The Boeing Company (NYSE:BA)
who is struggling to keep the Dreamliner in the sky is ready to face another storm – this time in the air. The much awaited member of the Airbus’ new family of super-efficient aircraft – A350 –XWB was finally unveiled at the Toulouse-Balgnac airport in France. The aircraft was on its first test flight which went off without a hitch much to Airbus’ relief as the A350 had a turbulent history of the production process. The A350, Airbus’ latest toy in the aviation world will compete with The Boeing Company (NYSE:BA)’s 787 Dreamliner – the most talked about passenger plane in recent history. The company has already received 600 orders which was icing on the cake after the successful test flight.
A child Airbus never wanted to conceive
The A350 has been directly pitched against The Boeing Company (NYSE:BA)’s Dreamliner as a long range, extra wide body aircraft that would set new standards in fuel economy and environment-friendly performance. The launch of the Dreamliner forced Airbus to come up with an equivalent machine as airliners around the world were getting attracted to the new concept of long-range aircraft that also provide significant fuel efficiency to cope with rising oil prices. But the initial design,m which was more of a makeover of the A330, failed to impress the aviation experts as well as the potential customers which includes the head of Singapore Airlines and International Lease Finance Corporation. Airbus came under severe criticism for coming up with a half-hearted effort.
Airbus was forced to come up with a new clean-sheet design that resulted in the birth of the A350.
Boeing vs Airbus
As The Boeing Company (NYSE:BA) struggles to keep its Dreamliner in the skies after the battery-fiasco, it faces a tougher challenge to maintain its market share with the arrival of the A350 in the limelight. Both aircraft offer the most advanced technology in the history of the aviation sector which combines the usage of lighter composites that result in higher fuel efficiency and easy maintenance. Airbus claims that the new aircraft will consume 25% less fuel than the other aircraft in the category.
Dreamliner is made up of 50% composites and it claims to be 20% more fuel efficient than any other aircraft in the category. On the other hand 70% of A350’s structure is made up of combined composites (53%), and alloys of aluminum and titanium. Also, the A350 is the first aircraft from Airbus to have its wings and fuselage completely made up of reinforced carbon polymer. All these facts reinforces Airbus’ claim that the A350 would be the most fuel efficient machine in its class. The A350 also comes up with a custom designed power unit designed by Rolls Royce and claims to have lower emissions and noise than permitted at current levels. Airbus learning from the mistakes of The Boeing Company (NYSE:BA) is sticking to the traditional proven technology of nickel-cadmium.
Airbus expects that the global demand for this category of passenger planes would reach 6,500 by the year 2020. The company expects to obtain the necessary approvals for the aircraft for commercial flying in the next one year and deliver the first aircraft by 2014.
Missing the big party!!!
Even though the first flight test was a success, Airbus is in no mood to get complacent and rush things. The company is keen to complete the series of flight tests instead of rushing the aircraft to Paris Air Show. The Boeing Company (NYSE:BA) for the time being can have the last laugh at the upcoming edition of the Air Show as both Airbus and Bombardier, Inc. (TSE:BBD.B), which is coming up with its CSeries narrow bodied aircraft are at critical junctures of their development.