A321neo - "Excessive Pitch-up" problem fix

Tl;dr - the A321neo has a software problem, FBW fix on the way but until then dispatchers have to restrict aft CG during landings. This is different from the 737MAXs case with MCAS.

However, the fix isn’t software based - rather, Airbus are recommending “a mitigating strategy involving operational dispatch limitation, which focuses on the area of the flight envelope affected by unusually aft centre-of-gravity balance configurations. No modification is necessary to operational and training procedures.” Rather than programming the plane to trim down with the FBW, they’re deciding to tell dispatchers not to load everything aft so this condition is never met, thus solving the problem.

Airbus also insist that this has nothing to do with the plane’s length or the engines, rather that the Elevator Aileron Computers (ELACs) have wonky programming and this will be solved with a software fix in the future which commands the FBW to counteract this.

This is another good article analysing the problem.


This is featured on Simple flying!

I’m flying an A321neo in 9 days, this worries me but everything should be alright.


Doesn’t look to be anything worth batting an eye lid over. It’s just something that needs addressing


Just quoting the article :

Four conditions are required. These comprise a low approach altitude, below 100ft, in a specific landing condition, with the aircraft characterised by a particularly aft centre-of-gravity, and the crew engaged in performing a dynamic manoeuvre – such as a go-around.

Backwards 737 Max

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How was the flight?

It was good, but really doesn’t feel different from the normal A321 lol (except engine start, those CFM LEAP sound amazing)

https://youtu.be/r0vq1bqt2j0 there is a trip report of it.

You won’t feel a thing. The CofG loading restriction is there as a very generous precaution.

FWIW, from my colleagues on the 'Bus, they know about the ‘mildly’ changed handling characteristics at the edge of the envelope and have been taught it in the Sim, unlike another manufacturers approach!!!


Ay I’ll tell you what, excessive pitch up is better than sudden, uncontrolled pitch down. [cough] 737 max