Klaus Roewe, SVP of the A320neo Family:
There are 2,700 A320neos in the backlog. Roewe provided a program update during the Airbus Innovation Days. Here is a paraphrased synopsis.
- The first flight remains on target for 3Q2014. Final assembly began in the spring.
- No further modification will be required to meet the target of 15% fuel burn improvement.
- The GTF has been delivered to Toulouse; the LEAP-1A is in testing at the CFM factory.
- Production rate is shown at 46/mo from mid-2016 through 2019. We are investigating rate 50 and above.
- Within the supply chain, the first NEO components are 70% better than target. More than 2,000 lessons learned from the A380 and A350 are incorporated into the NEO program. We are already testing control laws for the neo, a lesson learned from previous programs.
- Airbus has discussed with regulators to determine that evacuation of the A320 for up to 200 passengers is possible but a configuration of 189 passengers is more feasible.
- Maximum capacity A321neo (240 pax) reduces per-seat fuel cost by 6%.
- Slim line seats at 28 inches feels like 30 inch seat pitch.
- A321neo could carry 25 more passengers on a 2,500nm route departing Phoenix or Las Vegas, two hot airports that were challenging for the A321ceo (based on the CFM56 engine).
- We are “well below” weight targets.
- Meeting 95% commonality target.
- There has been an increase of airlines configuring the A321 with more than 200 seats from 5% to 40%, which drove the larger-capacity design of the A321neo.
- Flap extension will go up from 27 degrees to 34 degrees, and some changes to spoilers will be incorporated into the neo.