The first A350-1000 aircraft, manufactured by Airbus, has taken its maiden flight at Blagnac in Toulouse, France, marking the beginning of flight-test programme for the variant.

Airbus experimental test pilots Hugues Van Der Stichel and Frank Chapman along with test-flight engineer Gerard Maisonneuve and other crews have controlled the maiden flight.

The new A350-1000, which is the newest member of Airbus widebody family of aircraft, is equipped with specially developed Rolls-Royce Trent XWB-97 turbofan engines.

In addition, A350-1000 includes modified wing trailing-edge, new six-wheel main landing gears and other improved technologies.

Offering low-noise and long-range capability, the twin-engine aircraft can carry 40 more passengers than the A350-900 model.

Airbus said that first of the three A350-1000 aircraft, currently under development, is scheduled to enter service by next year after receiving type’s certification.

"The twin-engine aircraft can carry 40 more passengers than the A350-900 model."

So far, the company has won 195 orders for A350-1000s from 11 customers from across five continents.

In a typical three-class configuration, the A350-1000 aircraft, which is around 74m-long, can accommodate a total of 366 passengers.

The jetliner can also be configured for a higher-density layout to carry up to 440 passengers.

In July, Airbus collaborated with Rolls-Royce to provide integrated parts availability service for Cathay Pacific Airways entire A350 fleet.

Services under the deal, which combines Airbus flight hour services (FHS) and the Rolls-Royce TotalCare availability service, includes both airframe and engine line-replaceable-unit (LRU) components.

Image: Airbus A350-1000 jet’s first flight. Photo: courtesy of Airbus SAS.