As it touched down in Atlanta, the newest commercial aircraft in the world, the Airbus A350 XWB, kicked off the U.S. leg of its tour of the Americas. The demo tour features a flight test version of the aircraft, which Airbus is showing off to investors and airlines in Atlanta, Newark, Chicago and Milwaukee before the general public can experience the A350 XWB at EAA’s AirVenture air show in Oshkosh, Wisconsin.
While it is in Atlanta, Delta Air Lines employees will tour the aircraft, familiarizing themselves with its layout and features. For many of them it will be their first opportunity to get a closer look at what will become the newest member of its fleet in 2017, when Delta accepts the first delivery of its 25 A350 XWBs. Delta currently operates Airbus A319, A320 and A330 aircraft, with additional outstanding orders for each type.
The A350-900 that is in the U.S. this week is a flight test aircraft featuring a two-class cabin. It seats 42 in lie-flat, business-class seats, which are four abreast, and 210 economy-class seats. For passengers, the aircraft will provide new levels of comfort, with extra space in all classes. It features wider panoramic windows, larger overhead stowage compartments and the latest in-flight entertainment and connectivity.
The A350 XWB also features the latest in aerodynamic design, carbon-fiber fuselage and wings, and new fuel-efficient Rolls-Royce Trent XWB engines. These technologies translate into a 25-percent reduction in fuel burn and emissions as well as lower maintenance costs.
As of the end of June 2015, the A350 XWB had won 781 firm orders worldwide from 40 customers. Currently, three North American customers have orders for a total of 82 A350 XWBs.