Some travel journalists this week got to witness some cutting-edge aviation technology in action, although they probably would have preferred that they hadn’t. During the start of the first Qatar Airways flight from New York on a new Airbus A350, the airplane’s software determined that the runway was too short to take off and decided to put on the brakes, bringing the plane from more than 100 mph to 0 mph in less than 15 seconds.
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The 36 journalists aboard the plane, who were supposed to enjoy business-class accommodation, recorded their somewhat scary experience on video.
As The Telegraph reports, Qatar Airways will deploy 80 Airbus A350s in the future. The plane “features extra wide cabin, high ceilings and panoramic windows” that have electromechanical shades for switching between transparent and opaque modes.
Rivaling the Boeing 787 Dreamliner in size, the A350 is made of lightweight carbon fiber that’s supposed to save on jet costs.
“As you can see in the video [below], about 18 seconds after we began rolling down JFK’s runway 22R, the aircraft self-aborted, bringing us from more than 100 mph to a loud, screeching halt in roughly 15 seconds,” Zach Honig wrote for The Points Guy.
“For a plane of this size and weight, stopping that quickly required a lot of force. To give you another idea of how abruptly we stopped, as you can see in the picture below, nearly all of the 200+ pillows and blankets landed on the floor, having previously been neatly arranged on each seat in economy,” he said.
“Fortunately, nobody was hurt, but some passengers (including myself) were quite shaken.”
The plane took off from a different runway some two hours later, making a safe trip to Doha. The aborted take-off video follows below.