Airbus A330
Overview
 
The Airbus A330 is a wide-body
Wide-body aircraft
A wide-body aircraft is a large airliner with two passenger aisles, also known as a widebody aircraft or twin-aisle aircraft. The typical fuselage diameter is . In the typical wide-body economy cabin, passengers are seated seven to ten abreast, allowing a total capacity of 200 to 850 passengers...

 twin-engine jet airliner
Jet airliner
A jet airliner is an airliner that is powered by jet engines. This term is sometimes contracted to jetliner or jet.In contrast to today's relatively fuel-efficient, turbofan-powered air travel, first generation jet airliner travel was noisy and fuel inefficient...

 made by Airbus
Airbus
Airbus SAS is an aircraft manufacturing subsidiary of EADS, a European aerospace company. Based in Blagnac, France, surburb of Toulouse, and with significant activity across Europe, the company produces around half of the world's jet airliners....

, a division of EADS
EADS
The European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company N.V. is a global pan-European aerospace and defence corporation and a leading defence and military contractor worldwide...

. Versions of the A330 have a range
Range (aircraft)
The maximal total range is the distance an aircraft can fly between takeoff and landing, as limited by fuel capacity in powered aircraft, or cross-country speed and environmental conditions in unpowered aircraft....

 of 7400 to 13430 km (3,995.7 to 7,251.6 nmi) and can accommodate up to 335 passengers in a two-class layout
Travel class
A travel class is a quality of accommodation on public transport. The accommodation could be a seat or a cabin for example. Higher travel classes are more comfortable and more expensive.-Airline booking codes:...

 or carry 70 tonnes (154,323.6 lb) of cargo.

The origin of the A330 dates to the 1970s as one of several conceived derivatives of Airbus's first airliner, the A300
Airbus A300
The Airbus A300 is a short- to medium-range widebody jet airliner. Launched in 1972 as the world's first twin-engined widebody, it was the first product of Airbus Industrie, a consortium of European aerospace companies, wholly owned today by EADS...

. The A330 was developed in parallel with the A340
Airbus A340
The Airbus A340 is a long-range four-engine wide-body commercial passenger jet airliner. Developed by Airbus Industrie,A consortium of European aerospace companies, Airbus is now fully owned by EADS and since 2001 has been known as Airbus SAS. a consortium of European aerospace companies, which is...

, which shared many common airframe
Airframe
The airframe of an aircraft is its mechanical structure. It is typically considered to include fuselage, wings and undercarriage and exclude the propulsion system...

 components but differed in number of engines.
Encyclopedia
The Airbus A330 is a wide-body
Wide-body aircraft
A wide-body aircraft is a large airliner with two passenger aisles, also known as a widebody aircraft or twin-aisle aircraft. The typical fuselage diameter is . In the typical wide-body economy cabin, passengers are seated seven to ten abreast, allowing a total capacity of 200 to 850 passengers...

 twin-engine jet airliner
Jet airliner
A jet airliner is an airliner that is powered by jet engines. This term is sometimes contracted to jetliner or jet.In contrast to today's relatively fuel-efficient, turbofan-powered air travel, first generation jet airliner travel was noisy and fuel inefficient...

 made by Airbus
Airbus
Airbus SAS is an aircraft manufacturing subsidiary of EADS, a European aerospace company. Based in Blagnac, France, surburb of Toulouse, and with significant activity across Europe, the company produces around half of the world's jet airliners....

, a division of EADS
EADS
The European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company N.V. is a global pan-European aerospace and defence corporation and a leading defence and military contractor worldwide...

. Versions of the A330 have a range
Range (aircraft)
The maximal total range is the distance an aircraft can fly between takeoff and landing, as limited by fuel capacity in powered aircraft, or cross-country speed and environmental conditions in unpowered aircraft....

 of 7400 to 13430 km (3,995.7 to 7,251.6 nmi) and can accommodate up to 335 passengers in a two-class layout
Travel class
A travel class is a quality of accommodation on public transport. The accommodation could be a seat or a cabin for example. Higher travel classes are more comfortable and more expensive.-Airline booking codes:...

 or carry 70 tonnes (154,323.6 lb) of cargo.

