The first flight of the new Airbus A350 XWB, on 14 June 2013, was widely
hailed at this year’s Salon du Bourget air show. The Sopra Steria teams
played an active role in this success. Their contribution included assisting
with the on-board computing system, the flight-tests for the new engines,
digital simulations, technical documentation.
Context and challenges
The A350 XWB is a particularly innovative aircraft,
especially with regard to the consideration of
environmental and economic concerns. With half
of the structure formed of composite material, this
particularly lightweight aeroplane will post a lower fuel
consumption, thus meeting the expectations of airlines.
Sopra added value
More than 400 Sopra Steria Group employees assisted
Airbus in several projects relating to the A350 XWB.
THE AEROLINE STIE Team (Scientific, Technical,
Industrial and on-board Engineering)
This team was involved with:
- The on-board computing systems. Sopra Steria developed
a selection of on-board software applications, in
particular the aircraft’s secondary flight controls.
- The preparation and monitoring of the
flight tests for the new engines. The A350
XWB is equipped with a new generation
of Rolls Royce engines. Highly specific
test campaigns had to be conducted in
order to verify their reliability. Acting as
an operator in the control room during
the first flight, in direct communication
with the pilots, Sopra Steria Group played
a very active role in these tests.
- The development of tools for the
processing of flight test data. The
processing of this considerable
volume of data requires specific
tools, which had to be developed.
- Digital simulations of the systems. Even
though the systems are still undergoing
development, these enable the simulation
of their behaviour when altering various
- The development of the entire system thus progresses by means
of successive validations, leading to the overall finalisation.
- The development and adaptation of specific tools, design methods
and processes with certification. Sopra Steria thus assisted a team
of more than 2,000 designers at the Airbus design office.
AEROLINE SIG TEAM (Information & Management Systems)
For its part, a second team provided important associated services:
- The aircraft technical documentation, mandatory prior
to the delivery of any aircraft to a customer.
- Associated services such as training, the publication of the
progress of the production schedules, incident monitoring,
maintenance… have also undergone developments.
For two years, Sopra Steria Group engineers in France and India
had contributed to the integration of the new functions
of the A350 into the existing information systems.
- Benefit from the support of a multi-disciplinary partner,
assisting Airbus with its large-scale projects
- Optimise the costs of development thanks to the
support of Sopra Group’s offshore teams
- Realise scheduling objectives: 1st flight in June 2013
teams cover a
wide range of technical and
operational skills. This rich
potential, reinforced by a
high level of motivation,
contributes to our
preoccupation with always
remaining as close as
possible to our various
internal customers at Airbus.
As such, we have put in place
including our Indian teams,
in order to respond to the
challenges posed by all of the
projects that are assigned to
Furthermore, our increase in
value has enabled us to get
increasing the customer’s
understanding of our
It is the group as a whole
that must be acknowledged
regarding this success, and
thus we will continue
forwards, strengthened by
this identity and the trust
that Airbus places in us."
member of the Sopra
Steria COMEX and Director of