Flying over European Airbus sites and visiting 15 cities worldwide to test aircraft readiness for airline operations
The A330neo, Airbus’ newest widebody aircraft, has embarked on a worldwide tour to demonstrate its readiness for airline operations. As a final step in the aircraft certification phase, these function and reliability tests, also known as route proving, will include ETOPS (Extended-range Twin-engine Operational Performance Standards) missions, landing at diversion airports and testing airport handling services. After a fly-past over Airbus’ European sites, the A330neo will head for 15 major airports worldwide over five continents, aiming at achieving 150 flight test hours in three trips.
The route proving tests are performed with the first A330-900 production aircraft, fully equipped with an Airspace by Airbus cabin and flying in launch operator Tap Air Portugal’s colours. The aircraft first flew on 15 May 2018, launching flight tests to check cabin systems such as air conditioning.
The route proving tests form part of the final trials required for aircraft Type Certification scheduled for summer 2018.
Today, two A330-900 flight test aircraft and the TAP customer aircraft are involved in the intensive flight test programme, which will reach 1,000 flight hours during the tour of the Airbus plants.
Launched in July 2014, the A330neo Family is the new generation A330, comprising two versions: the A330-800 and A330-900 sharing 99 percent commonality. It builds on the proven economics, versatility and reliability of the A330 Family, while reducing fuel consumption by about 25 percent per seat versus previous generation competitors and increasing range by up to 1,500 nm compared to the majority of A330s in operation. The A330neo is powered by Rolls-Royce’s latest-generation Trent 7000 engines and features a new wing with increased span and new A350 XWB-inspired Sharklets. The cabin provides the comfort of the new Airspace amenities.