The latest variant of the A330, the new 242 metric ton A330-300, has achieved certification from the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) following a 100-hour flight-test campaign.
Certification from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is also expected soon. The smaller A330-200 will follow and, to date, 11 customers have already selected their new A330s to have this 242 metric ton capability.
Eric Zanin, Airbus’s head of the A330 program,said: “The latest A330’s maximum take-off weight capability of 242 metric tons, combined with various aerodynamic refinements and increased fuel capacity, means that operators will soon benefit from a 500nm increase in range, or [the capability to]carry a greater payload. Moreover, they will do so with a fuel consumption reduction of up to 2%.”
The initial certified A330-300 aircraft is powered by CF6-80E1 engines and certification with the other engine types – the Pratt & Whitney PW4000 and Rolls-Royce Trent 700 will follow.
The flight-test campaign of approximately 100 hours was shared between two aircraft: an Airbus test aircraft (MSN0871), which was used to validate some aerodynamic refinements, and a new production aircraft (MSN1628), whose tasks included the validation of the center tank activation and overall performance effect on the larger A330-300 platform. The latest A330’s structure is also the basis for development of the forthcoming A330neo (new engine option).
April 7, 2015