[Aviation Today March 17, 2014] Airbus
has started the final assembly phase of its first re-engined A320neo (new engine option) at its final assembly line in Toulouse, France.
A320neo final assembly. Photo, courtesy of Airbus.
The manufacturer has begun the join-up of the forward and aft fuselage sections which were recently delivered from its facilities in St. Nazaire, France and Hamburg, Germany. Once the forward and aft fuselage joining is complete, engineers will begin the wing-to-fuselage join-up.
A320neo customers have two engine options to choose from, CFM International’s LEAP-1A and the PurePower PW1100G-JM from Pratt & Whitney.
According to Airbus, both engines lead to a 15 percent reduction in fuel consumption, tons of additional payload capacity and up to 500 nautical miles of additional range.
The first flight of the A320neo is on schedule for the fourth quarter of 2014, with the first delivery coming a year later in the fourth quarter of 2015.