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First Airbus A320neo F-WNEO MSN6101 takes off on its first flight at Toulouse Blagnac airport.
First Airbus A320neo F-WNEO MSN6101 takes off on its first flight at Toulouse Blagnac airport. Image courtesy Airbus.

Airbus achieves first flight of A320neo

European airframer Airbus, has achieved the first flight of the new fuel efficient iteration of its best selling narrow-body aircraft, the A320neo. neo means new engine option.

The first A320neo to fly frame number MSN6101, test registered F-WNEO lifted off from Toulouse-Blagnac airport in France at 12:00 local time (15:30 IST). At the controls were Airbus experimental test pilots Philippe Pellerin and Etienne Miche de Malleray. The other three members of the crew are test-flight engineer Jean-Paul Lambert, and flight-test engineers Manfred Birnfeld and Sandra Bour-Schaeffer monitoring the flight.

The aircraft powered by Pratt & Whitney PW1100G-JM PurePower geared turbo fan engines, commenced assembly in March. It was rolled out in July, and has been subjected to variety of ground tests before its flight today. The major sub-assemblies are manufactured across Europe.

The A320 commands a major portion of the narrow-body market in India with all but two airlines using the A320. India’s leading domestic carrier IndiGo has 150 A320neos on order and GoAir has 72.

Congratulations team Airbus.

About Devesh Agarwal

A electronics and automotive product management, marketing and branding expert, he was awarded a silver medal at the Lockheed Martin innovation competition 2010. He is ranked 6th on Mashable's list of aviation pros on Twitter and in addition to Bangalore Aviation, he has contributed to leading publications like Aviation Week, Conde Nast Traveller India, The Economic Times, and The Mint (a Wall Street Journal content partner). He remains a frequent flier and shares the good, the bad, and the ugly about the Indian aviation industry without fear or favour.

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