Airbus A321

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Airbus A321-231(w) 'N915US' American Airlines (28442733186).jpg
An American Airlines A321
Role Narrow-body jet airliner
National originMultinational [lower-alpha 1]
Manufacturer Airbus
First flight11 March 1993
Introduction1994 with Lufthansa
StatusIn service
Primary users American Airlines
China Southern Airlines
China Eastern Airlines
Turkish Airlines
Number built1,850 as of January 2019 [1]
Unit cost
US$114.9 million [2]
Developed from Airbus A320
Developed into Airbus A320neo family

The Airbus A321 is a member of the Airbus A320 family of short- to medium-range, narrow-body, commercial passenger twin-engine jet airliners. [lower-alpha 2] The first derivative of the baseline A320, it has a stretched fuselage and entered service in 1994 with Lufthansa, around six years after the original A320. The aircraft shares a common type rating with all other Airbus A320 family variants, allowing existing A320 family pilots to fly the aircraft without the need for further training.

Airbus A320 family Airliner family

The Airbus A320 family consists of short- to medium-range, narrow-body, commercial passenger twin-engine jet airliners by Airbus. The family includes the A318, A319, A320 and A321, as well as the ACJ business jet. The A320s are also named A320ceo following the introduction of the A320neo. The aircraft family can accommodate up to 236 passengers and has a range of 3,100 to 12,000 km, depending on model.

Narrow-body aircraft single-aisle full-size jet airliner classification

A narrow-body aircraft or single-aisle aircraft is an airliner arranged along a single aisle permitting up to 6-abreast seating in a cabin below 4 metres (13 ft) of width. In contrast, a wide-body aircraft is a larger airliner usually configured with multiple aisles and a fuselage diameter of more than 5 metres (16 ft) allowing at least seven-abreast seating and often more travel classes.

Twinjet aircraft propelled by two jet engines

A twinjet or twin-engine jet is a jet aircraft powered by two engines. A twinjet is able to fly well enough to land with a single working engine, making it safer than a single-engine aircraft in the event of failure of an engine. Fuel efficiency of a twinjet is better than that of aircraft with more engines. These considerations have led to the widespread use of aircraft of all types with twin engines, including airliners, fixed-wing military aircraft, and others.


In December 2010, Airbus announced a new generation of the A320 family, the A320neo (new engine option). [3] The similarly lengthened fuselage A321neo variant offers new, more efficient, engines, combined with airframe improvements and the addition of winglets (called Sharklets by Airbus). The aircraft delivers fuel savings of up to 15%. The A321neo carries up to 236 passengers, with a maximum range of 4,000 nmi (7,400 km; 4,600 mi) for the long-range version when carrying no more than 206 passengers. [4]

Airbus A320neo family Airliner, series of improvements across the A320 family

The Airbus A320neo family is a development of the A320 family of narrow-body airliners produced by Airbus. The original family has been renamed A320ceo, for current engine option. Launched on 1 December 2010, it made its first flight on 25 September 2014 and it was introduced by Lufthansa on 25 January 2016. Re-engined with CFM International LEAP-1A or Pratt & Whitney PW1000G engines and with large sharklets, it should be 15% more fuel efficient. The A320neo family is based on the previous A319, A320 and A321. As of June 2019, Airbus has received 6,635 orders and delivered 869 aircraft.

Final assembly of the aircraft takes place in Hamburg, Germany, or Mobile, Alabama. As of 31 January 2019, a total of 1,850 Airbus A321 aircraft have been delivered, of which 1,827 are in service. In addition, another 2,241 airliners are on firm order (comprising 81 A321ceo and 2,160 A321neo). As of January 2019, American Airlines was the largest operator of the Airbus A321, operating 220 aircraft. [1]

Hamburg City in Germany

Hamburg is the second-largest city in Germany with a population of over 1.8 million, after the capital Berlin.

Germany Federal parliamentary republic in central-western Europe

Germany, officially the Federal Republic of Germany, is a country in Central and Western Europe, lying between the Baltic and North Seas to the north, and the Alps, Lake Constance and the High Rhine to the south. It borders Denmark to the north, Poland and the Czech Republic to the east, Austria and Switzerland to the south, France to the southwest, and Luxembourg, Belgium and the Netherlands to the west.

