The aviation industry and aircraft manufacturers are constantly striving to develop and design new aircraft that will offer better, safer, more economical, and more comfortable air transport. It was on these efforts that Airbus developed the new A321XLR aircraft model. As a logical step in the development of the A320 Airbus family, the A321 class was created. The A321XLR thus becomes the next evolutionary step that responds to market needs for even more range and creates more value for the airlines by bringing 30% lower fuel burn per seat than previous-generation competitor aircraft.
What are the differences from it's predecessors?
The A321XLR is the latest variant of Airbus’s A321 group, and this week it took a big step forward to become a reality. A321XLR is coming from the Airbus A321LR, where LR stands for long-range. The new model will bring numerous improvements, and its design is in the final phase, so the first flights are expected during 2022, and officially enter service during 2023.
The changes include: the new permanent Rear Centre Tank (RCT) for more fuel volume; a modified landing gear for an increased maximum take-off weight (MTOW) of 101 metric tons; and an optimized wing trailing-edge flap configuration to preserve the same take-off performance and engine thrust requirements as today’s A321neo.
The RCT, which is unique to the new long-range A321XLR, is a permanently installed high-capacity fuel tank that makes maximum volumetric use of the aircraft’s lower fuselage. Airbus targets to fill in the gap separating ordinary single-aisle planes and small widebodies. That suggests that the A321XLR will enhance a good match for the operators looking for a widebody range with a single-aisle capability.
Single-aisle planes revolution
The aircraft specifically has the longest range of any narrowbody aircraft ever built, up to 4,700 nautical miles without stopping. A321XLR is capable of flying longer distances. The A321LR is capable of flying 15% further than a simple A321neo. Whereas the A321XLR could fly 15% further than the A321LR. For passengers, the A321XLR’s new Airspace cabin will provide the best travel experience, while offering seats in all classes with the same high comfort as on long-haul widebody aircraft. Likewise, the new Airbus A321XLR won’t need to carry as many passengers to make a route economical.
Before the new aircraft finally leaves the hangar and enters production, there are still things that need to be resolved. Airbus intends to install a suite of flight test instruments into the aircraft to be used during the aircraft’s test phase. In addition, Airbus still needs to install and test the CFM LEAP engines that will power the jet.
If we take into account the number of airlines that made a deposit for the new airplane at the Paris Air Show in June, the XLR could mean a major redrawing of route maps when it rolls off assembly lines in 2023. The big question hanging in the air is how long passengers will accept being on a single-aisle plane. As much as the seat will be comfortable as Airbus reasons the reality is that with one aisle your capacity to move around the plane will be limited.
We are sure that you are also looking forward to the first flight with the new Airbus aircraft. Until then, follow our blog and stay up to date with the latest news.