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In Pictures: First U.S.-Built Airbus Delivered


Airbus delivered their first U.S.-built aircraft to JetBlue Airways on Monday. The A321-200, sporting tail number N965JT, was handed over to JetBlue during a ceremony at Airbus' new final assembly line in Mobile, Ala.

The final assembly line is Airbus' fourth and will be producing A320 family aircraft alongside existing factories in Toulouse, France; Hamburg, Germany; and Tianjin, China. While Airbus produces A320ceo family aircraft at Mobile, it expects to begin transitioning to A320neo family aircraft in late 2017. A production rate of four aircraft per month is expected around the same time.

Executives from Airbus, including Allan McArtor, Chairman of Airbus Americas and John Leahy, Chief Operating Officer Customers were on hand to present the aircraft. JetBlue senior management, including President and CEO Robin Hayes, was on hand to accept the aircraft. Also in attendance were various dignitaries from the Gulf Coast region.

The entrance to the facility with a very fitting address.

The delivery center where aircraft are handed over to customers.

The A321 parked in front of building #19, ready to be moved to the delivery center and ceremoniously handed over. Building #19 is the final phase/flightline hangar whereas building #21 on the left is the gauging canopy where the aircraft's fuel gauges and other systems are tested.

A panoramic photo showing the front of the delivery center.

The seats for the audience during the speeches, to which John Leahy jokingly likened them to Boeing seats -- small and uncomfortable.

Allan McArtor, Chairman of Airbus Americas, addresses the audience.

Addressing the audience next is John Leahy, Chief Operating Officer - Customers at Airbus.

Airbus employees present the newly-built aircraft to the crowd.

JetBlue's newest A321 is aptly named "BluesMobile".

Airbus employees proudly display their work.

On hand to accept the aircraft is JetBlue Airways President and CEO Robin Hayes.

A painting of N965JT was given by John Leahy to Robin Hayes during the ceremony.

This painting was done by aviation artist Rick Herter.

A close-up view of one of the A321's IAE V2533-A5 engines with a Sharklet visible on the left.

A look at JetBlue's #1 engine and wing/flap assembly.

A look at JetBlue's "diamond" tail pattern.

The aircraft shortly before its ferry flight to Lake City, Fl., where it will undergo some last-minute interior work prior to entering service.

Photo credits: Brian Bostick

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