Airbus is hiring designers and engineers to help it develop two new commercial jets to be launched in the mid-2020s, according to Bloomberg.
The article claims that the manufacturer studies an advanced version of the A350 widebody with more economical engines and other improvements, however, it is the second project that calls attention. It is a all-new single-aisle commercial jet, the first it has planned since 1984 when Airbus launched the A320 family.
Asked by Bloomberg, Airbus stated that “we are looking at many ways to advance our product line, there are many studies, but not all see the light of day.”
Although the manufacturer does not disclose details of its plans, the information on the functions offered describes aircraft capable of being produced at a very fast pace – 100 units of the narrowbody jet and 20 units of the “A350neo” per month, much higher than the current A320 production rate (60 aircraft per month) and the A350 (10 aircraft).
At the heart of Airbus’s plans is the development of new engines featuring ultra-high bypass ratio, the so-called ultrafans. Certainly, to justify an entirely new project, the company plans to develop a highly efficient fuselage and wings that could put it at an advantage over Boeing.
If you really give the green light to the project, it will be the first time that a major commercial jet manufacturer decides to retire a single-aisle aircraft instead of improving it. Boeing, for example, has kept the 737 in production for 50 years and even McDonnell Douglas has created several updated versions of the original DC-9.
However, before thinking about the new airplane, Airbus reveals that it will launch two more versions of the A320. The first must be the XLR, capable of flying even further than the LR, and the second, possibly an extended A321 to face the future Boeing NMA.