Airbus A320neo family
|Airbus A320neo after its first flight|
|Role||Narrow-body twin-engine jet airliner|
|First flight||25 September 2014|
|Introduction||October 2015 with Qatar Airways (scheduled)|
|Status||Test flights / early production|
|Developed from||Airbus A320 family|
The Airbus A320neo family is a family of aircraft under development by Airbus replacing the predecessor A320 family (now A320ceo (current engine option)). The letters "neo" stand for "New Engine Option" and are the last step of the modernisation programme A320 Enhanced (or "A320E") which was started in 2006. In addition to the neo, the modernisation programme also included such improvements as: Aerodynamic refinements, large curved winglets (Sharklets), weight savings, a new cabin with larger luggage spaces, and an improved air purification system. Customers will have a choice of either the CFM International LEAP-1A or the Pratt & Whitney PW1100G.
These improvements in combination are predicted to result in 15% less fuel consumption per aircraft, 8% lower operating costs, less noise production, and a reduction of nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions by at least 10% compared to the A320 series, as well as an increase in range of approximately 500 nautical miles (900 km). A rearranged cabin allows up to 20 more passengers enabling in total over 20% less fuel consumption per seat.
Airbus has firm orders for the A320neo family totaling 3,621 as of January 2015. The first A320neo rolled out of the Airbus factory in Toulouse on 1 July 2014. The first flight of the aircraft took place on 25 September 2014.
Airbus had been assessing the successor to the A320 family with the option of a completely new aircraft or a re-engined and updated one. In 2006 Airbus started the A320 Enhanced (or "A320E") programme as a series of improvements to the A320 family. The improvements include aerodynamic refinements, such as adding large curved winglets (Sharklets) with 3.5% fuel burn improvements, weight savings, a new cabin, and engine improvements. Although these engine improvements were fitted into the A320 in 2007/2008 with the CFM56 Tech Insertion and the V2500Select (One), they were estimated with improvements of only 1-2%, which finally led to Airbus's decision of going with the new engine option, abbreviated "neo".
"Who's going to roll over a fleet to a new generation aircraft for 5% better than an A320 today? Especially if another 10% improvement might be coming in the second half of the next decade based on new engine technology," said John Leahy, Airbus Chief Operating Officer and executive member, in 2006.
The A320 Enhanced as well as the A320neo will also include some modifications to the wing, mainly the installation of blended winglets called "Sharklets" which were announced on 15 November 2009 by Airbus to A320s (and A320neos) commencing in 2012 with launch customer Air New Zealand. These Airbus winglets, which are 2.4 metres (7 ft 10 in) tall and weigh 200 kilograms (440 lb), would reduce fuel burn by 3.5% and offer increases in payload of 500 kilograms (1,100 lb), or range by 100 nautical miles (190 km) at the original payload. This corresponds to an annual CO2 reduction of around 700 tonnes per aircraft, saving operators US$220,000 per aircraft per year. The Sharklets are to be manufactured and distributed by Korean Air Aerospace Division.
A new cabin was fitted, offering better and larger luggage storage and a quieter cabin, packaged with a more modern look and feel. A new air purification system with filters and a catalytic converter removes toxic fumes and unpleasant smells from the air before it is pumped into the cabin. Additionally, improved cabin efficiency by a new galley concept, reduced weight, improved ergonomics and food hygiene and recycling requirements. LED ambience lighting is optionally available. Anytime LEDs are used for the Passenger Service Unit (PSU) and the flight crew can control the cabin through new touchscreen displays.
The new "Space-Flex" optional cabin configuration increases space-efficiency by a new rear galley configuration and a "Smart-Lav" modular lavatory design – allowing an in-flight change of two lavatories into one accessible toilet. It allows up to 9 more passengers for the A320neo and – with larger, relocated exit doors ("Cabin-Flex") – up to 20 more passengers for the A321neo without "putting more sardines in the can". The moved and enlarged exit doors are estimated to add 100kg empty weight. Fuel efficiency per seat is increased by 6% with this option, together with the new engines and the sharklets in total exceeding 20%.