The origin of the A330 dates to the 1970s as one of several conceived derivatives of Airbus's first airliner, the A300
Airbus A300
The Airbus A300 is a short- to medium-range widebody jet airliner. Launched in 1972 as the world's first twin-engined widebody, it was the first product of Airbus Industrie, a consortium of European aerospace companies, wholly owned today by EADS...

. The A330 was developed in parallel with the A340
Airbus A340
The Airbus A340 is a long-range four-engine wide-body commercial passenger jet airliner. Developed by Airbus Industrie,A consortium of European aerospace companies, Airbus is now fully owned by EADS and since 2001 has been known as Airbus SAS. a consortium of European aerospace companies, which is...

, which shared many common airframe
Airframe
The airframe of an aircraft is its mechanical structure. It is typically considered to include fuselage, wings and undercarriage and exclude the propulsion system...

 components but differed in number of engines. Both airliners incorporated fly-by-wire
Fly-by-wire
Fly-by-wire is a system that replaces the conventional manual flight controls of an aircraft with an electronic interface. The movements of flight controls are converted to electronic signals transmitted by wires , and flight control computers determine how to move the actuators at each control...

 flight control technology, first introduced on an Airbus aircraft with the A320
Airbus A320 family
The Airbus A320 family is a family of short- to medium-range, narrow-body, commercial passenger jet airliners manufactured by Airbus Industrie.Airbus was originally a consortium of European aerospace companies, and is now fully owned by EADS. Airbus's name has been Airbus SAS since 2001...

, as well as the A320's six-display glass cockpit
Glass cockpit
A glass cockpit is an aircraft cockpit that features electronic instrument displays, typically large LCD screens, as opposed to the traditional style of analog dials and gauges...

. In June 1987, after receiving orders from various customers, Airbus launched the A330 and A340. The A330 was Airbus's first airliner offered with the choice of three engines: General Electric CF6, Pratt & Whitney PW4000, and Rolls-Royce Trent 700.

The A330-300, the first variant, took its maiden flight in November 1992 and entered passenger service with Air Inter
Air Inter
Air Inter was a semi-public French domestic airline. Before its merger with Air France, the airline was headquartered in Paray-Vieille-Poste, Essonne. Earlier in its life, it was headquartered in the 1st arrondissement of Paris.Air Inter was incorporated on 12 November 1954...

 in January 1994. Responding to dwindling sales, Airbus followed up with the slightly shorter A330-200 variant in 1998, which has proved more popular. Subsequently developed A330 variants include a dedicated freighter
Cargo aircraft
A cargo aircraft is a fixed-wing aircraft designed or converted for the carriage of goods, rather than passengers. They are usually devoid of passenger amenities, and generally feature one or more large doors for the loading and unloading of cargo...

, the A330-200F, and a military tanker
Aerial refueling
Aerial refueling, also called air refueling, in-flight refueling , air-to-air refueling or tanking, is the process of transferring fuel from one aircraft to another during flight....

, the A330 MRTT
Airbus A330 MRTT
The Airbus A330 Multi Role Tanker Transport is an aerial refuelling tanker aircraft based on the civilian Airbus A330-200. The A330 MRTT has been ordered by the Royal Australian Air Force , Royal Air Force , United Arab Emirates Air Force, and Royal Saudi Air Force...

. The A330 MRTT formed the basis of the proposed KC-45, entered into the U.S. Air Force's KC-X
KC-X
KC-X is the United States Air Force program to procure its next-generation aerial refueling tanker aircraft to replace some of the older Boeing KC-135 Stratotankers. The contest was for a production contract for 179 new tankers with estimated value of US$35 billion...

 competition in conjunction with Northrop Grumman
Northrop Grumman
Northrop Grumman Corporation is an American global aerospace and defense technology company formed by the 1994 purchase of Grumman by Northrop. The company was the fourth-largest defense contractor in the world as of 2010, and the largest builder of naval vessels. Northrop Grumman employs over...

, where after an initial win, on appeal lost to Boeing's tanker.

