Editorials

January 8, 2016

PHOTO TOUR: Step Onboard Qatar Airways A350-900XWB

Recently, NYCAviation was invited onboard one of Qatar Airways’ A350-900XWBs. While onboard, we had a chance to tour the entire plane as well as to speak with representatives of both the airline and Airbus. Here is a look at what it was like in and around the aircraft.

The Aircraft Exterior

Head-on with the A350.

Head-on with the A350.

The streamlined A350 nose with distinctive "mask" around the windows.

The streamlined A350 nose with distinctive “mask” around the windows.

Looking at the Rolls Royce Trent XWB engine from the ground. If you angle yourself just right, you can see the huge amount of air that bypasses the combustion chamber.

Looking at the Rolls Royce Trent XWB engine from the ground. If you angle yourself just right, you can see the huge amount of air that bypasses the combustion chamber.

The sweeping winglets of the A350 are truly a sight to behold.

The sweeping winglets of the A350 are truly a sight to behold.

If there is one place where you can really observe the carbon fiber used in the A350, its inside the engine nacelles.

If there is one place where you can really observe the carbon fiber used in the A350, its inside the engine nacelles.

The smooth, rivet-free construction of the A350, like that of the 787, is truly an incredible thing to see.

The smooth, rivet-free construction of the A350, like that of the 787, is truly an incredible thing to see.

The immense wing of the A350. Remarkably smooth due to the carbon fiber construction.

The immense wing of the A350. Remarkably smooth due to the carbon fiber construction.

The area near the forward boarding door was fairly large, though not nearly as large or welcoming as the 787's is.

The area near the forward boarding door was fairly large, though not nearly as large or welcoming as on the 787.

Business Class

The business class cabin has a very open feel without overhead bins in the center. The lack of bins also means that seats in the middle do not have personal air vents. The seats along the windows do, however.

The Business Class cabin has a very open feel without overhead bins in the center.

The seats in the center section have individual reading lights, but no personal air vents. If you prefer that stream of air while flying, choose a window seat.

The seats in the center section have individual reading lights, but no personal air vents.

Meanwhile, those seated in the window seats have a pair of air vents available.

Meanwhile, those seated in the window seats have a pair of air vents available.

Business class seats are arranged in the popular outward-facing or "reverse" herringbone configuration.

Business Class seats are arranged in the popular outward-facing or “reverse” herringbone configuration. The seat arrangement is 1-2-1.

Seats in the center section have a divider that may be raised or lowered, depending on the desires of the occupants.

Seats in the center section have a divider that may be raised or lowered, depending on the desires of the occupants.

The business class seats are fully lie-flat and very comfortable. Unlike some other seats, they don't leave you feeling like you're laying on the floor. Pajamas, slippers, a pillow, and a duvet are all provided.

The Business Class seats are fully lie-flat and very comfortable. Unlike some other seats, they don’t leave you feeling like you’re laying on the floor. Pajamas, slippers, a pillow, and a duvet are all provided.

Business Class seats are spacious, and controls for the seat and inflight entertainment are easily accessible.

Business Class seats are spacious, and controls for the seat and inflight entertainment are easily accessible.

The inflight entertainment screens and tray tables at each business class seat are very large.

The inflight entertainment screens and tray tables at each business class seat are very large.

The business class seat controls are very ergonomically situated, no matter what position you're in. Choose from 5 preset positions or create our own! even the armrests are motorized. And if you want a back massage, that is available too.

The Business Class seat controls are very ergonomically situated, no matter what position you’re in. Choose from 5 preset positions or create our own! even the armrests are motorized. And if you want a back massage, that is available too.

The business class cabin has mechanically dimmed windows with push button controls. There are two panels to each window: one blacks out the window, while the other softens the light like a window shade. The controls for the window shades can be a bit difficult to reach while seated.

The Business Class cabin has mechanically dimmed windows with push button controls. There are two panels to each window: one blacks out the window, while the other softens the light like a window shade. The controls for the window shades can be a bit difficult to reach while seated.

Even in direct sunlight, the blackout shades blocked all light from the aircraft's exterior. Here we also see a sample of how a tray would be arranged for a meal onboard.

Even in direct sunlight, the blackout shades blocked all light from the aircraft’s exterior. Here we also see a sample of how a tray would be arranged for a meal onboard.

At the second boarding doorway, two thirds of the way to the back of the business class cabin, is a large self service bar area. Standard catering carts hide behind the fancy doors.

At the second boarding doorway, two thirds of the way to the back of the Business Class cabin, is a large self service bar area. Standard catering carts hide behind the fancy doors.

Economy Class

The 9-across economy class cabin felt spacious, though it is hard to tell without other passengers onboard.

