The A321neo reaches new heights with Aircelle aboard!
The first Airbus A321neo jetliner version equipped with Aircelle engine nacelles performed its maiden flight on February 9, conducting a 5-hour, 29-minute mission from Hamburg, Germany.
All scheduled evaluations were accomplished, supported by Aircelle's teams. The nacelles functioned perfectly, including the deployment of their thrust reversers during landing.
Aircelle has responsibility for the complete nacelle on all A320neo Family versions equipped with CFM International LEAP-1A powerplants, including integration with the engine. These nacelles benefit from Aircelle's proven technology developed for its growing product portfolio, including composite materials and acoustic treatment.
The global sales success logged by Airbus' series of A320neo (new engine option) aircraft is resulting in the most rapid production ramp-up ever for the civil aviation industry. This has led Aircelle to make significant investments in its facilities during the past four years, implementing enhancements that cover all the ways of working at the company – from the methods used in development to the most advanced manufacturing technology and production operations, as well as for employee competencies at the sites.
"As a key A320neo supplier, we are ready to support this unprecedented challenge," explained Aircelle President Jean-Paul Alary. "We have been implementing changes throughout our company that will enable us to achieve this production ramp-up, while maintaining the highest levels of product quality and maturity from the A320neo's entry into service."
Deliveries of the LEAP-1A-equipped A321neo – which is the largest member of the A320neo Family – will begin to airline customers in late 2016, coming after initial deliveries of the shorter-fuselage A320neo version powered by LEAP-1A engines.
To date, Aircelle has supplied the initial nacelles for Airbus' A320neo Family flight test and certification program, backed by continued support from Aircelle since the initial LEAP-1A-powered aircraft – an A320neo version – made its first takeoff in May 2015.
Coming up this April, two LEAP-1A engines with their nacelles are to be delivered from Aircelle's Toulouse, France integration facility for installation on an A320neo that will be among the first to enter airline service.