Airbus’ A320 Family’s brand new Airspace cabin is moving a step closer to airline service in the near future.
JetBlue has started flight testing of the first Airspace Single-Aisle aircraft.
A second phase of in-flight testing will take place in February to validate any further fine-tuning of the cabin and noise measurements.
Airspace for the A320 Family includes:
- A redesigned entrance area with a customisable welcome lighting;
- New extra large “XL” overhead bins – the largest in its class;
- Re-styled window bezels which allow more light into the cabin;
- Integrated window shades and new side walls delivering a sleek, customized look while yielding even more shoulder room;
- New lavatories with anti-microbial coatings and touchless features;
- A customizable ‘hero’ ceiling light plus full-colour LED lighting throughout the cabin.
Mariya Stoyanova, director of Product Development at JetBlue, said: “With its unique cabin design and improved reliability, we are confident that Airspace will bring a residential touch to our cabin and help customers feel at home in the sky.
“We look forward to continue working with our partners at Airbus as they continue to iterate the product and ensure its readiness to take flight in the near future.”
Michael Willmer, Airbus’ technical leader for the A320 Family Airspace Cabin programme said the rationale for these tests is to ensure the overall maturity and robustness of the new cabin during flight.
He said: “The initial in-flight testing subjected the cabin to conditions well beyond what it would normally be subjected to in a standard flight profile.
“Special cameras and sensors throughout the interior were connected to dedicated flight-test and recording equipment in the cabin so that the engineers could analyse the performance and characteristics of the cabin elements in real-time on board, as well as in the lab afterwards,” said Willmer.
“Overall, we are pleased with the results of the first phase. Now this second flight-testing stage, together with the lessons-learnt from previous developments, will further help to ensure a robust product at entry into service in the coming months.”
The Airspace cabin originally announced at the Paris Air Show in June 2017 for the A320 family has come a long way from the initial concept drawings, 3D virtual reality and hardware mockups seen at the trade shows.
The A320 Family’s new Airspace cabin took shape during last year’s “full-scale cabin installation test” – when Airbus’ teams performed a trial installation of a fully integrated cabin in an A321neo fuselage.
Mr Willmer added: “Today the teams are thrilled that their Airspace product for the A320 Family has become a reality.”