Airbus continues to move forward with production of A321XLR


Last year, manufacturers had to slow production at several of their sites amid complications from the pandemic. Despite the setbacks, Airbus has announced that it is on track to have its highly anticipated A321XLR ready to enter service in 2023.

Airbus is making great strides with its A321XLR program. Photo: Airbus

Make it bigger

Earlier this spring, the European automaker said it was preparing for sharp increases in production. Interestingly, by the mid-2020s, it could produce up to 75 A320 Family aircraft each month.

As a result, Airbus has shown that it is on the right track to achieve these goals. The company’s subsidiary, STELIA Aerospace, delivered six fuselage sections to Saint-Nazaire on July 1. Airbus will now assemble and equip them with system equipment and flight test instruments by the third quarter of 2021.

STELIA is a large department, working on several critical projects across the aircraft, such as aerostructures and seats. It was incorporated in January 2015 following the merger of two Airbus units – Aerolia and SOGERMA.

A321XLR-01
Airbus has moved towards series production of the A321XLR. Photo: Airbus

Ecstatic staff

Martin Schnoor, head of the A321XLR program development cell program, shares that the delivery of this fuselage is a major milestone for the program. Overall, this gives confidence that Airbus is on track for an introduction of the jet in two years.

Sébastien Verger, A321XLR project manager, Airbus Saint-Nazaire, shares the following in a press release:

“We were able to anticipate the structural and system assembly phases of this first fuselage thanks to our full-length physical mock-up allowing us to test the structural modifications and systems of the A321XLR upstream and to prepare the assembly phases.

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There are several key components of the aircraft. Photo: Airbus

Paul Molitor, A321XLR Development Project Manager for Airbus, adds the following about production.

“We work on a collaborative“ platform ”with Manufacturing Engineering, Technical Coordination, Logistics, Quality and dedicated operators. A dedicated launch team follows this first aircraft through each stage of production. “

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Enthusiasm Across the Industry

Importantly, the jet will help airlines reach long distances while reducing emissions. Airbus points out that it has a range of up to 4,700 NM (8,700 km) and 30% lower fuel consumption and carbon emissions per seat compared to previous generation aircraft.

The A321XLR opens up several opportunities on the market. For example, Air Seychelles noted that this allows the airline to fly nonstop to Europe and West Africa with lower risk than if a widebody were used. It’s not just domestic carriers looking at the type. Companies such as La Compagnie evaluate the small jig for their operations.

Major airlines already trust the A321XLR. In the United States, American Airlines, United Airlines, Frontier and JetBlue represent the largest orders by country for the aircraft.

In total, what do you think of the Airbus A321XLR program? Are you looking forward to the jet’s introduction in 2023? Let us know what you think of the aircraft and its overall outlook in the comments section.


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