22 May 2015, C. Leeham Co: As one of four aeronautical media companies we were asked by Airbus if we wanted to test fly the A350 end of January this year. Airbus was arranging for Media test pilots to come and fly the A350 and we had asked for sampling the A350 through its simulator. Airbus returned with the question if I did not want to try the real thing. They did not have to ask twice!
It was all in the preliminary planning stage at the time but come March things got concrete. I should come to Toulouse on April 22 for a full day in the simulator and then the aircraft. As I did not have previous airline flying experience (mainly military fighters and business aircraft), I started training on the rather different system approach that a civil airliner has to a military fighter for Autopilot and Autothrust. I described this training in a previous Bjorn’s Corner. Publication of this story was embargoed by Airbus to May 22.
Flying the A350
Now the time has come to describe how it was to fly the A350 and to go into the system and pilot training philosophy Airbus has for the A350. We will start with a teaser for the weekend, then follow up with several articles next week around the A350’s handling, the pilot training and finally an article about the system philosophy for A350 and how this is similar yet different from earlier Airbus aircraft.
But for now we will start with the little video film that captures the days events, enjoy!