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Airbus A320 Specs – What is behind one of the most popular short-haul airliners?

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Air France Airbus A318-111 (F-GUGC) at Manchester Airport. The Airbus A318 is the baby of the Airbus A320 family of airliners which consists of the A318, A319, A320 and A321.

As you will see in our Airbus A320 Specs table below, the A320 family of aircraft is configured as a low wing monoplane sporting a cantilevered wing with a sweepback of 25 degrees. The single-aisle narrow-body jet is powered by two

Some basic dimensions of the Airbus A320.

engines located one under each wing. The Airbus A320 is a direct competitor to the Boeing 737 family of aircraft, as well as the McDonnell Douglas MD80/90.

Airbus A320 Specs and composite materials

The A320 was the first narrow body airliner to use an appreciable amount of composite materials in its construction. The tail, manufactured by CASA is in fact made up mostly of such materials. Composite materials are a combination of several different materials brought together to form something stronger and often lighter than any of the original components on their own.

To make the A320 more attractive to passengers, and therefore airlines, Airbus decided to make a wider cabin than their competitors. With an outside cabin diameter of 3.95 metres (12 feet 11.5 inches), which stacks up well against the Boeing 737 at 3.8 Metres (12 feet 4 inches) or the Boeing 717 with 3.34 metres (10 feet 11.6 inches). In addition, they made a larger cargo door so that loading and unloading of luggage or cargo could be performed faster assisting with quick turnaround times at airports.

Airbus A320 Fly by Wire.

As has been mentioned on previous pages, the A320 was the second commercial aircraft to use “Fly by Wire” technology, after Concorde. This system of digitised flight control systems, allows the pilot to input to the control surfaces using a side control joystick, as opposed to the accepted quadrant method with a joystick or half wheel located in front of the pilot. This system was already in use in some fighter jets, but this was the first time it was employed in a commercial airliner. Fly by Wire goes beyond the mere control of flight surfaces. It is a computer-based technology that is designed to protect the aircraft through flight envelope protection by preventing pilots from being able to put the aircraft in configurations or attitudes that compromised flight safety. Through the Electronic Flight Instrument System (EFIS), which features a full glass cockpit, once again the first commercial airliner to be so equipped, the Electronic Centralised Aircraft Monitor (ECAM) displays information on all aircraft systems. This makes the pilot’s job much easier with all the information in a central location. The early A320s were equipped with Intel 80186 and Motorola 68010 computer processors and in 1988 moved on to the Intel 80286. Each flight management computer had six processors arranged in three pairs. As well as the benefits of a simplified control, system redundancy, weight-saving and safety, it is very simple to upgrade these systems and keep the aircraft advanced even after a decade or two.

….large winglets which Airbus refer to as Sharklets…..

Airbus A320 Specs show a modernised A320.

In an effort to keep improving their narrow-body workhorse, Airbus now has on offer the A320 NEO (New Engine Option) as opposed to the A320 CEO (Current Engine Option). As part of the modernisation program started in 2006, Airbus has been working on the A320E (Enhanced) of which the New Engine Option is the last step. The enhancements include aerodynamic improvements, large winglets which Airbus refer to as Sharklets, larger luggage bins, new look cabin, weight savings and the choice of two new engine types; the Pratt & Whitney PW1100G or the CFM International LEAP-1A. The benefits of these combined improvements deliver an 8% improvement in operating costs derived from a 15% improvement in fuel consumption and the ability to carry around 20 more passengers through a re-arrangement of the cabin. In addition, operators can expect a 500 nautical mile increase in range.

N323FR Frontier Airlines Airbus A320-251N Colorado “The Bighorn Sheep”.

All these enhancements will make the already popular aircraft even more attractive. So-called Low-Cost Carriers who already predominantly use the A320 will find even more to their liking in the more economical version of the A320. Larger luggage bins will also aid them with quick turnarounds at airports as passengers opt to take smaller carry-on bags into the cabin to try and avoid unbundled fares that require them to pay for baggage. Passengers will also enjoy the improved air purification system which will enable them to arrive more refreshed.

Air China Airbus A320-214 “Blue Peony Livery”.
(国航空客A320-214“蓝牡丹酒”。Guó hángkōng kè A320-214“lán mǔdān jiǔ”.)

AirBus A320 Specs

In the Specs table below, the figures relate to the Airbus A320 CEO(Current Engine Option). Where applicable we have added figures for the Airbus A320 NEO(New Engine Option) in brackets.


