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A321XLR En route to certification

More Articles December 2023

A321XLR En route to certification

Flight test campaign in September & October 2023

September and October 2023 were indeed exciting months for our A321XLR aircraft as we have reached two important milestones. Firstly - the Functional and Reliability Testing (FnR), more commonly known as “Route Proving” which has seen the aircraft powered on non-stop for 10 days, perform 15 flights and reach over 100 FH. And secondly we have demonstrated passenger comfort and cabin maturity during “Early Passenger Flight” where 200 passionate Airbus employees were on board this 6 hours and 12 minutes long flight which was powered with 30% Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF).

1 aircraft. 10 days. 100 Flight Hours.

This Route Proving which is part of Airbus’ certification activity contributing to EASA Type Certification expected for the new variant in 2024. Overall, the main objective of the FnR campaign was to demonstrate the A321XLR’s systems maturity well before entry into service, with a target of approximately 100 hours flying time over 10 days with no systems power-down. Specific sectors, comprising around 15 flights in total, were intentionally selected to mimic the typical operations which airlines might fly when the aircraft enters service. These have been defined to represent a mix of operator profiles, climatic conditions, flight durations and airport turnaround times. 

Passenger Experience Flight

By gauging passengers' perception of cabin comfort, the passenger experience flight represents an important contribution to the A321XLR’s verification and validation, ensuring full maturity at entry into service for customers in 2024. The flight also enables Airbus to refine the cabin procedures and assess the cabin environment and systems while the aircraft is in the air. 

With this new flight test, the A321XLR’s intensive certification testing is progressing towards the goal of reaching Type Certification followed by entry into service in 2024.

The A321XLR is the next step in the evolution of the single-aisle A320neo Family, meeting market demand for increased range and payload on longer routes. The A321XLR will deliver an unprecedented range for single-aisle aircraft, of up to 4,700nm (8,700 km), with 30% lower fuel consumption per seat compared to previous-generation aircraft as well as reduced NOx emissions and noise.


Ludek Jando
Single Aisle Marketing Manager