A350 starts critical braking tests at Toulouse

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Airbus started carrying out braking tests of the A350-900 prototype at Toulouse on 9 June, as it continued progress towards the first flight of aircraft MSN1.

The aircraft performed braking manoeuvres at various speeds on the runway at Blagnac.

But a source familiar with the A350 test regime says the high-speed rejected take-off test has not yet taken place.

Airbus has not commented on when the first flight of the A350 might take place.

But the source indicates that a first flight is unlikely before 13 June.

French air transport is facing disruption this week by a strike which affects civil aviation authority DGAC.

But Airbus test programmes have previously used a dedicated group of affiliated air traffic control personnel, meaning that an A350 test flight could proceed unhindered.

The 72h strike from 11-13 June is "highly likely" to take place, says air navigation organisation Eurocontrol, and will result in a "minimum service" from French air traffic control.

NOTAM information states that operators are being asked to halve services to the major airports including Toulouse.