Airbus has delivered the first of two A318
aircraft equipped with 'steep approach' capability to British
The A318 is one of the largest commercial
aircraft certified to land at steeper than usual gradients. The delivery makes the carrier a new
operator of all four members of the A320 Family.
The A318's 'steep approach' capability makes it
ideal for operations out of mountainous or otherwise constrained
locations such as urban area airports where the aircraft also
satisfies strict low noise regulations.
British Airways A318s will
each be equipped with two CFM 56-5B9/3 engines.
The "Steep Approach" A318 is certified for a
5.5° approach slope. This compares to a nominal 3° slope for
standard operations. During "Steep Approach" certification the
aircraft has to demonstrate it can safely achieve a 7.5° angle,
equivalent to the targeted angle plus a 2° safety margin. The A318
and A318 Elite, were approved for steep approach landing
capability by the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) in 2007.
The A318 Elite has steep approach capability as standard
Walsh, British Airways' chief executive said, "The A318s were
specially ordered for the twice-daily London City - JFK service
because of their size, flexibility and 'steep approach' capability
and will reinforce our unrivalled schedule between two of the
world's greatest financial centres. The A318 may be our smallest
aircraft but it has a big role to play in bringing a new dimension
of style and convenience to the London - New York route and shows
our determination to invest in the future."
In British Airways'
layout, the A318s' Club World cabin will feature 32 seats that convert into full lie-flat beds, equipped with
OnAir connectivity, allowing passengers to work during the flight
with email, web surfing and mobile phone text messaging.
A318s ordered will join a fleet of 11 A321s, 37 A320s and 33 A319s
already in service. British Airways has a further nine A320s and
12 A380s on firm order from Airbus.
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