First Airbus A330-800 Development Aircraft Completes Maiden flight

The first landing of the Airbus A330 800. (Airbus)

The first A330-800 development aircraft to fly, MSN1888, has landed at Toulouse-Blagnac (TLS) after successfully completing its first flight which lasted four hours and four minutes. The aircraft, the second member of the A330neo Family, is powered by Rolls-Royce Trent 7000 turbofans.

The crew in the cockpit comprised: experimental test pilots Malcolm Ridley and François Barre and test-flight engineer Ludovic Girard. Monitoring the aircraft systems and performance in real-time at the flight-test-engineer’s (FTE) station were Catherine Schneider and Jose Corugedo Bermejo.

Airbus said the A330-800’s development programme will include around 300 flight-test hours, paving the way for certification in 2019. Its sibling, the larger A330-900 family member, recently completed its development testing and certification programme which validated the A330neo Family’s common engines, systems, cabin and flight and ground operations.

The A330neo comprises two versions: the A330-800 and A330-900. Both of these widebody aircraft incorporate new Rolls-Royce Trent 7000 engines, nacelle, titanium pylon and new wings. 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.