Airbus Is Making The A350-1000 Fly Farther
The biggest twinjet made by Airbus will soon be able to go farther. In April, Airbus rolled out the first A350-900 ULR (Ultra Long-Range), making it the longest-range aircraft in the world. However, that's not the only model in the the A350 family to receive a boost in range.
Airbus is now also offering an extended range — formally known as higher maximum takeoff weight (MTOW) — version of the A350-1000. The new A350-1000 316-ton MTOW is eight tons more than that of what is currently the heaviest variant of the aircraft. That's because Airbus was able to increase fuel capacity, without making structural modifications, according to Air Transport World.
Airbus claims the new version will have a range of almost 9,700 miles — 500 miles more than the A350-1000, but still 1,500 miles less than the A350-900 ULR. That's enough to fly nonstop between Chicago (ORD) and Auckland (AKL) — a route that Air New Zealand is going to fly with the Boeing 787-9. But it's still a long way from being able to meet the demands of Qantas' "Project Sunrise" — an ambitious plan to launch non-stop flights from Sydney to London and New York.
There are currently 168 firm orders for the A350-1000, including an uncertain order for 16 placed by Iran Air. Qatar Airways received the first A350-1000 in February (check out TPG's report of the delivery flight), followed by Cathay Pacific, which took delivery of one in March and expects its second next week. It's still unknown which airlines will be opting for the new long-range version.