Airbus A321

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A321
D-AIAF (19552328044).jpg
A Condor A321
Role Narrow-body jet airliner
National origin Multi-national[a]
Manufacturer Airbus
First flight 11 March 1993
Introduction 1994 with Lufthansa
Status In service
Primary users American Airlines
China Southern Airlines
China Eastern Airlines
Turkish Airlines
Produced 1992–present
Number built 1,508 as of 31 May 2017[1]
Unit cost
US$114.9 million[2]
Developed from Airbus A320
Developed into Airbus A320neo family

The Airbus A321 is a member of the Airbus A320 family of short- to medium-range, narrow-body, commercial passenger twin-engine jet airliners manufactured by Airbus.[b] It was the first derivative of the baseline Airbus A320 aircraft, and carries up to 236 passengers with a maximum range of 3,200 nmi (5,900 km; 3,700 mi).[3] Final assembly of the aircraft takes place in Hamburg, Germany or Mobile, Alabama in the US.

The A321 is a stretched-fuselage variant of the Airbus A320 and entered service in 1994 with Lufthansa, around six years after the original A320. The aircraft shares a common type rating with all other Airbus A320 family variants, allowing existing A320 family pilots to fly the aircraft without the need for further training.

In December 2010, Airbus announced a new generation of the A320 family, the A320neo (new engine option).[4] The similarly lengthened fuselage A321neo variant offers new, more efficient engines, combined with airframe improvements and the addition of winglets, named Sharklets by Airbus. The aircraft will deliver fuel savings of up to 15%.

As of 31 May 2017, a total of 1,508 Airbus A321 aircraft have been delivered, of which 1,491 are in service. In addition, another 1,672 airliners are on firm order (comprising 258 A321ceo and 1,414 A321neo). As of May 2017, American Airlines was the largest operator of the Airbus A321, operating 212 aircraft.[1]

The A321LR is a proposed long-range variant of the A321neo, which Airbus predicts provides an overall 25–30% lower operating cost than the Boeing 757 on routes of up to 4,100 nmi (7,600 km; 4,700 mi) where a wide-body would be uneconomical.

Development[edit]

Background, design and production[edit]

Alitalia was the second to receive the stretched A321, after Lufthansa.[5]

The Airbus A321 was the first derivative of the A320, also known as the Stretched A320, A320-500 and A325.[6][7] Its launch came on 24 November 1988, around the same time as the A320 entered service, after commitments for 183 aircraft from 10 customers were secured.[6][8] The aircraft would be a minimum-changed derivative, apart from a number of minor modifications to the wing, and the fuselage stretch itself. The wing would incorporate double-slotted flaps and minor trailing edge modifications,[9] increasing the wing area from 124 m2 (1,330 sq ft) to 128 m2 (1,380 sq ft).[10] The fuselage was lengthened by four plugs (two ahead and two behind the wings), giving the A321 an overall length of 6.94 metres (22 ft 9 in) longer than the A320.[9][11][3] This is achieved by adding a 4.27 m (14 ft 0 in) front plug immediately forward of wing, and a 2.67 m (8 ft 9 in) rear plug.[12] To maintain performance, double-slotted flaps were included, in addition to increasing the wing area by 4 m2 (43 sq ft), to 128 m2 (1,380 sq ft).[10] Other minor modifications were made to accommodate the A321-100's 9,600 kg (21,200 lb) increase in maximum takeoff weight to 83,000 kg (183,000 lb).[9] The length increase required the overwing exits of the A320 to be enlarged and repositioned in front of and behind the wings.[5] The A321 is the largest variant of the A320 family.[11][3] The centre fuselage and undercarriage were reinforced to accommodate the increase in maximum takeoff weight of 9,600 kg (21,200 lb), taking it to 83,000 kg (183,000 lb).[9]

An Airbus A321 on final assembly line 3 in the Airbus plant at Hamburg Finkenwerder Airport

The maiden flight of the Airbus A321 came on 11 March 1993, when the prototype, registration F-WWIA, flew with IAE V2500 engines; the second prototype, equipped with CFM56-5B turbofans, flew in May 1993.[5] Lufthansa and Alitalia were the first to order the stretched Airbuses, with 20 and 40 aircraft requested, respectively.[5] The first of Lufthansa's V2500-A5-powered A321s arrived on 27 January 1994, while Alitalia received its first CFM56-5B-powered aircraft on 22 March 1994.[5] The A321-100 entered service in January 1994 with Lufthansa.

