Published on May 2nd, 2016 | by Mark Dwyer0
First visit of Airbus A320neo to Ireland
Photo above by Trevor Mulkerrins
The Airbus A320neo (new engine option) made its first visit to Ireland last Wednesday 27th April. While it didn’t touch down, it made a low approach and go-around to runway 06 at Shannon before flying back to Toulouse. The aircraft in question, D-AVVB, is the 4th A320neo to be produced and continues to be used by Airbus as a development airframe. The A320neo project is the last step of the A320 Enhanced (A320E) modernisation programme, which was started in 2006. The neo replaces the original A320 family, which is now referred to as A320ceo, for “current engine option”.
In addition to the new engines, the modernisation programme also included such improvements as: aerodynamic refinements, large curved winglets (sharklets), weight savings, a new aircraft cabin with larger hand luggage spaces, and an improved air purification system. Customers will have a choice of either the CFM International LEAP-1A or the Pratt & Whitney PW1100G engines.
These improvements in combination are predicted to result in 15% less fuel consumption per aircraft, 8% lower operating costs, less noise production, and a reduction of nitrogen oxide emissions by at least 10% compared to the A320 series, as well as an increase in range of approximately 500 nautical miles (900 km). A rearranged cabin allows up to 20 more passengers enabling in total over 20% less fuel consumption per seat.
Airbus has firm orders for the A320neo family totalling 4,471 as of January 2016. The first A320neo rolled out of the Airbus factory in Toulouse on 1 July 2014. The first flight of the aircraft took place on 25 September 2014. A joint type certification from the European Aviation Safety Agency and the Federal Aviation Administration was received on 24 November 2015.
On 25 January 2016, the A320neo entered service with Lufthansa, the type’s launch customer.