The A350 flight test campaign: new ways of testing, Professor Fernando Alonso

The lecture will describe the creation of the Airbus Flight and Integration Test Centre for the A350 aircraft. It will cover the reasons behind the creation and the resulting benefits gained. Learning from the difficulties that were encountered during the development of the A380, the ever increasing duration of Flight Test Campaigns for Commercial Aircraft and the maturity levels that airlines expected at Entry into Service of new aircraft, Airbus decided to revisit the testing process. The purpose was to bring testing upstream as much as feasible and make it a transverse activity by integrating all testing activities across the program. One of the drivers was the creation of a Flight and Integration Tests Organisation grouping all the test teams and means that were previously distributed across various different organisations. This new team was positioned to be The first customer of the final product and was responsible for the systems integration testing and flight testing up to Certification and Delivery to the first customers.

Speaker biography

Fernando Alonso started his career at Airbus as a Performance Test Engineer during the flight test campaigns for the A310, A300-600 and A320. Following this he worked as a Flight Test Engineer on the A320 and A330/A340 families of aircraft before becoming Senior Vice President and Head of Airbus Flight Operations. During this time Prof. Alonso was responsible not only for the A350 XWB flight test campaign but also that of other new aircraft including the A320neo, as well as overseeing the ramp up of flight testing activity in the production area from 450 to 630 aircraft per month. Upon his retirement from Airbus Defence & Space in 2019, he was CEO of Military Aircraft and President of Airbus Spain.

Airbus aircraft

Location and travel details

If attending in person: Cranfield University Campus. Further details will be sent to all registrants. 

If attending online: a Zoom link will be provided ahead of the event.


Free to attend.

How to register

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