The first flyable Airbus A350 emerged from a hangar in southwestern France earlier today, showing off a freshly painted livery stamped with the Airbus logo. But the significance of this morning’s roll out goes beyond just a few layers of paint; according to Airbus, the plane has passed a number of milestones, including flight-test-instrument (FTI) verification, and should be ready for its maiden flight this summer.
According to Bloomberg Businessweek, the manufacturer hopes to bring the wide-body aircraft into commercial service by the end of 2014. The model has been built to rival Boeing’s popular 777 model as well as the 787 “Dreamliner,” which has come under fire recently due to overheating concerns on the aircraft’s lithium-ion batteries.
[Photo credit: P. Pigeyre (Courtesy Airbus)]