First flight of the Airbus A330neo

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On Thursday 19 October 2017, the Airbus A330neo took off for the very first time.

The aircraft, an Airbus A330-900neo wearing test registration F-WTTN, taxied out from the Airbus facilities at Toulouse-Blagnac Airport around 09:45 LT and took off from RWY 32L some ten minutes later as flight AIB01TN. The aircraft headed in a northwesterly direction for flight tests.

The new generation of Airbus’ popular A330 jetliner family 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.

The Airbus A330neo features new generation technology and efficiency.

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.

Cabin interior of the Airbus A330neo.

The A330neo integrates many of the technological advances of the A350 XWB while building upon the popularity and maturity of Airbus’ A330 airliner family (the world’s most-flown widebody aircraft series: more than 1,360 jetliners delivered; in-service operational reliability of 99.5 percent).

Key features of A330neo new generation technology include Rolls-Royce’s new Trent 7000 turbofan engines, themselves incorporating technology from the Trent XWB that power the A350 and new high-span wings incorporating optimised aerodynamics with new composite Sharklets. The result is new generation efficiency, with the A330neo offering 25% lower fuel burn than previous generation competitors.

The Airbus A330neo.

In keeping with the Airbus philosophy of commonality across its product lines, pilots will be able to fly the A330neo, A350 XWB and A330 with one single license. And thanks to the Airspace cabin, passengers too will enjoy a seamless experience across the entire Airbus aircraft family.

Performing today’s first flight was 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.

At moment of writing flight AIB01TN was still inflight.

The A330-900 is planned to receive type certification and enter service with TAP Portugal as the initial airline operator by mid-2018.

19 October 2017

Photos: copyright (c) Airbus / Flightradar24.com

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