Last week, the long range version of the Airbus A321 makes a remarkable nonstop flight from Paris to New York to demonstrate its ability to operate in Transatlantic routes.
The flight was made by the first test aircraft (D-AVZO) that performed the first flight of the version on January 31. The jetliner took off from Le Bourget airport, near Paris, flown for 8 hours and 44 minutes and landed in John F. Kennedy airport at night.
According to Airbus, the A321LR (Long Range) is capable to fly 4,000 nautical miles (7,400 kilometers) due to aerodynamic improvements and a new version of CFM International LEAP-1A engines. Besides, the aircraft has two additional centre tanks an maybe will receive a third one to b e able to perform long distance flights. Airbus expect for certification of the A321LR by the second quarter of 2018.
To this date, the aircraft has more than 100 orders and the first costumer delivery should occur at the end of the year. With a capacity to accomodate up to 240 passengers in a single-class layout, the A321LR is aiming to replace the older Boeing 757-200 as a more efficient airliner in transcontinental routes or even in long range flights in Asia or North America.
For now, the new Airbus plane has no direct competitors. Boeing just a few months ago gave the green light to the 737 MAX 10, the largest version of the jetliner already designed. And it develops a new medium capacity aircraft designated as NMA (New Mid-market Airplane) but which is commonly called the 797.