A small step for aviation, a giant step for Airbus. The first aircraft of the European manufacturer produced in its US Manufacturering Facility in Mobile, Alabama, took to the skies for the first time on 21 March 2016. Taking of from the Mobile Aeroplex at 09:36 local time, the test flight lasted until landing 13:02 – with test pilots Mark McCullins and Bruce Macdonald on the controls
The flight of 3 hours and 26 minutes was meant to test systems, engines and structure performance, with 300 Airbus employees having a great day waving the aircraft goodbye.
The first “American” produced Airbus is an A321 for JetBlue, which the company will receive in just a few weeks from now. The single-aisle aircraft can bring passengers non-stop over a distance of 4,000 nautical miles (7,400 km).
JetBlue Airways has frequently ordered the A321 and its sisters A320 in several versions. It currently flies about 160 of them, with between 40 and 50 more coming, helping JetBlue to be the 5th largest airline of the United States.
© 2016 Airheadsfly.com editor Marcel Burger
Featured image: Take-off of the first American-made Airbus ever, on 21 March in Mobile, Alabama (Image © J. Darcy / Airwind / Airbus S.A.S.)