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Friday, November 8, 2013

Airbus Begins Assembly of First A320neo

Woodrow Bellamy III

Airbus has begun assembling the first major airframe component for its re-engined A320 family aircraft, the French manufacturer said Friday. The A320neo (new engine option) is scheduled to make its first flight next fall, according to a statement from Airbus
[Airbus has assembled the first engine pylon for its first A320neo. Photo, courtesy of Airbus.]
New engine choices for the A319, A320 and A321 include the Pratt & Whitney PW1100G Purpower and CFM International's LEAP-1A. Airbus claims both engines will deliver fuel savings of 15 percent and add 500 nautical miles of additional range over the first generation A320 passenger jets. 
CFM, a joint venture of GE Aviation and Snecma, started testing the LEAP 1A in September. According to Chaker Chahrour, executive vice president at CFM, the overall engine certification program will feature 28 CFM developmental ground and flight test engines and 32 compliance flight test engines for delivery to Airbus. 

On Friday, Airbus completed assembly of the engine pylon for its first A320neo, which scheduled to achieve final assembly by spring 2014. The first Leap-powered A320neo will be delivered in 2016.  

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