Last week Airbus unveiled the A220. The A220 was obtained after Airbus bought a majority stake in the Bombardier CSeries. The A220 family includes two models: the A220-100 and A220-300.

The most significant innovations and differences include low drag nose; a smalle fuselage wetted area; low-drag tailcone; optimum engine integration; optimized wing aerodynamics; and an integrated 3-axis fly-by-wire system.

The A220 is powered by two Pratt & Whitney PurePower PW1500G engines, which belong to the same engine family as the Pratt & Whitney PurePower PW1100G engines that power the A320neo Family. Combined with the aircraft’s advanced aerodynamics, the engines significantly reduce fuel burn, noise, emissions and have a normal cruise speed of 829 km/h.

For reference, the fuel burn advantage translates directly into a 20% reduction in CO2 emissions. Therefore, one aircraft will reduce an operator’s emissions by up to 6,000 tonnes per year

One of the biggest innovations is the aircraft’s flight deck. Some innovations include:

  • A design by pilots and for pilots
  • 3-axis fly-by-wire with full envelope protection and speed stabilization
  • Five large 15.1-inch (38.4 cm) LCD displays
  • Side stick controls

Swiss Air, one of the operators of the A220, said that maintenance is “very easy […] compared to other types aircraft.” Advanced systems integration and high-technology engine design allow the A220 to fly more with higher maintenance intervals: 850 hours for “A” checks and 8,500 hours for “C” checks.

Here are some differences between the A220-100 and A220-300.

The A220-100 features:

  • Typical seating in dual class is 116 seats and a maximum capacity of 135 seats
  • A range of 2,950 nautical miles (5,460 km)
  • A 35m-long fuselage

The A220-300 features:

  • Typical seating in dual class is 141 seats and a maximum capacity of  160 seats
  • A range of 3,200 nautical miles
  • A 38.7m-long fuselage

The wings on both models are the same, with a wingspan of 35.1 meters and area of 112.3 meters squared and maximum fuselage diameter of 3.7 meters.

In the cabin, economy seats have a width of 18”; in business class, the seats can have 21” of width. (Seat width, of course, can depend on airline preference.) The cabin also features large and accessible overhead bins with space for one carry-on bag per passenger; large windows provide more natural light into the cabin; and improved lavatory access for passengers with reduced mobility.


All images by Catarina Madureira/Aeronautics