Since its launch, the A330 has allowed Airbus to expand market share in wide-body airliners. Airlines have selected the A330 as a replacement for less economical trijet
Trijet
A Trijet is an aircraft powered by three jet engines. Early twin-jet designs were limited by the FAA's "60-minute rule", whereby the flight path of twin-engined jetliners was restricted to within 60 minutes' flying time from a suitable airport, in case of engine failure. In 1964 this rule was...

s and versus rival twinjets. Boeing
Boeing
The Boeing Company is an American multinational aerospace and defense corporation, founded in 1916 by William E. Boeing in Seattle, Washington. Boeing has expanded over the years, merging with McDonnell Douglas in 1997. Boeing Corporate headquarters has been in Chicago, Illinois since 2001...

 has offered variants of the 767
Boeing 767
The Boeing 767 is a mid-size, wide-body twin-engine jet airliner built by Boeing Commercial Airplanes. It was the manufacturer's first wide-body twinjet and its first airliner with a two-crew glass cockpit. The aircraft features two turbofan engines, a supercritical wing, and a conventional tail...

 and 777
Boeing 777
The Boeing 777 is a long-range, wide-body twin-engine jet airliner manufactured by Boeing Commercial Airplanes. It is the world's largest twinjet and is commonly referred to as the "Triple Seven". The aircraft has seating for over 300 passengers and has a range from , depending on model...

 as competitors, along with the 787, which entered service in late 2011. Airbus's A350
Airbus A350
The Airbus A350 is a family of long-range, wide-body jet airliners under development by European aircraft manufacturer Airbus.A consortium originally comprising European aerospace companies from the UK, France, Spain and West Germany, Airbus is now fully owned by EADS and since 2001 has been known...

 will also share this wide-body airliner market. As of September 2011, the A330's order book stood at 1,174, of which 812 had been delivered. The largest operator is Cathay Pacific
Cathay Pacific
Cathay Pacific is the flag carrier of Hong Kong, with its head office and main hub located at Hong Kong International Airport, although the airline's registered office is on the 33rd floor of One Pacific Place...

 with 33 aircraft. The A330 is expected to continue selling until at least 2015.

Background

Airbus jetliners, 1972–1994
Model A300 A310 A320 A330 A340
Prior
code(s)
B10 SA2 B9
(TA9)
B11
(TA11)
Debut 1972 1983 1988 1994 1993
Body Wide Wide Narrow Wide Wide
Engines 2 2 2 2 4
Range Short/
medium
Medium/
long
Short/
medium
Medium/
long
Long

Airbus's first airliner, the A300, was envisioned as part of a diverse family of commercial aircraft. In pursuit of this goal, studies began in the early 1970s into derivatives of the A300. Before introducing the A300, Airbus identified nine possible variations named A300B1 through B9. A tenth variant, the A300B10, was conceived in 1973 and developed into the longer range Airbus A310
Airbus A310
The Airbus A310 is a medium- to long-range twin-engine widebody jet airliner. Launched in July 1978, it was the second aircraft created by Airbus Industrie,a consortium of European aerospace companies, Airbus is now fully owned by EADS and since 2001 has been known as Airbus SAS. the consortium of...

. Airbus then focused its efforts on single-aisle (SA) studies, conceiving of a family of airliners later known as the Airbus A320 family
Airbus A320 family
The Airbus A320 family is a family of short- to medium-range, narrow-body, commercial passenger jet airliners manufactured by Airbus Industrie.Airbus was originally a consortium of European aerospace companies, and is now fully owned by EADS. Airbus's name has been Airbus SAS since 2001...

, the first commercial aircraft with digital fly-by-wire
Fly-by-wire
Fly-by-wire is a system that replaces the conventional manual flight controls of an aircraft with an electronic interface. The movements of flight controls are converted to electronic signals transmitted by wires , and flight control computers determine how to move the actuators at each control...

 controls. During the SA studies Airbus turned its focus back to the wide-body aircraft market, simultaneously working on both projects.

In the mid-1970s Airbus began development of the A300B9, a larger derivative of the A300, which would eventually become the A330. The B9 was essentially a lengthened A300 with the same wing, coupled with the most powerful turbofan engines available. It was targeted at the growing demand for high-capacity, medium-range, transcontinental trunk routes. Offering the same range and payload as the McDonnell Douglas DC-10
McDonnell Douglas DC-10
The McDonnell Douglas DC-10 is a three-engine widebody jet airliner manufactured by McDonnell Douglas. The DC-10 has range for medium- to long-haul flights, capable of carrying a maximum 380 passengers. Its most distinguishing feature is the two turbofan engines mounted on underwing pylons and a...

 but with 25 per cent more fuel efficiency, the B9 was seen as a viable replacement for the DC-10 and the Lockheed L-1011 TriStar trijets. It was also considered as a medium-ranged successor to the A300.

