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Learn more about how Verizon Media collects and uses data and how our partners collect and use data. The A was originally conceived in as a pairing of the A 's fuselage with new aerodynamics features and engines. In , Airbus redesigned the aircraft in response to negative feedback from several major prospective customers, producing the "A XWB" eXtra Wide Body. As of February , Airbus had received orders for As from 51 customers worldwide. Type certification from the European Aviation Safety Agency was received in September and certification from the Federal Aviation Administration two months later.
On 15 January , the A entered service with its launch operator Qatar Airways; the A did so on 24 February with the same airline. Airbus initially rejected Boeing's claim that the Boeing Dreamliner would be a serious threat to the Airbus A , stating that the was just a reaction to the A and that no response was needed.
When airlines urged Airbus to provide a competitor, Airbus initially proposed the "ALite", a derivative of the A featuring improved aerodynamics and engines similar to those on the The original version of the A superficially resembled the A due to its common fuselage cross-section and assembly.
A new wing, engines, and a horizontal stabiliser —to be coupled with new composite materials and production methods applied to the fuselage—would make the A an almost all-new aircraft. In September the airline signed a memorandum of understanding with General Electric to launch the GEnx-1A engine for the aircraft. Under this plan, the A would have modified wings and new engines while sharing the A's fuselage cross-section.
As a result of a controversial design, the fuselage was to consist primarily of aluminium-lithium rather than the carbon-fibre-reinforced polymer CFRP fuselage on the Boeing The A was designed to be a direct competitor to the Boeing and ER.
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Airbus responded that they were considering A improvements to satisfy customer demands. Airbus's then-CEO Gustav Humbert stated, "Our strategy isn't driven by the needs of the next one or two campaigns, but rather by a long-term view of the market and our ability to deliver on our promises. The proposed A was a new design, including a wider fuselage cross-section, allowing seating arrangements ranging from an eight-abreast low-density premium economy layout to a ten-abreast high-density seating configuration for a maximum seating capacity of — depending on variant.
The is typically configured for nine seats per row.
See Wide-body aircraft for a comparison of cabin widths and seating. The redesigned composite fuselage provides higher cabin pressure and humidity, and lower maintenance costs. On 1 December , the Airbus board of directors approved the industrial launch of the A, , and variants. First delivery for the A was scheduled for mid, with the and following on 12 and 24 months later, respectively.
John Leahy indicated existing A contracts were being re-negotiated due to price increases compared to the original As contracted. As a result, the flight test schedule was compressed from the original 15 months to 12 months. A programme chief Didier Evrard stressed that delays only affected the A while the and schedules remained unchanged.
Airbus suggested Boeing's use of composite materials for the fuselage was premature, and that the new A XWB was to feature large carbon fibre panels for the main fuselage skin. After facing criticism for maintenance costs,  Airbus confirmed in early September the adoption of composite fuselage frames for the aircraft structure.
In , Airbus confirmed development of a full bleed air system on the A, as opposed to the 's bleedless configuration. In May , GE said that if it were to reach a deal with Airbus to offer the current optimised GEnx for the A, it would only power the and variants. GE believed it can offer a product that outperforms the Trent and Trent XWB, but was reluctant to support an aircraft competing directly with its GEB-powered variants. The flight management system incorporated several new safety features. In , Airbus planned to introduce new techniques and procedures to cut assembly time in half.
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Airbus manufactured the first structural component in December The new composite rudder plant in China opened in early The production rate was expected to rise from three aircraft per month in early to five at the end of , and would ramp to ten aircraft per month by The first Trent engine test was made on 14 June Airbus confirmed that the flight test programme would last 12 months and use five test aircraft.
On 1 August , the EASA issued an airworthiness directive mandating operators to power cycle reset early As before hours of continuous power-on time, reissued in July In June , the A was scheduled to enter service in the first half of , with the to enter service in mid, and the in One year after introduction, the A fleet had accumulated 3, cycles and around 16, flight hours. Average daily usage by first customers was Finnair was operating the A at very high rates: 15 flight hours per day for Beijing , 18 hours for Shanghai , and more than 20 hours for Bangkok.
In service problems had included three areas. The onboard Maintenance, Repair, Overhaul network needed software improvements. Airbus issued service bulletins regarding onboard equipment and removed galley inserts coffee makers, toaster ovens because of leaks. Airbus had to address spurious overheating warnings in the bleed air system by retrofitting an original connector with a gold-plated connector. Airbus targeted a By the end of May , the in-service fleet had flown 55, hours over 9, cycles at a The longest operated sector was Qatar Airways' Adelaide — Doha at The average flight was 6.
Aircraft seat configuration ranged from seats for Singapore Airlines to seats for TAM Airlines, with a 30 to 46 seat business class and a to seat economy class, often including a premium economy.
The first A was assembled in , for a first flight on 24 November and entry into service planned for mid In January , two years after introduction, 62 aircraft were in service with 10 airlines. They had accumulated 25, flights over , hours with an average daily utilisation of After a year, Cathay Pacific experienced cosmetic quality issues and upgraded or replaced the seats for the earliest cabins. In , average test flights before delivery decreased to 4.
