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      07-17-2006, 03:49 PM   #7

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The Airbus A350XWB

Airbus Introduces the A350 XWB at Britain's Farnborough Air Show

July, 17th, 2006. The A350 XWB (extra wide-body) is Airbus’ response to market demand for a medium capacity long range wide-body family. Available from 2012, it will have an entirely new, uncompromised, 21st Century design with a new and wider fuselage for extra space and passenger comfort. It will also be extra efficient, extra environmentally friendly and quiet, as it will feature all the advanced technologies available in the first part of the 21st century, bringing the A380 experience to a new level.

Conceived from the outset to form a complete family of airliners, three basic passenger versions are being offered. They include the –800, -900 and the –1000 accommodating between 250 and 375 passengers in a range of different configurations to suit airline needs. An ultra long range version, the –900R, and a freighter –900F complete the family. Each basic model will have a range of 8,500 nm/15,800 km, the longest of any aircraft in this size category. The A350 XWB will also offer the lowest operating cost per seat of any aircraft in this size category.

Whilst the Airbus product family covers all market segments, the A350 XWB is the most advanced aircraft family in its segment, thus significantly enhancing the overall Airbus product range. The A350 XWB is able to provide economically viable service on long-range markets and is equally attractive as a route opener or as a part of a multi-type Airbus fleet offering optimized network solutions. Airbus forecasts a demand for this product range, which covers a wide range of market applications, at some 4,600 aircraft over the next 20 years.

The copy above and image are from Airbus' website. The actual airplane on view at Farnborough is a prototype.
You have to hand it to Airbus...they played catch-up on this in a hurry.
Time will tell if this is a real competitior to Boeing's Dreamliner and if Airbus can put it's financial house in order.