MIAMI – Airbus has announced the assembly of the front section of the future A321XLR and the showcasing of the A350-1000 at MAKS 2021, the International Aviation and Space Sałon, held in Zhukovsky (ZIA) from July 20 to 25.

With the above announcements, July appears to be a month rich in accomplishments for Airbus after also seeing its shares taking a jump along with aircraft deliveries.

The long-awaited A321XLR is well on schedule to enter service in 2023 with an important step being taken consisting in the assembly of the nose and front fuselage, including systems equipment, being started in France, at the company’s Saint Nazaire facilities.

Six fuselage sections, produced at STELIA Aerospace, arrived in St. Nazaire by road and will be progressively assembled in the coming weeks with flight test-specific equipment installation to take place within the third quarter of 2021.

Airbus A321XLR – Nose and front fuselage assembly. Photo: Airbus Media

A321XLR Comments by Airbus Management

The new milestone takes place less than two months after the structural assembly of the rear and center fuselage has started at the Hamburg-Finkelwerden factory.

The achievement was commented on by Martin Schnoor, Head of A321XLR Programme Development Airframe Programme, “This is a key milestone for the A321XLR. We are on track to support the aircraft’s entry into service by 2023.”

Airbus A321XLR work-sharing production map. Image: Airbus Media

Sebastien Verger, A321XLR project management at Airbus Saint-Nazaire, explained that Airbus was “able to anticipate structural and system assembly phases thanks to the full-size physical mock-up” which allowed Airbus engineers to carry out advance tests on structural and system modifications and prepare the final assembly operations.

“We are working on a collaborative “plateau” with Manufacturing Engineering, Technical coordination, Logistics, Quality, and dedicated operators”, explained Paul Molitor, A321XLR development project manager for Airbus, while adding that “a dedicated team is following this first aircraft at each step of production.”

Once assembled and equipped, the nose and front fuselage will be delivered to the Finkelverden facilities for the final assembly of the first A321XLR with flight testing expected to begin in the fourth quarter of 2021.

Airbus A350-1000 first flight. Photo: Airbus Media

THe A350-1000 at MAKS 2021

The other Airbus accomplishment for the month is the presentation of the Airbus A350-1000 at MAKS 2021, the International Aviation and Aerospace Salon held in ZIA between July 20 and 25. It is the first time that the largest member of the A350 family, seating up to 440 passengers, is shown in Russia.

The airshow will be the occasion for Airbus to demonstrate its latest technology, including state-of-the-art aerodynamics, particularly on wings profile, where “morphing continuously optimizes the wing profile,” thus reducing drag, fuel consumption, and emissions. The A350-1000 is powered by Rolls Royce Trent XWB97 engines allowing a 15% trust increase.

The type has a range of up to 16100km (8963nm) and its airframe is made up of more than 70% of advanced materials including 53% of composite ones. The aircraft will take place in the airshow flight program programmed for July 20 to 22. It is to be noted that the Russian national carrier Aeroflot (SU) is already flying the A350-900 type.

Featured image: Airbus A321XLR in JetBlue livery Image: Airbus Media