|Published: October 2017|
The A330neo’s maiden flight today confirmed Airbus’ widebody jetliner leadership, bringing together new-generation technology and high operational efficiency that builds on the in-service experience of its A330 and A350 XWB aircraft families.
Departing from Toulouse-Blagnac Airport in southwestern France, the no. 1 A330neo was put through its paces during a four hour and 13 minute airborne evaluation. The milestone takeoff and landing were witnessed by an audience of invited airline executives, industry suppliers, air transport officials, national authorities, the news media and Airbus employees.
Performing the maiden flight today was an A330-900. When entering airline service by mid-2018, this aircraft version will become the lowest seat-mile-cost jetliner in the 300-passenger widebody category, continuing the success of Airbus’ A330-300 variant (the best-selling midsize widebody ever).
One aircraft in two sizes
It will be joined by the smaller A330-800 – the longest-range 250-seater, and the follow-on to today’s A330-200 (which has the largest operator base, composed of nearly 100 carriers). Airworthiness certification of the A330-800 is planned for 2019.
Both A330-800 and A330-900 are powered by Rolls-Royce’s latest Trent 7000 turbofan powerplants, and incorporate high-span wings featuring 3D-optimised aerodynamics, new onboard systems, a connected cockpit, and the “Airspace by Airbus” cabin interior.
By offering the A330neo along with its next-generation A350 XWB, Airbus has created a world-leading widebody airliner product line that accommodates 257 to 366 seats – sharing a high degree of commonality for airline operators, while providing unmatched comfort and a superior in-flight ambience for passengers.