Airbus’ first A321XLR (Xtra Long Range) has successfully accomplished its first flight. The aircraft, MSN 11000, took off from Hamburg-Finkenwerder Airport at 11:05 hrs CEST for a a test flight which lasted approximately four hours and 35 minutes. The aircraft’s crew consisted of experimental test pilots Thierry Diez and Gabriel Diaz de Villegas Giron, as well as test engineers Frank Hohmeister, Philippe Pupin and Mehdi Zeddoun. During the flight, the crew tested the aircraft’s flight controls, engines and main systems, including flight envelope protections, both at high and low speed.
Philippe Mhun, Airbus executive vice president for Programmes and Services stated: “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.” Entry into service is targeted for early 2024.
The A321XLR is the next evolutionary step in the A320neo single-aisle family of aircraft, meeting market requirements for increased range and payload, creating more value for airlines by enabling economically viable services on longer routes than any comparable aircraft model. The A321XLR will deliver a range of up to 4,700nm (8,700 km), with 30 percent lower fuel consumption per seat compared to previous-generation aircraft, as well as reduced NOx emissions and noise. By the end of May 2022, the A320neo family has accumulated over 8,000 orders from over 130 customers worldwide. A321XLR orders stood at more than 500 from over 20 customers.