Ground testing will get underway on the first A321neo ACF (Airbus Cabin Flex) after it was rolled out of the company’s Hamburg facility in Germany.

The European manufacturer said it had completed assembly of the aircraft, powered by CFM International’s Leap-1A engines, and that it would undergo tests prior to its scheduled first flight “in the coming weeks.” First delivery of an A321neo ACF to an as-yet-unnamed customer is scheduled for mid-year.

The ACF version can accommodate up to 240 passengers compared to the previous A321 variant thanks to modifications to the fuselage that enable more flexible cabin configurations. The most visible modifications are a new rear section and a modified passenger door configuration. The door located forward of the wing has been removed and new overwing emergency exits in the centre section introduced.

The A321neo ACF, which will first be offered as an option to operators, will become standard for all A321neos around 2020, says Airbus.

The A321neo ACF is the base for the longer range A321LR variant, which has an increased MTOW (Maximum Take Off Weight) of 97 tonnes and a third underfloor fuel tank that allows its range to be increased to 4,000nm. The first delivery of an A321LR is targeted for the fourth quarter of 2018.