At the same time, a 200-seat four-engine version, the B11 (which would eventually become the A340) was also under development. That aircraft was originally planned to take the place of narrow-body Boeing 707
Boeing 707
The Boeing 707 is a four-engine narrow-body commercial passenger jet airliner developed by Boeing in the early 1950s. Its name is most commonly pronounced as "Seven Oh Seven". The first airline to operate the 707 was Pan American World Airways, inaugurating the type's first commercial flight on...

s and Douglas DC-8
Douglas DC-8
The Douglas DC-8 is a four-engined narrow-body passenger commercial jet airliner, manufactured from 1958 to 1972 by the Douglas Aircraft Company...

s then in commercial use, but would later evolve to target the long-range, wide-body trijet replacement market. To differentiate from the SA series, the B9 and B11 were re-designated as the TA9 and TA11, with TA standing for "twin aisle". Development costs were reduced by using the same fuselage
Fuselage
The fuselage is an aircraft's main body section that holds crew and passengers or cargo. In single-engine aircraft it will usually contain an engine, although in some amphibious aircraft the single engine is mounted on a pylon attached to the fuselage which in turn is used as a floating hull...

 and wing for the two aircraft, with projected savings of US$500 million. Another factor was the split preference of those within Airbus and, more importantly, those of the company's prospective customers; twinjets were favoured in North America, quad-jets desired in Asia, and operators had mixed views in Europe. Airbus ultimately found that most potential customers favoured four engines due to their exemption from existing twinjet range restrictions and their ability to be ferried with one inactive engine. As a result, development plans prioritised the four-engined TA11 ahead of the TA9.

Design effort

The first specifications for the TA9 and TA11, aircraft that could accommodate 410 passengers in a one-class layout, emerged in 1982. They showed a large underfloor cargo area that could hold five cargo pallets or sixteen LD3
Unit Load Device
A unit load device , is a pallet or container used to load luggage, freight, and mail on wide-body aircraft and specific narrow-body aircraft. It allows a large quantity of cargo to be bundled into a single unit. Since this leads to fewer units to load, it saves ground crews time and effort and...

 cargo containers in the forward, and four pallets or fourteen LD3s in the aft hold—double the capacity of the Lockheed L-1011 TriStar or DC-10, and 8.46 metres (27.8 ft) longer than the Airbus A300. By June 1985, the TA9 and TA11 had received more improvements, including the adoption of the A320 flight deck
Flight deck
The flight deck of an aircraft carrier is the surface from which its aircraft take off and land, essentially a miniature airfield at sea. On smaller naval ships which do not have aviation as a primary mission, the landing area for helicopters and other VTOL aircraft is also referred to as the...

, digital fly-by-wire (FBW) control system, and side-stick
Side-stick
A side-stick or sidestick controller is an aircraft control column that is located on the side console of the pilot, usually on the righthand side, or outboard on a two-seat flightdeck...

 control. The common cockpit of the new Airbus series allowed operators to save money because flight crews would be able to transition after only one week's training. The two TAs would use the vertical stabiliser, rudder
Rudder
A rudder is a device used to steer a ship, boat, submarine, hovercraft, aircraft or other conveyance that moves through a medium . On an aircraft the rudder is used primarily to counter adverse yaw and p-factor and is not the primary control used to turn the airplane...

, and circular fuselage sections of the A300-600, extended by two barrel sections.

Airbus briefly considered the variable camber wing
Variable camber wing
Variable camber wing is a design of aircraft wing by Vincent Burnelli that changes the camber of the airfoil , and varies the area and camber of the wing .A mechanism moves and rotates the leading and trailing edge to gain camber and wing area....

, a concept that requires changing the wing profile for a given phase of flight. Studies were carried out by British Aerospace
British Aerospace
British Aerospace plc was a UK aircraft, munitions and defence-systems manufacturer. Its head office was in the Warwick House in the Farnborough Aerospace Centre in Farnborough, Hampshire...

