As part of Airbus' commitment to offering its customers the most eco-efficient aircraft and also to driving down aircraft related maintenance costs, the Airbus A320 test aircraft successfully performed the first in a series of test flights on 26th February, powered for the first time by International Aero Engines' new SelectOneTM standard engine. The SelectOneTM is the new version of the V2500 engine and is designed to be more fuel-efficient, therefore with lower CO2 emissions and also offers airlines longer on-wing time, which means reduced maintenance costs.
During the flight tests, all aspects of the engine's performance and handling characteristics will be examined and lead to the airframe engine combinations certification to allow deliveries in the third quarter of 2008. The engine will be available for the A319, A320 and A321.
These flight tests are taking place in Toulouse at Airbus' flight test facilities and will continue for the coming few weeks.
This follows the successful introduction of the latest CFM56-5B Tech Insertion engines from CFM International, which took place in autumn 2007. The engine provides longer time on wing and lower maintenance costs together with a forecast reduction in fuel burn than the previous version. At the end of January 2008, nearly 100 A320 Family aircraft had been delivered with the CFM Tech Insertion engines.
The A320 Family, which includes the A318, A319, A320 and A321, is recognised as the benchmark single-aisle aircraft family. Each aircraft features fly by wire controls and all share a unique cockpit and operational commonality across the range. Over 6,000 Airbus A320 Family aircraft have been sold and over 3,300 delivered to more than 200 customers and operators worldwide, making it the worlds best selling commercial jetliner ever.
With proven reliability and extended servicing periods, the A320 Family has the lowest operating costs of any single aisle aircraft. In addition, the latest new cabin design saves on weight and offers the passenger a quieter and roomier experience as well as significantly larger overhead stowage lockers. Uniquely, the A320 Family offers a containerized cargo system, which is compatible with the world wide standard wide-body system.