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The Airbus A321 is a member of the
Airbus A320 family The Airbus A320 family are narrow-body airliners designed and produced by Airbus. The A320 was launched in March 1984, first flew on 22 February 1987, and was introduced in April 1988 by Air France Air France (; formally ''Société Ai ...
of short to medium range,
narrow-body A narrow-body aircraft or single-aisle aircraft is an airliner arranged along a single aisle, permitting up to 6-abreast seating in a cabin below of width. In contrast, a wide-body aircraft is a larger airliner usually configured with multipl ...
, commercial passenger twin engine
jet airlinerJet Airliner may refer to: * Jet airliner, an aeroplane powered by jet engines * "Jet Airliner" (Steve Miller Band song), a 1977 song composed by Paul Pena and popularized by the Steve Miller Band * "Jet Airliner" (Modern Talking song), Modern Ta ...
s; it carries 185 to 236 passengers. It has a stretched fuselage which was the first derivative of the baseline A320 and entered service in 1994 about six years after the original A320. The aircraft shares a common
type rating A type rating is a licensing agency's certification of an airplane Pilot (aeronautics), pilot to fly a certain aircraft type that requires additional training beyond the scope of the initial Pilot licensing and certification, license and aircraf ...
with all other Airbus A320-family variants, allowing previous A320-family pilots to fly the aircraft without the need for further training. In December 2010, Airbus announced a new generation of the A320 family, the A320neo (new engine option). The similarly lengthened fuselage A321neo variant offers new, more efficient, engines, combined with airframe improvements and the addition of winglets (called ''Sharklets'' by Airbus). The aircraft delivers fuel savings of up to 15%. The A321neo carries up to 244 passengers, with a maximum range of for the long-range version when carrying no more than 206 passengers. Final assembly of the aircraft takes place in
Hamburg en, Hamburgian(s) , timezone1 = Central European Time, CET , utc_offset1 = +1 , timezone1_DST = Central European Summer Time, CEST , utc_offset1_DST = +2 , postal_co ...

Hamburg
,
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, or
Mobile, Alabama Mobile ( , ) is the county seat of Mobile County, Alabama, United States. The population within the city limits was 195,111 as of the 2010 United States Census, making it the third-most-populous city in Alabama, and the most populous in Mobile ...
. As of 31 December 2019, a total of 2,043 A321 aircraft have been delivered, of which 2,015 are in service. In addition, another 3,003 airliners are on firm order (comprising 38 A321ceo and 2,965 A321neo). As of March 2021,
American Airlines American Airlines, Inc. (AA or AAL) is a major American airline headquartered in Fort Worth, Texas Fort Worth is the List of cities in Texas by population, fifth-largest city in the U.S. state of Texas and the List of united states cities b ...
was the largest operator of the Airbus A321, operating 248 aircraft.


Development

The Airbus A321 was the first derivative of the A320, also known as the ''Stretched A320'', ''A320-500'' and ''A325''. Its launch came on 24 November 1988, around the same time as the A320 entered service, after commitments for 183 aircraft from 10 customers were secured. The
maiden flight The maiden flight, also known as first flight, of an aircraft is the first occasion on which an aircraft leaves the ground under its own power. The same term is also used for the first launch of rockets. The maiden flight of a new aircraft type is ...
of the Airbus A321 came on 11 March 1993, when the
prototype A prototype is an early sample, model, or release of a product built to test a concept or process. It is a term used in a variety of contexts, including semantics Semantics (from grc, wikt:σημαντικός, σημαντικός ''sēma ...
, registration F-WWIA, flew with IAE V2500 engines; the second prototype, equipped with CFM56-5B turbofans, flew in May 1993. Lufthansa and
Alitalia Alitalia - Società Aerea Italiana Società per azioni, S.p.A., operating as Alitalia (), is the flag carrier and largest airline of Italy. The company has its head office in Fiumicino, Metropolitan City of Rome Capital. The airline is fully ow ...
were the first to order the stretched Airbuses, with 20 and 40 aircraft requested, respectively. The first of Lufthansa's V2500-A5-powered A321s arrived on 27 January 1994, while Alitalia received its first CFM56-5B-powered aircraft on 22 March 1994. The A321-100 entered service in January 1994 with Lufthansa. Final assembly for the A321 was carried out in Germany (then West Germany), a first for any Airbus. This came after a dispute between the French, who claimed that the move would incur $150 million (€135 million) in unnecessary expenditure associated with the new plant, and the Germans, who claimed that it would be more productive for Airbus in the long run. The second production line was located in
Hamburg en, Hamburgian(s) , timezone1 = Central European Time, CET , utc_offset1 = +1 , timezone1_DST = Central European Summer Time, CEST , utc_offset1_DST = +2 , postal_co ...

