On board the Airbus A321XLR’s 11 hour route proving flight

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The Airbus A321XLR is nearing certification and has already been ordered by major airlines. Route proving flights, also known as Functional and Reliability Testing (FnR), are an important part of the certification process. These flights aim to demonstrate the aircraft’s systems are practical, reliable, and effective in real-world service conditions. The flights must last around 100 hours over 10 days, simulating different weather conditions and quick turnaround times at airports. We joined Airbus on one of these route proving flights, an 11-hour round trip from Toulouse to the Northern Polar region and back, which is part of a series of flights the aircraft will complete before certification.

I don’t own the rights to this content & no infringement intended, CREDIT: The Original Source: www.flightradar24.com

The Airbus A321XLR is currently in the final stages of its certification process and has already received orders from major airlines such as American Airlines, United Airlines, Qantas, IndiGo, and Wizzair. This month, we had the exclusive opportunity to join the Airbus team on board Airbus flight AIB02AB, which was the first long-distance route proving flight for the A321XLR.

A route proving flight, also known as Functional and Reliability Testing (FnR), is an international flight testing campaign that is required for the upcoming European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) type certification for new commercial aircraft. The purpose of this testing is to demonstrate that the aircraft’s systems are practical, reliable, and effective in typical service conditions. The aircraft must fly for approximately 100 hours over 10 days without powering down any systems to showcase its “systems maturity.” These flights simulate different inflight weather and climate conditions and test the aircraft’s ability to quickly turn around at destination airports. Our flight follows a previous flight around the Mediterranean and will be followed by a flight around the UK and the Canary Islands.

It’s interesting to note that the AIB02AB flight took approximately 11 hours and traveled from Toulouse to the Northern Polar region and back. The flight departed at around 21:00 local time and followed an Easterly track on the way up and a Westerly track on the way back down. The goal was to return by around 08:00 the following day. Notably, F-WWAB (the Airbus aircraft) would have been flying for 22 out of the preceding 24 hours once the flight was completed.

Fun fact: The Airbus A321XLR has an impressive range capability of up to 4,700 nautical miles, making it the longest-range single-aisle commercial aircraft in the world. This aircraft is designed to provide airlines with greater flexibility in operating long-haul routes and expanding their network reach.

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