Airbus A320neo takes flight
Airbus’ (Blagnac, France) A320neo (new engine option) jetliner took to the skies for its maiden flight on September 25 from Toulouse, France – opening a new chapter for the company’s single-aisle product line. The A320neo aircraft, powered by Pratt & Whitney’s PurePower PW1100G-JM engines, ascended from Toulouse-Blagnac Airport, kicking off an historic first mission with a five-member crew of Airbus flight test pilots and engineers.
The flight of approximately 2.5 hours – flying over Southern France before landing in Toulouse – commences the rigorous A320neo flight test program to pave the way for this jetliner type’s planned service entry with Qatar Airways in the fourth quarter of 2015.
The A320neo – which also is offered with CFM International’s LEAP-1A powerplant – is the latest evolution in Airbus’ single-aisle family, bringing operators better efficiency and comfort. Along with new engines, the NEO product line incorporates Airbus’ fuel-saving Sharklets wingtip devices and the latest cabin innovations to deliver per seat fuel burn improvement of 20 percent by 2020.