It was a major step towards certification, announces the European aircraft manufacturer. On October 5, a test plane A321XLR conducted its passenger experience flight under typical airline operating conditions.
On board, 200 Airbus employees were among the first to experience the comfort of the A321XLR in simulated real service conditions before its entry into service in 2024. On Thursday October 5, the A321XLR successfully carried out its demonstration of “anticipated passenger flight” with 167 employees acting as passengers. There were also 22 experts and 11 Airbus flight test and cabin personnel on board.
LMSN11080 test aircraft took off from Toulouse at 11:14 a.m. and landed at 5:26 p.m., after a six-hour and 12-minute flight around Europe. The A321XLR was powered with 30% sustainable aviation fuel, demonstrating the steps taken to achieve the sector’s emissions reduction targets, including in Airbus’ flight test activities. Today, all Airbus aircraft are already certified to fly on up to 50% sustainable aviation fuel (FAS) on board.
Airbus indicates in the attached press release that in “assessing passenger perception of cabin comfort, the passenger flight represents an important contribution to the verification and validation of the A321XLR, ensuring its full maturity upon its commissioning for customers in 2024 ». The flight also allows Airbus to refine cabin procedures and evaluate the cabin environment and systems while the aircraft is in flight.
During the flight, passengers were asked to complete a survey on visual aspects of the cabin, as well as on the levels of temperature and of noise. They were asked to test various cabin systems, including air conditioning, lighting, galleys, electrical, toilets and drainage systems, according to Pete Housley, responsible for testing the product delivery team. Ergonomic aspects were also evaluated, such as the ease or difficulty of loading and unloading the new upper compartments.
In addition to the perception survey, the 22 experts on board took the opportunity to carry out direct measurements “punctual” levels acoustic and cabin temperature. Lexposure to noise of the crew was recorded, particularly around the main entrance door. The new elements of the cabin Airspace were also tested to detect possible vibrations or resonances during different phases of flight. “It will be interesting to compare the technical data we captured during the flight with human perception of these parameters,” explains Hans-Gerhard Giesa, senior human factors expert in the cabin and cargo team in Hamburg, Germany. “I hope that all the measures will give us good results and we now have a lot of data to analyze to see if the systems are working as expected. »
With this new flight test, the intensive certification testing of the A321XLR is progressing towards the goal of achieving type certification followed by entry into service in 2024. The A321XLR represents the next step in the evolution of the single-aisle A320neo family, meeting market demand for increased range and payload on longer roads. The A321XLR will offer unprecedented range for single-aisle aircraft, up to 4700nm (8,700 km), with 30% lower fuel consumption per seat compared to previous generation aircraft as well as a reduction in NOx emissions (quantities of nitrogen monoxide) and noise.
To date, the family A320neo has accumulated more than 9,700 orders from more than 130 customers worldwide. The orders of A321XLR amount to more than 500from more than 20 clients.