The latest Airbus plane gives new meaning to long-haul flights as it has the capability to fly for 20 continuous hours before refueling. In its maiden flight, the A350-900 XWB took off from the company’s headquarters in Toulouse and performed a short flight over France before landing back at the base.
It is reported that Singapore Airlines is planning to use the plane for flights between Singapore and New York. If it is true, the 19-hour trip will break the record of the longest available commercial flight that is currently held by Qatar Airways on the 18-hour nonstop flight between Doha and Auckland, New Zealand.
This long flight has been made possible by total fuel re-design and additional aerodynamic adjustments. The modified system has a carrying capacity of 24,000 litres. Rolls Royce Trent XWB engines are used to power the new Airbus plane.
A standard plane has the capability to go 9,7000 nautical miles. The new plane is not only powerful, it is also efficient. The high-tech engines provide a 25% reduction in fuel burn and emissions, and the owners do not have to worry owing to the lower maintenance costs.
A 20-hour-long flight may sound daunting by the latest plane has the quietest twin-aisle cabin and new air systems. Even though the plane is still undergoing testing, Airbus has confirmed that the company has received a total of 854 firm orders for the new plane from 45 customers all around the world.
Even 20 hours is a lot of time to spend on the plane, many people believe that it is better to get it over in one go rather than stopping at different airports and increasing the total time to more than a day.