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Airbus begins assembly of the first A321XLR

Airbus has taken an important milestone in the production of the first Airbus A321XLR, as a structural assembly of the center and rear fuselages has started on the dedicated pilot line at the Hanover plant in Germany, the European aircraft manufacturer announced yesterday.

“This is a major milestone for the A321XLR program. The teams can be proud of this achievement and the overall speed of industrialization. We are on the right track with our planning. The dedicated A321XLR pilot line is ready and on standby to operate the assembly phases of the first flight test aircraft, until commissioning ”, said Martin Schnoor, A321 XLR Program Development Program Manager. Cell.

In May, premium service provider AEROTEC delivered the first fully equipped Rear Center Tank (RCT) to the assembly plant in Hanover. This RCT is unique to the new A321 Xtra Long Range, a single-aisle designed for long-haul flights (up to 4,700 nautical miles, or 8,700 kilometers). It is a large capacity fuel tank that allows maximum volumetric use of the aircraft’s lower fuselage. Integrated into sections 15 and 17 of the fuselage and located behind the main landing gear compartment, it can hold up to 13,100 liters, more fuel than several additional central tanks. on single-aisle A321 aircraft family, according to Airbus.

At the same time, the structural assembly of section 15 started in mid-April with the integration of the hulls from the supplier RUAG, the central wing box (Center Wing Box) from the Airbus plant in Nantes, France, and of the keel beam and rear flange module supplied by Premium AEROTEC.

These major sections are currently being assembled on the new dedicated production line at Hangar 260 in Hamburg – a pilot line separate from the rest of the A320 line, to be able to start assembly of the A321XLR fuselages without impacting the production of the other single aisles. The pilot line itself was designed entirely in 3D, allowing for intelligent integration of A321XLR design data from the start.

In the coming weeks, Airbus teams will finalize the integration of the RCT module into section 17, and begin structural assembly of a second A321XLR dedicated to flight tests. The installation of the equipment for the first aircraft is scheduled for the fall, followed by a period dedicated to the installation of equipment specifically used for the flight tests.

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