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Boeing Blog

Seattle Times aerospace reporter Dominic Gates covers top industry events to bring you the latest news, highlighting how it impacts Boeing and its competitors.

June 14, 2013 at 7:38 AM

A350 makes first flight ahead of Air Show: photo gallery

Airbus put the A350, its first challenger to Boeing’s 787 in the advanced materials era, into the skies of France Friday for a four-hour flight. Here’s how it looked:

France Airbus

France Airbus

France Airbus

To see the landing gear retracting, the Airbus employees clapping, etc., check out this company video on YouTube. (Warning: Annoying soundtrack of soaring, inspirational music.)

The BBC has an interesting piece about how Airbus got to this point with a plane it initially didn’t want to build:

Towards the middle of the last decade, the European manufacturer had its hands full preparing for the launch of its long-delayed A380 superjumbo.

The double-decker giant was a hugely complex machine, and its development costs were spiralling. So Airbus was reluctant to commit billions of dollars to another clean-sheet design.

But, Airbus needed a new product to take on Boeing’s planned Dreamliner, which was already attracting a great deal of interest from airlines.

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