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Video - Countdown begins for Airbus A350-1000

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Airbus has just officially confirmed the A350-1000 is to perform its first test flight on Thursday 24th November. Weather permitting, the stretched version of the European air manufacturer's new long-haul aircraft - measuring 242 feet from nose to tail - will take off from Toulouse-Blagnac airport at 10H30, local time. It's the start of a series of test flights to be carried out by three aircraft.

Final assembly of the first Airbus A350-1000 test plane began last February (see the video). After passing through the paint shop, the plane was equipped with two Trent XWB motors from Rolls-Royce. Next it underwent a number of trials on its different systems, in addition to run-up trials. Finally, low and high-speed roll-out tests took place with a rejected takeoff on 17th November.

The A350-1000 is scheduled to begin service during the second half of 2017. In its regular version, the new twin-engine jet seats 366 passengers and has a range of 9,000 miles (14,600 kilometres). Its catalogue price is 355 million dollars.

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