Airbus takes small narrowbody to next level
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June 18, 2019 - by Stuart "Kipp" Lau for ainonline.com
When Airbus entered into a partnership with Bombardier to take a majority stake in the C Series program in October 2017, the European airframer added a brand new 100- to 150-seat single-aisle aircraft to its lineup.
Since this tie-up, Airbus has pushed the former C Series program beyond the imagination of most observers. Closing in on total orders for 550 aircraft, the rebranded Airbus A220 is now demonstrating its efficiency by surpassing its original fuel savings and direct operating cost estimates with operators around the world.
This clean-sheet design was developed to tackle the lower end of the Airbus and Boeing lines, the A318 and 737-600, respectively. The final green light was given to the CSeries program when the Pratt & Whitney PurePower PW1000G geared turbofan family was introduced—this development offered an "out-of-the-box" fuel savings of 15 percent. Aerodynamic efficiencies and the use of advanced weight-saving material bumped the savings up to 20 percent over legacy airliners in this space.
There are now 72 Airbus A220s in service...