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New Airbus model touches down in Gloucestershire

The new Airbus A350 XWB visits Cotswold Airport Credit: Airbus Operations Ltd

The latest version of the Airbus has made its first visit to Britain and touched down at Cotswold Airport in Gloucestershire as part of routine certification tests.

The new Airbus A350 XWB was flown by London-born experimental test pilot, Frank Chapman, and is one of the four A350 test aircraft currently flying and undergoing rigorous testing before entry into service later this year. Captain Chapman said:

“The A350 XWB has significant UK input, as the wings and fuel systems are designed at the Airbus facilities in Filton, Bristol and assembled at the Broughton plant in North Wales, the engines are made by Rolls-Royce in Derby and the landing gear by Messier-Bugatti-Dowty in Gloucestershire.”

“This visit is part of the aircraft’s certification. Experts from the nearby Airbus Filton facility are playing a key role in supporting the fuel system tests.

“I’m immensely proud to be flying the first A350 XWB to land in the UK and look forward to this aircraft being a regular feature in British skies over the coming years.”

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Fracking debate hots up in the west

Groups opposed to fracking - the controversial technique of drilling for gas - have described a government incentive as "bribery". Further licences to explore in parts of the West could be issued later this year - in addition to one area of Somerset already identified.

Today the Prime Minister said councils that allow fracking will now be able to keep all the associated business rates as well as other benefits. Our political correspondent Bob Constantine reports from Westminster.

10 years since Concorde's last flight

Concorde 216 landing at Filton on November 26th 2003. Credit: Barry Batchelor/PA Archive

Today is the tenth anniversary of the last ever flight of Concorde, the supersonic plane which was designed and built in Bristol.

In 2003 thousands turned out to watch Concorde 216 fly over the West Country before touching down at Filton.

The plane has remained there ever since despite plans to build a museum to house her.

Concorde today at Filton Airfield. Credit: ITV News West Country
Capt Les Brodie back in his pilot seat this morning. Credit: ITV News West Country

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Mayor to unveil UK's first council-owned wind farm

George Ferguson will today unveil the UK's first council-owned wind farm at Avonmouth. Credit: Frank May/DPA/Press Association Images

Bristol Mayor, George Ferguson, will today unveil the UK's first council-owned wind farm which is being installed at Avonmouth.

It's hoped the turbines, when they swing into action next month, will become the council's biggest source of renewable energy.

Bristol's hi-tech role in smartphones and tablets

The Science Minister was at a trading estate near Bristol today. The location may sound a little dull - but the work David Willetts went to see is cutting edge in the world of technology.

Nvidia is an American-based firm which has just doubled the size of its operation here in the West. It develops and builds technology used in mobile phones and tablet computers. Our political reporter Robert Murphy joined him.

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