Airbus A350-1000 takes growth in its stride.
July 06, 2018 / MIKE GERZANICS
When Airbus first set out back in 2004 to develop a new widebody under the A350 designation, it originally posited an upgraded version of the existing A330 twinjet. Having taken aim at the then-new Boeing 787, Airbus quickly realized that this derivative programme would be handicapped in the race against the Dreamliner – and went back to the drawing board. Airbus regrouped to make a broader assault on the Boeing widebody line-up. At ¬Farnborough 2006 it launched the clean-sheet A350 XWB family as a counter both to the 787 and to the established 777 families. This three-pronged family sported an enlarged fuselage cross-section fully 12.7cm (5in) wider than the 787 – hence the Xtra Wide Body tagline – as well as extensive use of composite materials (54% of the primary structure) and all-new Rolls-Royce Trent XWB engines.