Hamburg
, which later produced the smaller
Airbus A319 The Airbus A319 is a member of the Airbus A320 family The Airbus A320 family are narrow-body airliners designed and produced by Airbus. The A320 was launched in March 1984, first flew on 22 February 1987, and was introduced in April 1 ...
and A318. For the first time, Airbus entered the
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, through which it raised $480 million (€475 million) to finance development costs. An additional $180 million (€175 million) was borrowed from
European Investment Bank The European Investment Bank (EIB) is a publicly owned International financial institutions, international financial institution whose shareholders are the member states of the European Union, EU member states. It was established in 1958 under ...
and private investors. The A321 is the largest variant of the A320 family. The A321-200's length exceeds 44.5m, increasing maximum takeoff weight to . Wingspan remained unchanged, supplementing various wingtip devices. Two suppliers provided turbofan engines for the A321: CFM International with its CFM International CFM56, CFM56 and International Aero Engines with the IAE V2500, V2500 engine, both in the thrust range of . Over 30 years since launch, the A321 Maximum takeoff weight (MTOW) grew by 20% from the 83t -100 until the 101t A321XLR, seating is 10% more dense with 244 seats, up by 24, and range doubled from 2,300 nmi to 4,700 nmi. By 2019, 4,200 have been ordered—one-quarter of all Airbus single-aisles—including 2,400 neos, one-third of all A320neo orders.


Design

The Airbus A321 is a narrow-body (single-aisle) aircraft with a retractable tricycle landing gear and is powered by two wing pylon-mounted turbofan engines. It is a low-wing cantilever monoplane with a conventional Empennage, tail unit having a single vertical stabilizer and rudder. Changes from the A320 include a fuselage stretch and some modifications to the wing. The fuselage was lengthened by a plug ahead of the wing and a plug behind it, so that the A321 is longer than the A320. The length increase required the overwing window exits of the A320 to be converted into door exits and repositioned in front of and behind the wings. To maintain performance, Flap (aircraft), double-slotted flaps and minor trailing edge modifications were included, increasing the wing area from to . The centre fuselage and Landing gear, undercarriage were reinforced to accommodate the increase in maximum takeoff weight of , taking it to .


Variants


A321-100

The original derivative of the A321, the A321-100, had a shorter range compared to the A320 as extra fuel tankage was not added to the initial design to compensate for the extra weight. The MTOW of the A321-100 is . The A321-100 entered service with Lufthansa in 1994. Only about 90 were produced.


A321-200

Airbus launched the heavier and longer-range A321-200 development in 1995 which has a full-passenger transcontinental US range. This is achieved through higher thrust engines (V2533-A5 or CFM56-5B3), minor structural strengthening, and an increase in fuel capacity with the installation of one or two optional tanks in the rear underfloor hold. The additional fuel tankage increases the total capacity of this model to . These modifications also increased the maximum takeoff weight of the A321-200 to . This variant first flew in December 1996, and entered service with Monarch Airlines in April 1997. Its direct competitors include the Boeing 757, 757-200 and the Boeing 737, 737-900/900ER.


A321neo

On 1 December 2010, Airbus launched the A320neo family (''neo'' for ''re-engine, New Engine Option'') with more range and 15% better fuel efficiency thanks to new CFM International LEAP-1A or Pratt & Whitney PW1000G engines and large sharklets. The lengthened A321neo prototype made its first flight on 9 February 2016. It received its type certification on 15 December 2016. The first entered service in May 2017 with Virgin America.


A321LR

In October 2014, Airbus started marketing a longer range maximum takeoff weight variant with three auxiliary fuel tanks with more operational range than a Boeing 757-200. Airbus launched the A321LR (Long Range) on 13 January 2015 with a range of with 206 seats in two classes. On 31 January 2018, it completed its first flight. Airbus announced its certification on 2 October 2018. On 13 November 2018, Arkia received the first A321LR.


A321XLR

In January 2018, Airbus was studying an A321LR variant with a further increased MTOW. The proposed A321XLR with a range extended to would be launched in 2019 to enter service in 2021 or 2022 to compete with the Boeing New Midsize Airplane, Boeing NMA. In November, Airbus indicated that the A321XLR would have an MTOW over and more range than the A321LR. The Airbus A321XLR, A321XLR was launched at the June 2019 Paris Air Show, with 4,700 nmi of range from 2023, including a new permanent Rear Centre Tank (RCT) for more fuel, a strengthened landing gear for a MTOW; and an optimised wing trailing-edge flap configuration to preserve take-off performance.


Operators

As of 29 February 2020, 2,038 Airbus A321 aircraft were in service with more than 100 operators.
American Airlines American Airlines, Inc. (AA or AAL) is a major American airline headquartered in Fort Worth, Texas Fort Worth is the List of cities in Texas by population, fifth-largest city in the U.S. state of Texas and the List of united states cities b ...
and China Southern Airlines operate the largest A321 fleets of 248 and 127 aircraft respectively.


Orders and deliveries

''Data through end of February 2021''


Accidents and incidents

For the Airbus A321, 32 aviation accidents and incidents have occurred, including 6 hull loss, hull-loss accidents or criminal occurrences with a total of 377 fatalities as of August 2019.A321 accident statistics
Aviation Safety, 3 October 2017.


Specifications


Engines


See also


Notes


References


External links


Official website
{{Authority control Airbus aircraft, A321 1990s international airliners Twinjets Airbus A320 family,