Airbus said its A321neo aircraft completed its first flight on Tuesday, making the trip using engines supplied by CFM International after a last minute change of opponent supplied by Pratt & Whitney turbines.
largest single-aisle Airbus took off from Hamburg, Germany, and landed safely in five and a half hours later, Airbus said, an event that marks the beginning of flight tests of the aircraft, a powerful rival to the larger Boeing 737 MAX.
Switching to CFM engines, known as the LEAP-1A and carried out by a joint venture of General Electric and Safran SA of France, it occurs after a problem arose with the turbofan Pratt & Oriented Whitney engine that requires additional time to cool before restarting in some circumstances.
Airbus declined to comment on the rate of change CFM engines for the A321neo initial flight. But industry experts believe the unusual move because the version of Pratt-motor is A321neo is due to enter service before the version with CFM engines.
Airbus said there is no change in plans for delivery, A321neo equipped with Pratt still expected to reach customers by the end of 2016, and CFM-equipped version in early 2017.
Pratt & Whitney said its geared turbofan and is taking passengers on the smaller Airbus A320neo, the first version of which was delivered to Lufthansa last month. The engine has met all its performance targets, Pratt said.