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The A220-100 and -300 variants have relevant specs of (respectively)

  • fuel capacities of 21,805L and 21,508L
  • MTOW of 63T and 71T
  • Range of 3450 nmi and 3600 nmi

How is the bigger, heavier variant specified to go further on less fuel?

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  • $\begingroup$ The only thing I can think of is that the newer model has more efficient engines. $\endgroup$
    – Someone
    Jul 5, 2023 at 1:21
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    $\begingroup$ They both use PW1500G engines, as they were designed and tested mostly in tandem. The larger one obviously has units rated for higher thrust, but again, that should come at the cost of increased fuel burn. $\endgroup$ Jul 5, 2023 at 1:47

1 Answer 1

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I assume the numbers you found are from the Wikipedia article. If you look closely at the specifications table, you'll see that the numbers are from two different publications:

  1. The Airbus Family Figures Booklet (2019), which lists the following data:

    A220-100 A220-300
    MTOW 63.1 t 69.9 t
    Fuel Capacity 21 805 l 21 508 l
    Range 3400 NM 3350 NM
  2. An article (2021) about improved MTOW and range for the A220-300:

    It will take the MTOW of the -300, the larger of the A220 variants, to 70.9t from the current 69.9t and will provide some 200nm additional range.

So the range of the A220-300 was originally lower than the -100, but was improved due to the higher MTOW. It still has a lower fuel capacity, but range (with payload) is not limited by fuel capacity. It is limited by MTOW as you can see in the payload/range plots:

  • A220-100

    A220-100 Payload/Range plot

  • A220-300

    A220-300 Payload/Range plot

As you can see from these plots, the maximum range (ferry range) of the A220-100 is higher than the -300, but the -300 can fly further with 140 passengers than the -100 with 120 passengers due to its higher MTOW, therefore giving it a higher typical range.

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    $\begingroup$ We wrote the same answer at the same time 😅. I deleted mine since your is more elaborated. Shall the Wikipedia entry be corrected? 🤔 $\endgroup$
    – sophit
    Jul 5, 2023 at 6:44
  • $\begingroup$ Yeah, I was going off of what specs WIkipedia lists, on the (apparently false) presumption that there are enough people really interested in details of aviation that it would be up to date and consistent. Apparently not. Thank you! $\endgroup$ Jul 5, 2023 at 22:12

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