LONDON – The first Airbus Corporate Jet, ACJ320neo, has successfully completed its first flight today in Hamburg, Germany. The flight lasted two hours and 40 minutes.
The ACJ320neo is designed to combat the increasing private corporate jet market, currently dominated by the smaller, yet extremely efficient Gulfstream, Bombardier, and Embraer jets.
The ACJ, which was launched in 2011, has been a game changer for private flying. The private plane offers its customers the fuselage of a commercial A320, with an added 3% in cabin height and width, as compared to current market private planes.
Taking as an example Lunarjets’ ACJ320ceo, the plane has a range of 7,964km with a maximum speed of 485kts.
The new ACJ320neo will see the range of the aircraft greatly increased to 11,100km—an improvement of 3,136km.
ACJ President, Benoit Defforge in a statement said, “The ACJ320neo first flight heralds a new Airbus corporate jet era, delivering a range improvement that enables nonstop travel between even more cities, in what is widely recognized as the best cabin of any business jet.”
“The ACJ320neo Family’s improved fuel-efficiency also means that it compares even more
The project has seen many improvements over the years, which has allowed Airbus the ability to increase the range and efficiency of its both planes, the ACJ320neo and ACJ319neo.
Currently, the ACJ319neo offers the ability to carry eight passengers for 12,500km, equivalent for more than 15 hours flight time on a single tank.
The ACJ320neo, however, has a slightly reduced range due to the additional seating capacity of the aircraft, with it offering 25 passengers at a range of 11,100km, equivalent to 13 hours of flight time.
Both planes are making use of Airbus’ new generation of Sharklets, which have been a popular edition on the A320neo project.
Widebody ACJ: The Future
Airbus has also confirmed that the next generation of the ACJ project will see the addition of the ACJ330neo and ACJ350 XWB, expanding the private jet portfolio by leaps and bounds.
The ACJ program is, without a doubt, a game changer of the corporate jet market with planes offering more space and distance to a higher number of passengers.