Germany’s new ‘Air Force One’ Airbus A350-900 XWB; photos, details

  • Germany’s new “Air Force One” was just delivered to the armed forces on Thursday after arriving at Lufthansa Technik for completion work in May.
  • The Airbus A350-900 XWB will be replacing the country’s A340-300 fleet acquired from flag carrier Lufthansa. 
  • The purchase came in 2019 following mechanical issues with the existing VIP aircraft, one of which forced Chancellor Angela Merkel to fly commercial to the G20 in 2018.
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The German Air Force has a new flagship jet, the Airbus A350-900 XWB.

Lufthansa Technik on Thursday handed over the first of three A350s to the Bundeswehr – Germany’s armed forces – that will fly Germany’s top government officials around the world, including Chancellor Angela Merkel. The German government placed the order for the next-generation aircraft last year to replace its aging fleet of Airbus A340-300s jets that have served as aerial ambassadors since 2011, according to Airbus and planespotters.net.

The purchase followed a mid-air mechanical issue on the A340 fleet while Merkel was en route to the G20 summit in Argentina, according to Germany’s state-funded international news outlet Deutsche Welle, forcing her to fly commercial instead. Much like the country’s flag carrier, Lufthansa, the German government will benefit from the jet’s efficiency by trading in four engines for two and gain additional range capabilities of around 800 nautical miles, according to Airbus. 

The A350-900 XWB is one of Airbus’ newest aircraft and has been rapidly growing in the long-haul fleets of airlines around the world with Germany being the first country to purchase the VIP variant for government use. As Germany is home to numerous Airbus production plants, parts of the plane were even manufactured in the country, although the final assembly took place in France.

Take a look at the new German “Air Force One.” 

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