Here we go ladies and gentlemen. Finally, after more than two years of procrastination and kicking the can down the road, I present to you my Airbus A320 NEO side view template set. In my defense, there was a pretty good reason for waiting so long to do these illustrations: the lack of accurate reference material. Now, we all know that these new aircraft have been flying around for a while now, but there is actually very little data out there on the Internet regarding the list of changes that went into this very big update for the Airbus narrowbody series. I found plenty of good information about the new CFM LEAP 1A and Pratt & Whitney 1000G engines, but it was surprisingly difficult to find information about other significant updates to the aircraft (if there were any).
I’d also like to point out that I’m pretty darn far from being an aircraft engineer. As a matter fact, I even struggle when trying to assemble IKEA furniture so it would be in your best interest never to depend on me for thinking too deeply about anything that could crash, burn and kill people. However, after weeks of research, I came to the conclusion that there are actually very few visual differences between the existing version of these aircraft (CEO, which stands for Current Engine Option) compared to the new-engine (NEO) variants. It’s basically the same airplane but with meatier looking and much more efficient engines, which actually surprised me a bit considering how much time and effort Airbus put into this update. I was actually expecting major wing modifications and taller landing gear to accommodate those larger powerplants, but nope. Other than general internal modifications to both, there isn’t much on the outside to differentiate them from the older versions. But wow – it’s amazing how much of a visual difference a big engine can make.
You should all know my stance on beefy-looking aircraft by now, so it goes without saying that I’m pretty much drooling over the A320 NEO – especially the version with those fat Pratt & Whitney engines hanging under the wing. I was never much of a fan of the A320 before this, but now it may be one of my favorite aircraft in terms of visual appearance. This is what the A320 should’ve looked like from the beginning! I’m also thinking that it’s a bit of a shame that Boeing couldn’t find a way to put larger engines on the next-generation of the 737. Doing so would have required a taller (and all new) landing gear, which would have added significant cost to the program. Airbus got very lucky that that they didn’t have to do that.
The all white and line-drawing templates above are the version with the Pratt and Whitney 1000G engines. Here are the same templates with the CFM LEAP 1A engines. Which do you prefer?
To be honest, I actually prefer the look of the LEAP 1A engine, but it’s smaller size compared to the Pratt & Whitney is less appealing to me. And now that I think of it, it’s probably a pretty good thing that I don’t run an airline because the visual designer in me tends to make decisions based more on visual appearances than anything else. That may be very bad for running a profitable business, but I would have one heck of a good looking fleet that’s for sure.
For those of you looking for the A319 and A321 NEO templates as well, you’re in luck. Both are currently in progress and I’m very close to having the A321 ready to upload. The A319 will follow shortly thereafter (hopefully within a week). I’d also like to use this opportunity to ask those of you who know these aircraft well if I have drawn anything incorrectly in my templates. Because hey – if I’m struggling to assemble IKEA furniture, there’s a pretty good chance that I could have overlooked something huge without even knowing it.