New aircraft to anticipate in 2022

As the year draws to a close, the aviation community is looking forward to a brighter 2022. With hopes for a continued recovery, more and more companies are promising to launch new aircraft, many of which had been put on hold due to the pandemic.  

we have compiled a list of civilian aircraft – which stand a good chance of being spotted in the air for the first time. Some of them may have flown before, but only occasionally, and not many people had a chance to observe them. Others are brand new, and offer a unique chance for plane spotters to witness a maiden flight. 

Airbus A321XLR 

What? A maiden flight of Airbus’s latest (and record-breaking) jet 

When? 2022 (precise date undisclosed) 

Where? Airbus Hamburg Finkenwerder Airport (XFW) 

The newest addition to Airbus’s venerable A320 family is unique in many aspects: it is the longest-range narrow body aircraft ever made, and offers airlines a chance to begin intercontinental flights between destinations that are too small to warrant flying a wide-body jet.  

The aircraft was first announced in 2018. Back then, the plan was to put it into service by 2022. However, it suffered some delays and it wasn’t until mid-2021 that the first prototype entered assembly. In late 2021, it was almost ready, with only the finishing touches left, as the airframe was at the very end of the assembly line at the Airbus Hamburg facility. 

While the company is yet to announce the exact date for the maiden flight of the aircraft, we could surmise that it will be rolled out at the beginning of 2022, and start flying soon after that.  

Airbus TwoTwenty 

What? Test flights of Airbus’s newest business jet 

When? Early 2022 

Where? Indianapolis international Airport (IND)

The newest addition to the Airbus Corporate Jet family is already here: the TwoTwenty bizjet, based on the A220-100 airliner, completed its maiden flight on December 14, just before Christmas.  

The aircraft has already got a private buyer. But before being delivered, it will head to Comlux, a company which purchased the first batch of TwoTwenties for reselling and leasing. Comlux is going to outfit the aircraft with suitable interiors at its Indianapolis facility, and that is where plane spotters will have an opportunity to catch the hot new thing in business aviation.  

TwoTwenty is significant in another way. For a while, Airbus has been hinting that it might produce new versions of the A220 – either the stretched A220-500 or an A220-300 with additional fuel tanks for those long-haul narrow-body operations. Several airlines, including Air Baltic and Breeze Airways, have been pressuring the manufacturer to get on with the idea, saying that they want the TwoTwenty’s capabilities imported to passenger A220s. So, a successful start for the Airbus TwoTwenty jet could eventually lead to yet another variant of the A220. 


What? The first delivery of China’s new mainline airliner 

When? 2022 (precise date unknown) 

Where? Shanghai Hongqiao International Airport (SHA) 

China’s attempt to compete with the Boeing 737 MAX and the Airbus A320neo did not go exactly as planned. The aircraft, which was expected to enter into service by 2016, was delayed time and time again. 

The most recent delays came due to difficulties with certification – the final step before allowing the airplane to fly commercial flights. COMAC planned to certify the aircraft before the end of 2021, but due to supply issues the plans did not materialize – it was delayed once again. 

However, as soon as those difficulties are sorted out, the airplane will be able to be certified and finally delivered to its launch customer, China Eastern Airlines. The country’s second largest carrier signed a contract for five C919s, and the first of those entered the final assembly at COMAC’s Shanghai facility in September 2021.  

It is too soon to say exactly when the aircraft will be delivered, but it seems likely that the only thing keeping China Eastern from putting the domestic aircraft into service is certification. 

What about Boeing? 
The past few years have not been good for Boeing. The 737 MAX crisis and the delays with the 777X inflicted a lot of damage on the manufacturer, and it does not currently plan to debut any new aircraft this year. The Boeing 737 MAX 10, which completed its maiden flight in June 2021, was planned to be delivered in 2022 – but that event was delayed to 2023. The certification and eventual deliveries of the 777X were pushed from 2021 to 2022, then to 2023, and finally to 2024 – before being brought back to 2023 under pressure from disgruntled buyers.  
In any case, no new Boeing airplanes will be spotted this year, but both the MAX 10 and 777X are being tested and displayed at an occasional airshow. 

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