: The first Airbus A350-1000, which was delivered to launch operator Qatar Airways in February, is equipped with a new safety feature that will now be standard across all A350-1000s.
Called the automated emergency descent (AED), the system engages the aircraft’s autopilot function to automatically and quickly bring the aircraft to a lower, safer altitude in the event of in-flight cabin depressurisation.
“Depressurisation events are extremely rare,” said Yann Besse, an autopilot laboratory test team engineer for Airbus. “Our goal was a simple system that provides significant workload alleviation when a rapid descent is required.”
The AED mode is triggered when the cabin pressure falls below a predetermined limit. After alerting the flight crew, the system engages the autopilot to bring the aircraft to a lower, safer altitude if there is no crew reaction within 15 seconds.
The AED’s use on the A350-1000 is the first application of its kind in a large commercial aircraft and demonstrates Airbus’ commitment to ensuring safety through what AED project leader Florent Lanterna termed “Airbus’ continuous improvement philosophy”.