I was visiting Airbus earlier this week but sadly can't witness the first maiden voyage of the new A330neo today due to my schedule.
Toulouse, 19 October 2017 – The first A330neo took off this morning at Blagnac in Toulouse, France at 09.57 hrs local time, for its maiden flight taking place over south-western France. The aircraft, MSN1795, is a A330-900 and the first of three certification flight-test aircraft to fly, powered by the latest technology Rolls-Royce Trent 7000 turbofans.
The first of three A330neo Family development aircraft to fly – MSN1795, an A330-900 variant – has landed at Toulouse-Blagnac, France at 14:10 local time after successfully completing its first flight which lasted 4 hours and 13 minutes. The aircraft was powered by the latest technology Rolls-Royce Trent 7000 turbofans.
The crew in the cockpit on board this flight comprised: Experimental Test Pilots Thierry BOURGES, Thomas WILHELM and Test-Flight Engineer Alain POURCHET. Meanwhile, monitoring the aircraft systems and performance in real-time at the flight-test-engineer’s (FTE) station are Jean-Philippe COTTET, Emiliano REQUENA ESTEBAN and Gert WUNDERLICH.
Launched in July 2014, the A330neo is the latest generation in Airbus' market-leading A330 product line, comprising two versions: the A330-800 and A330-900. Both of these widebody aircraft incorporate new Rolls-Royce Trent 7000 engines, nacelle, titanium pylon, new wings and an Airspace by Airbus Cabin. The most visible new features of the A330neo are the new wing span extensions to 64m total (up from the CEO’s 60.3m span) and the specially developed curved wingtip Sharklets – which draw on A350 XWB technology.
Both the A330-800 and the A330-900 will accommodate up to 10 more passengers than their respective predecessors, thanks to their new Airspace interiors which introduce various cabin enablers to free-up more usable cabin space – thus ensuring that each passenger can enjoy a significantly better actual comfort level and in-flight experience versus that offered by any competing aircraft in its market sector. The larger A330-900 will accommodate up to 287 seats in a typical three-class layout, while the A330-800 typically will seat 257 passengers in three classes.
To date 12 customers have placed orders for a total of 212 A330neos.Launch Customer is TAP Portugal.