First A330-800 test aircraft, MSN1888 from Toulouse, France
Test Pilots Malcolm Ridley & François Barre & test-flight engineer Ludovic Girard. Flight test engineers Catherine Schneider & Jose Corugedo Bermejo
PARIS: The first A330-800 test aircraft, MSN1888, took off from Toulouse, France for the first time in the morning of November 6. The flight carried out dedicated flight-physics tests.
The aircraft crew included experimental test pilots Malcolm Ridley and François Barre and test-flight engineer Ludovic Girard. Flight test engineers (FTE) Catherine Schneider and Jose Corugedo Bermejo monitored aircraft systems and flight performance in real time.
The A330-800’s certification development programme will last around 300 flight-test hours, paving the way for certification in 2019. Until now, the only confirmed customer is Kuwait Airways, which has ordered eight of the aircraft.
The A330-800 is powered by Rolls-Royce Trent 7000 engines, offers Airbus’ latest “Airspace” cabin, and features a new, larger wing span with sharklet wingtip devices. The new Airbus variant challenges other models and airlines manufacturers for it 25 per cent fuel saving engines.
Its sibling, A330-900Neo, recently completed its development testing and certification program, which validated the A330neo family’s common engines, systems, cabin, and flight and ground operation.
Airbus’ A330 family is the smallest wide body airliner produced by the European manufacturer. The new engine option (neo) model is offered in two variants, the -800 and -900. As the names suggest, the -800 is the smaller of the two, typically seating 257 passengers over a range of up to 15,094km. The Larger -900 seats around 287 passengers over a slightly reduced range of 13,334km.