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A321-100 Historical Values Fail to Inspire Confidence in -100 Nomenclatures

November 26, 2018

The behavior of A321-100 values over the last 20 years has clearly illustrated the problems that an initial variant can face if the specification is lacking.

The A321-100 features a stretch of approximately 20 feet compared to the A320-200. The MTOW of the -100 can vary between 78 tonnes, less than the latest A320s and 89 tonnes. The basic A321-100 features a reduction in range compared to the A320 as extra fuel tankage was not added to the initial design to compensate for the extra weight. There is structural reinforcement of the fuselage to compensate for the heavier weights, a modified wing trailing edge, an uprated landing gear and extra emergency exits. With an increased MTOW, higher thrust engines than those powering the A320 are needed. Two engines are offered. The CFM56-5B is offered in two versions; the -5B1 variant is rated at 30,000lbs while the -3B2 provides a thrust of 31,000lbs. The engine is derived from the CFM56-5A powering the A320 and involves the replacement of fan vanes, the addition of another stage to the LP compressors and incorporating the core engine of the A340 CFM56-5C. The range of the -100 is lacking

The IAE engine is the V2530-A5 and allows the pilot to choose between thrust levels of 29,000lbs and 30,000lbs depending on take-off condition s. The engine is derived from the V2500-A1. Both engines are FADEC controlled. Other minor changes to the A321-100 compared with the A320 include the redesign of the fuel system, reducing the weight by 40kgs; wider wheels have been fitted to provide for the heavier aircraft. A new ram air turbine was installed to compensate for the longer fuselage.

There were only ever some 90 A321-100s produced and there are now some 62 remaining in service primarily with Lufthansa and Alitalia. There are a total of 18 operators and remarketing has always been an issue with such a restricted operator base both in terms of operators and the concentration in Europe. The aircraft initially had a value in excess of $45 million in the late 1990s which is only marginally less than the value of a new A321ceo. Values inevitably fell in the aftermath of 2001 but managed to stage a recovery in the mid 2000s. Since then values have experience a significant decline such that they are barely worth more than the value of the engines.

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