Flight International - 26 June 2018

(Jacob Rumans) #1


fiightglobal.com 26 June-2 July 2018 | Flight International | 13

Upgrades keep
elderly 737-200s
Air Transport P


Airbus cuts cargo space on A350 ULR

Manufacturer reveals extended-range variant’s forward hold is deactivated but buyers can revert to standard specification

Ultra-long-haul model will carry 45% fewer seats than baseline -



irbus’s ultra-long-range
A350-900ULR will feature a
deactivated forward cargo com-
partment, the airframer has con-
firmed in the variant’s formal
technical documentation.
It lists the aircraft – which has
a 280t maximum take-off weight

  • as one of a total of 17 weight
    variants, designated WV013, of
    the Rolls-Royce Trent XWB-
    powered twinjet.
    Airbus gives the typical
    configuration of the -900ULR as
    173 seats in two classes, com-
    prising 80 in business class –
    stretching the business-class
    cabin back to the third set of
    exits – in addition to 93 in eight-
    abreast economy.
    This amounts to a 45% reduc-

tion from the standard 315-seat,
two-class layout for the basic -900.
But it also confirms that the
forward cargo hold on the

-900ULR is “deactivated”, add-
ing: “No [forward] cargo opera-
tion is possible.”
The forward hold would nor-

mally have a capacity of 86.7m³
(3,060ft³). “From the first ULR
delivery to Singapore Airlines,
all A350-900s will be eligible to
be purchased in the ULR [speci-
fication] or with a maximum
take-off weight of 280t,” says
A350 marketing^ director Fran-
çois Obé.
“The A350-900ULR can be ‘re-
versed’ into a standard -900 if the
airline decides. From an airframe
perspective it is paperwork and
you need to reactivate the for-
ward cargo hold... and install the
cargo-loading system.”
SIA is due to put the variant
into operation on a nonstop ser-
vice to Newark, New Jersey later
this year.
While the airline is still finalis-
ing plans for the service, its chief
executive Goh Choon Phong re-
cently mentioned possible cargo
payload restrictions, particularly
during winter months.
Airbus lists the -900ULR as
having a maximum zero-fuel
weight of 192t and a maximum
landing weight of 205t.
Its winglet tips stand 50cm
(20in) taller than the -900’s, at
9.95m (32ft 7in) from the ground.
Usable fuel capacity amounts to
165,000 litres (43,600USgal), near-
ly 20% more than the -900, and
this contributes to extending the
full-servicing turnaround time for
the -900ULR to 83min, compared
with 61min for the -900. ■


Airframer eyes XWB family’s ‘potential’ for Sunrise programme

Qantas’s “Project Sunrise” re-
quest has spurred Airbus to look
at extracting even more range
from the A350 family, as it pre-
pares to respond to the need for
an ultra-long-range aircraft.
“We went on board the
[Qantas] ‘Sunrise’ challenge and
are working on it,” says A
marketing director François Obé.
“The A350 family of airplanes is
really full of potential – more po-
Airbus currently has the ex-

tended-range A350-900ULR in
flight testing for delivery to
Singapore Airlines in 2018.
However, Obé declines to
comment on whether this
platform was the focus of the
study or if Airbus could adapt the
larger -1000 for the Qantas re-
quirement, saying only: “We are
studying the XWB family.”
Qantas is preparing to submit a
request for proposals to Airbus
and Boeing around an ultra-long-
haul aircraft under the name

Project Sunrise that would allow it
to launch nonstop flights from
Sydney and Melbourne to
London and New York around

  1. It has indicated that it will
    look to issue a request for propos-
    als next year.
    Boeing is planning to respond
    to the Qantas requirement with a
    higher-performance version of
    the ultra-long-range 777-8. This
    aircraft is slightly larger than the
    A350-900, and is scheduled to
    enter service in 2022. ■

Cathay goes all the way with -

Cathay Pacific has taken delivery of its first Airbus A350-1000,
making it the variant’s second operator after Qatar Airways, which
received its initial example in February. The Hong Kong carrier has
ordered 20 A350-1000s and already operates 22 A350-900s, Airbus
says. The airline has another six -900s on order and holds four
options. Cathay will from September deploy the A350-1000 on non-
stop services to Washington DC, which the airframer describes as
the “longest flight performed by any airline out of Hong Kong”.
Flight time will be approximately 17h. The A350 is exclusively pow-
ered by Rolls-Royce Trent XWB engines.
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