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