A320neo completes maiden flight

Airbus flew its first-ever flight of its new Airbus A320neo Thursday morning

A320neo Etienne Miche de Malleray Fabrice Brégie Jean-Paul Lambert Manfred Birnfeld Philippe Pellerin Sandra Bour-Schaeffer

The first A320neo to fly has landed back at Toulouse-Blagnac Airport France at 02:22 pm local time after successfully completing its first flight which lasted around two and a half hours. The aircraft – carrying the registration F-WNEO – was flown by Airbus Experimental Test Pilots Philippe Pellerin and Etienne Miche de Malleray. Accompanying them in the cockpit was test-flight engineer Jean-Paul Lambert. Monitoring the progress of the flight profile were the flight-test engineers Manfred Birnfeld and Sandra Bour-Schaeffer.

Airbus president and CEO Fabrice Brégier said: “I congratulate the whole A320neo development team, ground crew and air crew for making this day happen. The A320neo which has taken to the air today builds on the outstanding success of the A320 Family. The aircraft through its incremental innovations combines the most efficient engine and aerodynamic technologies, as well as new cabin features to bring to market a product which will consume 20 per cent less fuel per passenger.”

For its first flight, the A320neo, powered by Pratt & Whitney PW1100G-JM engines, lifted off from Blagnac at around 60 tonnes. During the flight, which took the aircraft around southern France, the crew explored the aircraft’s flight envelope and systems operation, while the progress was monitored by experts on the ground in real-time via a direct telemetry link.