Airbus edges closer to first flight of A350

Airbus is preparing its A350 XWB for the jet’s maiden flight, naming on Tuesday the pilots and engineers who will carry out the flight.

Over the weekend, Airbus powered on the A350’s Rolls-Royce Trent XWB engines for the first time in preparation for first flight.

The company hasn’t revealed the date of the A350’s first flight though speculation is high the aircraft will fly before or during the Paris Air Show, which runs June 17 to 23.

Airbus’ John Leahy told Aviation Week the A350 will fly “when we’re ready to do it.”

First flight will kick off a nine-month flight test program on the A350. Airbus plans for the first A350 to enter commercial service in the second half of 2014. The jet maker has won 616 orders for its mostly composite A350.

Airbus has launched an A350 XWB magazine, which can be viewed on tablets by downloading the A350 XWB app.

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