Airbus A321

Like the shortened A319, the A321 is a minimum change, in this case stretched, development of the successful A320.

The A321 program was launched in November 1989 and the first development aircraft first flew on March 11 1993. European certification was awarded in December that year.

Compared with the A320 the A321's major change is the stretched fuselage, with forward and rear fuselage plugs totalling 6.93m (22ft 9in) (front plug immediately forward of wing 4.27m/14ft, rear plug directly behind the wing 2.67m/8ft 9in).

Other changes include strengthening of the undercarriage to cope with the higher weights, more powerful engines, a simplified and refined fuel system and larger tyres for better braking. A slightly modified wing with double slotted flaps and modifications to the flight controls allows the A321's handling characteristics to closely resemble the A320's. The A321 features an identical flightdeck to that on the A319 and A320, and shares the same type rating as the smaller two aircraft.


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