Dubbed the “cornerstone member” of the all-new Airbus A350 XWB aircraft, the A350-900 is said to be shaping the future of long-haul air travel. Along with several other aircraft, it is also setting new standards of flight experience for Airbus passengers. It is also delivering a product that is more cost effective and eco-friendly.
Launched in late 2017, the new Airbus 350 is available in three variants: A350 800, A350 900, and A350 1000, all of which are extra wide body (XWB) planes.
The A350 XWB is generally seen as a response to the Boeing 787 Dreamliner, while the A350 1000 is more specifically a direct competitor of the Boeing 777. The latter also replaces the discontinued Airbus A340 series.
The New Airbus Experience to Include Beds
Earlier this year, Airbus announced that it was working on “sleep modules” containing double-decker bunk beds in collaboration with Zodiac Aerospace. These will be located in the cargo section of A330 and A350 planes, directly beneath the main cabin of the aircraft, with access via a staircase. The company also has plans to incorporate modules for children’s play areas, hospital care, lounges, bars, and conference rooms. These are expected to come online by 2020.
What many passengers don’t realize is that Airbus already provides sleeping quarters for the crew in the A330 and A340 craft – also under the main cabin of the aircraft.
The exciting new modules will be optional with new aircraft as well as for retrofit on those already in flight.
Passengers will have the option to book a bed when they purchase a seat on the aircraft.
Airbus A350 XWB Planes Offer State-of-the-art Travel
It’s not just the fact that it comes with included sleeping modules in A350 planes, these jetliners also boast the most modern cabins and provide all passengers with “new standards of comfort” when in flight. Because the aircraft are extra-wide, seats are larger and more comfortable. There are also more flight deck windows which give passengers a much better view.
The A350 900 can seat 325 passengers in its 51.04 m-long cabins designed for quietness. Passengers can access movies in flight and use Wi-Fi to stay online with mobile phones and laptop computers.
It also boasts remarkable improvements in technology that include both new construction methods and the use of new composite materials, which is similar to the approach Boeing took with the 787 Dreamliner launched for public flight in October 2011. Comparison of materials used for Airbus A350-XWB and Boeing 787 shows that:
- the Airbus comprises 53 percent composites vs. Boeing’s 50 percent
- 19 percent aluminum and aluminum-lithium vs. 20 percent
- 15 percent titanium vs. 15 percent
- only 6 percent steel vs. Boeing’s 10 percent steel
- 8 percent miscellaneous materials vs. 5 percent
The fuselage of all A350 XWB models is built from carbon-fiber reinforced plastic that is highly resistant to corrosion making it easier to maintain. The material also supports lower fuel burn which reduces its environmental impact. The advanced design of the jetliner’s wings makes them quieter and more efficient in all phases of flight.
The fuselage is also designed to maximize space, and the doors are all standardized to minimize the number of spare parts that need to be carried in flight.
While the cornerstone A350 900 has a range of 15,000 km, an ultra extended range version, the A350-900ULR has an increased capacity to carry fuel, and so can fly non-stop for up to 19 hours.
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