 (BAe), now part of BAE Systems
BAE Systems
BAE Systems plc is a British multinational defence, security and aerospace company headquartered in London, United Kingdom, that has global interests, particularly in North America through its subsidiary BAE Systems Inc. BAE is among the world's largest military contractors; in 2009 it was the...

, at Hatfield
Hatfield Aerodrome
Hatfield Aerodrome, formerly , was an airfield and aircraft factory located in the town of Hatfield, Hertfordshire from 1930 until its closure and redevelopment in the 1990s.-Early history:...

 and Bristol
Filton Aerodrome
Bristol Filton Airport or Filton Aerodrome lies on the border between Filton and Patchway, within South Gloucestershire, north of Bristol, England. The airfield is bounded by the A38 trunk road to the east, the former London to Avonmouth railway line to the south and the Old Filton Bypass road to...

. Airbus estimated this would yield a two per cent improvement in aerodynamic efficiency, but the feature was rejected because of cost and difficulty of development. A true laminar flow
Laminar flow
Laminar flow, sometimes known as streamline flow, occurs when a fluid flows in parallel layers, with no disruption between the layers. At low velocities the fluid tends to flow without lateral mixing, and adjacent layers slide past one another like playing cards. There are no cross currents...

 wing (a low-drag shape that improves fuel efficiency) was also considered but rejected.
From the beginning of the TA9's development, a choice of engines from the three major engine manufacturers, Rolls-Royce
Rolls-Royce plc
Rolls-Royce Group plc is a global power systems company headquartered in the City of Westminster, London, United Kingdom. It is the world’s second-largest maker of aircraft engines , and also has major businesses in the marine propulsion and energy sectors. Through its defence-related activities...

, Pratt & Whitney
Pratt & Whitney
Pratt & Whitney is a U.S.-based aerospace manufacturer with global service operations. It is a subsidiary of United Technologies Corporation . Pratt & Whitney's aircraft engines are widely used in both civil aviation and military aviation. Its headquarters are in East Hartford, Connecticut, USA...

, and GE Aviation, was planned. GE Aviation first offered the General Electric CF6-80C2. However, later studies indicated that more thrust was needed to increase the initial power capability from 267 to 289 kN (60,024 to 64,969.8 lbf). GE enlarged the CF6-80C2 fan from 236 to 244 cm (92.9 to 96.1 in) to create the CF6-80E1, giving a new thrust output of 300–320 kN (67,442.7–71,938.9 lbf). Rolls-Royce initially wanted to use the 267 kN (60,024 lbf) Trent 600 to power Airbus's newest twinjet and the upcoming McDonnell Douglas MD-11
McDonnell Douglas MD-11
The McDonnell Douglas MD-11 is a three-engine medium- to long-range widebody jet airliner, manufactured by McDonnell Douglas and, later, by Boeing Commercial Airplanes. Based on the DC-10, it features a stretched fuselage, increased wingspan with winglets, refined airfoils on the wing and smaller...

. However, the company later agreed to develop an engine solely for the A330, the Trent 700
Rolls-Royce Trent 700
|-See also:-External links:*...

, with a larger diameter and 311 kN (69,915.6 lbf) of thrust. Similarly, Pratt & Whitney signed an agreement that covered the development of the A330-only PW4168
Pratt & Whitney PW4000
|-See also:-External links:* * *...

. The company increased the fan size to augment power, enabling the engine to deliver 311 kN (69,915.6 lbf) of thrust.

On 27 January 1986, the Airbus Industrie Supervisory Board held a meeting in Munich
Munich
Munich The city's motto is "" . Before 2006, it was "Weltstadt mit Herz" . Its native name, , is derived from the Old High German Munichen, meaning "by the monks' place". The city's name derives from the monks of the Benedictine order who founded the city; hence the monk depicted on the city's coat...

, West Germany
West Germany
West Germany is the common English, but not official, name for the Federal Republic of Germany or FRG in the period between its creation in May 1949 to German reunification on 3 October 1990....

. Afterwards, the board chairman, Franz Josef Strauß
Franz Josef Strauß
Franz Josef Strauss was a German politician. He was the leader of the Christian Social Union, member of the federal cabinet in different positions and long-time minister-president of the state of Bavaria....

