The A321 powered by CFM56 engines with Sharklets has become the latest member of Airbus’ single-aisle product line to receive European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) certification.
Sharklets are Airbus’ 2.4-metre-tall fuel-saving wingtip devices, which deliver up four per cent fuel burn reduction on longer sectors. They are available as options on new-build A320ceo (current engine option) Family aircraft, and will be standard on A320neo (new engine option) Family jetliners.
The CFM56-powered A321 becomes the second A320 Family member with Sharklets to receive certification this year, following the A319 – also powered by CFM56 engines – in May. Certified in late 2012 were A320s fitted with Sharklets using both the CFM56 and International Aero Engines (IAE) V2500 powerplants.
The remaining A319 and A321 jetliner versions with V2500 engines and Sharklets are scheduled for certification later this summer.
Since the December 2012 service entry of Sharklets on the A320, these fuel-saving devices have continued to prove their popularity with operators around the world. As the result of growing demand, approximately 50 per cent of all A320 Family jetliners delivered in the first six months of 2013 featured Sharklets, with Airbus providing more than 20 single-aisle aircraft equipped with them during June alone.
Overall, 82 Sharklet-equipped A320 aircraft have been delivered to 28 operators through June. To date, a total of 44 customers have ordered A320 Family aircraft equipped with the wingtip devices.
Flight testing of the no. 1 Sharklet-equipped A321 jetliner was kicked off with a maiden flight performed on 23 October 2012, during which the aircraft travelled from its assembly site in Hamburg, Germany to Toulouse, France