TOULOUSE: The A321LR variant of Airbus’ A321 jetliner recently underscored its impressive range with a record-breaking flight from Mahé in the Seychelles islands to Toulouse, France – covering a total distance of 4,750 nautical miles in 11 hours.
This milestone was reached in late March as part of the A321LR’s 100-hour flight test and certification programme. To make flight conditions as realistic as possible while evaluating cabin systems, the A321LR carried 162 human heat-replicating dummy passengers in addition to its 16-member test crew.
The A321LR has the longest range of any single-aisle jetliner, with an increased maximum take-off weight of 97 tonnes (compared to 93.5 tonnes for the A321), plus the addition of a third auxiliary centre fuel tank. The jetliner is ideally suited to transatlantic routes, allowing airlines to tap into new long-haul markets that were not previously accessible with current single-aisle aircraft.