Airbus Celebrates With Formation Flight

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Airbus often celebrates milestones with media events and the recent EASA certification of its A350 XWB airliner resulted in a pretty impressive formation act. Airbus launched its five flight test A350s and flew a formation routine that resulted in a neat video. The big airliners were shot in a variety of relatively intricate maneuvers, sometimes at low altitudes, that must have been quite a sight from the ground, too. Reuters reported Tuesday that the FAA expects to certify the aircraft by the end of October.

While the video was clearly a lot of fun for all involved, the hard work of competing against Boeing’s 777 and 787 now gets its practical test. Airbus has been left behind in the lucrative 200-400-seat long range market but it also had the chance to learn from the troubled launch of the Dreamliner. It announced that the first A350s will be delivered with nickel-cadmium batteries instead of more energy-dense lithium ion but will switch to the lithium cells in 2016. Meanwhile the company is getting ready to deliver the first A350-900 to Qatar Airways by the end of the year.

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