Mobile’s First Airbus to Take Flight Monday

The first Airbus A321 assembled in Mobile, AL is ready for its first test flight on Monday.

Final preparations are underway before the 1st Airbus plane built in Mobile takes to the air.

A test flight has been scheduled for Monday for the A321 set to be delivered to JetBlue.

Friday the men that will be at the controls for the test mission spoke about the process.

“This is a very very exciting moment for us here in Airbus and in Mobile in particular and we are absolutely delighted to be a part of it,” said Captain Mark McCullins, Chief Experimental test pilot.

McCullins will lead a six-man crew in charge of checking the control and performance of the aircraft. They say the process takes about three hours.

“We’re going to go out to the Gulf of Mexico to some free airspace there and commence the testing. The first thing we will do is at about 10,000 feet we will check the flight control system and make sure the airplane is hand flying as intended and nice and smoothly and correctly,” said Captain Bruce McDonald. “At points throughout the flight, we will make sure we take it up to its maximum speed and slow it down to its minimum speed. We will take it up to its maximum altitude.”

A test flight is a normal step in aircraft production and takes place prior to the delivery of the aircraft to the customer.

Following the flight, the aircraft will go through a few more weeks of final delivery preparations.

The test starts Monday morning at 9:15.

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