Welcome on board the A350. Despite appearances, this particular aircraft featuring a new fully equipped cabin is not intended for delivery to a company, but rather for ground and flight tests. In June, 700 Airbus company employees will try out the 'plane in flights of over nine hours to and from Toulouse. Main objective : to validate the many A-350 interior floor-to-ceiling innovations.
Anaïs Marzo da Costa, Director Cabin Marketing - Airbus :
"We have designed the 'plane with the next generation of in-flight entertainment (IFE : in-flight entertainment ) in mind, videos etc. for passengers, and we have a completely flat floor which is not the case in aircraft today since, normally, there is a plastic covering concealing the cables supplying the seats, so that's one improved passenger comfort."
And since we have the latest generation of optical fibre I.F.E. for all the between seat cable connections we are able to provide extremely thin cable connection boxes, thus giving the passengers more leg room under the seats. The lights are L.E.D., giving an infinite combination of light scenarios with more than 16 million colour combinations in the plane, which helps us to reset the biological clock of passengers artificially during the flight to reduce fatigue on arrival."
Other innovations are the electric window blinds, the cabin pressure which, through the use of composite materials, correspond to an altitude of 1,800 metres (6,000 feet) as against 2400 metres ( 8,000 feet) for older aircraft, or again the on-board humidity level aboard which Airbus plans to establish around 12 % instead of the present 8%; enough to improve the A-350 passenger comfort.
The width of the cabin, 5.60 metres ( 18.4 ft) will also allow companies, if they wish, to install nine 18 inch wide seats abreast in economy class; an increasingly rare dimension with today's carriers. The first commercial flight of the A-350 is programmed for the end of the year, with Qatar Airways.