A320neo: New Engine Option
On 1 December 2010, Airbus officially launched its successor to the A320 Enhanced, the A320neo "New Engine Option". The choice for new engines include the CFM International LEAP-1A and the Pratt & Whitney PW1100G. Though the new engines will burn 16% less fuel, the actual fuel gain on an A320 installation will be slightly less, since 1–2% is typically lost upon installation on an existing aircraft. Overall this means an additional range of 510 nmi (950 km), or 2 t (4,400 lb) of extra payload.
Airbus' CEO was said to be "comfortable" with the projections of 15% lower maintenance cost for the Pratt & Whitney's PW1000G family, compared with today's engines. Airbus is targeting October 2015 for the first delivery and plans to deliver 4,000 A320neo over 15 years. Airlines' choices between the two engines are almost equal.
The first Airbus A320neo rolled out of the Toulouse factory on 1 July 2014. The Pratt & Whitney PW1100G-JM geared turbofan engine was Federal Aviation Administration certified on December 19, 2014.
Airbus states that the A320neo Family incorporates latest-generation engines and large "Sharklet" wingtip devices, which together will deliver a total of 15 percent in fuel savings; this includes the use of "Sharklet" winglets which are able to decrease the fuel consumption by 3.5% to 4% due to the decrease of wingtip vortices and aerodynamic drag.
The A320neo has over 95% airframe commonality with the current A320 with 91% commonality in tooling; the airframe is made with new materials such as composite materials and more aluminium alloys , which helps save weight and thus fuel consumption. Also, the new materials will reduce the total of parts of the plane, which will decrease the maintenance costs.
Contrary to most recent airliner developments with years of delay (including competitors Bombardier CSeries, Comac C919, Irkut MS-21, postponed development of Boeing Y1/737 MAX), the A320neo delivery was advanced to October 2015 from second quarter 2016. Its first flight was advanced to September 2014. 95% commonality with the A320 helped to reduce delays associated with large changes.
Airbus has decided to offer three advanced variants of the A320 family with the "New Engine Option." The A319, A320 and A321 will all be developed further while the A318 is not expected to be offered as a "neo," although that may change in the future.
- A319neo: Qatar Airways is the launch customer.
- A320neo: Qatar Airways is the launch customer.
- A321neo: ILFC is the launch customer.
- A321LR: Extended range version of the A321neo. Air Lease Corp. (ALC) is the launch customer.
The A321neo weight variant with increased MTOW of 97 tons – often called A321LR or sometimes A321neoLR (LR = long-range) – transports 206 passengers in a 2-class layout with increased range to 4,000 nmi (7,400 km; 4,600 mi) by using three additional 2,990 L (790 US gal) fuel tanks. An extended 2-class layout including a premium economy class with 164 passengers allows a range of up to 4,100 nmi (7,600 km; 4,700 mi). Historically this is the second MTOW increase after the initial A321-100 with 83 tons, which was quickly replaced by the -200 with 93.5 tons. In October 2014 Airbus started to offer it also as a replacement of the ageing Boeing 757-200, also the latest variant with winglets, sometimes called 757-200W. Compared to the 757-200W, Airbus predicts an A321LR gives overall 25-30% lower operating cost depending on the number of seats on routes where a widebody would be uneconomical. Boeing is not working on a response to the A321LR in form of a new "757MAX", a modification of the 737MAX-9 or the 787-3.
Since its launch in December 2010 the A320neo has received "above 2,000 NEO orders in a little over two years after launch" making it the fastest selling commercial aircraft in history. Virgin America became the launch customer with a firm order of 30 A320neo aircraft as a part of a 60 aircraft order on 17 January 2011. However, in November 2012 they deferred the deliveries of the A320neo aircraft until 2020, making ILFC the new launch customer along with the A321neo. Significant orders include 150 aircraft from IndiGo, 200 from AirAsia, 130 from American Airlines and 174 from Lion Air. The A320neo is planned to enter service in October 2015 with ILFC, 27 years after the first A320 was delivered. This will be followed by the shrunk A319neo and later by the stretched A321neo.
