The first Airbus A320neo (MSN6101) takes shape

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On 30 April 2014, Airbus presented a new photo with the first Airbus A320neo (MSN6101). It is in an advanced final assembly phase, trial starting in March 2014 in Toulouse. The first flight is scheduled for the last quarter of this year, and the first delivery in October 2015.

As you can see from the picture, the fuselage assembly is almost complete. The major structures of the aircraft were manufactured at various Airbus bases in Europe: wings (Broughton, UK), vertical pylons (Stade, Germany), horizontal pylons (Getafe, Spain), flaps (Bremen, Germany), engine pillars (St. Eloi, France) etc.

In parallel with the final assembly, PW1100G-JM engines of the first A320neo aircraft are being manufactured at Pratt & Whitney, USA and will be delivered to Airbus in the coming months.

The assembly of a plane from the A320 family takes about one month. Airbus has 3 final assembly lines in Toulouse, Hamburg and Tianjin in China, and every 7 hours a copy of the A320 family leaves the factory gate.

The new Airbus A320neo family of aircraft (including the A319neo and A321neo models) comes with more innovations compared to the current Airbus A320 family of aircraft. NEO models will benefit from a new generation of cheaper engines and Sharklets peaks, which together will lead to fuel savings of up to 15%.

Since its announcement, in 2010, the aircraft family A320neo has placed orders for about 2600 units from 50 of airlines, conquering approximately 60% of the single-aisle aircraft market.

The biggest orders came from the low cost companies AirAsia (200 units) and Lion Air (174 units), followed by IndiGo (150 units), easyJet (100 of A320neo aircraft) and Norwegian Air Shuttle (100 of A320neo aircraft). Among the full-service companies are American Airlines with 130 of A321neo airplanes ordered. The launch customer will be International Lease Finance Corporation, Virgin America delaying aircraft receipt until 2020.

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