With the A330neo edging closer to entry to service, Airbus are taking the latest variant of the A330 on tour.
The purpose of the tour isn’t leisure however – rather this is one of the final steps to certification of the A330neo – the Function and Reliability Tests.
Or to the rest of us – Route Proving.
The tests will include ETOPS (Extended Operations) missions, diversions, and testing airport handling services.
The plane has been on a tour of Airbus’s European facilities today, overflying them. It will then embark on a 15 airport tour to carry out the tests Airbus desires to get the aircraft certificated.
The tour covers trips to Asia, India, South America (where it will be used extensively by launch operator TAP Air Portugal) and North America. The aim is to achieve 150 Flight Test house in the three trips.
The aircraft being used will be a full production level aircraft – an A330-900 – fitted out with the Airspace by Airbus cabin, and as you can see – will fly in TAP Air Portugal’s house colours
This aircraft first flew on 15th May 2018, to commence flight-tests to check cabin systems such as air conditioning aboard the type.
The plane features the new generation Rolls Royce Trent 7000 engines (the exclusive power-plant of the type).
With the importance of the final stages of testing before the type is granted type certification (which if all goes according to plan – will be summer 2018), the tests are important part of the programme to bring the A330neo from concept to reality to commercial product.
Because at the end of the day for this tour – apart from testing the plane works with the infrastructures out there – this will help drive sales for a ready and waiting aircraft.
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