Airbus’s second flight-test A350 aircraft has departed Toulouse on a transatlantic sortie to Canada where it will undergo cold-weather testing.
The Rolls-Royce Trent XWB-powered aircraft, MSN3, is heading for Iqaluit where current temperatures are around minus 30C. Airbus says the twinjet will spend about a week at the airport exposed to the freezing environment as part of the A350-900 certification programme.
The two flying prototypes have accumulated around 900h, about a third of the certification total, in some 200 flights. Its first aircraft, MSN1, is continuing with development tests but will shortly move towards formal certification tests.
Over the next few weeks Airbus will introduce MSN4 as well as the cabin-equipped MSN2 to the flight-test fleet, followed by MSN5 in spring.