SETTING THE SINGLE-AISLE STANDARDS
Airbus launched its single-aisle product line with the A320, which continues to set industry standards for comfort and operating economy on short- to medium-haul routes. The A320 is in widespread use around the globe, with a range of up to 6,480 km. (3,500 nautical miles). It is capable of flying routes ranging from short European commuter sectors and charter operations to coast-to-coast U.S. flights, and more.
The A320 typically seats 150 passengers in a two-class cabin – or up to 180 in a high-density layout for low-cost and charter flights. As a result of an optimised cabin space and increased exit limits, the A320neo (new engine option) accommodates 165 passengers in two classes or up to 189 in a high-density configuration.
The A320’s advanced technology includes the extensive use of weight-saving composites, an optimised wing that is 20 per cent more efficient than previous designs, a centralised fault display for easier troubleshooting and lower maintenance costs, along with Airbus’ fly-by-wire flight controls.
Advantages of the fly-by-wire controls – which were pioneered on the A320 – are many. They provide total flight envelope and airframe structural protection for improved safety and reduced pilot workload, along improved flight smoothness and stability, and fewer mechanical parts.
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