Mon, May 02, 2011
More Than 330 Firm Orders And Commitments Are Reportedly On The
European planemaker Airbus says the exceptional commercial
activity for its A320neo (new engine option) is led by a
100-aircraft order from international leasing company ILFC - which
was announced earlier this week, finalizing a memorandum of
understanding inked in March.
Joining ILFC in signing agreements since the option's
announcement in December 2010 are IndiGo, Virgin America and
Brazil's TAM - each of which will benefit from the A320neo's more
efficient engines and large "Sharklet" wing tip devices for fuel
savings of up to 15 per cent, along with additional range of up to
500 nautical miles/900 km. or 2 tonnes of extra payload.
The A320neo marks a new step in Airbus' continuous evolution of
the A320 Family, which demonstrates its maturity and reliability in
operational service worldwide. As this new engine option offers
maximum benefit with minimal changes from baseline A320 Family
aircraft, the A320neo will be built using Airbus' existing
industrial system - with airframes for both versions manufactured
in parallel for high production flexibility.
In addition to the integration of Sharklets and two new engine
choices - CFM International's LEAP-X and the PW1100G by Pratt &
Whitney - modifications for the A320neo configuration include
certain structural changes to specific airframe areas, along with a
new engine pylon.
Earlier this year, customers selected the PW1100G as lead
development engine, allowing the A320neo's industrial development
phase to begin in earnest. Originally scheduled for a service entry
in 2016, this date was moved up earlier this month due to high
Airbus now is targeting the fall of 2014 for a maiden flight of
its A320neo, with certification to follow about one year later.
Current planning calls for an eight-aircraft flight test program,
which will accumulate a combined total of approximately 2,600
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