Airbus will offer its customers more range on the Airbus A220-300, as the manufacturer looks to increase the aircraft’s Maximum Take-Off Weight (MTOW) by a tonne.
The manufacturer found additional leeway in the structure of the aircraft itself, when Airbus engineers were “running through the numbers and looking through the reserve factors on the structure,” stated Airbus Vice President of narrow-body aircraft marketing, Antonio Da Costa, as reported by FlightGlobal.
The MTOW will increase from its current weight of 69.9 tonnes to 70.9 tonnes, providing additional 200 nautical miles of range (370 kilometers).
“This was a very pleasant surprise that we found waiting on the aircraft,” Da Costa was quoted by the publication as saying, as the increase in MTOW pushed the weight of the A220-300 to the limit. The change will only apply to the bigger aircraft of the ex-CSeries family aircraft.
According to Da Costa, the extra MTOW option will be available to customers starting mid-2021. A retrofit option will also be available and will be issued via a service bulletin to current operators of the A220-300. Since the change in weight is a “paper change,” as the Airbus executive highlighted, airlines will be able to choose even at the last minute prior to delivery whether they foresee a need in the hike of the take-off weight.
The Airbus A220 family, comprised of the -100 and -300, was bought by the manufacturer from the Canadian planemaker Bombardier in October 2017. While initially, it was only a partnership that also included a change of the name of the aircraft, Bombardier sold its shares in the A220 program in February 2020, as the Canadian company re-positioned itself to focus on its business aviation unit.