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Airbus A350-900 side view rendering

Side-profile illustrations of an Airbus A350-900 WXB in the Airbus livery

The first Airbus A350 hasn’t even delivered yet, but that hasn’t stopped me from illustrating it for my growing series of side-profile airliner renderings. I have been looking forward to creating this one for a while, but high-resolution photos of the A350 are kind of hard to find at the moment. That made this illustration especially difficult to create.

I usually like to scour the web for days gathering as many high-res detail photos as I can before I begin any aircraft illustration, but that wasn’t possible this time. Only one of these things is flying at the moment, so that means all that I had to work with were a small handful of press photos and lightly-detailed 3d renderings found all around the internet. I’m fairly confident that I was able to render everything correctly, but since I was working from photos of prototype aircraft, I suspect I’ll have to update little details in these illustrations to represent final production versions later this fall.

Overall, I like the shape of the A350. But now that I’ve created this first full rendering after creating the blank template, I gotta give the nod to Boeing for their better-looking 787 – thanks in large part to the scalloped engine nacelles and wings that flex beautifully under aerodynamic load. While the A350 is an elegant-looking airplane, it’s just…so…bland. Other than the nicely-sculpted contours around the wing and fuselage connection (and the good looking nose), there’s little about the overall design which makes it unique and stand out. I think many people will have a difficult time identifying it as an A350 at a crowded airport.

There are three variants of the A350 at the time of this writing (-800, -900, and -1000). This illustration represents the -900 (WXB). I chose to paint this first one in the factory Airbus livery, but I will be creating other versions depicting real airlines soon. I will be creating illustrations of the -800 and -1000 as well, so stay tuned for that.

As always, please feel free to use the attached illustration however you like.

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