The first of three A330neo Family development
aircraft to fly – MSN1795, an A330-900 variant – landed at
Toulouse-Blagnac, France at 14:10 on Thursday after successfully
completing its first flight which lasted 4 hours and 13 minutes.
The aircraft was powered by Rolls-Royce
Trent 7000 turbofans.
The crew in the cockpit on board this flight
comprised: Experimental Test Pilots Thierry Bourges, Thomas
Wilhelm and Test-Flight Engineer Alain Pourchet. Meanwhile,
monitoring the aircraft systems and performance in real-time at
the flight-test-engineer’s (FTE) station were Jean-Philippe Cottet, Emiliano Requena Esteban and Gert Wunderlich.
Brégier, Airbus COO and President of Airbus Commercial Aircraft,
said, “The first flight of the A330neo marks yet another
milestone along the Airbus journey of continuous innovation. My congratulations and thanks go to all the teams who have
contributed to make this flight happen, and to our customers
for choosing this very efficient and capable aircraft to give them
market advantage. We look forward to a successful flight test
campaign and entry into service of the A330neo in 2018.”
Airbus’ development programme will comprise 1,100 flight
hours for the A330-900 campaign – to achieve its EASA and FAA Type
Certification around the middle of 2018. An additional 300 flight
hours is also allocated for the A330-800’s own certification
The respective campaigns will be performed in an ‘airline like’
environment, ensuring maximum aircraft maturity and reliability at
entry into service (EIS) with A330-900 launch operator TAP
Portugal. This phase will also define the mature aircraft
documentation to be available for airline operators at EIS.
Overall, the full flight-test campaigns for both models will
be performed by two A330-900s and one A330-800 respectively. To
complement these dedicated flight-test aircraft, the first
production A330-900 aircraft will also be tasked to validate the
full Airspace cabin.
Launched in July 2014, the A330neo is
the latest generation in Airbus' A330 product line,
comprising two versions: the A330-800 and A330-900. Both of these widebody aircraft incorporate new Rolls-Royce Trent 7000 engines,
nacelle, titanium pylon, new wings and an Airspace by Airbus
The most visible new features of the A330neo are the new
wing span extensions to 64m total (up from the CEO’s 60.3m span)
and the specially developed curved wingtip Sharklets – which draw
on A350 XWB technology.
Less visible, but equally important, is the
implementation of enhanced 3D-optimised aerodynamic refinements
along the overall wing profile.
Meanwhile, the Trent 7000s deliver
double-digit fuel burn improvements and the quietest operation
thanks to latest technology components, materials, new
‘zero-splice’ inlet and composite nacelle, ‘fully-faired’ pylon
and also the larger (112-inch diameter) slower-rotating front fan
with a bypass ratio of 10:1 – compared with the typical 5:1 ratio
of previous-generation turbofans.
Both the A330-800 and
the A330-900 will accommodate up to 10 more passengers than their
respective predecessors, thanks to their new Airspace interiors
which introduce various cabin enablers to free-up more usable
The larger A330-900 will accommodate up to 287 seats in a
typical three-class layout, while the A330-800 typically will seat
257 passengers in three classes.
To date 12 customers have
placed orders for a total of 212 A330neos.
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