The first flight of the Airbus A350 is under way over Toulouse, France today.
The A350 XWB aircraft (MSN1) left the ground at Toulouse-Blagnac airport at 10:00 local with a team of 6 top Airbus engineers and analysts on board.
The all new Airbus A350 XWB comes into competition with the Boeing 787 Dreamliner as the two manufacturers compete for the huge global market for new aircraft.
The A350 is a family of long-range aircraft comprising three versions that will carry between 270 and 350 passengers. Airbus state that the new family will bring a step change in efficiency compared with existing aircraft in this size category, using 25 per cent less fuel and providing an equivalent reduction in CO2 emissions. Scheduled for entry-into-service in the second half of 2014, the A350 XWB has already won 613 firm orders from 33 customers worldwide.
Speculation is also rife that Airbus is planning to showcase the A350 at the upcoming Paris Air Show, this has not been confirmed by Airbus.