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Christmas Gift Guide

Wheels up

Plane and many people

Thousands of enthusiasts

Long aerial

Above

Telemetry room

A350 and Airbus planes

Sitting and waiting

Readying for first flight

Lined up by the hundreds

Nearly ready

Wheels up in the air

In the air

Takeoff

Chase plane

Beauty

Straight up

Slight turn

Disappearing into the clouds

On its way

It might be the last highly-anticipated first flight for years to come. Early this morning, Airbus' A350 XWB, the aviation giant's next-generation, highly-fuel-efficient airplane, made with more than 50 percent composite materials, took the skies on its inaugural flight.

CNET couldn't be on hand in Blagnac, France, where Airbus' world headquarters is located, but thanks to a live stream, we're able to share the images of the A350's first flight with you.

Caption by / Photo by Screenshot by CNET
With A350 enthusiasts in the foreground, the airplane is seen on the tarmac readying for its first flight.
Caption by / Photo by Screenshot by CNET
First flights like that of the A350 XWB are a magnet for serious aviation enthusiasts like the thousands that turned out Friday morning near Toulouse, France, for the plane's inaugural flight.
Caption by / Photo by Screenshot by CNET
An aerial shot from a helicopter shows the A350 XWB sitting alone (center-right) on the tarmac at the airfield in Blagnac, France.
Caption by / Photo by Screenshot by CNET
Another aerial shot shows the A350 almost from directly above.
Caption by / Photo by Screenshot by CNET
Airbus personnel monitor the first flight proceedings in the telemetry room.
Caption by / Photo by Screenshot by CNET
With a group of other Airbus airplanes in the foreground, the A350 XWB awaits rolling down the tarmac before takeoff.
Caption by / Photo by Screenshot by CNET
It's almost takeoff time for the A350 XWB.
Caption by / Photo by Screenshot by CNET
The airplane is just seconds away from takeoff.
Caption by / Photo by Screenshot by CNET
People line the barriers at the airfield, eager to see the A350 XWB take air for the first time.
Caption by / Photo by Screenshot by CNET
In the minutes prior to takeoff, the airplane sat alone just to the side of the runway.
Caption by / Photo by Screenshot by CNET
Seen from the front, the A350's wheels are up in the air for the very first time.
Caption by / Photo by Screenshot by CNET
The A350 XWB begins its initial four-hour journey.
Caption by / Photo by Screenshot by CNET
It's takeoff for the very first time for the A350 XWB.
Caption by / Photo by Screenshot by CNET
A chase plane flies past the A350 just after takeoff.
Caption by / Photo by Screenshot by CNET
The A350 XWB is an attractive airplane, one that has already garnered Airbus 613 preorders.
Caption by / Photo by Screenshot by CNET
The A350, seen at takeoff from directly in front.
Caption by / Photo by Screenshot by CNET
The airplane starts a slight turn, allowing a view of its underside.
Caption by / Photo by Screenshot by CNET
The airplane begins to disappear into clouds over the airfield.
Caption by / Photo by Screenshot by CNET
Airbus' first A350 XWB disappears into the clouds. It is scheduled for a four-hour first flight.
Caption by / Photo by Screenshot by CNET
Updated:
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