Airbus SAS said it powered up the engines on its new A350 model for the first time as it seeks to meet a target of flying the plane by the end of this month.
The Rolls-Royce Holdings Plc XWB engines are installed on MSN1, as the A350 slated to make the debut flight is designated, Airbus said in a statement today. The auxiliary power unit that provides electricity on the ground was also activated.
The A350 is Airbus’s response to Boeing Co’s. new 787 Dreamliner and larger 777. The aircraft put under power today emerged from a hangar last month and flight trials involving five planes should be completed in about 12 months with deliveries to Qatar Airways Ltd. due in the second half of next year.
The first takeoff will take place in Toulouse, France, where Airbus is based. The company has 616 firm contracts with 34 buyers for the A350, which comes in three versions.