Airbus steadily clocks up A350 flight hours

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Airbus has completed over 150h of flight testing with its A350 prototype, having resumed the campaign in August following a short break.

The first test aircraft, MSN1, re-emerged in mid-August after undergoing modification to its flight-test installation in July.

These upgrades included the fitting of a device beneath the aft fuselage which appears to be linked to high-attitude take-off testing, although Airbus says these minimum-unstick tests have not yet been conducted and are not scheduled for the "immediate future".

Airbus chief Fabrice Brégier has completed his first flight on board the aircraft, joining a routine 3h sortie over south-west France.

“The aircraft is a very smooth ride and I was particularly impressed by the maturity of the aircraft at such an early stage in its life," he says.

"The new cockpit layout with the large screens and head-up display are amazing and I am confident that pilots are going to love being behind the controls of this machine."

Airbus is nearly three months into A350 flight-testing, following the maiden flight on 14 June. Its overall campaign will cover around 2,500h across a fleet of five aircraft.