Airbus has completed the first flight of its A320neo, with the re-engined narrowbody spending close to 2.5h in the air before landing at 14:22 French time.
MSN6101, powered by Pratt & Whitney PW1100G engines, had lifted off from Toulouse-Blagnac airport "at around 60 tonnes", says Airbus.
"During the flight, which took the aircraft around southern France, the crew explored the aircraft's flight envelope and systems operation, while the progress was monitored by experts on the ground in real time via a direct telemetry link," adds the airframer.
The sortie kickstarted a 3,000h flight-test campaign which will involve eight aircraft variously powered by the PW1100G and CFM International Leap-1A turbofans.
"I congratulate the whole A320neo development team, ground crew and air crew for making this day happen," says Airbus chief executive Fabrice Bregier. "The aircraft, through its incremental innovations, combines the most efficient engine and aerodynamic technologies, as well as new cabin features to bring to market a product which will consume 20% less fuel per passenger."
The PW1100G-powered Neo will be the first variant to gain type certification, and is set to enter service with Qatar Airways in the fourth quarter of 2015.
The Neo family comprises the A319neo, A320neo and A321neo, seating 160, 189 and 240 passengers respectively. These aircraft have won over 3,200 orders from 60 customers, says Airbus.
The European airframer says this represents a 60% share for the Neo, which competes with Boeing's 737 Max family of re-engined single-aisles.
Fligthglobal's Ascend Fleets database lists 2,294 on-order Max jets.
Source: Cirium Dashboard