Fly halfway around the world on Airbus' newest A350

Completing its first flight today, the Airbus A350 Ultra Long Range can fly 20 hours nonstop, enough to connect Singapore and New York on one load of fuel.

Kent German Former senior managing editor / features
Kent was a senior managing editor at CNET News. A veteran of CNET since 2003, he reviewed the first iPhone and worked in both the London and San Francisco offices. When not working, he's planning his next vacation, walking his dog or watching planes land at the airport (yes, really).
Kent German
Airbus, photo by P. Pigeyre

The latest version of the Airbus A350 completed its first flight Monday morning, cruising over the Mediterranean Sea in a series of long loops after taking off from the company's headquarters in Toulouse, France.


The A350-900ULR (for Ultra Long Range) is a modified design of the existing A350-900, but with a redesigned fuel system and extended winglets that enable it to fly halfway around the Earth.

Watch this: A new Airbus soars on first flight

With a total range of 9,700 nautical miles (1,600 more than the current A350-900), the A350-900ULR will be able to fly 20 hours nonstop with a full load of passengers. Launch customer Singapore Airlines, which has ordered seven of the airliners, will use them to restart its 19-hour nonstop flights between New York and Singapore.

The airline already uses the A350-900 on such long routes as its 17-hour flight between San Francisco and Singapore, and Cathay Pacific will put the A350-1000 on its new 16-hour flight between Hong and Washington Dulles this September. 

Check out the amazing flying skills of the Airbus A350-1000

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Once Singapore's nonstop to New York starts next year, it will take the title of the world's longest commercial flight, beating both Qatar Airways' 18-hour nonstop between Doha, Qatar, and Auckland, New Zealand (on a Boeing 777-200) and Qantas' new 17-hour nonstop between Perth, Australia, and London (on a Boeing 787-9). 

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