Saturday, September 30, 2017

Airbus A330neo ready for first flight

The first prototype of the Airbus A330neo, a re-engined and improved version of the A330 widebody jetliner is being prepared for first flight after some delays.

The first prototype, an A330-900, is slated for maiden flight in the coming weeks, with Airbus announcing the aircraft having been transferred to its flight test team.

Developmental delays particularly with the new Rolls Royce Trent 7000 engine has delayed introduction of the aircraft, which was earlier slated for 2017 end.

With the new efficient engines and other refinements, the A330neo (new engine option) will offer a further 14 per cent lower per seat fuel consumption, than the first A330 that entered service in 1996.

The two A330neo variants, the A330-800 and A330-900 feature a new A350-inspired wing with Sharklet wingtip devices for state-of-the-art aerodynamics and the new AirSpace by Airbus cabin for the latest experience in cabin comfort.

All these refinements will result in lower fuel burn, that allow operators an additional 400 nautical miles range, leading to a 6,550 nautical miles range on the A330-900 and 7,500 nautical miles on the A330-800.

The A330-800 and the A330-900 are 99 per cent common, sharing a  95 per cent commonality across the entire A330 fleet, set to optimize costs and flexibility for all its operators.

The Trent 7000, the seventh member of the Trent engine and the exclusive powerplant for the A330neo, have a thrust range from 68-72,000 lb.

Service entry of the aircraft is now scheduled for the end of the first half of 2018 with TAP Portugal being the launch customer. To date more than 200 orders have been placed for the aircraft.