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Airbus reveals new passenger-ready A350 XWB

The new aircraft is expected to rival Boeing's 787 Dreamliner and 777 fleet of aircrafts and has already received 814 orders from 39 airlines.

By Ananth Baliga
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Airbus reveals new passenger-ready A350 XWB
The third A350 XWB flight-test aircraft, which features a distinctive “Carbon” signature livery, will be the first A350 to transport passengers when it undertakes the Early Long Flights (ELF) later in 2014. (Credit:Airbus)

Airbus revealed its A350 XWB test aircraft Thursday, equipped with a passenger-ready cabin and featuring distinctive 'Carbon' livery to "reflect its primary construction from advanced materials."

The European aircraft manufacturer is now a step closer to delivering 814 orders from 39 airlines, with the first aircraft expected to be delivered to Qatar Airways toward the end of 2014. The A350 is designed to challenge American manufacturer Boeing's 787 Dreamliner and 777 fleet of aircrafts.

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The XWB stands for extra wide body and this model will come in three different iterations: the A350-800, the A350-900 and the A350-1000, which can seat 270, 314 and 350 passengers respectively. Most of the orders placed have been for the larger capacity -900 and -1000 models.

The project, first started in 2006, was initially criticized by the aviation industry for "not really advancing the global aviation scene." The first test flight was held last May before the Paris Air Show and Airbus will now use this test aircraft to conduct a series of Early Long Flights (ELF) with passengers on board.

[Airbus] [CNN]

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