Mobile, Alabama City in Alabama, United States

Mobile is the county seat of Mobile County, Alabama, United States. The population within the city limits was 195,111 as of the 2010 United States Census, making it the third most populous city in Alabama, the most populous in Mobile County, and the largest municipality on the Gulf Coast between New Orleans, Louisiana, and St. Petersburg, Florida.


The A321 entered service in January 1994 with Lufthansa Lufthansa.a321-100.d-aire.arp.jpg
The A321 entered service in January 1994 with Lufthansa

The Airbus A321 was the first derivative of the A320, also known as the Stretched A320, A320-500 and A325. [5] [6] Its launch came on 24 November 1988, around the same time as the A320 entered service, after commitments for 183 aircraft from 10 customers were secured. [5] [7]

An Airbus A321 on final assembly line 3 in the Airbus plant at Hamburg Finkenwerder Airport A321 final assembly (9351765668).jpg
An Airbus A321 on final assembly line 3 in the Airbus plant at Hamburg Finkenwerder Airport

The maiden flight of the Airbus A321 came on 11 March 1993, when the prototype, registration F-WWIA, flew with IAE V2500 engines; the second prototype, equipped with CFM56-5B turbofans, flew in May 1993. Lufthansa and Alitalia were the first to order the stretched Airbuses, with 20 and 40 aircraft requested, respectively. The first of Lufthansa's V2500-A5-powered A321s arrived on 27 January 1994, while Alitalia received its first CFM56-5B-powered aircraft on 22 March 1994. [8] The A321-100 entered service in January 1994 with Lufthansa.

The maiden flight, also known as first flight, of an aircraft is the first occasion on which an aircraft leaves the ground under its own power. The same term is also used for the first launch of rockets.

Prototype early sample or model built to test a concept or process

A prototype is an early sample, model, or release of a product built to test a concept or process or to act as a thing to be replicated or learned from. It is a term used in a variety of contexts, including semantics, design, electronics, and software programming. A prototype is generally used to evaluate a new design to enhance precision by system analysts and users. Prototyping serves to provide specifications for a real, working system rather than a theoretical one. In some design workflow models, creating a prototype is the step between the formalization and the evaluation of an idea.

IAE V2500 Turbofan engine

The IAE V2500 is a two-shaft high-bypass turbofan engine which powers the Airbus A320 family, the McDonnell Douglas MD-90, and the Embraer KC-390.

Final assembly for the A321 was carried out in Germany (then West Germany), a first for any Airbus. [9] This came after a dispute between the French, who claimed that the move would incur $150 million (€135 million) in unnecessary expenditure associated with the new plant, [10] and the Germans, who claimed that it would be more productive for Airbus in the long run. The second production line was located in Hamburg, which later produced the smaller Airbus A319 and A318. For the first time, Airbus entered the bond market, through which it raised $480 million (€475 million) to finance development costs. [11] An additional $180 million (€175 million) was borrowed from European Investment Bank and private investors. [12]

Airbus A319 Airliner, shortened series of the A320 family

The Airbus A319 is a member of the Airbus A320 family of short- to medium-range, narrow-body, commercial passenger twin-engine jet airliners manufactured by Airbus. The A319 carries up to 160 passengers and has a maximum range of 3,700 nmi. Final assembly of the aircraft takes place in Hamburg, Germany and Tianjin, China.

Airbus A318 Airliner, smallest series of the A320 family

The Airbus A318 is the smallest member of the Airbus A320 family of short- to medium-range, narrow-body, commercial passenger twin-engine jet airliners manufactured by Airbus. The A318 carries up to 132 passengers and has a maximum range of 3,100 nmi. Final assembly of the aircraft took place in Hamburg, Germany. It is intended primarily for short-range service, although British Airways uses the aircraft on a London City Airport to New York-JFK Airport transatlantic route.

Bond market financial market where participants can issue new debt or buy and sell debt securities

The bond market is a financial market where participants can issue new debt, known as the primary market, or buy and sell debt securities, known as the secondary market. This is usually in the form of bonds, but it may include notes, bills, and so on.

The A321 is the largest variant of the A320 family. [13] [4] The A321-200's length exceeds 44.5m, increasing maximum takeoff weight to 93,000 kg (205,000 lb). [14] Wingspan remained unchanged, supplementing various wingtip devices. Two suppliers provided turbofan engines for the A321: CFM International with its CFM56 and International Aero Engines with the V2500 engine, both in the thrust range of 133–147 kN (30,000–33,000 lbf).

