Airbus' first dedicated freighter for the mid-size, long-haul cargo marketplace - the A330-200F - is a step closer to delivery startup after receiving its Type Certification from the European Aviation Safety Agency.
The all-new A330-200F cargo aircraft has received its Type Certification from the European Aviation Safety Agency, paving the way for delivery startup of Airbus' next-generation freighter this summer.
Certification comes on the heels of the freighter's successful 200-hour flight test campaign, which evaluated the aircraft's handling qualities, performance and cargo capabilities. The trials were performed by two aircraft, each powered by one of the A330-200F's two available engine types: the Pratt & Whitney PW4000 and the Rolls-Royce Trent 700.
This milestone highlights an already busy year for the Airbus freighter, which participated in the 2010 Singapore Airshow during February, visited FedEx's U.S. headquarters in March, and made its South American debut at Chile's FIDAE aviation event that same month. For the no. 1 A330-200F's appearance at FIDAE, the aircraft transported some 20 metric tonnes of medicine, clothing and other humanitarian aid for those affected by the 27 February Chilean earthquake.
In total, five of these mid-size freighters will be delivered in 2010. Total orders for the aircraft now stand at 66.
Featuring an optimised fuselage cross-section and 30 per cent more volume than any cargo aircraft in its class, the A330-200F is well positioned as the global freighter market shows signs of recovery. Moreover, thanks to design optimisation, the aircraft's payload capability has been increased by one tonne to 70 tonnes.
This dedicated freighter aircraft, which is derived from Airbus' A330-200 passenger version, is now expected to receive Federal Aviation Administration Type Certification in the coming weeks.
Over 3,400 freighters will be needed in the next 20 years to accommodate a 5.2 per cent average annual growth rate, according to Airbus' 2009 Global Market Forecast. This will include around 1,600 mid-sized freighters, of which the A330-200F will play an important role.