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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.”

Record numbers for Airbus in 2013

A380 test aircraft on the runway at Filton in 2009 Credit: Ben Birchall/PA Wire

Airbus, whose planes' wings are designed in Filton near Bristol, delivered a record number of aircraft in 2013.

The company, whose planes include the world's largest passenger aircraft, the A380 superjumbo, delivered 626 planes in 2013.

These included 25 superjumbos, with the overall total surpassing the previous record figure of 588 achieved in 2012.

A total of 93 customers received Airbus planes last year, including 15 who were taking delivery of an Airbus aircraft for the first time.

Despite a record year, Airbus just failed to deliver more aircraft than rival US company Boeing which earlier this month announced it had delivered 648 planes in 2013.

The Boeing figure, also a record and 7.8% up on the 2012 total, was achieved despite problems with the Seattle-based company's ultra-green 787 Dreamliner model.

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Filton Airfield new homes

Residents in North Bristol are to be asked their views of a proposed major housing development on land at Filton Airfield.

A meeting will be held in Southmead tonight to hear their concerns and outline South Gloucestershire plans for 5,700 new homes on the site.

Bristol City Council will use tonight's meeting to produce their formal submission to South Gloucestershire who are the planning authority.

Filton Credit: ITV News West Country

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Filton jobs at risk

Defence company BAe Systems have confirmed "a relatively small number" of jobs will go at Filton, near Bristol, as part of wider cutbacks announced today.

The job losses, thought to involve office staff, are part of 1,700 redundancies at shipyards in Portsmouth and Scotland.

The company says it's due to restructuring as work on two new aircraft carriers comes to an end. The Technology Centre at Filton is not affected.

Philip Hammond MP Defence Secretary made the announcement in the Commons today.

Filton roles under threat

Jobs at Filton near Bristol are to go as part of the 1,775 job losses announced by BAE Systems today.

The company hasn't yet confirmed how many workers at Filton face redundancy.

The jobs are being cut after a drop in work due to the end of aircraft carrier contracts.

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Ten years since Concorde made last commercial flights

Today marks ten years since Concorde made its last commercial flights, and the end of supersonic travel.

Today marks ten years since Concorde made its last commercial flights Credit: ITV News Westcountry

Three of the Filton built aircraft last flew into Heathrow airport in 2003 before being permanently retired.

The Save Concorde campaign group is still lobbying British Airways a decade on to make one of the aircraft available to fly again non-commercially.

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