The Ultra Long Range version of the A350 XWB, MSN 216, has successfully completed its first flight. The latest variant of the A350 XWB Family will be able to fly further than any other commercial airliner and will enter service with launch operator Singapore Airlines in second half 2018.
The aircraft powered by Rolls-Royce Trent XWB engines and has embarked on a shortened flight test programme to certify the changes from the standard A350-900 that extend its range capability to 9,700 nautical miles. These changes include a modified fuel system that increases fuel carrying capacity by 24,000 liters, without the need for additional fuel tanks. The test phase will also measure enhanced performance from aerodynamic improvements, including extended winglets.
With an MTOW of 280 tonnes, the Ultra Long Range A350 XWB is capable of flying over 20 hours non-stop. Singapore Airlines has ordered seven A350-900 Ultra Long Range aircraft, which it will use on non-stop flights between Singapore and the US, including the world’s longest commercial service between Singapore and New York. This is not a flight length anyone would want to take on an airline that does not have a sterling reputation for service.