The newest evolution in Airbus’ A330, with an
increased 242-tonne maximum takeoff weight capability, took
another step closer to entering service later this year after its
successful maiden flight.
Taking off from Toulouse-Blagnac Airport on
Monday, the A330-300 variant carried out an airborne evaluation
that concluded with its return to the southwestern France location
– which is home to Airbus headquarters and the A330 final assembly
During the flight, a five-person crew –
comprised of Captain Thierry Bourges and First Officer Jean-Louis
Rabilloud, along with flight test engineers Joan Andre and Gert
Wunderlich and test flight engineer Alain Pourchet – checked the
jetliner’s flight control system and validated its flight
The flight kicked off the increased takeoff weight
A330-300’s flight test campaign, which is to involve some 15 total
hours aloft to confirm its new aerodynamic package and
A330-300 maximum takeoff weight variant launch customer is
U.S.-based Delta Air Lines, which is scheduled to take delivery of
its first aircraft in the second quarter of this year.
shorter-fuselage A330-200 in the 242-tonne configuration is
planned to enter commercial service in early 2016.
addition to Delta Air Lines, eleven customers worldwide have
already selected this option since the launch in November 2012.
Airbus’ latest A330 variant is the basis for the A330neo (new
engine option) version – which will incorporate new Rolls-Royce
Trent 7000 engines and aerodynamic improvements to provide
unmatched operating economics, along with the latest in cabin
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