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A321LR conducts longest flight on route from Seychelles

Airbus's A321LR test aircraft has arrived back in Toulouse after conducting its longest-distance flight so far in the certification campaign, operating from the Seychelles.

The jet (D-AVZO) landed at the airframer's headquarters just before 06:00 on 30 March after a near-11h flight from the island of Mahe in the Indian Ocean territory.

Airbus tells FlightGlobal that the aircraft was fitted with all three additional centre tanks.

Configured with the equivalent of 162 passengers, and transporting five crew and 11 technicians, the aircraft departed the Seychelles around 21:00 on 29 March.

The great-circle route between the origin and destination is just over 4,100nm.

But Airbus says its flight-test engineers have calculated – when factors including headwinds on the route are taken into account – that the aircraft effectively flew 4,700nm.

Its route took it over Ethiopia and Egypt, before the jet headed north-west to Toulouse upon reaching the Mediterranean Sea.

"Everything was flawless," the airframer says. The flight was designed to test cabin and fuel-management systems on the CFM International Leap-1A-powered aircraft.

Airbus says the A321LR, which recently underwent hot-weather trials in Sharjah, will shortly be flown to Kiruna in Sweden, in a maximum take-off weight configuration, for cold-weather testing.

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