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Delta's first stretched-out Airbus A321 jet debuts in Minneapolis (Photos)

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Delta Air Lines Inc.'s first stretched-out Airbus A321 passenger jet will land in the U.S. for the first time at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport Thursday night. ( Mais...

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CJ McDonald 4
Aircraft is not equipped with HF radio so it had to stay in VHF coverage hence it was close to land at all times. It also is not ETOPS certified.
30west 2
CJ, I'm not sure where you got your information that the jet didn't have HF capability (either in the comm package installed or a temporary unit for the crossing), but having flown above that route in 767 and on it in a privately owned turboprop, you cannot maintain VHF communications. Also, ETOPS applies to that jet operating on a revenue flight for Delta which this wasn't.

My airline has ferried jets over ETOPS routes when needed in compliance with the FAR's. Also, I remember reading over the past year or so that a U.S. carrier's flight crew flew an non-ETOPS jet from the West Coast to Hawaii by mistake (oops! Time for a rug dance with the chief pilot). The airline had to ferry it back to the mainland because it couldn't legally be used in revenue service.
Ryan Jorgenson 4
He got it from the article where it says that (slide 20) "Delta's new Airbus A321 flew to the U.S. via Iceland and Canada because it lacks high-frequency radios for cross-oceanic communications, so it had to fly near shorter-range radio stations to relay messages between the crew and Delta dispatchers."
30west 2
Good catch, I didn't read all the descriptions under the pics. Thanks.
mags stumpp 1
interesting. But, why land twice en-route?
Erik Davis 4
The A321 may use less gas than a 757, however, it has several shortfalls.
1) It is based on the A320, same engines, wings, with 30,000 more lbs of basic empty weight, limiting its performance both in altitude and cargo hauling. On our flights between Denver and the East Coast, it often is on a weight restriction and limited to FL 290-FL 320. It's not uncommon to see A321's with minor hail damage on the nose, engine nacelles and leading edge of wings.
2) The 757 is a unique airframe onto its own, with wings for it's own design, highly efficient, capable of flying at FL 330 on initial climb on a coast to coast flight. It can carry way more cargo than the A321 and can fly the long thin routes like DEN to REK in Iceland, non-stop. Could the A321 do that? I don't see any planes on routes like that.
Jim Tiffany 4
Erik, Delta does a pretty good job of putting the right aircraft in each market. The first routes announced for the A321 are ATL to various Florida destinations currently flown by the B757. The A321 is a good choice to replace older B757s on medium-gauge domestic routes where the B757 is over-powered and much less fuel efficient. For instance, I don't expect to see it on ATL-SEA.
Kenneth Schmidt 3
American's A321's fly almost hourly from JFK to LAX and SFO (2,583 sm), long enough distance where ATL to SEA (2,250 sm) would be no problem I would imagine.

I did find it odd however that they only used the Mode-S transponder and not ADS-B on the leg from Goose Bay to MSP and were limited to FL 280.
Muchits 1
It won't fly ATL-West coast. That is a DL specific decision.
Kenneth Schmidt 1
Never heard of a DL specific decision. Is that a specification that Delta ordered for this model?
ian macleod 1
Delta specific decision is not factory order item. sheesh.
Aircraft are ordered with specific routes in mind. A B777
is not generally used from ATL-MCO but the A321 might.
Kenneth Schmidt -1
Had I known that he meant Delta instead of just two characters, I would have never responded.

Little known fact, you are not charged by the character to type here. It takes less than one second and five keystrokes to type the name Delta.
Kenneth Schmidt 1
Wonder when it will head to Atlanta?
mags stumpp 1
Why 3 hops to MSP if it has a 3,000 mile range?
rafael belanger -2
Because the narrow-body passenger jet isn't usually used for long-haul flights across the Atlantic, the aircraft's first flight as Delta Ship 3001 (tail No. N301DN) takes it from Hamburg to Reykjavik, Iceland, then Goose Bay, Canada, and to Minneapolis, where it is scheduled to land as Delta Flight 9970 around 9 p.m
carlos rivera 1
better fuel efficiency and passenger capacity, will be a lot better for the it was a great move....Congrats!!!!
mags stumpp 1
Non ETOPS might explain the route, but why land twice? Inspections needed? Or, was it ferrying supplies to those airports?
gtYellowJacket 1
James T -2
(Duplicate Squawk Submitted)

PICTURE: Delta takes delivery of first A321

Delta Air Lines has taken delivery of its first Airbus A321, with entry-into-service scheduled for May.

The carrier took delivery of the aircraft, registered N301DN and MSN 6923, in Hamburg on 16 March, it says. It will ferry the aircraft to its Atlanta base on 17 March.


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