Soon it will be possible to fly from New York to Singapore non-stop. That is almost 20 hours in the air. But the end of this year, passengers on Singapore Airline’s newest plane, the Airbus A350-900ULR will travel on a record-breaking, globe-spanning flight that will reconnect the two major metropolises. The ULR at the end of the Airbus name stands for “ultra long range.”
The ULR will be able to fly a remarkable 11,160 miles, an increase of more than 1,800 miles over the standard A350. It means that Singapore Airlines will once again own the title of running the world’s longest nonstop air route.
What will it be like for passengers flying nonstop for almost a whole day?
All A350s have Airbus’ design philosophy that makes the aircraft cabin feel more like a room, rather than a long tube. The plane has high ceilings, sophisticated LED lighting, almost vertical sidewalls and a low noise level. These new features all work together to provide an improved passenger experience, according to Petteni.
“You may not exactly pinpoint why it’s so comfortable and so nice to be flying on this airplane, but everything was done on purpose.”
One of the best features on this new plane is the view. The Airbus includes wide, panoramic windows. Lots of windows.
“We have no missing windows. Whenever a passenger selects a window seat, they will always get a window,” says Petteni. This does away with the dreaded “windowless” window seat found on other aircraft.
The cabin in the ULR can also be made fully dark, giving passengers a restful sleep environment. And the air circulation system on the A350 has also been designed to be quiet and draft-free.
“So even though we recycle the air in the full capacity of the cabin every two to three minutes, we do it in a way that we reduce the velocity of the air inside the cabin,” says Petteni.
With the amount of hours in the air increasing, the Airbus lavatory and water systems have been optimized to meet the challenge of the call of nature.
“There are no changes to the capacities, just optimization,” explains Lucas-Ugena. “That’s something that we do at Airbus, when we have a family of airplanes, any time we have a new type or a new modification, we take the opportunity to improve things.”