The A321neo took off for the first time with the CFM LEAP-1A engine today.
That’s a good news for the A320neo program that is progressing as expected, or almost. It is now official that the firing order of the A320neo family is A320neo, A321neo and then A319neo.
When I stated first time that I didn’t understand why the official firing order was A320neo, A319neo and A321neo, I faced all kind of criticism from all kind of people. Basically people protested the fact that I dared suggesting that the logical firing order should be A320neo, A321neo and finally A319neo.
Well, the reality is there now. The A321neo is flying although the “lead” engine is now the CFM LEAP-1A on this version.
In one of my past posts back in October 2013 (click here) I got a hell lot of stupid comments. Fortunately, today this blog is severely moderated, so there are much less incoherent comments coming from people who do not want to use their brain.
Anyways, the A321neo is now is flying and it will get its type certificate by the end of the year. Most probably the A321neo/LEAP-1A is the first to be certified.
Where Has The PW1135G-JM Gone?
The PW1135G-JM seems to be a quite mysterious version. It appeared some time in 2014 and then it remains for a certain time (click here). Bizarrely, there is not much news about this thrust rating on the Internet. I am still wondering what happened to this variant. I do not think it disappeared into thin air. It is obvious this version is specifically designed for the A321neo in order to provide the required takeoff thrust for the long-range version of the A321neo.
It is curious CFM does not offer any LEAP-1A35 today. It is unclear whether CFM would offer a higher thrust than the LEAP-1A33B2.
I really do not know what’s going on between Airbus and Pratt & Whitney on the subject of the PW1100G-JM. I have the feeling there is some kind of tension, but I cannot be sure about it because I don’t work at Airbus.
A319neo Prototype Is Built
I read somewhere that the A319neo prototype is built, although I cannot get a precise information about the pylons on that first A319neo. I am now suspecting that the first A319neo will be powered by LEAP-1A too, just like the A321neo.
When I was looking into the A319neo orders, I have the very-very strange feeling that most of them are powered by LEAP-1A engines, even though this feeling is based on nothing at all.
So yes, it seems Airbus will certify the A319neo by the end of 2017. Obviously, Airbus wants to keep its presence in this market segment at any price.
Now, there have been many speculations about the possibility Boeing might abandon the 737-7 MAX that is targeted to enter into service in 2019. I do not know whether this rumors are founded or if it is pure rubbish.
Unfortunately, Boeing does not differentiate the different 737 MAX versions in its orders and deliveries table. Therefore, I cannot confirm the number of ordered 737-7MAX so far. An independent site mentions a total of 60 firm orders for the 737-7MAX. IF the number remains so small, I just don’t see the point of getting the type certificate so early. After all, Boeing will be damn bus building the most popular member of the 737 MAX family.
Anyways, Both Boeing and Airbus now have similar firing order for their reengined narrowbody aircraft family. The firing order is now clearly A320neo, A321neo and then A319neo just like Boeing’s 737 MAX that will start with the 737-8 followed by 737-9 and then 737-7 (if not abandoned).
Finally, the order of things becomes normal, the way I like it.