The first A321XLR (Xtra Long Range) from Airbus has successfully completed its first flight. The MSN 11000 aircraft took off from Hamburg-Finkenwerder Airport at 11:05 CEST for a four-hour-and-thirty-five-minute test flight. The crew of the aircraft were experimental test pilots Thierry Diez and Gabriel Diaz de Villegas Giron and test engineers Frank Hohmeister, Philippe Pupin, and Mehdi Zeytoun. During the flight, the crew evaluated the aircraft’s flying controls, engines, and primary systems, as well as flight envelope protections, at both high and low speeds.
Philippe Mhun, Executive Vice President of Programmes and Services for Airbus, commented, “This is a major milestone for the A320 Family and its customers worldwide. 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 projected date for entry into service is early 2024.
The A321XLR is the next evolutionary step in the A320neo single-aisle Family, addressing market demand for expanded range and payload, and delivering more value for airlines than any comparable aircraft model by enabling economically viable services on longer routes.
The A321XLR will have a single-aisle aircraft range of up to 4,700 nautical miles (8,700 kilometres), a 30% reduction in fuel consumption per seat compared to previous-generation aircraft, and decreased NOx emissions and noise. By the end of May 2022, the A320neo Family will have received more than 8,000 orders from more than 130 clients throughout the world. More than 500 A321XLR orders were placed by over 20 customers.