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A321NEO HGW/Trans-Atlantic Possibilities

Sun Dec 30, 2012 3:19 am

I have seen a number of people mention that Airbus appears to be working on an A321 aircraft with a longer range, therefore a HGW version. I realize that the A321NEO is limited in many ways by it's wing and other factors.

What have you guys been hearing about Airbus extending the range of the A321 and possibly A320 in order to make it possible to use on the North-Atlantic.
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RE: A321NEO HGW/Trans-Atlantic Possibilities

Mon Dec 31, 2012 6:34 pm

London to NYC "MAY" be.. But no more longer.. Off course my opinion  
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RE: A321NEO HGW/Trans-Atlantic Possibilities

Mon Dec 31, 2012 7:20 pm

It was pretty well covered in this thread, look at the later part: A321 Popularity And Enhancements (by cjpmaestro Nov 24 2012 in Civil Aviation)

It is mostly a fuel tank volume question, the frame has not to thick wings and they therefore only holds fuel for some 4.5 hours flight and you need 8 hours. Here you have the payload and range chart for the 321 with ceo and neo and different extra fuel tanks (ACTs, Auxiliary Cargo Tanks), the 321 has 2 ACTs as standard:


As can be seen you can ship some 18t those 8 hours, would mean some 180 pax and bags. Now I am not sure I counted the weight for those 2 extra ACTs over the standard 2 and you need catering etc. Make it a realistic 150-160 pax in a mixed cabin when all weight items are counted (others are better at what are realistic real world weights so please chip in).
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RE: A321NEO HGW/Trans-Atlantic Possibilities

Mon Dec 31, 2012 8:04 pm

According to an article on the NEO in last week's Aviation Week & Space Technology, EI is looking at the A321NEO as a possible transatlantic aircraft, especially for the off-season when the A330 is probably too big much of the time. The article mentioned that using the A321 may permit all-year service from SNN (now served only seasonally) and possibly ORK.
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RE: A321NEO HGW/Trans-Atlantic Possibilities

Mon Dec 31, 2012 8:34 pm

If an airline wants to go transatlantic or longer routes the A320 NEO and even A319 NEO versions will be the right plane. From a general point of view, the A321 has better CASM but worse performance. Transatlantic requires good airplane performance and the smaller models offer that. You can't get good CASM and high performance at the same time. The A319NEO should be very manageable for transatlantic routes with the similar fuel capacity of the A321 but lower trip fuel burn. However the A319 NEO gets killed on CASM with only 100 seats in a 2 class cabin compared to a 787 or A350.

There is a market for 6 hour narrow body routes that is about 250 airplanes. That is a small market compared to the 10,000 narrow bodies operating routes under 6 hours. The average a320 rout is about 1.9 hours. Pushing range up beyond 6 hours means you are carrying more empty airplane weight around for those 2 hour routes which hurts the A321 against the 737. The majority of airlines are screaming for lower OEW and for airbus not to upsize anything that affects fuel burn. Very few want higher MTOW. That is why airbus does not want to make a trade to increase MTOW since the 737 is not appreciably going up in MTOW and airbus does not want to lose A320 and A319 orders to the c series.

Airbus wants standardization to keep production costs down. The can band aid fix the airplane to push up MTOW on an ER version. Tail strike prevention, multiple position tail skids, brake upgrades, tire size upgrades, landing gear mods, extra aux tanks, flight envelope adjustments, elevator and spoiler authority increases, flap span improvements, can all be done but they hurt CASM and cost money which would need to be pushed on interested airlines. Many of those were already done to the base A321 in 1997.

[Edited 2012-12-31 12:39:38]
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RE: A321NEO HGW/Trans-Atlantic Possibilities

Tue Jan 01, 2013 10:13 am

Most weight should be in the Al wings? Sort of like the 777-X program, the older wing hold a lot of weight that can be saved be changing to cfrp. But that would add cost to the cheap neo program, cost and complexity.

But for sure, the A321 could do with a larger wing.

The A321 would be a perfect frame to do a 757 sort of program on, but that is too late, the next generation NB will not have the same cross section probably.

I think there is a much bigger market for long and thin, its just that no efficient modern option exists, a dedicated frame for this purpose. In 15 years most of today's 767s and A332s and 757s will be put to pasture, the best option would be the 788 but it is still a lot of frame to fly thin routes up to 4500nm.

The 757 was never intended for its current role and a dedicated frame for this role with a tad more capacity and a lot better economics could be a potential big seller. Take some of the upper market of the NBs to save them weight and take some of the lower market of the smallest WBs to make them better for longer routes.. OEW about 55-60t, 220 seats maximum and 4500nm in bad head winds.

Will fuel cost force airlines to fly more optimal sized frames in the future? Most view the 788 as a 8000nm frame not a 4500nm frame...that 8000nm adds a lot of weight on that thin 4500nm route. This would be a new size class with nothing in the current market that compares.

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