I think the nose looks elegant. But I still don't understand the current fashion to have cockpit windows that cannot be opened any more. Well it's lighter maybe less noisy but you lose some apron comfort.
All I know is that the official unveiling will take place sometime in April. But it is very interesting to see how these guys are neck and neck with Bombardier's CS100 in the race to the finish line, which will probably be drawn at Le Bourget. ;D
- Fuel tanks testing (including levels, flows, sealing and internal fuel transfer functions). - Pressure testing of the fuselage. - Radio equipment testing.
Being a new aircraft those tests will require more time than the A330 tests, but no longer than 3 weeks I guess.
Then we have painting, which should take about a week.
And finally we have engine installation and cockpit finishing in station 20. The A330 and A350 share this building. Attaching the engines is a matter of days, cockpit finishing cannot require much time too. MSN001 do not has a cabin so that should be about it.
Rumors said MSN001 is scheduled to roll out in April and as far as I can see she is on time to meet the schedule. Next step is the flightline and preparing the first flight!
But there is still a lot of work to do before first flight. Airbus must first complete some tests on the static frame (MSN5000) to create a flight envelope. The static testing will start next month.
EADS is leaving open the possibility of returning to lithium-ion batteries on the Airbus A350, once the uncertainties regarding the technology are resolved.
Enders says the company has an "obligation" to de-risk the programme. "I think we owe it to our customers," he says. "Quite a few airlines have commended us for this decision."
He says Airbus engineers remain "confident" that the lithium-ion batteries on the A350 - which are sourced from a different supplier than the 787's, use a different chemistry, and are located differently in the A350 - are safe.
I'm inclined to know how different the chemistry is compared to the 787 batteries.