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VIDEO: ​A321LR departs on maiden flight

Airbus has commenced the maiden flight of its new long-range A321LR, the aircraft having lifted off from Finkenwerder airfield in Hamburg at 11:08 local time.

It took off from the German plant's runway 23 as weather conditions, including an overcast sky and rain, cleared sufficiently for the test.

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David Kaminski-Morrow/FlightGlobal

The test aircraft, powered by CFM International Leap-1A engines, has a new fuselage door configuration which will enable customers to fit up to 240 seats.

This configuration will become the structural standard for future A321neo production.

The aircraft will have a 97t maximum take-off weight and optional additional fuel tanks, giving it the capability of operating on long-range routes up to 4,000nm.

Airbus intends the A321LR to replacing older long-range single-aisle types, particularly the Boeing 757-200.

The initial test flight is scheduled to last around 2h 30min.

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David Kaminski-Morrow/FlightGlobal

Airbus had already increased the accommodation of the original A321 through a modification of its exits, raising its capacity from 220 to 230 seats.

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