When the first version of the Airbus A350 entered service in 2015, it had been in development for 11 years. It was designed by the brightest minds and most sophisticated computer programmes, all backed up by a vigorous testing and certification programme. The result is a reliable, comfortable, and incredibly safe aircraft.
But for all that, we never stop learning about these extraordinary machines. As we fly them more, and as new technologies emerge or mature, new opportunities to improve the aircraft come to light. These improvements can come from a number of sources, such as customer feedback or as a result of the telemetric monitoring that watches each aircraft every second of the day. They can be anything from tiny little tweaks to larger adjustments, especially if, for example, they have to be applied to each seat or overhead locker! They certainly keep our engineers on their toes. Even the Boeing 747, a design that harks back to the 1960s, is still being refined, modified and updated.
If you look closely at our first four Airbus A350 aircraft, you can see this evolution yourself. A couple of subtle differences are visible between our first two A350s – G-VLUX and G-VPOP – and our newest two, G-V-PRD and G-VJAM.