Friday, September 26, 2014
The A320neo, developed as a more fuel efficient version of the popular single-aisle Airbus jetliner, had a successful maiden flight Thursday in southwest France. The plane, powered by Pratt and Whitney PW1100G-JM engines, flew for two hours and 22 minutes, kicking off a year of flight trials. Airbus expects to generate hundreds of billions of dollars in revenue from the latest version of the plane. The original version of the A320 had its first flight 27 years ago. The A320neo will also offer LEAP-1A turbofans built by CFM International, a joint venture of General Electric and Safran. (Sources: multiple, including Reuters, USA Today, Airbus, 09/25/14) Gulf Coast note: Airbus is building a fourth final assembly line for its A320 family of aircraft in Mobile, Ala.