Performed this month at the Istres Air Force Base in southern France, the A350-1000 was purposely run along an inundated surface to demonstrate the robustness of the aircraft and to secure its maturity from entry-into-service.
For these tests, crewmembers progressively accelerated the aircraft through the standing water five times at speeds from 80 to 140 knots, with the A350-1000 performing as expected.
The trials were documented with video and photo coverage, as well as the first use of a camera-equipped drone to provide airborne views of the test runs.
As the latest member of Airbus’ leading widebody family, the A350-1000 is scheduled to enter airline operation before year-end. In addition to having a longer fuselage accommodating 40 more passengers than the A350-900 version currently in service, the A350-1000 also features more powerful Rolls-Royce Trent XWB-97 engines, a modified wing trailing-edge and new six-wheel main landing gears.
Airbus press release