Airbus A321 General
Airbus A321 Series
Medium range airliner
Unit Cost
US$ 55 - 66 million
Main Operator

Airbus A321 Program Milestones
First Flight
March 11, 1993
First delivery
January 27, 1994
Launch Customer
Airbus A321 Aircraft Dimensions
Cross Section
13 feet 0 inch (3,96 m)
Wing Span
111 feet 10 inch (34,10 m)
146 feet (44,51 m)
38 feet 7 inch (11,76 m)

Airbus A321 Weights
Maximum Taxi Weight
93.900 kg
Max Take-off Weight
93.500 kg
Max Landing Weight
77.800 kg
Max Zero Fuel Weight
73.800 kg
Operating Empty Weight
48.200 kg
Max Structural Payload
16.600 kg
Usable Fuel
29.680 litres

Airbus A321 Performance
Cruising Speed
Mach 0.79
Maximum Speed
Mach 0.82
Service Ceiling
39.000 feet
TO run at MTOW
7.152 feet (2.180 m)
Range fully loaded
3.050 nm (5.600 km)

Airbus A321 Seating
Airbus A321 economy seating
Airbus A321 two class seating config
One Class
220 Passengers
Two Class
185 Passengers

Airbus A321 Powerplants

Example of the IAE V2500

98 kN
IAE V2500
120 kN

3.050 nautical miles (5.600 km)

Prices all variants - ($ in Millions)
Approximately $ 72

Airbus A321

The Airbus A321 is the longest aircraft of the A320 family and has much resemblence with its predecessor, the Airbus A320. Compared to the latter, the A321 is stretched by approximately 23 feet to a length of 146 feet. It can accomodate up to 185 passengers in a typical two class configuration which makes the aircraft suitable to compete with the Boeing 737-800, 737-900 and Boeing 757-200, though the A321 lacks transatlantic flight range and has reduced "hot and high" operation capabilities due to less powerful engines compared to the 757. Besides its increased fuselage length, the A321 has a slightly enlarged wing area and a strengthened undercarriage to support the aircraft's increased operating weight. Furthermore, it can be powered by either the CFM56-5 or V2500. The aircraft received type certification in December 1993 by the Joint Aviation Authorities (JAA).

The Airbus A321 has a range of approximately 3.050 nautical miles while carrying 186 passengers. Although the aircraft came in to versions, the Airbus A321-100 and A321-200, we will focus on the latter as this version is the more sophisticated of these two. Compared to the A321-100, it features an additional fuel tank, slightly strengthened landing gear and more powerful engines. However, the first Airbus A321-100 was delivered to Lufthansa in 1994 while the first A321-200 entered service in 1996.

Iberia Airbus A321 preparing for departure
A leased BMI Airbus A321 operating in service of Arkefly
A Monarch Airlines Airbus A321 departs from MAN
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Airbus A321 Design

As already pointed out earlier, the A321 has much resemblance with the Airbus A320. Besides having some structural changes it is practically the same as the latter looking at the technology incorporated in the design. Compared to aircraft like the Boeing 737-800, the A321 features a wider single-aisle cabin as well as larger overhead bins. As with all aircraft in the A320 family it is equipped with fly-by-wire technology which has a significant advantage looking at average pilot workload. Although this system was first introduced on the A320, fly-by-wire techonology is currently used on practically all models, including the A330, A340 and A380. The A321 has a spacious cargo hold and can accomodate up to 10 unit load devices (ULD) and is accesible through two hydraulically powered cargo doors. Together with the electrical loading system incorporated within the hold it assists the operator in expedient loading and unloading of payload, making fast turn round times possible.

A BA Airbus A321 comes in at LHR
A MyTravel Airbus A321 taxies in
A BA Airbus A321 departs
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Click for a large image...

The flight deck of the A321 is equipped with sidestick controllers, which was relatively new to pilots in the commercial aviation industry. The sidestick plays an integral role in the aircraft's fly-by-wire control system as it enables pilots to accomplish aircraft movement with less effort. Furthermore, the aircraft has a full glass cockpit rather than the hybrid versions found on aircraft like the Airbus A310, Boeing 757 or Boeing 767.


Since the A321 is similar to the A320 it features much of the technology used on the latter. For example, the Airbus A320 was the first narrow body aircraft made with a significant amount of composites. It made the aircraft lighter, thus increasing operating efficiency. ECAM, or Electronic Centralized Aircraft Monitoring, is a standard feature included in all Airbus aircraft built after the introduction of the A320. This system displays information concerning the aircraft's engines, as well as other key systems such as flight controls, pneumatics and hydraulics, to both pilots on the two LCD displays located in the centre of the flightdeck. Although CRT displays were used on earlier models, Airbus recently started installing LCD units on the flight deck of all its new A318, A319, A320 and A321 aircraft. These included the main displays and the back-up artiticial horizon, which was analogue prior to this update.

Airbus A321 Versions

Airbus A321-100 The Airbus A321 program began in 1989 when work commenced on designing a new variant of the Airbus A320 family, the Airbus A321-100. As said, the A321-100 is the first version of the A321 and first flew on March 11, 1993. Approximately a year later in 1994 the first aircraft delivered to launch customer Lufthansa using the aircraft for intra-European flights.
Airbus A321-200

The Airbus A321-200 is the latest version of the Airbus A321. It features minor improvement compared to the -100 series and includes and additional fuel tank to cater for the extra range capability, strengthened landing gear and more powerful engines. The aircraft first flew in 1995 and was delivered a year later in 1996. The price for a single A321 is approximately $ 72.0 million.

EFIS Displays Primary Flight Displays Primary Flight Displays