29 OCTOBER 2012
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Whilst attention has been focussed on the larger Airbus aircraft over the last couple of weeks with the A350 final assembly line inauguration and Singapore Airlines’ A350 and A380 re-orders, Airbus’ smallest family, the A320, reached two significant milestones.
The on-going development of the world’s best selling jetliner has seen the first flight of an A321 with fuel saving sharklets and the arrival of the A320neo’s (new engine option) first engine-to-test, the Pratt & Whitney PW1100G-JM. This engine will be tested at P&W’s facilities in Florida.
The A320neo which enters service in 2015, is also available with the latest ‘Leap’ development of the CFM 56-5 and has over 95% airframe commonality with the A320, making it an easy fit into existing fleets.
Sharklets are 2.4m (7.8ft) tall and fitted as standard on the A320neo. Sharklets and the new engine options combine to offer a 15% fuel burn reduction.
Sharklets are also available on the A320, with first delivery to the largest A320 customer, Air Asia, this year. Sharklets have proved a popular option with over 40 customers selecting them for A320s.
The A320neo has around 1,500 firm orders from 30 customers since its launch at the end of 2010, making it the fastest selling aircraft ever.
The A320 Family has as a whole over 8,600 orders from around 350 customers. www.airbus.com
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