On the sidelines of the Paris Air Show 2019, Airbus has announced the launch of the A321XLR, an evolution on the A321neo that boasts an impressive range of 4,700nm. Equally impressive as its improved range, the aircraft will also reportedly achieve 30% lower fuel burn per seat than last-generation competitor aircraft.
Available to market from 2023, the aircraft’s range of 4,700nm is roughly 15% more than the A321LR and features an equal level of fuel efficiency. As a result, carriers will be able to operate lower-cost single-aisle aircraft on longer and less heavily travelled routes, which today are typically served by larger and less efficient wide-body aircraft.
The A321XLR has been designed to maximize overall commonality with the A321LR and the rest of the A320neo Family while introducing minimal changes needed to give the aircraft an Xtra Long Range with increased revenue payload.
Other features of the A321XLR include a new permanent Rear Centre Tank (RCT) for more fuel volume, as well as modified landing gear for an increased maximum take-off weight (MTOW) of 101 metric tonnes. Additionally, the aircraft boasts an optimised wing trailing-edge flap configuration that maintains similar take-off performance and engine thrust requirements as delivered by the A321neo.
The aerospace manufacturer also noted that the optimised RCT holds more fuel than several optional Additional Centre Tanks (ACTs) while taking up less room in the cargo hold. This in turns frees up an underfloor volume that allows for increased cargo and baggage on long-range routes.