The A330 new-look takes off

For its first test flight, the A330neo flew over the Airbus facility in Toulouse before landing at Blagnac.
© Airbus


The Airbus A330 twin-engine wide body, intended for the long-haul, was not quite well-born, but he was able to make his way. In 1994, when it was put into service, it was only the little brother of the A340, the quadriréacteur whom he shared the fuselage, the wings, the cockpit, etc, In favor of some increases in the price of oil later, the A330 him steal the show, becoming the long-haul the most sold in the world. The A340 is in end-of-life in the airlines.

Airbus has accommodated all the sauces the A330. Even the presidency of the Republic has chosen this aircraft. Called Air Sarkozy One, the A330 in the colors of France, that transports the president today Macron after it was widely used by François Hollande.

For the traveller lambda, two versions have been developed. One, more long, all aboard for 287 passengers (408 version densified), against 257 for the other. The wide cabin and the cargo hold is large have enabled it to offer a cargo version. Soon, the air force will also implement the A330 tanker. Airbus has even designed a limited edition of five copies of an A330 Beluga XL is in charge of transporting elements of the fuselage and the wings between the various centres of production in Europe to accompany the ramp up of the A350.

Reduce costs

Building on the success of the A320neo, featuring new engines, more powerful and less greedy, Airbus applies the same recipe to the A330, which becomes A330neo with reactors Rolls-Royce Trent 7000 of the same generation as those that equip the Boeing 787 Dreamliner. The fuel consumption is reduced by 10 % and operating costs by 14 %. According to european aircraft manufacturer, ” the direct operational costs per seat on the A330neo will be the lower of 15 % of those in the B787 “. And a A330neo appears at 290 million dollars at the price catalog counter 312 million for a B787 Dreamliner. This summer, TAP Air Portugal will take delivery of the first copy of this A330 new-look.

The A330neo has made its first flight today. If we are to believe the press releases or the statements of the pilots, whether at Airbus, Boeing, or the other, a first flight is always a qualified ” success “. To be quite safe, we must wait for the second, expected to be in early next week for the A330neo, after systematic inspections of the major components of the aircraft. For the C919 aircraft chinese competitor to the airbus A320 or the B737, the first take-off took place in Shanghai on may 5 and the second on the 29th of September, nearly five months later. Of course, in China, the time scale is not the same…

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