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The image (Image source)

At first, it appeared to be a freighter conversion of an Airbus A320 (known as the A320P2F). But upon having a closer look at the engine, it looks like a PW1100G, which would imply that this is an Airbus A320neo. However, to the best of my knowledge, Airbus never made a freighter variant of the A320neo.

Additionally, the winglets are different and remind me of the Boeing 737 MAX's winglets; I've never seen these winglets on an A320 before.

So is the aircraft in this image real? If yes, where can I find more information regarding this particular model?

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I am 100% sure this is fake.

I found the same picture on Twitter in a tweet from April 28,2020 , but in higher resolution:

The same picture on Twitter, higher resolution

You can see the registration on the aircraft clearly: D-AVXA. This registration is an Airbus Test registration, used by Airbus in Hamburg. Below the registration, you can read the Manufacturer Serial Number (MSN) 8557.

The aircraft with MSN 8557 is a A321 which was given Test registration D-AVXF during production and testing. It was produced for Indigo as passenger version and delivered with registration VT-IUA. The last two letters (UA) of that registration can be seen on the nose gear doors of the freighter aircraft.

Clearly, something does not add up here, and that is only the first indication.

Then, I found a very similar picture of aircraft MSN 8557 in passenger configuration on planespotters.net. It also has the letters UA on the nose gear doors. Note almost the same position on Hamburg Finkenwerder airport (Airbus Assembly site), including the same shades of leaves in the trees (clearly an autumn setting, which matches the date on the planespotters picuture 16 November 2018).

The picture with the split scimitar winglets is dated in April, which does not match the background.

Zooming in on the lower part of the split scimitar winglet, it looks suspicious monochrome. Zoomed-in part of the photo, showing winglet and registration

Also note that the Indian registration in front of the Indian flag is part of the paint job, and during testing this is covered with a white sticker. The sticker would overlap the Indigo CarGo Truck logo, but here the logo overlaps the sticker. The outline of the original sticker is still vagely visible in the edited photo.

Finally: the Twitter profile of the Twitter post says in the bio:

Skilled to Transform Your Wild Aeronautical Imaginations Into Digital Reality

That really gives it away.

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    $\begingroup$ Brilliant!!! -Niels $\endgroup$ Jul 3, 2023 at 16:46
  • $\begingroup$ Thank you so much for such an amazing answer! $\endgroup$ Jul 3, 2023 at 21:54
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    $\begingroup$ Not sufficiently skilled to give the truck round tyres: that bit looks like it was done with MS Paint. $\endgroup$ Jul 3, 2023 at 22:30
  • $\begingroup$ Another giveaway are the 737 MAX winglets. $\endgroup$
    – Chris
    Jul 5, 2023 at 7:12
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    $\begingroup$ @MarkMorganLloyd to some degree, the tyres should not be round, due to the fuselage itself not being straight ... however this is the smallest of the issues, there are other paint-like features :) $\endgroup$
    – EarlGrey
    Jul 5, 2023 at 8:21
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The question has already been thoroughly answered by DeltaLima, I'll just add that the original, unaltered, photo by Lars Hentschel can be found here:

https://www.airliners.net/photo/IndiGo/Airbus-A321-271NX/5285531

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    $\begingroup$ Great find! Welcome to aviation.stackexchange.com $\endgroup$
    – DeltaLima
    Jul 3, 2023 at 21:47
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To add to what has been given above, IGO has only one A321F with the registration VT-IKW, further details regarding the which may be found here. The picture is different from the one shown and the acft was purchased new instead of wet-leased, therefore it could not have been having the registration number D-AVXA at any point.

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    $\begingroup$ I am not sure I understand your point about purchasing vs wet-leasing. All Airbus aircraft, whether purchased directy or leased, were produced at Airbus and therefore have flown with a temporary Airbus factory registration for test flights. VT-IKW made its first flight under registration D-AVZQ $\endgroup$
    – DeltaLima
    Jul 3, 2023 at 19:51

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