Home » Commercial » Airbus » A350 » Airbus A350 Water landing and takeoff. Amphibious Airbus A350 XWB

The #A350 XWB’s ability to operate on water(ocean and rivers) was confirmed with successful #waterlanding and #watertakeoff aka Touch-and-Go in the Bay area, California. The flight test aircraft was a British Airways owned aircraft piloted by Captain Smith. The ability of the #Airbus A350 engines to handle huge volumes of water was performed some time back.
This is obviously not the first time Airbus aircraft has ended up in a river. In 2009, we all remember US Airways flight in the Hudson. Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger is a former US Airlines pilot, who successfully ditched his passenger plane on the Hudson River after it struck a flock of Canada geese, thereby saving all 155 people aboard. Unlike #Sullenberger’ case, this was a successful landing and takeoff essentially making A350 an Amphibious aircraft..
The successful A350 XWB water ingestion tests at Istres, France – performed by flight test aircraft MSN004 – confirmed the jetliner’s ability to operate on wet runways. Airbus has successfully performed certification testing to demonstrate the A350 XWB’s ability to operate on wet runways. During these tests at Istres, France, the flight-test aircraft, MSN004, travelled through troughs containing at least 22mm of water depth, at a variety of speeds, starting at 60kts, and successively increasing to around 140kts.
This test validates how the aircraft would behave on a very rain-soaked runway, and verifies that neither the water under the aircraft nor the spray generated by the nose landing gear will enter the engines or APU. For the test, the “water trough” was created by applying to the runway’s surface grooves and rubber strips inserted in the grooves to retain the water. This pool measured 100m long by 29m wide. The aircraft performed several runs as planned in order to test various cases, including the use of reverse thrust. The results will be analysed by the Airbus Design Office, which will extrapolate them to predict a variety of typical operational scenarios.
The A350 XWB’s certification testing is progressing well, and is on track for certification in Q3 2014, to be followed by entry into service with Qatar Airways in Q4. The first four A350s now flying have together accumulated around 1,600 flight-test hours and over 350 flights. The flight-test fleet will be completed with the fifth aircraft, MSN005, in the coming weeks.
Performed this month at the Istres Air Force Base in southern France, the A350-1000 was purposely run along an inundated surface to demonstrate the robustness of the aircraft and to secure its maturity from entry-into-service.
For these tests, crewmembers progressively accelerated the aircraft through the standing water five times at speeds from 80 to 140 knots, with the A350-1000 performing as expected.
The trials were documented with video and photo coverage, as well as the first use of a camera-equipped drone to provide airborne views of the test runs.
As the latest member of Airbus’ leading widebody family, the A350-1000 is scheduled to enter airline operation before year-end. In addition to having a longer fuselage accommodating 40 more passengers than the A350-900 version currently in service, the A350-1000 also features more powerful Rolls-Royce Trent XWB-97 engines, a modified wing trailing-edge and new six-wheel main landing gears.


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