, released a statement that said, "Airbus Industrie is now in a position to finalise the detailed technical definition of the TA9, which is now officially designated the A330, and the TA11, now called the A340, with potential launch customer airlines, and to discuss with them the terms and conditions for launch commitments". The designations were originally reversed; they were switched so the quad-jet airliner would have a "4" in its name. Airbus hoped for five airlines to sign for both the A330 and A340, and on 12 May sent sale proposals to the most likely candidates, including Lufthansa
Lufthansa
Deutsche Lufthansa AG is the flag carrier of Germany and the largest airline in Europe in terms of overall passengers carried. The name of the company is derived from Luft , and Hansa .The airline is the world's fourth-largest airline in terms of overall passengers carried, operating...

 and Swissair
Swissair
Swissair AG was the former national airline of Switzerland.It was formed from a merger between Balair and Ad Astra Aero , in 1931...

.

Production and testing

In preparation for production of the A330 and A340, Airbus's partners invested heavily in new facilities. In England, Filton
Filton
Filton is a town in South Gloucestershire, England, situated on the northern outskirts of the city of Bristol, about from the city centre. Filton lies in Bristol postcode areas BS7 and BS34. The town centres upon Filton Church, which dates back to the 12th century and is a grade II listed building...

 was the site of BAe's £
Pound sterling
The pound sterling , commonly called the pound, is the official currency of the United Kingdom, its Crown Dependencies and the British Overseas Territories of South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands, British Antarctic Territory and Tristan da Cunha. It is subdivided into 100 pence...

7 million investment in a three-storey technical centre with 15000 m² (161,458.7 sq ft) of floor area. BAe also spent £5 million adding a new production line to its Chester
Chester
Chester is a city in Cheshire, England. Lying on the River Dee, close to the border with Wales, it is home to 77,040 inhabitants, and is the largest and most populous settlement of the wider unitary authority area of Cheshire West and Chester, which had a population of 328,100 according to the...

 wing production plant. In Germany, Messerschmitt-Bölkow-Blohm
Messerschmitt-Bölkow-Blohm
Messerschmitt-Bölkow-Blohm was a German aerospace company formed as the result of several mergers in the late 1960s. Among its best-known products was the MBB Bo 105 light twin helicopter...

 (MBB) invested DM400 million ($225 million) at various manufacturing facilities in the Weser estuary, including at Bremen
Bremen
The City Municipality of Bremen is a Hanseatic city in northwestern Germany. A commercial and industrial city with a major port on the river Weser, Bremen is part of the Bremen-Oldenburg metropolitan area . Bremen is the second most populous city in North Germany and tenth in Germany.Bremen is...

, Einswarden, Varel
Varel
Varel is a town in the district of Friesland, in Lower Saxony, Germany. It is situated near the Jade River and the Jade Bight, approx. 15 km south of Wilhelmshaven, and 30 km north of Oldenburg.- Notable natives :...

, and Hamburg
Hamburg
-History:The first historic name for the city was, according to Claudius Ptolemy's reports, Treva.But the city takes its modern name, Hamburg, from the first permanent building on the site, a castle whose construction was ordered by the Emperor Charlemagne in AD 808...

. France saw the biggest investments, with Aérospatiale
Aérospatiale
Aérospatiale was a French aerospace manufacturer that built both civilian and military aircraft, rockets and satellites. It was originally known as Société Nationale Industrielle Aérospatiale...

 starting construction of a new Fr.
French franc
The franc was a currency of France. Along with the Spanish peseta, it was also a de facto currency used in Andorra . Between 1360 and 1641, it was the name of coins worth 1 livre tournois and it remained in common parlance as a term for this amount of money...

2.5 billion ($411 million) final-assembly plant adjacent to Toulouse-Blagnac Airport in Colomiers
Colomiers
Colomiers is a commune in the Haute-Garonne department in southwestern France.It is the largest suburb of the city of Toulouse, and is adjacent to it on the west side...

