An ACJ319neo built for K5 Aviation in Germany has commenced a flight test programme to verify the aircraft's corporate jet features, such as the extra fuel tanks in its cargo-hold that enable intercontinental range.
The first flight on 24 April lasted one hour and 55 minutes. A second, two days later, lasted 16 hour and 10 minutes and set a new record for the longest A320 family flight by an Airbus crew. The aircraft flew from Toulouse to northern Greenland and back in an endurance flight that included a simulated diversion under 180 min ETOPS 3 rules, for which the A320 airliner family is already certificated.
Participating in the flight was K5 Aviation CEO and chief pilot Erik Scheidt who says: “We want to fly customers to their destination using the quickest routes, as well as delivering unsurpassed comfort and service, and it's impressive to see such long-range capability at first hand.”
The ACJ319neo will be outfitted with a VVIP cabin by Fokker Techniek in the Netherlands after delivery. It derives from the A320neo family of airliners and features new engines and wingtip-mounted Sharklets.
“Airbus' modern aircraft family takes the world in its stride with robust reliability, and corporate jet operators are natural beneficiaries of this airliner heritage, which also brings comparable operating costs to traditional business jets,” adds ACJ president Benoit Defforge.
K5's model is fitted with five additional centre tanks in the cargo hold, and includes improvements such as a lower cabin altitude for greater passenger comfort.
Corporate jet orders and commitments for ACJ320neo family-derived aircraft now total 14. More than 700 A320neo family aircraft are already in service and almost 15,000 firm orders are in place for the whole A320 family. Some 200 Airbus Corporate Jets are in service worldwide.