The Airbus A321neo powered by Pratt & Whitney PW1100G turbofans received joint type certification from the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the airframer announced Thursday. EASA certification director Trevor Woods and FAA transport airplane directorate manager Jeffrey Duven signed and handed over the certificates to Airbus executive vice president of programs Didier Evrard and A320 family senior vice president Klaus Roewe.
The largest member of the A320neo family, the A321neo accumulated more than 350 flight hours during some 130 flights over its 10-month certification program, validating its airframe and systems well beyond their design limits. The campaign also confirmed the aircraft meets its performance targets in terms of fuel burn and range, said Airbus.
The first variant of the A321neo to have received EASA and FAA type certification, the Pratt-powered version made its first flight later than did the CFM Leap-1A-powered model, which flew for the first time on February 9. Originally planning to fly the PW1100G-powered version first, Airbus switched the flight-test sequence as Pratt worked on a machining problem and software adjustments to address operating restrictions—namely extended start-time intervals—on the smaller A320neo. The first Airbus A321neo powered by Pratt & Whitney engines completed its maiden flight exactly a month later. Despite the switch in first flight sequence, Airbus plans to deliver the Pratt-powered A321neo around the new year, just ahead of Leap-powered version in the first quarter. Airbus has yet to identify the launch operator for either variant.