; by November 1988, the pillars for the new Clément Ader
Clément Ader
Clément Ader was a French inventor and engineer born in Muret, Haute Garonne, and is remembered primarily for his pioneering work in aviation.- The inventor :...

assembly hall had been erected. The assembly process would feature increased automation, such as robots drilling holes and installing fasteners during the wing-to-fuselage mating process.
On 12 March 1987, Airbus received the first orders for the twinjet. The domestic French airline Air Inter
Air Inter
Air Inter was a semi-public French domestic airline. Before its merger with Air France, the airline was headquartered in Paray-Vieille-Poste, Essonne. Earlier in its life, it was headquartered in the 1st arrondissement of Paris.Air Inter was incorporated on 12 November 1954...

 placed five firm orders and fifteen options
Option (aircraft purchasing)
An option, when purchasing aircraft, allows an airline to purchase additional aircraft in the future at an agreed price and date.When placing orders for new aircraft, airlines commonly obtain options from the aircraft manufacturer, for example Airbus or Boeing...

, while Thai Airways International
Thai Airways International
Thai Airways International Public Company Limited is the national flag carrier and largest airline of Thailand. Formed in 1988, the airline's headquarters are located in Chatuchak District, Bangkok, and operates out of Suvarnabhumi Airport. Thai is a founding member of the Star Alliance. Thai is a...

 requested eight aircraft, split evenly between firm orders and options. Airbus announced the next day that it would formally launch the A330 and A340 programmes by mid-April 1987, with deliveries of the A340 to begin in May 1992 and A330 deliveries to start in 1993. Northwest Airlines
Northwest Airlines
Northwest Airlines, Inc. was a major United States airline founded in 1926 and absorbed into Delta Air Lines by a merger approved on October 29, 2008, making Delta the largest airline in the world...

 signed a letter of intent for twenty A340s and ten A330s on 31 March.

BAe eventually received £450 million of funding from the UK government, well short of the £750 million it had originally requested for the design and construction of the wings. The German and French governments also provided funding. Airbus issued subcontracts to companies in Australia, Austria, Canada, China, Greece, Italy, India, Japan, South Korea, Portugal, the United States, and the former Yugoslavia. With funding in place, Airbus launched the A330 and A340 programmes on 5 June 1987, just prior to the Paris Air Show
Paris Air Show
The Paris Air Show is the world's oldest and largest air show. Established in 1909, it is currently held every odd year at Le Bourget Airport in north Paris, France...

. At that time, the order book stood at 130 aircraft from ten customers, including lessor International Lease Finance Corporation
International Lease Finance Corporation
The International Lease Finance Corporation is an aircraft lessor headquartered in Century City, Los Angeles, California.It is the world's largest aircraft lessor by value, though ILFC's rival, General Electric's GECAS unit, has more aircraft...

 (ILFC). Of the order total, forty-one were for A330s. In 1989, Asian carrier Cathay Pacific
Cathay Pacific
Cathay Pacific is the flag carrier of Hong Kong, with its head office and main hub located at Hong Kong International Airport, although the airline's registered office is on the 33rd floor of One Pacific Place...

 joined the list of purchasers, ordering nine A330s and later increasing this number to eleven.

The wing-to-fuselage mating of the first A330, the tenth airframe of the A330 and A340 line, began in mid-February 1992. This aircraft, coated with anti-corrosion paint, was rolled out on 31 March without its General Electric CF6-80E1 engines, which were installed by August. During a static test, the wing failed just below requirement, but BAe engineers later solved the problem. At the Farnborough Airshow that year, Northwest deferred delivery of sixteen A330s to 1994, following the cancellation of its A340 orders.

The first completed A330 was rolled out on 14 October 1992, with the maiden flight
Maiden flight
The maiden flight of an aircraft is the first occasion on which an aircraft leaves the ground of its own accord. This is similar to a ship's maiden voyage....

 following on 2 November. Weighing 181840 kg (400,888.6 lb), including 20980 kg (46,253 lb) of test equipment, the A330 became the biggest twinjet to have flown, although it was later eclipsed by the Boeing 777. The flight lasted five hours and fifteen minutes during which speed, height, and other flight configurations were tested. Ultimately Airbus intended the test flight programme to consist of six aircraft flying a total of 1,800 hours. On 21 October 1993, the Airbus A330 received the European Joint Aviation Authorities
Joint Aviation Authorities
The Joint Aviation Authorities, or JAA, was an associated body of the ECAC representing the civil aviation regulatory authorities of a number of European States who had agreed to co-operate in developing and implementing common safety regulatory standards and procedures...

