Photo: Airbus / H.Gousse
The new generation of Airbus’ popular A330 jetliner family is ready for its maiden flight.
The A330neo features extensive technology transfers from the A350XWB, including new engines, wings, and systems as well as the signature Airspace cabin. These new features will provide significantly enhanced operating efficiency for airlines, and best-in-class comfort for passengers as well as impeccable environmental characteristics.
Slated for take-off from Toulouse-Blagnac Airport in southwestern France – home to the A330 final assembly line – the initial aircraft is one of three jetliners earmarked for flight tests and certification of Airbus’ two A330neo variants: the A330-900, and the smaller A330-800. Performing this week’s maiden flight will be an A330-900 variant, to be joined by one more A330-900 and one A330-800 version.
Altogether, they are to accumulate some 1,400 hours of flight time, validating their handling characteristics, system operations, engine performance, cabin functionality and compatibility on airline-type routes. The A330-900 is planned to receive type certification and enter service with TAP Portugal as the initial airline operator by mid-2018.