An Austrian Airlines Airbus A321

Final assembly for the A321 would be, as a first for any Airbus, carried out in Germany (then West Germany).[13] This came after a dispute between the French, who claimed the move would incur $150 million (€135 million) in unnecessary expenditure associated with the new plant,[14] and the Germans, arguing it would be more productive for Airbus in the long run. The second production line was located at Hamburg, which would also subsequently produce the smaller Airbus A319 and A318. For the first time, Airbus entered the bond market, through which it raised $480 million (€475 million) to finance development costs.[15] An additional $180 million (€175 million) was borrowed from European Investment Bank and private investors.[16]

A total of 1,506 of the A321ceo model have been delivered, with 258 remaining on order as of 31 May 2017.[1]

Design[edit]

The Airbus A321 is a narrow-body (single-aisle) aircraft with a retractable tricycle landing gear and is powered by two wing pylon-mounted turbofan engines. It is a low-wing cantilever monoplane with a conventional tail unit having a single vertical stabilizer and rudder. Two suppliers provide turbofan engines for the A321: CFM with its CFM56 and International Aero Engines with the V2500 engine.

Variants[edit]

Airbus A32X family

A321-200[edit]

The basic A321-100 features a reduction in range compared to the A320 as extra fuel tankage was not added to the initial design to compensate for the extra weight. Consequently, Airbus launched the heavier and longer range A321-200 development in 1995 which has a full-passenger transcontinental US range. This is achieved through higher thrust engines (V2533-A5 or CFM56-5B3), minor structural strengthening, and an increase in fuel capacity with the installation of one or two optional 2,990 L (790 US gal) tanks in the rear underfloor hold.[17] The additional fuel tankage increases the total capacity of this model to 30,030 L (7,930 US gal). These modifications also increased the maximum takeoff weight of the A321-200 to 93,000 kg (205,000 lb). This variant first flew in December 1996, and entered service with Monarch Airlines in April 1997. Its direct competitors include the 757–200 and the 737-900/900ER.

A321neo[edit]

An Airbus A321neo operating for Virgin America. Virgin America was the type's first operator.[18]

The A321neo will be part of the Airbus A320neo family of airliners developed since December 2010 by Airbus,[19] with the suffix "neo" meaning "new engine option". It is the last step of the A320 Enhanced (A320E) modernisation programme, which was started in 2006. The A321neo replaces the original A321, which is now referred to as A321ceo, for "current engine option".

In addition to the new engines, the modernisation programme also included such improvements as: aerodynamic refinements, large curved winglets (sharklets), weight savings, a new aircraft cabin with larger hand luggage spaces, and an improved air purification system.[20][21] Customers will have a choice of either the CFM International LEAP-1A or the Pratt & Whitney PW1100G engines.

These improvements in combination are predicted to result in 15% lower fuel consumption per aircraft, 8% lower operating costs, reduced 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).[22]

Two A321neos have been delivered, with orders for a further 1,414 aircraft as of 31 May 2017.[1]

A321LR[edit]

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.[23] An extended 2-class layout additionally including a premium economy class with 164 passengers allows a range of up to 4,100 nmi (7,600 km; 4,700 mi).[24][25] 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 for the aging Boeing 757-200, including the modified version with winglets, known as the 757-200W. Compared to the 757-200W, Airbus predicts an A321LR gives overall 25–30% lower operating cost depending on the number of seats[26][27] on routes where a wide-body would be uneconomical. Although Boeing has nicknamed a response to the A321LR as "Middle of Market" (MOM),[28] they denied working on for example a new "757MAX", a modification of the 737 MAX 9 or Boeing 767 or the 787-3.[29][30][31][32]

Operators[edit]

