Friday, February 19, 2016

A350-1000. Like a Boss.

Airbus has commenced its final assembly of A350 - 1000; the largest variant of A350 family. Its maiden flight is planned by end of 2016.  

Couple of years ago when I heard about A350 - a composite material aircraft, increased aerodynamic efficiency including many other features - I was curious to see what would happen to this aircraft. I was a huge fan of Boeing 787 Dreamliner by then. 787 had design attributes from Boeing's work with Northrop Grumman in the production of B-2 Spirit back in 1970's. 

787 was one of the pioneer airliner to use composite material as its primary material. It also had chevron nozzles which reduce noise and looks freaking awesome. 

When Airbus revealed its plan to produce a new airliner to compete with Boeing 787, I was happy. Back then new A350's cockpit, nose, front, wings, winglets and stabilizers - looked stuff from future. I also noticed it had 1000 series number, usual for an airline. Usually they use 3 digits. 

But after that initial hype, I slowly forgot about A350. There were so many incidents with 787, I just looked at it as the real deal. A350 was a flickering thought deep back. 

I was surprised to find out when Qatar Airways received its first A350. It was then I realized that Airbus had done it. 

For me, thinking of producing an entirely new aircraft from scratch, even by Boeing or Airbus - is an herculean incredulous complex task. The development cost itself would be crossing $10 billion. Different countries were involved in the manufacturing of 787. They met lot of delays. There was cost over run. 

On one hand, it's inspiring to see countries working together to produce an aircraft. It's a herculean task, but they do it anyway. That's faith and strength. But on the other hand, all of this for a cash flow proposition that would take years to break even. It's a risky business. 

Boeing successfully pulled it off. And now Airbus too. 

We have to give it to these companies. They're the bosses. Battle after battle they do the impossible. 

I am so happy and proud to see these aircrafts taking flight after all the hardships these companies went through. 

Good stuff. 



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