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See Airbus’ New Wide Body Airliner, Perlan Mission II Glider

See and tour the Airbus A350 XWB as it makes its first North American appearance at Oshkosh Monday.

July 18, 2015 - An Airbus A350 XWB and the newly completed Perlan Project glider will highlight Airbus Group’s participation at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2015 this week.

It will be the A350 XWB’s (short for “extra wide body”) first appearance in North America, according to Airbus.

The airplane is scheduled to arrive during Monday’s air show, but before it lands, pilots will perform aerial demonstrations to show the advanced wide body’s capabilities. On Tuesday, the airplane will be open for public tours from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and again on Wednesday from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.

The airplane will then be prepared for departure to open the Wednesday afternoon air show. But before leaving it will again perform another aerial demonstration.

The two-engine aircraft is designed to transport more than 300 passengers on medium- to long-haul operations that range up to 7,750 nautical miles (8,918 statute miles).

“Airbus is pleased to bring the next generation of commercial aircraft technology, performance, and comfort to Oshkosh this year, giving the public its first viewing of the A350 in North America,” said Barry Eccleston, president of Airbus Americas. “This builds on our tradition of showcasing aircraft with the aviation community at AirVenture that has included memorable appearances by our Beluga in 2003 and the Airbus A380 in 2009.”

In addition to experiencing the A350, EAA AirVenture visitors will be able to see the new glider just completed by the Perlan Project. Airbus Group announced its partnership with (and title sponsorship of) the Airbus Perlan Mission II here last year in support of the effort to explore the Earth’s upper atmosphere and ozone layer.

The Airbus Perlan Mission II also aims to set new altitude records by flying the purpose-built, high-altitude, pressurized glider to 90,000 feet—higher than any other manned wing-borne aircraft has flown. That flight, which will use stratospheric mountain waves and the polar vortex to sustain flight, is projected to take place in South America in 2016. Perlan Project representatives will update progress on the aircraft’s flight-test program and the mission at a forum presentation on Monday, July 20, 10 a.m. at Honda Forum Stage 7.

“A big part of EAA AirVenture Oshkosh is seeing the latest innovation in flight,” said Rick Larsen, EAA’s vice president of communities and member programs, who coordinates EAA AirVenture features and attractions. “Airbus Group understands the importance of that at Oshkosh, and we’re very eager to see the ideas and technology they will bring here this year.”

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