As of 31 May 2017, 1,491 Airbus A321 aircraft were in service with 107 operators,[1] with American Airlines and China Southern Airlines operating the largest A321 fleets of 212 and 93 aircraft respectively.[1]

Orders and deliveries[edit]

Type Orders Deliveries
Total Backlog Total 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008
A321 1,764 275 1,489 73 222 184 150 102 83 66 51 87 66
A321neo 1,386 1,385 1 1
Type Deliveries
2007 2006 2005 2004 2003 2002 2001 2000 1999 1998 1997 1996 1995 1994
A321 51 30 17 35 33 35 49 28 33 35 22 16 22 16
A321neo

Data through end of May 2017[1][33]

Accidents and incidents[edit]

For the Airbus A321, 24 aviation accidents and incidents have occurred,[34] including four hull-loss accidents / criminal occurrences with a total of 377 fatalities as of November 2016.[35][36]

Specifications[edit]

Airbus A321[3]
Cockpit crew 2
1-class max. seating[37] 236 at 28 in (71 cm) pitch[38]
1-class, typical[37] 199 at 32 in (81 cm) pitch
2-class, typical[37] 185 (16F @ 36 in, 169Y @ 32 in)
Cargo volume 51.70 m3 (1,826 cu ft)
Unit load devices 10× LD3-45
Length 44.51 m (146 ft 0 in)
Wheelbase 16.91 m (55 ft 6 in)
Track 7.59 m (24 ft 11 in)
Wingspan 35.8 m (117 ft 5 in) [c]
Wing area 122.4 m2 (1,318 sq ft)[39]
Wing sweepback 25 degrees[39]
Tail height 11.76 m (38 ft 7 in)
Cabin width 3.70 m (12 ft 2 in)
Fuselage width 3.95 m (13 ft 0 in)
Fuselage height 4.14 m (13 ft 7 in)
Maximum takeoff weight (MTOW) 93.5 t (206,000 lb)
Maximum landing weight (MLW) 77.8 t (172,000 lb)
Maximum zero-fuel weight (MZFW) 73.8 t (163,000 lb)
Operating empty weight (OEW)[37] 48.5 t (107,000 lb)
Cruising speed Mach 0.78 (829 km/h; 515 mph)[40]
Maximum speed Mach 0.82 (871 km/h; 541 mph)
Range, typical payload[d] 3,200 nmi, 5,950 km[c]
Fuel capacity 24,050–30,030 L (6,350–7,930 US gal)
Service ceiling 39,100–41,000 ft (11,900–12,500 m)[41]
Engines (×2) CFM56-5B, 68.3 in (1.73 m) fan
IAE V2500A5, 63.5 in (1.61 m) fan
Thrust (×2) 133–147 kN (30,000–33,000 lbf)

Engines[edit]

Aircraft model Certification date Engines[41]
A321-111 27 May 1995 CFM56-5B1 or 5B1/P or 5B1/2P
A321-112 15 February 1995 CFM56-5B2 or 5B2/P
A321-131 17 December 1993 IAE Model V2530-A5
A321-211 20 March 1997 CFM56-5B3 or 5B3/P or 5B3/2P
A321-212 31 August 2001 CFM56-5B1 or 5B1/P or 5B1/2P
A321-213 31 August 2001 CFM56-5B2 or 5B2/P
A321-231 20 March 1997 IAE Model V2533-A5
A321-232 31 August 2001 IAE Model V2530-A5

See also[edit]

Related development
Aircraft of comparable role, configuration and era
Related lists


References[edit]

Footnotes

  1. ^ The Airbus A321 is built in Hamburg, Germany or Mobile, Alabama, United States
  2. ^ Airbus was originally a consortium of European aerospace companies named, Airbus Industrie, and is now fully owned by Airbus Group, originally named EADS. Airbus' name has been Airbus SAS since 2001.
  3. ^ a b with sharklets
  4. ^ Passengers and bags