The 9-across Economy Class cabin felt spacious, though it is hard to tell without other passengers onboard.

Economy class seats have a very comfortable movable headrest.

Economy Class seats have a very comfortable movable headrest.

The slim seats felt comfortable and offered sufficient legroom.

The slim seats felt comfortable and offered sufficient legroom.

Even in economy, the Oryx inflight entertainment system had huge screens, intuitive controls, and plenty of content.

Even in Economy, the Oryx inflight entertainment system had huge screens, intuitive controls, and plenty of content.

Even passengers in economy get a small amenity kit. It includes an eyemask, earplugs,

Even passengers in economy get a small amenity kit. It includes an eyemask, earplugs, socks, and a toothbrush, among other items.

Flying with little ones? Qatar Airways has a variety of games and activities onboard to keep them occupied. And hopefully not kick your seat.

Little ones onboard? Qatar Airways has a variety of games and activities to keep them occupied. And hopefully not kick your seat.

As we mentioned before, legroom was sufficient. And the seats recline in such a way that you gain knee room.

As we mentioned before, legroom was sufficient. And the seats recline in such a way that you gain room for your knees.

Each economy class seat has its own reading lamp and air vent. the black rectangle is an LCD display that can be programmed to display things like seat numbers, the 'fasten seatbelts' sign, and certain other information for passengers.

Each Economy Class seat has its own reading lamp and air vent. the black rectangle is an LCD display that can be programmed to display things like seat numbers, the ‘fasten seatbelts’ sign, and certain other information for passengers.

The view of the wing from a seat in the economy class cabin is pretty great.

The view of the wing from a seat in the Economy Class cabin is pretty great.

Other Cabin Features

A selection of the artwork displayed around the Qatar Airways A350 cabin.

A selection of the artwork displayed around the Qatar Airways A350 cabin.

The overhead bins are large.

The overhead bins are large.

The lavatories had enough room to get the job done, but not much more. The fittings are relatively high tech. The lights are controlled by the position of the door, and are dimmed when the door is open.

The lavatories had enough room to get the job done, but not much more, even in Business Class. The fittings are relatively high tech. The lights are controlled by the position of the door, and are dimmed when the door is open.

Crew Areas

The rear of the A350 has a large amount of galley space. The galley between the rear-most doors can be closed off with doors to provide a changing area for members of the cabin crew. The cabin crew's rest area is accessed from in here.

The rear of the A350 has a large amount of galley space. The galley between the rear-most doors can be closed off with doors to provide a changing area for members of the cabin crew. The cabin crew’s rest area is accessed from in here.

Moving a little further aft is this cavernous galley nestled into the aft pressure bulkhead.

Moving a little further aft is this cavernous galley nestled into the aft pressure bulkhead.

Over the rear of the economy cabin is a crew rest area. Accessed through a ladder in the rear galley area, it has bunks for six flight attendants. Airbus tells us that there is an option to add two more bunks, for a total of 8.

Over the rear of the Economy cabin is a crew rest area. Accessed through a ladder in the rear galley area, it has bunks for six flight attendants. Airbus tells us that there is an option to add two more bunks, for a total of 8.

A closer look at the forward section of the crew rest area.

A closer look at the forward section of the crew rest area.

The A350's spacious and modern flight deck.

The A350’s spacious and modern flight deck.

Ben Granucci, Standards Editor, is an aviation enthusiast and plane spotter based in New York City. Growing up in Connecticut, he has had his eyes toward the sky for as long as he can remember. He can be reached on Twitter at @BLGranucci or through his blog at Landing-Lights.com.

All photos by Ben Granucci, NYCAviation.



About the Author

Ben Granucci
Ben Granucci, Senior Editor, is an aviation enthusiast and plane spotter based in New York City. Growing up in Connecticut, he has had his eyes toward the sky for as long as he can remember. He can be reached at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter.




 
 

 

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  • Baylink

    I have always wondered: is it not troublesome that the stick for the left seat is on the left side, when statistically most people are right handed and have much less adept fine motor control on their off hand?

    • Chuanshuo Chen

      I’ve experienced both seats on a A320 flight sim. (which features the same side-sticks) and I personally find the left-stick easier to use.

      In case you’re wondering I am right-handed…

    • Stephen Belokopitsky

      The left stick presents no motor skill issue…did you know that proportional to the whole general population, there exists a higher proportion of “lefties” among pilots? Lol, its true….we like to say we are some of the only people in our right mind- especially adept in spatial orientation.

  • wellingtonguy

    It looks like they are on to a winner to me if you can fit 9 across without feeling cramped that has to be a good thing. But I have heard rumours that some airlines are going for 10 across which would ruin things for economy pax. Let’s hope it not true