As of February , s had been delivered, with a dispatch reliability of In September , Airbus rolled out new design advances to a gathering of representatives from existing and potential XWB customers. The A XWB is based on the technologies developed for the Airbus A and includes a similar cockpit and fly-by-wire systems layout.
Airbus expects 10 percent lower airframe maintenance compared with the original A design and 14 percent lower empty seat weight than the Boeing The A XWB airframe is made out of 53 percent composites: carbon fibre reinforced plastic for the outer and centre wing box covers, stringers, spars , fuselage skin, frame, keel beam, and rear fuselage and the empennage horizontal and vertical tailplanes ; 19 percent aluminium and aluminium—lithium alloy for ribs, floor beams, and gear bays; 14 percent titanium for landing gears, pylons, and attachments; 6 percent steel; and 8 percent miscellaneous.
The A XWB fuselage has a constant width from door 1 to door 4, unlike previous Airbus aircraft, to provide maximum usable volume. It allows for an eight-abreast 2—4—2 arrangement in a premium economy layout, with the seats being Airbus says that the seat will be 1. The A nose section has a configuration derived from the A with a forward-mounted nosegear bay and a six-panel flightdeck windscreen. The new windscreen has been revised to improve vision by reducing the width of the centre post.
The upper shell radius of the nose section has been increased. Airbus adopted a new philosophy for the attachment of the A's main undercarriage as part of the switch to a composite wing structure. Each main undercarriage leg is attached to the rear wing spar forward and to a gear beam aft, which itself is attached to the wing and the fuselage. To help reduce the loads further into the wing, a double side-stay configuration has been adopted. This solution resembles the design of the Vickers VC Airbus devised a three-pronged main undercarriage design philosophy encompassing both four- and six-wheel bogies to stay within pavement loading limits.
The A has four-wheel bogies in a 4. The higher weight variant, the A uses a six-wheel bogie, with a 4. The nose gear is supplied by Liebherr Aerospace. The A features new composite wings with a wingspan that is common to the proposed variants. A new trailing-edge high-lift device has been adopted with an advanced dropped-hinge flap similar to that of the Airbus A , which permits the gap between the trailing edge and the flap to be closed with the spoiler. The manufacturer has extensively used computational fluid dynamics and also carried out more than 4, hours of low- and high-speed windtunnel testing to refine the aerodynamic design.
Avionics are a further development of the integrated modular avionics IMA concept found on the A The A's IMA will manage up to 40 functions versus 23 functions for the A such as undercarriage, fuel, pneumatics, cabin environmental systems, and fire detection. The Trent XWB may also benefit from the next-generation reduced acoustic mode scattering engine duct system RAMSES , an acoustic quieting engine nacelle intake, and a carry-on design of the Airbus's "zero splice" intake liner developed for the A The ram air turbine , capable of generating kilovolt-ampere , is supplied by Hamilton Sundstrand and located in the lower surface of the fuselage.
Parker Hannifin supplies the complete fuel package: inerting system, fuel measurement and management systems, mechanical equipment and fuel pumps. The fuel tank inerting system features air-separation modules to generate nitrogen-enriched air to reduce the flammability of fuel vapour in the tanks. Parker also provides hydraulic power generation and distribution system: reservoirs, manifolds, accumulators, thermal control, isolation, software and new engine- and electric motor-driven pump designs.
The three main variants of the A were launched in , with entry into service planned for In early November , Emirates committed to purchase 40 Boeing aircraft before Airbus presented a picture-changing A layout with the rear pressure bulkhead pushed back by 2. Singapore Airlines selected an A version for medium-haul use,  with a derated engine option and weight limits. The A is the largest variant of the A family at just under 74 metres in length. In , Airbus redesigned the A with higher weights and a more powerful engine variant for more range for trans-Pacific operations which will boost its appeal to Cathay Pacific and Singapore Airlines, which committed to 20 , and United Airlines , which could turn to ERs to replace its s.
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Emirates was disappointed with the changes and cancelled its order for 50 As and 20 As instead of changing the whole order to the larger variant. Assembly of the first fuselage major components started in September Three flight test aircraft was planned with entry into service scheduled for mid The A flight-test programme planned for 1, flight hours; hours on the first aircraft, MSN59, for the flight envelope , systems and powerplant checks; hours on MSN71 for cold and warm campaigns, landing gear checks and high-altitude tests; and hours on MSN65 for route proving and ETOPS assessment, with an interior layout for cabin development and certification.
The first serial unit was on the final assembly line in early December. The avionics software adaptation is activated by a push and pull button to avoid mistakes and could be retrofitted in the smaller Tara Palmer-Tomkinson locks lips with a male pal after stepping out for lunch and a trip to the hairdressers Closing arguments begin in ex-Vandy players' rape trial England call up Croft and Day as injury cover Chief fire officer and married father-of-three 'raped a woman in a pub while his wife sat drinking in the next room' 'David Beckham ruined my favela!
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