At the Paris Air Show 2011, Airbus announced that they had orders from GECAS, Scandinavian Airlines, TransAsia Airways, IndiGo, LAN Airlines, AirAsia and GoAir. Airbus also received commitments for 83 A320neo aircraft from Air Lease Corporation and Avianca. In total, the 2011 Paris Air Show endowed the A320neo with a combined 667 orders and 83 commitments, including 200 aircraft for Malaysian low-cost carrier AirAsia, which was hailed as the largest-ever deal in Airbus history. A month later, American Airlines ordered 130 A320neo's, which would cause the airline to cease having an all-Boeing fleet, and Lufthansa became the aircraft's first German customer, ordering 30 examples. The Dubai Airshow in November 2011 saw a further total of 130 orders and 105 commitments by several customers. On 25 January 2012 Norwegian and Airbus confirmed an order of 100 A320neo. In December 2012 Pegasus Airlines, the second largest airline in Turkey, signed a deal for up to 100 A320neo family aircraft, of which 75 (57 A320neo and 18 A321neo models) are firm orders. Lufthansa ordered an additional 70 A320neo and A321neo aircraft in March 2013. easyJet, who already operates 195 A320ceo family aircraft, announced on 18 June 2013 an intention to acquire 100 Airbus A320neo for delivery between 2017 and 2022. As part of the deal, easyJet have options on a further 100 A320neo aircraft. On 15 October 2014 IndiGo signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Airbus for the purchase of 250 A320neo family aircraft. The deal would be worth over $25.5 billion or Rs 1.55 lakh crore, as per the list price per aircraft. This order will also be the largest by the airline, marking the largest number of jets ever sold by the European planemaker in a single order. The airline had earlier ordered 100 aircraft in 2005 and another 180 aircraft in 2011.
Specifications are preliminary until design is finished.
|Seating capacity||160 (1-class, maximum)||189 (1-class, maximum)||240 (1-class, maximum)
206 (2-class, A321LR)
|Seat pitch||28 in (71 cm) – 29 in (74 cm) (1-class, maximum)||28 in (71 cm) – 30 in (76 cm) (1-class, maximum)
36 in (91 cm) & 30 in (76 cm) (2-class, A321LR)
|Seat width||Economy with 6 abreast: 18 in (46 cm)|
|Cruising speed||Mach 0.78 (828 km/h/511 mph at 11,000 m/36,000 ft)|
|Maximum speed||Mach 0.82 (871 km/h/537 mph at 11,000 m/36,000 ft)|
|Maximum Zero-fuel weight (MZFW)||60.3 t (133,000 lb)||64.3 t (142,000 lb)||75.6 t (167,000 lb)|
|Maximum landing weight (MLW)||63.9 t (141,000 lb)||67.4 t (149,000 lb)||79.2 t (175,000 lb)|
|Maximum takeoff weight (MTOW)||75.5 t (166,000 lb)||79 t (174,000 lb)||93.5 t (206,000 lb)
A321LR: 97 t (214,000 lb)
|Maximum fuel capacity||23,859 L (5,248 imp gal; 6,303 US gal) standard
29,659 L (6,524 imp gal; 7,835 US gal) optional
|23,859 L (5,248 imp gal; 6,303 US gal) standard
29,659 L (6,524 imp gal; 7,835 US gal) optional
|23,700 L (5,200 imp gal; 6,300 US gal) standard
29,684 L (6,530 imp gal; 7,842 US gal) optional
32,676 L (7,188 imp gal; 8,632 US gal) A321LR
|Maximum range, fully loaded||4,200 nmi (7,800 km; 4,800 mi)||3,700 nmi (6,900 km; 4,300 mi)||3,650 nmi (6,760 km; 4,200 mi)
A321LR:4,000 nmi (7,400 km; 4,600 mi)
|Engines (×2)||CFM International LEAP-1A or Pratt & Whitney PW1100G|
|Fan diameter||PW: 81 in (2.06 m), LEAP-1A: 78 in (1.98 m)|
|Thrust||PW: 24,000–35,000 lbf (110–160 kN), LEAP-1A: 24,500–32,900 lbf (109–146 kN)|
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|Airbus A3xx aircraft production timeline, 1970s–present|
|Airbus A320 family||Airbus A320neo family|
|Airbus A330||Airbus A330neo|
|Airbus A340||Airbus A350 XWB|
|= Narrow-body||= Wide-body|