Variants

There are three variants of the A350 and all were launched in 2006. As of November 2011, the A350-900 is scheduled to enter service in the first half of 2014; then the -800 in mid-2016, and -1000 in 2017. All variants will also be offered as corporate jets by wholly owned subsidiary Airbus Executive and Private Aviation.

a350XWB

A350-800

The A350-800 will seat 270 passengers in a 3-class with a 9-abreast layout. It will have a range of 15,400 km (8,300 nmi). It is designed to compete with the Boeing 787-9 and to directly replace the Airbus A330-200. In January 2010 Airbus announced that the -800 would be developed as a simple shrink of the -900, incorporating minor changes to the systems and structure and share more hardware with the -900 rather than as an optimised variant as was previously planned. This increased commonality will allow a higher maximum takeoff weight, which will increase the range (or payload) of the A350-800 compared to initial plans. The change will increase fuel burn by "a few per cent", according to the programme's marketing head, Sophie Pendaries.

The -800's fuselage is 10 frames shorter (six forward and four aft) than the -900 aircraft. The baseline -800 will be offered with an MTOW of 248 t (550,000 lb), MLW of 190 t (420,000 lb), MZFW of 178 t (390,000 lb), and 330 kN (74,000 lbf) thrust engines. An optional 11-tonne (24,000 lb) increase in MTOW, to 259 t (570,000 lb) with a corresponding increase of MZFW to 181 t (400,000 lb), MLW to 193 t (430,000 lb), and a higher thrust 370 kN (83,000 lbf) engine (common with -900 engine thrust) was announced by Airbus in April 2010 to be made available for customers as an option. While the increased weights compensate for the increased empty weight of the aircraft and associated minor fuel burn penalty due to maintaining commonality with -900, it also resulted in an increase in the aircraft maximum structural payload capability by 3 t (6,600 lb), or 459 km (248 nmi) of additional range.



A350-900

The A350-900 is the first A350 model and seats 314 passengers in a 3-class cabin 9-abreast layout. It has a standard design range target of 15,000 km (8,100 nmi). Airbus says that the A350-900 will have a decrease of 16% MWE per seat, a 30% decrease in block fuel per seat and 25% better cash operating cost than the Boeing 777-200ER.

The -900R and -900F variants also have been proposed but not yet launched. These are to feature the higher engine thrust, strengthened structure and undercarriage of the -1000. Range of the "standard" A350-900R was estimated to 17,600 km (9,500 nmi), which would be boosted to about 19,100 km (10,315 nmi) by these design improvements to compete with the Boeing 777-200LR and be capable of non-stop flight from London-Heathrow to Auckland. The -900 is designed to compete with the Boeing 777-200ER and replace the Airbus A340-300. The -900R was expected to enter service in 2016


A350-900-maiden-flight

Image courtesy of Airbus (maiden flight)

A350-1000

The A350-1000 has an 11-frame stretch over the -900 and will enter service after the -800. It is the largest variant of the A350 family and will seat 350 passengers in a 3-class cabin 9-abreast layout. It will have range of 15,600 km (8,400 nmi). It is designed to compete with the Boeing 777-300ER and replace the Airbus A340-600.

The A350-1000 will feature a slightly larger wing than the -800/900 models; a trailing-edge extension increasing its area by 4%. This will extend the high-lift devices and the ailerons, making the chord bigger by around 400 mm, optimising flap lift performance as well as cruise performance.