References

  1. ^ a b c d e f g "Airbus Orders & Deliveries". Airbus. 31 May 2017. Retrieved 9 June 2017. 
  2. ^ "New Airbus aircraft list prices for 2015". Airbus (Press release). 13 January 2015. Retrieved 17 November 2016. 
  3. ^ a b c d "A321 Dimensions & key data". Airbus. 
  4. ^ "Airbus offers new fuel saving engine options for A320 Family". Airbus. 1 December 2010. Retrieved 31 December 2011. 
  5. ^ a b c d e Eden 2008, p. 25
  6. ^ a b Norris & Wagner 1999, p. 50
  7. ^ Laming & Hewson 2000, p. 23
  8. ^ Reed 1992, p. 84
  9. ^ a b c d Norris & Wagner 1999, p. 51
  10. ^ a b Moxon; Julian (17 March 1993). "A321: Taking on thee 757". Flight International. Retrieved 25 February 2011. 
  11. ^ a b "Specifications Airbus A320". Airbus. Retrieved 13 February 2012. 
  12. ^ Gunston 2009, pp. 213–214
  13. ^ Sebdon, Gilbert (7 February 1990). "A321 victory for West Germany". Flight International. Retrieved 24 February 2011. 
  14. ^ Norris & Wagner 1999, p. 53
  15. ^ Reed 1992, p. 84
  16. ^ Norris & Wagner 1999, p. 52
  17. ^ Gunston 2009, pp. 214–215
  18. ^ Creedy, Steve (21 April 2017). "Airbus delivers first A321neo.". Airline Ratings. Retrieved 14 June 2017. 
  19. ^ "Airbus A320 (A320ceo and A320neo) Aircraft family". Airbus.com. 3 March 2013. Archived from the original on 3 March 2013. Retrieved 21 April 2013. 
  20. ^ "Pictures: Airbus aims to thwart Boeing’s narrowbody plans with upgraded 'A320 Enhanced'". Flight International. 20 June 2006. Retrieved 8 July 2013. 
  21. ^ "Avianca takes delivery of Sharklet equipped A320". Airbus.com. Retrieved 27 March 2013. 
  22. ^ "A320neo family information, Maximum benefit and minimum change". Airbus.com. 1 July 2011. Retrieved 30 December 2011. 
  23. ^ Exclusive: Airbus launches "A321neoLR" long range to replace 757-200W Leeham
  24. ^ "Airbus Launches Long-Range A321neo Version". Aviation Week. Jan 13, 2015. 
  25. ^ Analyst results: Part 2: Boeing 757: Airbus A321neoLR as a replacement on long and thin routes Leeham
  26. ^ Airbus Studies New Extended-Range A321neo Variant AINonline
  27. ^ Airbus Launches Long-Range A321neo AINonline
  28. ^ Paris Air Show Buzzes Over Boeing Jet That Doesn’t Exist Yet Bloomberg
  29. ^ Boeing Sees No Business Case For 757 MAX Aviation Week
  30. ^ Exclusive: Boeing says it has no plans for long-range 737 MAX Today
  31. ^ Odds and Ends: No Boeing response to A321neoLR Leehamnews
  32. ^ Paul Ausick (19 August 2015). "Boeing Sees Opportunities for 767, but Not for the Middle of the Market (NYSE: BA) - 24/7 Wall St.". 247wallst.com. 
  33. ^ "Historical Orders and Deliveries 1974–2009". Airbus S.A.S. January 2010. Archived from the original (Microsoft Excel) on 23 December 2010. Retrieved 10 December 2012. 
  34. ^ Airbus A321 occurrences. Aviation Safety, 13 November 2016.
  35. ^ Airbus A321 hull-loss occurrences. Aviation Safety, 13 November 2016.
  36. ^ A321 accident statistics. Aviation Safety, 13 November 2016.
  37. ^ a b c d "All About the Airbus A320 Family". Airbus. 2009. 
  38. ^ "Airbus Studies 236-Seat A321". Aviation Week. December 10, 2012. 
  39. ^ a b "Airbus Aircraft Data File". Civil Jet Aircraft Design. Elsevier. July 1999. 
  40. ^ "A320 Family Technology". Airbus. 
  41. ^ a b "Type Certificate Data Sheet" (PDF). EASA. 28 June 2016. 

External links[edit]