The A350 is going to debut in test mode on Friday. I welcome this offering as a new technology engine will power a very formidable aircraft. It will fly with or without parachutes on boards. This flight is just before the big show in Paris and it hopes to steal the Buzz from this year's air show for Paris. They may just do that with a successful flight over Paris. The A350 will compete against Boeing's family of aircraft. The initial test may bend customer appeal towards the A350. However, as always the devil is in the details. The details are coming forward with actual performance, testing and no snags!
Simply stated, that have applied extra resources so they may avoid 787 like issues and steal attention towards shortcomings. Today's Boeing 787 has a non starting engine and would like very much that the A350 would have a no starter on the Airbus A350. That isn't going to happen. Too much preparation has gone into this first flyer. What will be critical is that it performs as engineering calculates, meeting a robust dynamic approaching or exceeding the 787. It remains to be seen what it will do, but John Leahy, the showman, is loving this first flight opportunity before the big show. Checking it twice is old school. They have been preparing for this moment for along time without divulging any kind time schedule that they would regret, avoiding Boeing's embarrassment of over stating flight by fall of 2007. That particular first flight claim was and remained an impossibility. However, Airbus, by announcing design changes throughout its progressions never set unrealistic expectations for its customers. Boeing should of made, sensible projections abouts its first flying aircraft, when all deviations for development, parts, and suppliers were resolved before announcing a set a date for first flight. Corporate pride leads to over promising and establishing un-achievable mileposts for the satisfaction of board members and its advertising. Airbus has now comes to this point without hanging its neck way out on over promising points.
It now is coming to a head on this first flight at Paris. The Buzz won't be about paper airplanes and paper orders but will be on the Airbus A350 flying overhead at Paris. The risk is in the moment for Airbus not in some unfilled promise stretched out over 3 years.