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  • Writer's pictureTeam CargoTalk

Airbus opens new assembly line for long-haul jets


With airlines rushing to order single-aisle, fuel efficient, financially sound jets such as the A321LR that continues to unlock new range capabilities as the aircraft evolves, Airbus has inaugurated its new A320 Family final assembly line (FAL) in Toulouse, its main site. The A321XLR has been designed to maximise overall commonality with the A321LR and the rest of the A320neo Family — which ensures that flight crew can be certified to fly the aircraft without significant ‘conversation’ training. New developments include a new permanent Rear Centre Tank for more fuel volume; a modified landing gear for an increased maximum take-off weight of 101 metric tonnes; and an optimised wing trailing-edge flap configuration to preserve the same take-off performance and engine thrust requirements as today’s A321neo. The new optimised Rear Centre Tank holds more fuel than several optional Additional Centre Tanks did previously, while taking up less space in the cargo hold – thus freeing-up underfloor volume for additional cargo and baggage on long range routes. Once the A321XLR is certified, Airbus’ entire single-aisle, long-range portfolio will include multiple variants. The A321neo (new engine option aka “NEO”) — which first flew in February 2016 — has a range of approximately 3,700 nautical miles. It’s also capable of flying transatlantic between Paris and New York in an all-Business Class configuration — but most airlines are using the jet for mid-haul routes.

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