PICTURE: Airbus flies first sharklet-equipped A321

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Airbus has performed the first flight of a sharklet-equipped A321 as it begins a test campaign of the wing-tip modification on the largest member of its narrowbody family.

The aircraft performed a ferry flight from Airbus's Hamburg facility to its Toulouse plant on 23 October.

Flight testing on the modified A320 has been completed, with EASA certification of the CFM International CFM56-powered variant due in November. Approval of the modification on the International Aero Engines V2500-powered A320 will follow in December.

Credit: Airbus

The airframer expects certification of the fuel-saving modification on the A321 in mid-2013, with the smaller A319 following later next year.