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// The extended-range A321XLR is
expected to enter service in 2023
Airbus announced the development of the A321XLR at the Paris Air
Show this month, an 8,700km range variant of its A320neo family.
The twinjet aircraft will be able to fly 15% further than the current
longest-range A320 variant, the A321LR, which has a range of 7,400km and
can carry up to 220 passengers.
The longer range is enabled by modifications including a new fuel tank at
the back of the aircraft, which can contain an additional 12,900 liters of fuel,
and modified landing gear to support its increased weight of 101t.
The new fuel tank will hold more fuel than several Additional Centre
Tanks (ACTs), the optional fuel tanks Airbus adds to its aircraft to extend
their range. A standard A320neo can carry up to 23,490 liters of fuel, the
A321LR uses three ACTs, each capable of holding 3,121 liters to boost its
capacity to 32,853 liters of fuel. The A321XLR has the option of one
additional ACT, bringing its total fuel capacity to 39,511 liters.
The A321XLR will also have an optimized wing trailing-edge flap
configuration to preserve the same takeoff performance and engine thrust
requirements as the current A321neo, which is powered by CFM
International Leap-1A or Pratt & Whitney PW1100G engines.
The improvements result in a 30% lower fuel burn per seat than
previous-generation aircraft, Airbus said, while opening up new routes such
as India to Europe or China to Australia,
Several deals for the A321XLR were announced at the show, including
orders for 14 aircraft from the International Airlines Group, 27 for the Air
Lease Corporation and 36 for Qantas.
Alan Joyce, CEO of the Qantas Group said, “We already know the A320 is a
great aircraft and this new variant can fly further and more efficiently than
any other single-aisle jet on the market. It can fly routes like Cairns-Tokyo or
Melbourne-Singapore, which existing narrow-bodies can’t, and that
changes the economics of lots of potential routes into Asia to make them
not just physically possible but financially attractive.” \\
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