Airbus confirms A350 first flight for Friday

Airbus has scheduled the A350’s maiden flight for June 14, the company said Tuesday.

The flight will take place at 1 a.m. Pacific Time on Friday, depending on weather conditions. The A350 will take off from Toulouse-Blagnac airport.

The A350 flight crew is carrying out the final checks on the A350. The European jetmaker named the first flight crew members last week, following a successful run of the A350’s Rolls-Royce engines.

Airbus has a nine-month flight test program planned for the A350 XWB. The company expects to deliver the first A350 in the second half of 2014. The A350 program has won 613 orders.

The A350’s first flight will take place days before the Paris Air Show where Airbus and Boeing will compete for orders.

Boeing said Monday that it will have two 787s in Paris, one will fly daily. The Chicago-based company will be talking to airlines about both a larger version of the 787, the 787-10, and an updated 777, called the 777X. Boeing hasn’t committed officially to building either.

Airbus’ A350 family of aircraft compete both with the 787 and the 777.

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