As Airbus begins test-flying a new A321 that pushes the range for a single aisle airliner to unparalleled numbers, it is set to become a new force in air travel. But what’s different about this one? Mark Broadbent reports
On June 15, 2021, Airbus experimental test pilots Thierry Diez (captain) and Gabriel Diaz de Villegas Giron (first officer) pushed open the throttles of the first A321XLR (Xtra Long Range) test aircraft, F-WXLR MSN11000, on the runway at Hamburg-Finkenwerder Airport.
Taking to the air just before midday, the crew – which also included flight test engineers Philippe Pupin and Frank Hohmeister, and test flight engineer Mehdi Zeddoun – climbed to altitude to complete the first set of test points.