LOS ANGELES Airbus SAS has scheduled the maiden flight of its A350 XWB airliner for June 14, in time for next weeks Paris Air Show.
Airbus SAS said the new airliner, a rival to Chicago-based Boeing Co.s 787 Dreamliner, will take off, "weather conditions permitting," from the Toulouse-Blagnac airport in southwest France. The flight, which follows the initial run of the planes Rolls-Royce Trent XWB engines (amm.com, June 5), is "on track" with the program schedule, Airbus said.
While Airbus has been reported to be aiming for a flyby during next weeks aerospace industry show, a company spokeswoman in Herndon, Va., said this "has not yet been determined."
Toulouse-based Airbus, a unit of Leiden, Netherlands-based European Aeronautic Defence & Space Co. NV, has 613 firm orders for the A350, which cost $15 billion to develop and is expected to enter service in 2014. The twin-aisle aircraft, which will come in three versions seating 270 to 350 passengers, is said to consume 25 percent less fuel than the previous generation of airliners.