The Airbus A320neo (new engine option), the newest version of the popular single aisle narrow body jet has received joint Type Certification from the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and the United States Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) powered by Pratt & Whitney Pure Power PW1100G-JM geared turbo-fan (GTF) engines.
The EASA A320neo type Certificate was signed by EASA’s Certification Director Trevor Woods and the FAA A320neo Type Certificate by Jeffrey Duven, FAA Manager of Transport Airplane Directorate – Aircraft Certification Service. The Type Certificates were handed over to Airbus’ Executive Vice President Engineering, Charles Champion and Airbus A320neo Chief Engineer Pierre-Henri Brousse.
Three flight test aircraft powered by PW1100 engines accumulated over 1,070 flight hours in some 350 flights. The A320neo powered by the CFM LEAP 1A engines will be certified in the coming months, and then the A321neo and A319neo in both engines variants will follow.
Airbus is readying the first aircraft which is expected to be delivered to launch customer Qatar Airways before the end of this year. A photo can be seen here. The second delivery will be to IndiGo airlines and may happen very soon also.
Since the A320neo has a common type rating as the existing A320ceo (classic engine option), airlines will not require extensive familiarisation with the aircraft and we should see neo’s over Indian skies very soon.
Aviation geeks will probably know that the A320neo powered by the GTF has been given A320-271N(WL) as the sub-type designation.
To the lay person, the A320neo will look very similar to the existing A320. The difference will lie in the engine which will be a lot bigger in diameter.