An Airbus A319 successfully performed demonstration flights in two Tibetan cities Bangda and Lhasa, capital of Tibet on April 27 and April 28, proving that the aircraft is able to comply with stringent performance requirements for operations on the Tibetan plateau and provide greater efficiency and reliability for the Chinese operator on the roof of the world. This was done at the request of China Southwest Airlines who asked Airbus to test-fly an aircraft to see whether it meets all the requirements.
Powered by two CFM56-5Bs, the A319 used for the demonstration has a standard 124-seat two-class configuration and a range of 3,500 nautical miles (6,500 km). Compared with competing aircraft, the A319-100 is equipped with a high-thrust engine (27,000 lb) that has already been certificated by the authorities and can carry a full capacity of passengers in the most stringent conditions of Tibet, thereby providing a competitive advantage.
Furthermore, the A319 has the added advantage of sharing the same cockpit and handling characteristics with other Airbus fly-by-wire aircraft in service, such as A340, thereby reducing operating cost and enhancing efficiency and flexibility.
The demonstration at both Lhasa (elevation 3,570 m) and Bangda (4,334 m), two of the most challenging airports in the world, comprised take-offs, approaches, go-arounds, and landing with one simulated engine failure. The aircraft achieved anticipated performance during each test. The demonstration was witnessed by CAAC officials and China Southwest Airlines executives.
A member of the highly successful A320 family, A319 entered service in 1996 and has booked 700 orders from 42 customers around the world. Together, the A320 Family has received some 2,700 orders from over 100 customers around the world.
A319 Concludes Successful Demonstration In Lhasa and Bangda