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Boeing has the 737 MAX 10 (as of yesterday), and Airbus has the A321neo. Both next-generation aircraft are designed for medium-haul travel, and, with some modifications, can operate select long(ish)-haul flights, including East Coast to parts of Western Europe.
That’s where JetBlue comes in — the airline currently operates a fleet of Airbus A320 and A321 aircraft, but executives are considering adding a long-range version of the A321neo, which would then be used to operate flights to Europe. At the Paris Air Show today, I got a look at that brand-new Airbus model.
Cabin and Test Equipment
Like most of the other aircraft I had an opportunity to photograph at Le Bourget, the A321neo hasn’t yet been outfitted with passenger seating (other than a few extra extra legroom seats for technicians to use during test flights).
Instead, there’s loads of test equipment.
In this case, Airbus has filled the aircraft with ballast tanks, allowing crews to adjust the weight and balance as they work through the testing process.
There are also cameras mounted throughout — the one below is pointed at the wing.
It’s clear that Airbus won’t be increasing the size of the windows — they’re still awfully small, especially compared to those on the Bombardier CSeries, which are a whopping 50% larger than what you see below.
It’s more or less impossible to get a feel for the plane’s aesthetic improvements when it’s in this state, but once Airspace launches on the A320 series, we could be in for a much more comfortable (and stylish) ride. As for JetBlue’s plans — could this plane one day offer Mint service to Europe? At this point, the only thing we can do is hope.
See these posts for more from the Paris Air Show:
- Inside Airbus’ (Empty) A380plus Double-Decker Airliner
- Airbus Plans to Refresh A320 Cabins in 2020
- Video Tour: Qatar Airways’ Brand-New Qsuite Business Class
Know before you go.
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