While the Airbus company could have moved the airplane to Northern Scandinavia, projecting the new Airbus A350 XWB in Canada for winter testing makes a good show of the promising new European airliner on the North American continent.
The MSN3 development aircraft and a team of 48 Airbus specialists arrived at Iqaluit, Canada, on 28 January 2014. Plan: to test operations with the aircraft in cold weather for several days. The various tests for the aircraft its engines and its systems include a ‘cold soak’ down to minus double-digit temperatures down to around -30 degrees Celsius (-22 Fahrenheit). The scope of the trials include: APU and engine starts after cold soak, verification of system behaviour, low-speed taxi and rejected take-offs and thrust-reverser tests with snow.
This latest phase of the development test program comes only days after MSN3’s completion of the “hot-and-high” tests in Bolivia.
Since the A350 XWB’s first flight with MSN1 on June 14th 2013, over 890 flight test hours have been performed in close to 200 test flights by both MSN1 and MSN3. In total the A350 XWB flight test campaign will accumulate around 2,500 flight hours with the fleet of five aircraft.
The first A350 is due to enter service in autumn 2014.