A350 MSN2 Rolls Out of Paint Hangar with Special ‘Carbon’ Livery

 - January 2, 2014, 10:21 AM
The third Airbus A350 scheduled to fly carries a special “Carbon” livery, meant to highlight the fact that 53 percent of the airplane consists of carbon-fiber reinforced polymer (CFRP).

Airbus rolled out its third A350 XWB flight-test aircraft, MSN2, from the paint shop in Toulouse on Thursday, marking the latest milestone on the path to entry-into-service in the fourth quarter. Painted in what Airbus describes as a distinctive “Carbon” signature livery to reflect its primary construction from advanced materials, MSN2 is the first of a pair of A350 flight-test aircraft equipped with a full passenger cabin interior.

Airbus said MSN2 will join the A350 XWB flight test fleet “in the coming weeks” and will transport the first A350 passengers when it undertakes the Early Long Flights (ELF) later in the year.

The first A350 XWB to fly (MSN1) took off last June 14, and the second (MSN3) took to the air on October 14. The test regime has included identification and freeze of all flap and slat configurations, loads and aeroelastic testing, as well as evaluation of handling characteristics and systems operation throughout the operational envelope. Plans call for five A350 test aircraft to fly 2,500 hours before expected type certification.