STAMFORD, Conn., June 15, 2022 – Hexcel Corporation (NYSE: HXL) congratulates Airbus on the successful maiden flight today of the newest member of its best-selling A320neo family – the A321XLR (Flying Extra Long Range) aircraft.
Hexcel is a major supplier of advanced composite materials for the airframe and the CFM International LEAP-1A engine that powered the aircraft flown today. These innovative lightweight composite materials provide weight savings and performance enhancements that reduce fuel consumption and emissions as well as long-term maintenance costs.
The twin-engine narrowbody passenger jet took off from the runway at Airbus Airport, Hamburg (Germany) at 11:05 a.m. local time (0905 GMT), paving the way for series production and entry into service in 2024. The A321XLR responds to market needs for even more range and creates more value for the airlines by bringing 30% lower fuel burn per seat than previous-generation competitor aircraft. The aircraft will deliver an unprecedented range of up to 4,700nm – 15% more than the A321LR and with the same unbeatable fuel efficiency.
With this added range, airlines will be able to operate a lower-cost single-aisle aircraft on longer and less heavily travelled routes – many of which can now only be served by larger and less efficient aircraft. This will enable operators to open new worldwide routes such as India to Europe or China to Australia, as well as further extending the A320neo family’s non-stop reach on direct transatlantic flights between continental Europe and the Americas.
The A320neo family, including the A321 variant, makes extensive use of weight-saving composites supplied by Hexcel. In addition to the HexPly® carbon fiber prepregs and HexWeb® honeycomb that Hexcel has supplied to Airbus since the A320 was launched, the A321XLR benefits from wing tip devices called Sharklets made from Hexcel’s HexPly® M21E/IMA. For the LEAP-1A engine, Hexcel supplies HexTow® IM7 carbon fiber for all the fan blades and containment cases, in addition to HexPly® carbon prepreg and engineered core for the nacelles.
Hexcel Corporation is a global leader in advanced lightweight composites technology. We propel the future of flight, energy generation, transportation, and recreation through excellence in providing innovative high-performance material solutions that are lighter, stronger and tougher, helping to create a better world for us all. Our broad and unrivaled product range includes carbon fiber, specialty reinforcements, prepregs and other fiber-reinforced matrix materials, honeycomb, resins, engineered core and composite structures for use in commercial aerospace, space and defense, and industrial applications.
Contact: Kaye Veazey | VP Corporate & Marketing Communications | kaye.veazey@Hexcel.com | +1 203.352.0339
Photo ©Airbus SAS 2022