Airbus has assembled the first major airframe component assembly: the engine pylon for the first A320neo to fly. The pylon was assembled at the dedicated pylon facility in St Eloi in Toulouse.
In parallel with this pylon construction, other major NEO components and subassemblies will shortly be taking shape in factories across various countries. For example, in Hamburg the centre wing-box will soon arrive from Nantes to be integrated in the fuselage, and also the rear fuselage will begin assembly there. In St. Nazaire, the forward fuselage will start assembly in January 2014.
The Pratt & Whitney PW1100G Engine, which will power the A320NEO (New Engine Option) family, first flew on the 15th of May 2013. The Winglets, referred to as Sharklets by Airbus, are already mature and flying attached to most recently produced A320 aircraft, henceforth known as A320CEO (Classic Engine Option) family.
There will be no significant changes to the flight deck avionics and airframe.
Final NEO assembly is expected to start in the spring of 2014, followed by the aircraft’s first flight planned next autumn.