Staff member
Jan 12, 2009
Originally mentioned by @Coathanger16 in the Bristol Airport Forum

Wellington's weather is too mild today for tests to begin at the airport with one of the world's newest widebody planes.

It's not unusual for Wellington's weather to be unco-operative, though the problem is usually too much rain and wind, rather than not enough.

The A350-900 Airbus touched down in the capital last night, but the crew are waiting for more rain and light winds before they start to carry out planned tests on the runway.

Wellington Airport organised with leading aerospace manufacturer Airbus to test the performance of the plane on shorter, grooved runways with a series of landings and take-offs at the airport.

The plane, which came from Toulouse and is one of the five A350-900 test aircraft that the manufacturer used to achieve flight certification in 2013-2014, is fully fitted with flight test instrumentation.

Tests were due to begin today, but an Airport spokesman said they have not commenced yet, as the crew is waiting for rain.

Airport chief executive Steve Sanderson said the trial will show the maximum performance of the runway.

"The visit is part of Airbus' continuous programme of performance tests where the company evaluates aircraft in specific operating environments and conditions."

The A350 has a longer range than the aircraft currently using Wellington, but the airport's shorter runway length constrains the loads and distance of some single aisle jets and all twin aisle jets.

Full article: https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12064226
The results of this test by Airbus will have potential implications for many airports with short runways throughout the world. Similarly to the Boeing Dreamliner: the Boeing 787, the Airbus like for like A350 aircraft was built with short field performance capabilities but as far as I am aware this has not been put to practice until now. The results will be watched from far and wide with great anticipation.

#wellingtonA350 #Airbusa350
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