What you're looking at here is history; the triumph of seven years of design and engineering. Today, the Airbus A350 XWB completed its first flight. Here's the video of the mammoth taking to the skies:
Far from just another tin tank, the A350 is a carbon fibre miracle. Its frame is made from 53-per cent composite materials (more than any other), which makes it the most efficient large twin-engine bird to ever fly.
The A350 sailed off a runway in Toulouse, France, and completed a four-hour test flight as scheduled early this morning. This is just the beginning of the airplane's one-year, 2500-hour certification process. If all goes well, the airplane could be taking off from an airport near you by 2014.
In other words, Boeing's Dreamliner engineers are having a rough day. [Airbus]