Airbus has unveiled designs for the A321XLR, which the aircraft manufacturer claims is the world’s “longest range single-aisle airliner”.
Set to take to the skies from 2023, the newly launched A321XLR (Xtra Long Range) is touted by Airbus to be able to fly an “unprecedented” 4,700 nautical miles – 15 per cent more than its predecessor A321LR while maintaining the same fuel efficiency.
The latest evolution of the A321neo aircraft is the European planemaker’s response to market needs for more range and fuel efficiency, as the A321XLR is expected to bring a 30 per cent lower fuel burn per seat than previous-generation aircraft in the market.
With the A321XLR’s added range, airlines will be able to operate a lower-cost single-aisle aircraft on longer and less-heavily travelled routes – many of which are currently served by larger and less efficient wide-body aircraft. This will enable operators to open new routes such as India to Europe or China to Australia, as well as on direct transatlantic flights between continental Europe and the Americas.
As for passengers, the A321XLR will offer seats in all classes with the same comfort as on longhaul wide-body aircraft.
Technical modifications to the A321XLR include the new permanent rear centre tank for more fuel volume; a modified landing gear for an increased maximum take-off weight of 101 metric tonnes; and an optimised wing trailing-edge flap configuration to preserve the same take-off performance and engine thrust requirements as today’s A321neo.
According to Airbus, the A320neo family has received over 6,500 orders from more than 100 customers worldwide since its launch in 2010.