Certification on track for mid-March
The second A330-200F has made its first flight today. Powered by two Rolls-Royce Trent 700 engines, the aircraft undertook a routine three-hour production first test flight. There are now two A330-200F aircraft in the flight test programme.
This latest aircraft to fly, 'MSN1032', will contribute towards the overall A330-200F flight test programme totalling around 200 flight hours, and paving the way for certification in mid-March this year, followed by delivery of the type to launch operator, Etihad Crystal Cargo, in the summer.
MSN1032 is the first A330-200 Freighter to be fitted with a full courier section, comprising seating for six people; as well as a small galley and crew rest area. Development tasks for this aircraft will concentrate on equipment and furnishings as well as complementary 'systems' tests, including: communication; power distribution; air conditioning; smoke detection; oxygen; water; and waste.
Meanwhile, the initial A330-200F in the flight test campaign, 'MSN1004' which first flew in November 2009 powered by Pratt & Whitney PW4000 engines, has been successfully evaluating handling qualities, performance, as well as undertaking tests regarding the autopilot and autoland systems. MSN1004 is now embarking on cold-weather testing in Canada, and following that, the aircraft will carry out hot-weather trials in the Far-East.
The A330-200F features an optimised fuselage cross-section, offering flexibility to carry a wide variety of pallet and container sizes. The aircraft offers 30 per cent more volume than any freighter in its class, and is based on the proven, highly successful and technologically-advanced A330 platform, for which Airbus has over 1,000 orders and already more than 630 aircraft in service.