posted on Mar, 26 2005 @ 06:41 AM
As you all know, the 4billion EURO A350 project was a recently announced Airbus project to counter the 7E7/787.
There will initially be two versions of the A350, the -800 and the -900. They will both use the same basic engine as the 787 except for the fact that
Airbus will remain with the bleeder type to provide power for the hydraulics systems, with initial engines being supplied by General Electric GEnx
72A1 and not Rolls Royce Trents as some people have suggested. The first aircraft into service is planned for second half 2010.
The A350-800 will seat 245 passengers in a long range configuration and have a range in excess of 8,600 nm (15,900 km). The A350-900 will seat 285 and
have a range of more than 7,500 nm (13,900 km).
Contrary to popular belief, the A350 is not a direct competitor to the 787, its more a competitor to the A330-200 on the longer ranged routes, which
owns more than 60% of the of its market and are getting pretty old at this point in time.
The A350 will include a lot of technology developed for the A380, including droop nose wings, reduced drag engine nacelles and pylons. This coupled
with the Common Type Rating it shares with the A330, meaning that any A330 pilots can fly an A350 with no extra training, reduces costs quite a bit,
offering the aircraft as a drop in replacement for current older A330s.
Southern California-based Aerostructures Division has been the first external company to be told that it has won a contract to supply parts for the
A350 - supplying engine housings and reverse thrusters.
Personally, I dont think it looks that much different from the A330, and I prefer the 787 for its looks and advanced style.