Airbus’ highly efficient A320neo (new engine option) jetliner took to the skies for its maiden flight today from Toulouse, France – opening a new chapter for the company’s market-leading single-aisle product line.
The A320neo aircraft powered by Pratt & Whitney’s PurePower PW1100G-JM engines ascended from at Toulouse-Blagnac Airport, kicking off this historic first mission with a five-member crew of Airbus flight test pilots and engineers.
Today’s planned flight of approximately two-and-a-half-hours – which is flying over Southern France before landing back in Toulouse – commences the rigorous A320neo flight test programme to pave the way for this jetliner type’s planned service entry with Qatar Airways in the fourth quarter of 2015.
On the initial mission, the flight test team is to perform checks of the A320neo’s engines, fuel pumps, hydraulics, electrical systems and landing gear, as well as beginning the process of opening the full flight envelope, which enables further performance, handling and systems evaluations.
The A320neo – which also is offered with CFM International’s LEAP-1A powerplant – is the latest evolution in Airbus’ best-selling single-aisle family, bringing operators unbeatable efficiency and comfort. Along with new engines, the NEO product line incorporates Airbus’ fuel-saving Sharklets wingtip devices and the latest cabin innovations to deliver per seat fuel burn improvement of 20 per cent by 2020.
Visit Airbus’ dedicated A320neo page