Airbus is Making Some Serious Progress on Delta's First A350
The Airbus A350-900 destined for Delta is starting to take shape at the factory — winglets and all. The carrier's giving future passengers a look into the progress of Ship 3501, its soon-to-be flagship aircraft.
Many of the body components, including the tail, wings and winglets, arrived at Airbus' factory in Toulouse, France in January 2017. Since then, the components have been placed together in the formation that will ultimately complete the aircraft. This week, the aircraft winglets were placed, featuring the Delta tail logo that will be exclusive to the A350-900.
There's still plenty of work to be done before the aircraft debuts in fall 2017. The carrier will install 32 Delta One suites, making this the first all-suite business cabin flying on an American carrier. The A350-900 will also feature 48 Delta Premium Select seats and 226 economy seats, for a total capacity of 306 passengers.
The next-gen airframe will also feature seatback entertainment screens from Delta Studio, Gogo 2KU Wi-Fi internet access, high-capacity overhead bins across all cabins and LED ambient lighting. The A350-900 will be powered by two Rolls-Royce Trent 700 XWB engines, which will be delivered at a later time.
This aircraft will primarily operate on trans-Pacific routes, replacing the retiring Boeing 747-400 currently servicing these flights. Ship 3501 will be the first of 25 total Airbus A350 aircraft to fly with the carrier, in addition to an A330-900neo that will be delivered in 2019.
Delta is working exclusively with Airbus to add modern wide-body jet to its fleet. Outside of 49 737-MAX 9 aircraft, the carrier does not have any future aircraft currently on order with Boeing. Comparatively, Delta has a total of 151 modern aircraft on order with Airbus, including 82 A321s, 10 A330-300s, 25 A330-900 and the A350-900 order.
All images courtesy of Airbus and Delta Air Lines via Flickr.