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Feb 21, 2013


Sticking to the old rule that you never interrupt a rival when they making all the wrong noises Airbus has been rather quiet about the A350 lately.

But its Twitter feed did flash up this photo of the wing tip fences or feathers as have been sometimes called  being fitted to what looks like the first of the new wide body twin jets that will fly at the start of its test and certification program sometime before early June.

There now seems to be a reasonable prospect of the A350-900 entering service by the end of next year, which should if things turn around on the Dreamliner program, be about the same time the first of extended fuselage 787-9s are also delivered.

The new Airbus model is specified to be slightly larger in passenger seating but similar in range to the second version of the Boeing 787. Singapore Airlines was the first carrier to order both A350s and 787-9s but has now doubled its order for the former and punted the latter to its Scoot low cost subsidiary.

Air France KLM has also ordered both types, the Air France brand taking A350-900s in 2018 and the KLM brand starting with 787-9s in 2016, although the company that owns both airlines said that in due course each would fly each type across their networks.

Ben Sandilands — Editor of Plane Talking

Ben Sandilands

Editor of Plane Talking

Ben Sandilands has reported and analysed the mechanical mobility of humanity since late 1960 - the end of the age of great scheduled ocean liners and coastal steamers and the start of the jet age. He’s worked in newspapers, radio and TV in a wide range of roles as a journalist at home and abroad for 56 years, the last 18 freelance.

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4 thoughts on “Airbus first A350 gets its feathers

  1. COTOS

    One person working and ten people watching.

    Maybe Airbus are feeling a bit smug at the moment?

    And so they should it looks like an nice elegant outbd wing, well done guys.

  2. Jon Jorge

    Good to hear.

    BTW, it’s “quiet”.

  3. Achmad Osman

    The feather looks smart. I like the curvature which is unusual as Airbus tends to push function over form.

  4. keesje

    Airbus has been keeping the exact properties of the wingtips under cover for yrs. The devil is in the details. I guess this is the first picture of the real thing.

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