The longest test flight by the A321XLR was a big deal for the company.

Airbus A321XLR flies for over 13 hours from Toulouse

The A321XLR is the newest jet revealed in 2019. The longest range plane in the world will be an A321neo with an extra fuel tank.

Airbus A321XLR

The plane will allow airlines to operate point-to-point flights that weren't previously viable with a range of up to 4,700 nautical miles. Hundreds of these have been ordered and airlines are waiting for them.

An interesting test flight was operated this week as part of the preparation for this plane entering service. The test aircraft with the registration code F-WXLR performed a great flight on December 13th.

The plane flew for over 13 hours after taking off from Toulouse Airport. The plane flew over a large part of Europe.

Airbus A321XLR test flight route

It began by flying northwest and then drawing an "XLR" over the Bay of Biscay. The sky art was 500 km wide and 150 km tall and took three hours to complete.

When aircraft manufacturers and airlines are performing test flights, they like to fly in interesting patterns. The plane flew over Ireland, the United Kingdom, Norway, and then over Germany, Czechia, Austria, Croatia, and Italy before coming back to France.

Airbus “draws” XLR in sky over Bay of Biscay

The plane returned to Toulouse around 9:20PM after it left. This flight was meant to test out the additional fuel system, which is what makes this aircraft unique compared to previous versions. Significant tests need to be performed before the A321XLR can be certified.

The previous test flights ranged in length from 4 minutes to 7 hours.

When will the Airbus A321XLR enter service?

We are most likely 18 months from this plane taking to the skies with passengers.

The A321XLR was supposed to enter commercial service in 2023, but hit a bit of a hiccup this year. The fire risk from the extra fuel tank was requested by theEASA. It is not an easy fix since a new fire safety system adds weight and reduces range.

There is a plan for the plane to be certified in the early part of the 20th century. There is still a lot of work to be done.

There is a chance that the A321XLR will enter service in 2024. It is hoped that the A321XLR will be better luck for Airbus than it is for Boeing.

American has ordered 50 A321XLRs

Bottom line

It is close to being certified. During this week, the plane flew around Europe for 13 hours, andrew an XLR in the sky. This was supposed to be a test of the additional rear fuel tank.

The plane is going to fly by 2024 if there aren't any other major issues with certification.

What do you think of the plane?