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Airbus’ A321LR in transatlantic test flight
A321LR. © Airbus

Airbus’ A321LR in transatlantic test flight

The newest and longest-range member of the A320 family has showed its transatlantic capabilities with a nonstop Paris-New York flight.

The Airbus A320 Family marked a new milestone with a Paris-to-New York nonstop flight flown by the A321LR – demonstrating the aircraft's ability to operate on heavily-travelled North Atlantic routes.

The flight, powered by two CFM International LEAP-1A engines, is part of nearly 100 hours of flight tests in advance of the jetliner’s airworthiness certification, expected in the second quarter of 2018.

The A321LR, which made its maiden flight on 31st January, claims to offer the longest range of any single-aisle commercial aircraft today, able to fly 7,400km nonstop. The LR features an extra (third) auxiliary fuel tank — necessitating structural reinforcements — compared with the baseline A321neo, which can carry two auxiliary tanks.

Airbus has received more than 100 orders for the A321LR; with first customer delivery expected in late 2018.

Thanks to the Airbus Cabin Flex (ACF) concept, operators can outfit the A321LR in two-class configurations with full-flat seats or in a single-class layout capable of accommodating up to 240 passengers.

The A321neo already dominates its middle-of-the-market segment, with a market share of over 80%, according to Airbus. The A321LR seems likely to further cement this dominance.

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