Over 30 years since launch, the A321 MTOW grew by 20% from the 83t -100 until the 101t A321XLR, seating is 10% more dense with 244 seats, up by 24, and range doubled from 2,300 nmi to 4,700 nmi. [15] By 2019, 4,200 have been ordered—one-quarter of all Airbus single-aisles—including 2,400 neos, one-third of all A320neo orders. [15]


The A321 has double-slotted flaps Airbus A321-..., Lufthansa AN0620267.jpg
The A321 has double-slotted flaps

The Airbus A321 is a narrow-body (single-aisle) aircraft with a retractable tricycle landing gear and is powered by two wing pylon-mounted turbofan engines. It is a low-wing cantilever monoplane with a conventional tail unit having a single vertical stabilizer and rudder. Changes from the A320 include a fuselage stretch and some modifications to the wing. The fuselage was lengthened by a 4.27 m (14 ft 0 in) plug ahead of the wing and a 2.67 m (8 ft 9 in) plug behind it, so that the A321 is 6.94 metres (22 ft 9 in) longer than the A320. [4] [13] [14] [16] The length increase required the overwing window exits of the A320 to be converted into door exits and repositioned in front of and behind the wings. [8] To maintain performance, double-slotted flaps and minor trailing edge modifications were included, [14] increasing the wing area from 124 m2 (1,330 sq ft) to 128 m2 (1,380 sq ft). [17] The centre fuselage and undercarriage were reinforced to accommodate the increase in maximum takeoff weight of 9,600 kg (21,200 lb), taking it to 83,000 kg (183,000 lb). [14]


Airbus A32X family A32XFAMILYv1.0.png
Airbus A32X family


The original derivative of the A321, the A321-100, featured a reduction in range compared to the A320 as extra fuel tankage was not added to the initial design to compensate for the extra weight. The maximum takeoff weight (MTOW) of the A321-100 was increased to 83,000 kg (183,000 lb). The A321-100 entered service with Lufthansa in 1994. Only about 90 were produced. [18]


Airbus launched the heavier and longer range A321-200 development in 1995 which has a full-passenger transcontinental US range. This is achieved through higher thrust engines (V2533-A5 or CFM56-5B3), minor structural strengthening, and an increase in fuel capacity with the installation of one or two optional 2,990 L (790 US gal) tanks in the rear underfloor hold. [19] The additional fuel tankage increases the total capacity of this model to 30,030 L (7,930 US gal). These modifications also increased the maximum takeoff weight of the A321-200 to 93,000 kg (205,000 lb). This variant first flew in December 1996, and entered service with Monarch Airlines in April 1997. Its direct competitors include the 757–200 and the 737-900/900ER.


The A321neo has larger CFM LEAP or PW1000G turbofans Tc-lsa (42253295235).jpg
The A321neo has larger CFM LEAP or PW1000G turbofans

On 1 December 2010, Airbus launched the A320neo family (neo for New Engine Option ) with 500 nmi (930 km) more range and 15% better fuel efficiency thanks to new CFM International LEAP-1A or Pratt & Whitney PW1000G engines and large sharklets. [20] The lengthened A321neo prototype made its first flight on 9 February 2016. [21] It received its type certification on 15 December 2016. [22] The first entered service in May 2017 with Virgin America. [23]


First delivered to Arkia, the A321LR has a black windshield frame 4X-AGK Micha.jpg
First delivered to Arkia, the A321LR has a black windshield frame

In October 2014, Airbus started marketing a longer range 97 t (214,000 lb) maximum takeoff weight variant with three auxiliary fuel tanks with 100 nmi (190 km) more operational range than a Boeing 757-200. [24] Airbus launched the A321LR (Long Range) on 13 January 2015 with a Range of 4,000 nmi (7,400 km) with 206 seats in two classes. [25] [26] On 31 January 2018, it completed its first flight. [27] Airbus announced its certification on 2 October 2018. [28] On 13 November 2018, Arkia received the first A321LR. [29]


