With a decision to improve performance of the A350-1000 at the cost of two further years of development, Airbus is looking at what technologies it may be able to bring into that model to meet performance targets.

The heart of the new -1000 is the 97,000 lb. thrust Rolls-Royce TrentXWB, but Airbus also is looking at aircraft changes. The wing extension of around 300 mm was already in the works, as has been a slight reprofiling to reduce drag and improve takeoff performance, says Gordon McConnell, A350’s chief engineer.

Another area where the 308 metric ton maximum takeoff weight A350-1000 (10 metric tons than before) may evolve is in the utilization of the composites, to come up with more efficient use and “a better weighted design” McConnell says.

The electrical structural network could also evolve. Completing the network without adding undue weight on the composite aircraft has been a challenge for Airbus. A350 Executive Vice President Didier Evrard notes materials are progressing so “we can go further in optimization” of the electrical structural network.

Airbus also is looking to replace titanium door frames with composite ones, which would save weight.

Moreover, even though the new engine retains an 118-inch dia. fan size, the new Rolls-Royce powerplant will be heavier, requiring some structural reinforcement, including of the pylon.

The -1000 also features five more aft fuselage frames and six at the front.”

The extra time also will ensure the -1000 will benefit from all lessons learned on the -900.