Airbus A318

Airbus A319

Airbus A320

Airbus A321

Range 5,750 KM
(3,100 NM)
(No NEO Version)
6,950 KM
(3,750 NM)
(NEO 6,950 KM (3,750 NM))
6,100 KM
(3,300 NM)
(NEO 6,500 KM (3,500 NM))
5,950 KM
(3,200 NM)
(NEO 7,400 KM (4,000 NM))
Seating (Typical) 107 (No NEO Version) 124 (NEO 140) 150 (NEO 165) 185 (NEO 190)
Length 31.44 Metres (103ft 2in) 33.84 Metres (111ft 0in) 37.57 Metres (123ft 3in) 44.51 Metres (146ft 0in)
34.10 Metres (111ft 11in) With Sharklets 35.8 metres (117ft 5in)
Wing Area
122.6 Square Metres (1,320 sq ft)
Wing Sweep Back
25 Degrees
Tail Height 12.51 Metres (41ft 1in) 11.76 Metres (38ft 7in) 11.76 Metres (38ft 7in) 11.76 Metres (38ft 7in)
Fuselage Width
3.95 Metres (13 ft 0 in)
Cabin Width
3.70 Metres (12 ft 2 in)
Fuselage Height
4.14 Metres (13 ft 7 in)
Freight Capacity 21.21 Cubic Metres
(749 cu ft)
27.62 Cubic Metres
(975 cu ft)
37.41 Cubic Metres
(1,321 cu ft)
51.73 Cubic Metres
(1,827 cu ft)
Cruising Speed
Mach 0.78 (828KPH / 511 MPH at 11,000 Metres / 36,000 feet)
Maximum Operating Speed
Mach 0.82 (871KPH / 537 MPH at 11,000 Metres / 36,000 feet)
Maximum Altitude
39,100–41,000 feet (11,900–12,500 metres)
Maximum Fuel 24,210 Lt (6,400 US Gal) 30,190 Lt (7,980 US Gal) 27,200 Lt (7,190 US Gal) 30,030 Lt (7,930 US Gal)
Operating Empty Weight
39,500 kg (87,100 lb)
(No NEO Version)
40,800 kg (89,900 lb)
(NEO 42,600kg (93,900lb))
42,600 kg (93,900 lb)
(NEO 44,300kg (97,700lb))
48,500 kg (106,900 lb)
(NEO 50,100kg (110,500lb))
Maximum Zero Fuel
54,500 kg (120,200 lb) 58,500 kg (129,000 lb) 62,500 kg (137,800 lb) 73,800 kg (162,700 lb)
Maximum Landing
57,500 kg (127,000 lb) 62,500 kg (138,000 lb) 66,000 kg (146,000 lb) 77,800 kg (172,000 lb)
Maximum Take-off
68,000 kg (150,000 lb)
No NEO Version
75,500 kg (166,000 lb)
(NEO 75,500 kg (166,400 lb))
78,000 kg (172,000 lb)
(NEO 79,000 kg (174,200 lb))
93,500 kg (206,000 lb)
(NEO 97,000 kg (213,800 lb))
Takeoff Distance(Sea Level ISA)MTOW 1,828 Metres (5,997 Feet) 2,164 Metres (7,100 Feet) 2,090 Metres (6,860 Feet) 2,560 Metres (8,400 Feet)
Landing Distance(Sea Level ISA)MLW
1,400 Metres (4,593 Feet)
1,500 Metres (4,921 Feet)
Engines (CFM) CFM International CFM56-5 series
CFM International CFM56-5 series
(NEO CFM International LEAP-1A or Pratt & Whitney PW1100G)
Pratt & Whitney PW6000 series
IAE V2500 series
Thrust x 2 96 to 106 kN (22,000 to 24,000 lbf)
No NEO Version)
98 to 120 kN (22,000 to 27,000 lbf)
(NEO 107 kN (24,100 lbf))
111 to 120 kN (25,000 to 27,000 lbf)
(NEO 120.6 kN (27,120 lbf))
133 to 147 kN (30,000 to 33,000 lbf)
(NEO 147.3 kN (33,110 lbf))

If there is more you want to learn about this airliner, please visit A320 Home, A320 AssemblyA320 Interior, A320 Order Book and A320 History.
For very detailed Airbus A320 Specs check this link which is a downloadable PDF.

We welcome your comment below, is there more we could be showing or are there topics you would like to see? Thank you.

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44 thoughts on “Airbus A320 Specs – What is behind one of the most popular short-haul airliners?”

    1. Hi Moleki,

      you’re absolutely right. Thank you for spotting that and pointing it out. We certainly want to ensure our data is correct and appreciate you picking that up. Enjoy the rest of your visit.

