Airbus’ A350-1000 test aircraft MSN071 has completed fuel system and engine tests in Cardiff, Wales as part of its type certification flight test campaign.
Fuel test engineers from Airbus’ site at Filton, Bristol, were on hand to support testing of the fuel systems that were designed in the UK. The objective of the test is to simulate operational conditions in hot countries and check how global fuel management system and engines behave with hot fuel (over 43°C).
The early results demonstrate that the fuel management system efficiently handles various fuel densities and temperatures, as well as fuel flow to engines and between tanks while airborne offering the best operational performance. The A350-1000 is ready for hot conditions operations from Entry Into Service later this year.
The A350-1000, just as the -900, has a simplified fuel system with only three tanks and fewer pumps and valves. This contributes to a 25% advantage in operating costs and is another example of the high level of commonality within the A350 XWB family.
Fuel systems tests are part of standard tests for all new aircraft and major modifications such as new engines. The aircraft was fuelled twice a day and then the flight test team performed a number of required engine and systems flight tests with hot fuel.