Airbus today unveiled the A350 XWB’s development cabin interior installed on board flight-test aircraft ‘MSN002’ at the Airbus site in Hamburg.

MSN002 made its first flight on 26th February 2014 and is the first of two test aircraft fitted with a passenger interior as part of the A350 XWB development fleet. Intensive cabin flight and ground tests have already been performed during a two-week stay of the aircraft in Hamburg in mid-March 2014. The cabins of all Airbus aircraft are developed by the engineering and research teams based there. Airbus say “The new interior demonstrates how the aircraft’s “eXtra-wide” fuselage will soon offer passengers even more personal space, flexibility and comfort in business and economy classes, and especially, a wide 18” seat in 9-abreast economy.”

A350 economy cabin

9 abreast

Of course airline customers may demand a 10-abreast economy deemed the “high-efficiency” layout, and at least one airline has done so. Let us hope that most airlines go with the preferred 9-abreast option.

A350 business class cabin night

A350 business class

Potentially cramped accomodation in economy aside, the business class cabin looks positively lovely, and the aircraft’s near-vertical sidewalls will add eXtra spaciousness to the cabin and the large overhead stowage bins are designed to match growing hand-luggage volume requirements.

British Airways A350 on order for 2017

A mock up of the BA A350

Rolls-Royce has won a $5bn order from Etihad Airways for Trent XWB engines, to power 50 Airbus A350 XWB aircraft.

Significantly, the order includes long-term TotalCare® support.

Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, has ordered 24 A350-900 Regional, 16 A350-900 and 10 A350-1000 aircraft.
The order takes the total number of Etihad A350 aircraft on order to 62, all powered by the Trent XWB.

Tony Wood, Rolls-Royce, President – Aerospace, said: “This is a significant order for the Trent XWB from a valued customer. We are delighted that Etihad Airways is continuing to expand its fleet of Rolls-Royce powered aircraft and we look forward to developing our relationship further. The Trent XWB is the largest-selling Trent engine, with more than 1,600 on order prior to entry into service next year.”

Rolls Royce Trent xwb

Rolls Royce Trent xwb

The Trent XWB, specifically designed for the Airbus A350 XWB, powered the first test flight of the A350 XWB at Toulouse on 14 June this year.