In January 2018, Airbus was studying an A321LR variant with a further increased MTOW. [30] The proposed A321XLR with a range extended to 4,500 nmi (8,300 km) would be launched in 2019 to enter service in 2021 or 2022 to compete with the Boeing NMA. [31] In November, Airbus indicated that the A321XLR would have an MTOW over 100 t (220,000 lb) and 700 nmi (1,300 km) more range than the A321LR. [32] The A321XLR was launched at the June 2019 Paris Air Show, with 4,700nm of range from 2023, including a new permanent Rear Centre Tank (RCT) for more fuel, a strengthened landing gear for a 101 t (223,000 lb) MTOW; and an optimised wing trailing-edge flap to preserve take-off performance. [33]


As of 31 January 2019, 1,827 Airbus A321 aircraft were in service with more than 100 operators. [1]

American Airlines and China Southern Airlines operate the largest A321 fleets of 220 and 116 aircraft respectively. [1]

Orders and deliveries


Data through end of June 2019 [1] [34]

Accidents and incidents

For the Airbus A321, 31 aviation accidents and incidents have occurred, [35] including four hull-loss accidents / criminal occurrences with a total of 377 fatalities as of October 2017. [36] [37]


The A320's overwing exits were replaced by doors in front of and behind the wings N162UW (45250787704).jpg
The A320's overwing exits were replaced by doors in front of and behind the wings
VariantA321 [4] A321neo [38]
Cockpit crew2
2-class seats 185 (16F @ 36 in, 169Y @ 32 in) [39] 206: 16J @36 in + 190Y @30 in [40]
1-class max.236 at 28 in (71 cm) pitch [41] 240 @ 28 in [42]
Cargo capacity51.70 m3 (1,826 cu ft) / 10×LD3-45s [lower-alpha 3]
Length44.51 m (146.0 ft)
Wingspan35.80 m (117 ft 5 in) [lower-alpha 4]
Wing122.4 m2 (1,318 sq ft) area, 25° sweep [43]
Height11.76 m (38.6 ft)
Fuselage3.95 by 4.14 m (13.0 by 13.6 ft) width × height, 3.70 m (12.1 ft) wide cabin
Max. takeoff weight 93.5 t (206,000 lb)97 t (213,800 lb)
Max. payload 25.3 t (56,000 lb)25.5 t (56,200 lb) [44] :3-2-1
Op. empty weight 48.5 t (107,000 lb) [39] 50.1 t (110,500 lb)
Fuel capacity24,050–30,030 L (6,350–7,930 US gal)23,700 - 32,940 l (6,261 - 8,700 US gal) [lower-alpha 5]
Engines (×2) CFM56-5B, 68.3 in (1.73 m) fan
IAE V2500A5, 63.5 in (1.61 m) fan
CFM International LEAP-1A, 78 in (1.98 m) fan
Pratt & Whitney PW1100G, 81 in (2.06 m) fan
Max. Thrust (×2) [45] 133–147 kN (30,000–33,000 lbf)147.3 kN (33,110 lbf)
SpeedCruise: Mach 0.78 (450 kn; 833 km/h) [46] Max.: Mach 0.82 (473 kn; 876 km/h) [45]
Ceiling 39,100–39,800 ft (11,900–12,100 m) [45]
Typical range3,200 nmi (5,930 km) [lower-alpha 6] 4,000 nmi (7,410 km) [lower-alpha 7]


Aircraft modelCertification dateEngines [45]
A321-11127 May 1995 CFM56-5B1 or 5B1/P or 5B1/2P
A321-11215 February 1995 CFM56-5B2 or 5B2/P
A321-13117 December 1993 IAE Model V2530-A5
A321-21120 March 1997 CFM56-5B3 or 5B3/P or 5B3/2P
A321-21231 August 2001 CFM56-5B1 or 5B1/P or 5B1/2P
A321-21331 August 2001 CFM56-5B2 or 5B2/P
A321-23120 March 1997 IAE Model V2533-A5
A321-23231 August 2001 IAE Model V2530-A5

See also

Related development

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  1. The Airbus A321 is built in Hamburg, Germany or Mobile, Alabama, United States
  2. Airbus was originally a consortium of European aerospace companies named, Airbus Industrie, and is now fully owned by Airbus, originally named EADS. Airbus' name has been Airbus SAS since 2001.
  3. no Additional Centre Tank
  4. with sharklets
  5. 0 - 3 Additional Centre Tank [44]
  6. sharklets, typical Passengers and bags
  7. with 206 passengers


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