First A321XLR development aircraft undergoes final assembly

Structural completion of MSN11000 in the Final Assembly Line (FAL) in Hamburg ©Airbus

The very first A321XLR flight test aircraft, MSN11000, took a major step forward this week in becoming a reality. This is the first of three planned development aircraft which will perform the flight testing and Type Certification programme, starting in 2022, to pave the way for series production and entry into service in 2023.

The structural completion of MSN11000 in the Final Assembly Line (FAL) in Hamburg follows the recent assembly and equipping of the Major Component Assemblies (MCAs) and their subsequent delivery and introduction on schedule into the FAL in November. These MCAs notably included (but were not limited to): the nose and forward fuselage, delivered from Saint Nazaire; the centre and aft fuselage assembled in Hamburg; the wings from Broughton; the landing gears supplied by Safran and the vertical and horizontal tailplanes from Stade and Getafe, respectively.

While other Airbus FAL locations will eventually be producing A321XLRs to fulfil the type’s large customer order-book, Hamburg has been chosen to ‘pilot’ this new variant into series production. This is starting with the three development flight test aircraft – now in various stages of completion there.

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