Airbus’ Ultra Long Range A350 starts flight test

By Bjorn Fehrm

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Introduction

April 26, 2018, © Leeham News: Airbus Ultra Long-Range version of the A350-900 took off for the first time Monday. The aircraft will conduct a short flight test program before being painted in Singapore Airlines’ colours and handed over after the summer.

Airbus touts the A350-900URL as an aircraft which can fly ultra-long routes with flight times up to 20 hours and distances of 9,700nm. So, what so different with this aircraft to the normal A350-900? We use our performance model to show where the differences are.

Summary:

  • The A350-900URL has got a higher fuel capacity to extend its range when used as an Ultra Long Range aircraft when loaded with fewer than 250 passengers.
  • At the passenger counts where Singapore Airlines will operate the aircraft, the additional range is about 1,000nm.
  • For normal operations, there would be no gains.

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