Airbus (Toulouse, France) reported on Jan. 28 that its A350 XWB MSN3 development aircraft with a team of 48 Airbus specialists have arrived at Iqaluit, Canada, for several days of cold-weather trials. The various tests for the aircraft, its engines and its systems include a "cold soak" down to minus double-digit temperatures. The scope of the trials include: APU and engine starts after cold soak; verification of system behavior; low-speed taxi and rejected take-offs; thrust-reverser tests with snow.
This latest phase of the development test program comes only days after MSN3’s completion of the “hot and high” tests in Bolivia. Since the A350 XWB’s first flight with MSN1 on June 14, 2013, more than 890 flight test hours have been performed in close to 200 test flights by MSN1 and MSN3. In total the A350 XWB flight test campaign will accumulate around 2,500 flight hours with the fleet of five aircraft. The rigorous flight testing will lead to the certification of the A350-900 by the European EASA and U.S. FAA airworthiness authorities, prior to entry into service in fourth quarter 2014.
Editor PickNASA carbon fiber glider to gather weather data during flight
The teams are still working on the design but the aircraft is expected to have a wingspan of about 3 feet and will be made of double ply, carbon fiber.