      Cheers Peter

    2. What is also odd is that I was flying back from Denver to Dallas and the GPS on my phone recorded a max SOG of 638mph in one of these.. Have the screenshot to boot.. Was updating realtime.. Woot! 🙂

      1. Hi Randall,
        That’s great when you can follow it like that. I assume you had your maps downloaded to the phone already. I also assume your miles were statute and not knots.
        Very cool.
        Cheers Peter

    1. Hi Carl,

      thank you for stopping by. Yes, you’re right, it seems the missing characters were in white. Thanks for letting us know.

      Cheers Peter

  1. Marcus Collier-Wright

    Hi, do you have any references regarding the information on composite materials in the A320? Cheers, Marcus

      1. Actually, the first plane to actually have FBW was the Avro Arrow Interceptor. After the project was cancelled because of politics, a lot of the engineers from Avro either went to NASA or joined the teams to design and build the Concorde.

        1. Hi Fraser,
          Thank you for that clarification. Interesting piece of information. I guess we were talking about commercial airliners, but interesting to note where the skills came from.
          Cheers Peter

  2. This comment relates to wing design of aircraft. Instead of designing wing as a pure cantilever, is it possible to introduce cable supports from top of the wing to an anchoring plate at top of fuselage.
    This structural design allows for a reduction in the weight of the wing and all other advantages that follow.

    1. Hi Cawas,
      Thank you for your question.
      What you suggest has actually been employed in early aviation technology. Cables were used in pioneering aircraft to lend strength to wings to make up for low strength to weight ratios in early materials.
      The draw backs of using cables to add strength are aerodynamics and also the fact that the load of wings is directed upwards. Even aerodynamic shaping of cables would still add drag in the airflow. In addition the wings need to be pulled down which means the cables would need to be secured to a point below the fuselage, not above. This would possibly result in ground clearance issues requiring longer undercarriage, thereby nullifying any advantage.
      Thanks for the suggestion.
      Cheers Peter

  3. Thanks for the info. I work for a low cost airline which removes the buisness class seats for extra economy room increasing the PAX capacity to 180

    1. Yes, the no frills economy configuration certainly enables more seats to be fitted, particularly as they also reduce the pitch. That is the space between seats, front to back. Some airlines are even looking at a more upright nearly standing up configuration. Scary.

  4. Yes, the no frills economy configuration certainly enables more seats to be fitted, particularly as they also reduce the pitch. That is the space between seats, front to back. Some airlines are even looking at a more upright nearly standing up configuration. Scary.

    1. Yes I believe it was Ryan Air who were looking at an almost standing position configuration. Not sure what safety considerations that would set off, but anything to be able to keeps fares down.
      Cheers Peter

    1. Hi Bob,
      that is a great question and so far we have been unable to find a reliable answer. If anyone else knows this please chime in. We will look and update.
      Cheers Peter

  5. Can you please tell me the LxHxD in inches for the overhead compartment on a current United A-320 Airbus. Thank you, Rob

    1. Hi Rob,
      these dimensions can vary from airline to airline depending on what their specifications are when they order their A320. Perhaps check directly with the carrier.
      Cheers Peter

      1. I checked with Jet Blue and they couldn’t tell us the dimensions. Any guesses?? I’m wanting to carry on a fishing rod and they say I can if it fits. It’s a catch 22!!

        1. Hi Terri,
          We’d love to be able help, but in the end the airline has the last on what can be carried or not. I`m sure they have guidelines around what can be carried on board.
          Good luck.
          Cheers Peter

    1. Hi,
      I don’t have the exact weight but with a diameter of 117cm and width of 43cm, the weight would fall around the 90kgb mark.
      Cheers Peter

  6. Could you please add Takeoff and landing lengths. I build models for flight simulators like XP-Plane and Flight Sim and I need that information. Great info pages. Thanks

    1. Hey John,
      thanks for stopping by. We have now added the landing and takeoff data for the four variants of the A320 family. That is cool that you build planes for Flight and X-Plane. What your brand? Would I have used your planes?
      Cheers Peter

  7. hey. i am doing a project and i wanted to know the dimensions of a single spoiler on the A320. do you have that info?

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  16. Hi,

    Do you have any information about the materials used in the A318 economy class seats and the manufacturing processes of these materials.


    1. Hi Belle,

      when an Airline orders their brand new aircraft, they have many choices to make. One of those is around the type of seats they feel will be appropriate for their intended use of the aircraft. Very basic seats for short domestic flights, all the way up to first-class seats with all the bells and whistles. For the A320 family of aircraft, the main supplier has been and continues to be Recaro.

      Aircraft seats are full of complex technology but at the same time have to be as light and as strong as possible. To look at a breakdown of the materials, click here.

      Cheers Peter

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