Airbus A321 Spotting Guide


LAN Airbus A321LAN Airbus A321

The first derivative of the Airbus A320 was the stretched Airbus A321, also known as the Stretched A320A320-500 and A325.

The A320 was stretched by 22' 9" into the A321 via plugs in front of and behind the wing. The A321 became the longest fuselage member of the A320 family.

It is a narrow-body, single-aisle airliner, with 6-across seating. Typical 2-class seating capacity is 185 passengers, with a maximum of 236. The 321ceo has a range of 3,200 nm.

The A321 measures 146' 0" (44.51m) in length.

Airbus A321 Background and Development

The first flight of the Airbus A321 occurred in March of 1993, when the prototype, registration F-WWIA, flew with IAE V2500 engines; the second prototype, equipped with CFM56-5B turbofans, flew in May.

Lufthansa and Alitalia were the first to order the stretched Airbuses.

Today, the A321 is a major competitor as a replacement aircraft for the Boeing 757 which is no longer in production but remains a popular component in the fleet of many airliners. Its main competitor is the Boeing 737.

The A321 features an identical flightdeck to the smaller A319 and A320, and has the same type rating as those aircraft.

As of May 2019, a total of over 1,900 A321 aircraft have been delivered.

Nearly 2,200 more are on order. The A321 is assembled in Hamburg, Germany, and Mobile, Alabama in the U.S.

More than 100 operators have the A321 in service. American Airlines has the largest A321 fleet, with over 220 airliners; China Southern Airlines has 116.

Airbus A321 Models

The two original models were the A321-100 and the A321-200, an extended range version of the -100.

The -200 has higher thrust engines and an additional fuel tank, resulting in an increase in range by 350 nautical miles. Externally, the two models are the same. Original models were referred to as A321ceo (Current Engine Option).

A321neo and A321LR

Airbus A321neoLR first flight on January 31, 2018
Airbus A321neo-LR first flight on January 31, 2018 (Photo courtesy of Airbus)

Newer versions include the A321neo (New Engine Option) and the A321LR (Long Range), and feature "sharklets" on the wing tips to improve performance. 

On the A321neo, Airbus expanded seating capacity with optimized use of cabin space, increased exit limits and a new cabin door configuration. This “Cabin-Flex” option increased the jetliner’s maximum capacity to 244 seats, while still providing high levels of passenger comfort. 

The A321LR variant provides extended range for the A320neo Family’s longest fuselage version, able to fly routes of up to 4,000 nm with 206 passengers by utilizing extra fuel in three Additional Centre Tanks (ACTs).

Ideally suited to transatlantic routes, the A321LR allows airlines to tap into new long-haul markets that were not previously accessible with current single-aisle aircraft

The A321LR made its maiden flight on January 31, 2018.

A321XLR

Airbus A321xlr
Airbus A321XLR (Photo courtesy of Airbus)

Announced in 2019, the A321XLR is extending the single-aisle jetliner availability as Airbus’ next evolutionary step for the A321neo Family. Service entry for this extra long range airlilner is planned for 2023. It will offer even more range – up to 4,700 nm (8,700 km) – in a comfortable 2-class layout.

Configured with true long-haul full flat seats – or up to 244 passengers in single class layouts – the A321XLR cabin will benefit from the “Airspace by Airbus” interior, featuring a range of cabin elements providing benefits for passengers and differentiation for airlines.

With the A321XLR, the A320neo Family not only will share common cockpit ergonomics with the Airbus wide-body jetliners, but also will have a common cabin design language and the latest technology.

Read more ... Airbus launches longest range single-aisle airliner: the A321XLR

Airbus A321neo and ACF Models

Airbus A321neo Prototype Takeoff
Airbus A321neo Prototype Takeoff

Shown below is the Airbus A321neo with Airbus Cabin Flex (ACF) Configuration

This configuration has door 2 removed, and replaced by a double-overwing exit. Also in this configuration, door 3 is moved further aft. This configuration is reported to allow a maximum passenger capacity of 240. Airbus and Saab are working on the design and manufacture of ACF components. (Image courtesy of the Saab Group)

Airbus A321neo with Airbus Cabin Flex (ACF) Configuration

Shown below is the rollout of the first Airbus A321neo ACF on January 5, 2018 (Image courtesy of the Airbus)

rollout of the first Airbus A321neo ACF on January 5, 2018

Airlines Operating the Airbus A321

Over 100 airlines worldwide operate the A321. Shown below are operators with 40 or more A321 aircraft in their fleet (as of August 2018):

Airline Number of A321 Airliners
American Airlines 219
China Southern Airlines 99
China Eastern Airlines 77
Turkish Airlines 68
JetBlue 63
Lufthansa 63
Air China 61
Delta Air Lines 61
Vietnam Airlines 57
Aeroflot 40

 

Airbus A321 Spotting Guide

The A321 has two engines under the wings, two dual-wheel main landing gear, four cabin doors evenly spaced along the fuselage, and the classic Airbus nose featuring the "notched" window.The A321 has two engines under the wings, two dual-wheel main landing gear, four doors along the fuselage, and the classic Airbus nose featuring the "notched" window.


The Airbus A321 features typical A320-series characteristics including the "rounded nose" and windshield straight across the bottom, and rear cockpit windshield window "notched" at the top corner.
The Airbus A321 features typical A320-series characteristics including the "rounded nose" and windshield straight across the bottom, and rear windshield window "notched"

The photo below of an Air France A321 shows its landing gear arrangement and wing design.
Photo of Air France A321 showing the landing gear arrangement and wing design

Chart showing a side-by-side comparison of the
Airbus A321 (top) and the Boeing 757 (bottom).

Note that the A321 has two 2-wheel main gear assemblies, while the 757 has two 4-wheel landing gear.

Side-by-side comparison of the Airbus A321 and the Boeing 757

Airliner Spotting Guide for the Airbus A320 Family

The Airbus A321 is part of a short-to-medium range, twin-engine, narrow-bodied A320 series.

The family includes the original A320, the stretched Airbus A321 (1994), the shortened A319 (1996), and the A318 (2003) (seen below).

Spotting guide for the Airbus A320 family of jetliners

 

Airbus A321 Photographs

Scandinavian Airlines Airbus A321-200
Scandinavian Airlines Airbus A321-200

Air France Airbus A321, Registration F-GTAJ
Air France Airbus A321, Registration F-GTAJ

Lufthansa Airbus A321
Lufthansa Airbus A321

Thomas Cook Airbus A321
Lufthansa Airbus A321

AtlasJet Airbus A321
AtlasJet Airbus A321

 

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