Airbus’ first US-made aircraft, an A321 for jetBlue, took off this morning from the OEM’s Mobile, Alabama facility.
Takeoff was at 10:36 EDT and the aircraft should land at 13:30 EDT in Mobile. The flight can be tracked using this link. Intriguingly, although built in the US, the aircraft carries a French registration: F-WZMA. The reason for this is that Airbus is doing the test flights under the jurisdiction of EASA. For Airbus it is easier to use existing EASA paperwork. And the FAA approves of this approach.
This first aircraft represents an important step in the commercial aircraft industry. Airbus will be producing commercial aircraft in the United States. This is a significant event for Boeing too, as the competition has rooted in local soil. Airbus joins another European company, Daimler Benz, that built a plant requiring high skill levels in Alabama.
Co-Founder AirInsight. My previous life includes stints at Shell South Africa, CIC Research, and PA Consulting. Got bitten by the aviation bug and ended up an Avgeek. Then the data bug got me, making me a curious Avgeek seeking data-driven logic. Also, I appreciate conversations with smart people from whom I learn so much. Summary: I am very fortunate to work with and converse with great people.