Airbus announced this week that it has successfully flown its “extra long range” A321XLR single-aisle passenger jet for the first time. The test flight, which was conducted from Germany’s Hamburg-Finkenwerder Airport (XFW), lasted approximately 4 hours and 35 minutes. According to the company, the crew tested the aircraft’s flight controls, engines and systems, including flight envelope protections at both high and low speed.
“This is a major milestone for the A320 Family and its customers worldwide,” said Philippe Mhun, Airbus executive vice president for programs and services. “With the A321XLR coming into service, airlines will be able to offer long-haul comfort on a single aisle aircraft, thanks to its unique Airspace cabin. The A321XLR will open new routes with unbeatable economics and environmental performance.”
The Airbus A321XLR is expected to offer a range of up to 4,700 NM (8,700 km) and a 30 percent lower fuel consumption per seat compared to previous-generation aircraft, and seat up to 244 passengers in single-class layout. The company is targeting early 2024 for the model’s entry into service. Airbus reports that it had received more than 500 A321XLR orders from over 20 customers as of May 2022.
This plane has had so much press coverage, that I thought it first flew several years ago. From what I heard, it’s the machine that (already) put Boeing out of business. Well, as Mark Twain allegedly said…