Airbus offers sneak preview of new A350

13th May 2013, Comments 0 comments

French aerospace giant Airbus offered a sneak preview of its latest long-haul carrier, the A350, on Monday, rolling out a first model in front of hundreds of staff at its assembly plant in south-western France.

Reporters and photographers were not invited to the event near the city of Toulouse, but still got a brief glimpse of the blue-tailed aircraft from outside the fenced-off area, as it rolled out from the paint shop.

The A350-900 model is due for its first take-off this summer, with the first deliveries to airlines scheduled at the end of 2014.

Airbus hopes the 314-seater will compete with Boeing's 787 Dreamliner by being both lighter and more fuel-efficient than previous models.

So far, Airbus -- which will also make other models in the A350 series -- has received orders for 616 carriers.

In a statement, the company said the Trent XWB engines from Rolls Royce were assembled at the end of March and that "a series of vibration tests" have been carried out.

© 2013 AFP

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