The A320 family is the most successful aircraft family ever and as the first civil aircraft to pioneer fly-by-wire technology, it has set the standard ever since its inception. The A320 is one aircraft in four sizes (A318, A319, A320 and A321). The A320 was launched in March 1984, its maiden flight was on 22 February 1987, and it was introduced into commercial flying in April 1988 by Air France.
Fly-by-wire (FBW) is a system that replaces the conventional manual flight controls of an aircraft with an electronic interface. The movements of flight controls are converted to electronic signals transmitted by wires (hence the term fly-by-wire).
The A320 helped push forward the adoption of fly-by-wire technology, side-stick controls, and cockpit commonality in commercial airliners. Since its first flight in 1987, the A320 family has become a short and medium-haul workhorse for airlines around the world. With the introduction of the next generation A320neo and A321neo, the aircraft can now add trans-atlantic long-haul to its repertoire of capabilities.
New Engine Option – The A320neo (new engine option) is one of many upgrades introduced by Airbus to help maintain its A320 product line’s position as the world’s most advanced, fuel-efficient, single-aisle aircraft family. The baseline A320neo jetliner has a choice of two new-generation engines (the Pure Power PW1100G-JM from Pratt and Whitney and the LEAP-1A from CFM International) and features large, fuel-saving wingtip devices known as Sharklets.
Sharklets were pioneered on the A320ceo (current engine option). These 2.4 metre tall wingtip devices are standard on neo aircraft, and result in up to four per cent reduced fuel burn over longer sectors, corresponding to an annual reduction in CO2 emissions of around 900 tons per aircraft.
Airbus customers can now operate aircraft with capacity ranging from 107 seats to more than 220 using the same pilots and crew. That is same set of crew can operate A319, A320, and A321.
The specifications of the aircraft are as follows: