Initial Operational Capability (IOC):
Also Known As: A318 Elite, ACJ318 Elite and ACJ318 Enhanced
and United Kingdom
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Description: The Airbus A320 is a single-aisle, twin-engine, narrow-body, short- to medium-range aircraft family with a seating capacity for 100-220 passengers. The aircraft family includes the Airbus A318, A319, A320 and A321 featuring high degree of commonality of all models and low operating costs. Wider seats and aisle are meant to provide higher comfort to A320 passengers.
The fuselage body layout of the A320 family of aircraft allows a greater cargo capacity with A319, A320 and A321 fitted out with a containerized automatic cargo loading system to ease cargo handling operations. The cargo handling system of A320 aircraft is fully compatible with the worldwide standard widebody system installed in larger aircraft. Moreover, the A320 family offers low fuel burn and noise emissions characteristics.
The A320 family of aircraft was launched in 1984 and the first A320 jetliner entered service in 1988. It can be powered by either CFM International CFM56-5A (A319 and A320), -5B (A318, A319, A320 and A321) or IAE V2500 engines. In addition, The Pratt & Whitney PW6000 turbofan will power the Airbus A318 jetliner from 2005.
The Airbus A318 is the latest member of the A320 family. It was launched in 1999 aimed at low-density, high-frequency flights market. It entered service in 2003 with Frontier Airlines in the United States carrying up to 107 passengers in a two-class layout over a range of 6,000 kilometers. In a single-class configuration, the A318 can accommodate up to 129 passengers. The A318 can be powered by two CFM International CFM56-5B or, from 2005 onwards, two Pratt & Whitney PW6000 engines. These engines enable the A318 to fly routes ranging from 2,750 kilometers (1,500 nautical miles) to 6,000 kilometers (3,250 nm).
Airbus A318 Elite is a variant of smallest airplane of the A320 aircraft family, the A318, developed to serve as an entry-level to the Airbus Corporate Jetliner (ACJ). A318 Elite has a comfortable and spacious cabin but the aircraft delivers less range and the cabin is shorter compared with the ACJ. Airbus and Lufthansa Technik will offer the A318 Elite in two variants seating up to 14 or 18 passengers with a projected maximum range of up to 4,000 nautical miles (7,400 kilometers). In late January 2006 Pratt & Whitney and Airbus signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to offer the PW6000 engine on the A318 Elite corporate jet.
On 10 November 2005 Zurich-based Comlux AG became the launch customer for Airbus A318 Elite business jetliner ordering three aircraft plus an Airbus Corporate Jetliner (ACJ). The ACJ was planned for delivery in May 2006 and the first A318 Elite delivery was scheduled for early 2007.
On November 6, 2006, the Airbus A318 aircraft powered by CFM engines was approved by European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) for 180-minute Extended-Range Twin-Engine Operations (ETOPS). FAA is expected to grant the same certification in the first half of 2007.
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