Airbus may delay A320neo first flight

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By admin September 12, 2014 19:21

Airbus may delay A320neo first flight

Sources within Airbus have indicated to the media that the manufacturer has been forced to postpone the first flight of the A320neo over a technical issue associated with the aircraft’s engines. The A320neo uses a variant of the Pratt and Whitney Geared Turbofan (the PW1100G-JM) that is also used on Bombardier’s CSeries regional jet, which returned to flight testing this week after being grounded since May over its own issues with its engines.

A spokesman for Airbus declined to comment on whether there had been a delay, but said the company’s plan to fly the aircraft in the third quarter remained unchanged.
“Airbus and Pratt & Whitney are working together towards the first flight, and there is no change in plans to carry it out in the third quarter,” the Airbus spokesman said.
However, the sources within the company said it now looked increasingly likely that the first flight would be pushed back to the fourth quarter.

Airbus has not published a schedule for the first flight and subsequent testing, making it difficult to verify whether the timing has slipped within the official window. However the first flight was to have been slated for the first half of September.

Airbus plans a complex year-long flight test programme using eight aircraft spanning three versions of the A320neo family. Each version has a choice of two types of engine, so the manufacturer must achieve safety certification for six types.

Although Airbus has massively outsold the delayed CSeries, the setbacks to the CSeries means there is less data available to their common engine manufacturer than would have been the case if the CSeries had entered service on time in 2013.

The A320neo’s large number of sales has resulted in sharp increases in the manufacturer’s share price. The aircraft is due to enter service in 2015, with aircraft using engines from second supplier CFM, the joint venture between General Electric and France’s Safran, are set to enter service in mid-2016.

admin
By admin September 12, 2014 19:21