Airbus A350

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First shipsets of parts for potential Boeing 7E7 rival needed by July 2007, with first flight targeted for mid-2008

Airbus is stepping up pre-development work on its A350 concept, confirming at a suppliers' meeting in Bremen last week that the potential Boeing 7E7 rival would be based on the existing A330 family, incorporating 7E7 technology engines and a high level of composites. It aims to reduce airframe weight to enable the A350 to match or exceed the Boeing twinjet's superior maximum range.

Airbus told suppliers that initial "shipsets" of parts would be needed by July 2007 and its target for first flight is mid-2008.

"We have been told to make minimum changes for maximum benefits," says a supplier source.

Airbus is targeting several airlines as potential launch customers, including Lufthansa, Northwest Airlines, Qatar Airways and Singapore Airlines. "Customers who were looking at the 7E7 suddenly have Airbus at their door. It's a shoot-out in the marketplace," says another source.

General Electric and Rolls-Royce are in talks with Airbus to supply versions of their 7E7 turbofans for the A350 with as few changes as possible. GE says: "We are talking to them every week, and we are following the aircraft very closely."

R-R also confirms it is discussing options for a virtually unchanged derivative of the 7E7's Trent 1000 with its 2.8m (112in) diameter fan. The Trent 1000 is targeted for engine certification in July 2007, providing a year-long margin before entry into service on the 7E7 and two years before the planned introduction of the A350 in 2009.

Boeing Commercial Airplanes vice-president business strategies and marketing Nicole Piasecki dismisses any threat to the 7E7 from the A350. "An A330 derivative will not get anywhere near the 7E7," she says. "Even with new wings and engines, it will be a compromised design. They will only get half-way to the range advantage of the 7E7."

JUSTIN WASTNAGE / LONDON

ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY GUY NORRIS AND GRAHAM WARWICK

http://www.flightinternational.com/fi_issue/is_display_free.asp?txtId=187978&txtSnip=&Code=100&txtPageNo=1&txtPageSize=10&txtTotalPages=3&txtTotalRecs=23

What an idiotic FUD campaign!!!

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Profile picture for user Mark L

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Interesting stuff. Will be good to see the figures Airbus publish for this "A350" to see whether Boeings claims are substantiated or not.

Profile picture for user 4 engines good

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It's the wonders of competition! Airbus pushed Boeing to upgrade the 747, and now Boeing is pushing Airbus to to upgrade the A330.

So long as both manufacturers have decent sales of their new products, then the pushing ahead will carry on and we'll continue to leap forward.

I look foward to the next generation of 737s and A320s, when the two companies lock horns in that market in about 8-10 years. :)

Profile picture for user KabirT

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If its another cosmeticised version of the A330... I am not excited one bit.

Profile picture for user Whiskey Delta

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I thought the 7E7 wasn't a viable aircraft type? ;)

Profile picture for user wysiwyg

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Competition...excellent! There are going to be some really impressive aircraft on the market at the end of this decade!

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No suprise airbus make a A300 replacement. But nice another new airbus plane

If its another cosmeticised version of the A330... I am not excited one bit.

lol the A350 is a holy new aircraft

Profile picture for user seahawk

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that is not true. However the Airbus proposal seems pretty decent, as Singapore Airlines did not yet sign up for the 7E7, because they are still considering an Airbus alternative and it is easy to guess that they are not offering the A300-600.

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By that do you mean a new wing? Fuse is pretty standard across the wide body family.

Paul

Profile picture for user tenthije

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By that do you mean a new wing? Fuse is pretty standard across the wide body family.

Paul

I reckon that to make the A330 succesful for short/medium haul a new wing will be required. The current wing is optimised for long haul, meaning that it is rather heavy to cater for fuel tanks and more lift. For shorth haul this is just dead weight, you do not need the extra fuel saving weight.... which also means you do not need the additional lift!

Profile picture for user seahawk

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According to Aero International it means new wings, a lighter fuselage (more composites - as on the wings) and new engines.

Profile picture for user Airline owner

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Yay!!, another Airbus. i wonder what the stats are going to be like???

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The A330 has always had a heavy wing - it could be lightened.

just tenthije say it: The A330 wind is perfect for long haul and for medium range

Correct me if I am wrong; The A330 still has the internal structure for the four engines instead of two ala the A340? :dev2:

no

Profile picture for user wysiwyg

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Actually I think the A330 has got the same wing. One of the selling points for the A330 MRTT is that the refuelling points are where the pylons would have mounted for engines 1 and 4. All the structure is still there so the modification is relatively simple.

Profile picture for user Silver Snapper

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The A330 has always had a heavy wing - it could be lightened.

Ditch the fuel tanks! :p :diablo:

Profile picture for user dartie

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Does anyone have any pictures of sketches of what the A350 will look like ?

Profile picture for user Mark L

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16 years 10 months

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The proposal has not been made official yet, so I highly doubt there will be any sketches.

Profile picture for user fightingirish

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First shipsets of parts for potential Boeing 7E7 rival needed by July 2007, with first flight targeted for mid-2008
[...]
JUSTIN WASTNAGE / LONDON
ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY GUY NORRIS AND GRAHAM WARWICK
http://www.flightinternational.com/fi_issue/is_display_free.asp?txtId=187978&txtSnip=&Code=100&txtPageNo=1&txtPageSize=10&txtTotalPages=3&txtTotalRecs=23

http://www.rati.com/multimedia/IMAGES/8099..jpg

Under the article from flightinternational.com, there was this small pic.
Don't know, if it's a A350, looks more like A330!
Maybe somebody else has it in higher resolution.

fightingirish

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15 years 6 months

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Is this realy a photo from the A350? I think this is a A330

Profile picture for user seahawk

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20 years 1 month

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Surely no photo from the A350. It could be a concept drawing as I would expect the A350 to look much like an A330.

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15 years 6 months

Posts: 576

Of course this is not a photo from the A350.

I hope Airbus will soon release a drawing from the A350, i am very interest how the wing will look like