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Energy-efficient Airbus A350 set to fly over Paris Air Show

Attendees of the premier aerospace event probably will see the new energy-efficient jet on Friday. Also, its French manufacturer announces $69 billion worth of deals.

The Airbus A350 XWB, an energy-efficient new jet, takes off during its second test flight on June 19.
The Airbus A350 XWB, an energy-efficient new jet, takes off during its second test flight on June 19. Airbus

Airbus plans to fly its brand-new energy-efficient A350 XWB over the Paris Air Show on Friday, the company said after a successful second test flight.

The wide-body A350 made its maiden voyage June 14, but Airbus has been noncommittal about whether it would make it to the aerospace show. A second flight on Wednesday was enough for the French aircraft manufacturer to plan on it.

"How to cap off a great week at #PAS13? How about a flyby of the #A350? Looks like a good possibility for tomorrow at the air show!" Airbus tweeted on Thursday. Later in the day, the company added, "We now know #A350 is slated to do a flyby of the show between 12:30 & 13:30 (weather permitting)."

Weather has been a problem this year at the Le Bourget Airport. Torrential downpours, strong winds, and sometimes lightning storms swept through the area on Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday, but the forecast for Friday shows a 20 to 30 percent chance of rain.

The A350 is financially important for Airbus, and the company announced new sales for the plane. "At the show this aircraft gained 69 more orders and commitments worth $21.4 billion from four customers on different continents," Airbus said, including orders from Singapore Airlines, United Airlines, Air France-KLM, and Sri Lankan.

The jet competes directly against Boeing's 787 Dreamliner, which already is in use around the world but which suffered a temporary grounding this year after battery trouble.

Airbus' new sales announced at the show now total 466 aircraft worth $68.7 billion. Leading the sales were 371 A320 models worth $37.8 billion, but the company also sold 20 of its flagship double-decker A380 jets to Doric Lease for $8 billion.

For a look at other wares the company showed off at the Paris Air Show, check out CNET's Airbus A380 photo gallery and Airbus A400M photo gallery.

Update, 7:49 a.m. PT: Adds new Airbus statement saying an A350 appearance is now scheduled.