and seating up to 360 passengers in a single class layout.
Philippine Airlines will replace its A340-300 with an A350-900HGW high gross weight version available from 2017 enabling non-stop Manila-New York without payload limitations in both directions, a 7,404 nmi (13,712 km) flight. The PAL version will have a 278 t MTOW and from 2020 the -900 will be proposed with the ULR 280 t MTOW, up from 268 t for the original weight variant and 260 t, 272 t, and 275 t certification variants, with the large fuel capacity. This will enable a 8,100 nmi range with 325 seats in business, premium, and economy classes.