Recently on the Global Aviation Media Facebook Page the question arose: “How can you tell an A350-900 apart from a -1000 variant” when a 900 was mislabelled as a 1000 so the GA Media team took a closer look at the differences between the types!
Number 1- Size Differences
The A350-1000 is visibly longer, by 23 feet or 7 meters, which accommodates 44 more seats than the smaller A350-900 variant. This size difference is extremely apparent upon side by side inspection:
Number 2- Landing Gear
For fans of Air Recce or as a general upclose differentiation technique, the landing gear of the two types drastically differ. The A350-1000 variant has a hugher maximum weight if 308 metric tons (Versus 280 metric tons of the A350-900 (or 679,000 lbs versus 617,000)), so to accommodate this the A350-1000 the main landing gear has an extra wheel on each side. So if you see 2 tires per side, it’s a -900 and if you see 3 tires per side, it’s a -1000:
Number 3- Fine Particulars
If you are a real geek (Or just need to practice your counting skills), you could count the windows. Whilst it would be unecessary to count all of them, those between the third and fourth door will give away the -1000, which has 22 compared to 17 on the smaller -900; Quite a nifty way to differentiate the types based on close up fuselage shots.
Another fine particular is the distance between the nose gear, and the main landing gear, on the -1000 this distance is greater than on the smaller -900 variant making for a smoother landing experience for passengers towards the front of the aircraft (Presuming it’s a smooth landing in the first place)
This diagram shows some of these finer details:
Number 4- The Danger Zone
If you find yourself stuck on the highway through the danger zone (We couldn’t resist a Top Gun reference) you’ll notice the danger zone on the -1000 is far larger than it’s smaller sibling. Whilst both types share the same Rolls Royce Trent XWB engines, you may wonder why these danger zones vary. This is because those installed on the A350-1000 have a higher take-off thrust of 97,000 lb each, versus 93,000lb on the smaller -900 version. For an A350-900 with engines running, this danger zone is 442 m (483 yards) whilst the A350-1000’s is it’s 10 percent bigger, at 488 metres (533 yards) :
So that summarises the differences between the types! Next time you’re out spotting we hope these differences lead to you correctly identifying the variant of A350 the aircraft is. If you’re a fan of Air Recce and want to see more, let us know in the comments below!
From the GA Media Team, happy spotting!