New Airbus A320neo spreads wings

Looking sharp in mid flight: Airbus A320neo. (Image © Airbus)
Looking sharp in mid flight: Airbus A320neo. (Image © Airbus)

In case you are wondering: the ‘neo’ in Airbus A320neo stands for New Engine Option. Just a little fun fact on the day the new Airbus airliner first took the skies. At noon local time in Toulouse-Blagnac, France, the A320neo took off for its maiden flight, watched by hundreds of Airbus workers from the production facility and many thousands of online viewers via Airbus’s live feed.

Thursday’s flight took the aircraft over France for a first series of tests and lasted close to 2.5 hours. The aircraft had five crew members on board, who explored the aircraft’s flight envelope and systems operation. The first flight starts a further 3,000 hours of testing before the first aircraft will be introduced into service late next year.

Airbus offers two latest-generation engine choices for the A320neo, being CFM International’s LEAP-1A and the PurePower PW1100G-JM from Pratt & Whitney – along with the use of fuel-saving Sharklets wingtip devices. The aircraft that performed the first flight is Pratt & Whitney equipped. Airbus says the new type consumes 20 percent less fuel per passenger.

In the books are 3,000 firm orders from 60 customers since Aorbus launched the Airbus A320neo launch. Total orders for the Airbus A320 family have now reached 7,079 aicraft.

© 2014 Airheadsfly.com editor Elmer van Hest

The flight crew for the Airbus A320neo first flight. (Image © Airbus)
The flight crew for the Airbus A320neo first flight. (Image © Airbus)