The A320neo (new engine option) Family is one step closer to meeting its commitment of delivering the lowest operating costs of any single-aisle jetliners with today’s certification of the Pratt & Whitney-powered A320neo variant.
Completing a 14-month flight test programme on time, the Pure Power PW1100G-JM engine-equipped A320neo was approved by both the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) – becoming the first NEO version to earn Type Certification.
“This is a great day for the NEO,” said Klaus Roewe, Airbus Senior Vice President – Head of the A320 Programme. “We’ve stuck to an aggressive schedule from the very start of the re-engining project and I’m extremely proud of all the teams involved. The best keeps getting better!”
Shaping the future
Certification paves the way for the jetliner type’s upcoming first delivery – a milestone that will bring the A320neo’s superior fuel-efficiency, operating economics, and comfort to the fleet of launch customer Qatar Airways.
The A320neo offers a 20 percent fuel burn improvement per seat compared to current engine option jetliners that results from the NEO’s latest technologies, standard Sharklet wingtip devices and two new engine option choices: Pratt & Whitney’s Pure Power PW1100G-JM, along with the CFM International LEAP-1A.
In addition, operators will benefit from 500 miles of additional range, 5 percent lower maintenance costs, as well as reduced noise and emissions, all while being able to accommodate up to 20 extra passengers without compromising comfort – a result of Airbus’ new “Cabin Flex” interior that increases seating capacity with optimised use of cabin space.
Proving its capabilities
Kicking off with the jetliner’s first flight in September 2014, the Pratt & Whitney-powered A320neo flight test and certification programme comprised three flight test aircraft carrying out more than 1,070 total flight hours in nearly 350 flights. They performed all important systems and airframe tests to demonstrate the aircraft met airworthiness criteria. In addition, more than 300 of these flight hours for the Pratt & Whitney-powered variant were operated in airline conditions to ensure maturity at service entry.
The first NEO variant’s airworthiness approval will be followed by certification of the LEAP-1A-powered A320neo in the coming months, and then subsequently the A321neo and A319neo versions for each engine type.
Continuing Airbus’ reputation as the designer and manufacturer of the world’s best aircraft – the A320neo has received firm orders from over 75 customers for more than 4,300 aircraft comprising versions with both engine types, a total which represent a 60 percent market share for the NEO Family.