 (JAA) and US Federal Aviation Administration
Federal Aviation Administration
The Federal Aviation Administration is the national aviation authority of the United States. An agency of the United States Department of Transportation, it has authority to regulate and oversee all aspects of civil aviation in the U.S...

 (FAA) certifications simultaneously after 1,114 cumulative airborne test hours and 426 test flights. At the same time, weight tests came in favourable, showing the plane was 500 kg (1,102.3 lb) under weight.

On 30 June 1994, trouble struck
1994 A330 test flight crash
The 1994 A330 test flight crash occurred on when an Airbus A330-300, registration F-WWKH, crashed at Toulouse-Blagnac Airport while undergoing performance tests. It was the first fatal accident involving an Airbus A330 as well as the first hull-loss of the type...

 during certification of the Pratt & Whitney engine when an A330 crashed near Toulouse. Both pilots and the five passengers died. The flight was designed to test autopilot
Autopilot
An autopilot is a mechanical, electrical, or hydraulic system used to guide a vehicle without assistance from a human being. An autopilot can refer specifically to aircraft, self-steering gear for boats, or auto guidance of space craft and missiles...

 response during an one-engine-off worst-case scenario with the centre of gravity
Center of gravity of an aircraft
The center-of-gravity is the point at which an aircraft would balance if it were possible to suspend it at that point. It is the mass center of the aircraft, or the theoretical point at which the entire weight of the aircraft is assumed to be concentrated. Its distance from the reference datum is...

 near its aft limit. The accident was investigated by an internal branch of Direction General d'Aviation, which concluded that the accident resulted from slow response and incorrect actions by the crew during the recovery. This led to a revision of A330 operating procedures.

Entry into service

Air Inter
Air Inter
Air Inter was a semi-public French domestic airline. Before its merger with Air France, the airline was headquartered in Paray-Vieille-Poste, Essonne. Earlier in its life, it was headquartered in the 1st arrondissement of Paris.Air Inter was incorporated on 12 November 1954...

 became the first operator of the A330, putting the aircraft into service on 17 January 1994 between Orly Airport
Orly Airport
Paris-Orly Airport is an airport located partially in Orly and partially in Villeneuve-le-Roi, south of Paris, France. It has flights to cities in Europe, the Middle East, Africa, the Caribbean, North America and Southeast Asia. Prior to the construction of Charles de Gaulle Airport, Orly was...

, Paris, and Marseille
Marseille
Marseille , known in antiquity as Massalia , is the second largest city in France, after Paris, with a population of 852,395 within its administrative limits on a land area of . The urban area of Marseille extends beyond the city limits with a population of over 1,420,000 on an area of...

. Deliveries to Malaysia Airlines
Malaysia Airlines
Malaysian Airline System Berhad , DBA Malaysia Airlines , is the government-owned flag carrier of Malaysia. Malaysia Airlines operates flights from its home base, Kuala Lumpur International Airport, and its eastern hub in Kota Kinabalu. It has its headquarters on the grounds of Sultan Abdul Aziz...

 (MAS) and Thai Airways International were postponed to address delamination
Delamination
Delamination is a mode of failure for composite materials. Modes of failure are also known as 'failure mechanisms'. In laminated materials, repeated cyclic stresses, impact, and so on can cause layers to separate, forming a mica-like structure of separate layers, with significant loss of mechanical...

 of the composite material
Composite material
Composite materials, often shortened to composites or called composition materials, are engineered or naturally occurring materials made from two or more constituent materials with significantly different physical or chemical properties which remain separate and distinct at the macroscopic or...

s in the PW4168 engine's thrust reverser
Thrust reversal
Thrust reversal, also called reverse thrust, is the temporary diversion of an aircraft engine's exhaust or changing of propeller pitch so that the thrust produced is directed forward, rather than aft. This acts against the forward travel of the aircraft, providing deceleration...

 assembly. Thai Airways received its first A330 during the second half of the year, operating it on routes from Bangkok
Bangkok
Bangkok is the capital and largest urban area city in Thailand. It is known in Thai as Krung Thep Maha Nakhon or simply Krung Thep , meaning "city of angels." The full name of Bangkok is Krung Thep Mahanakhon Amon Rattanakosin Mahintharayutthaya Mahadilok Phop Noppharat Ratchathani Burirom...

 to Taipei
Taipei
Taipei City is the capital of the Republic of China and the central city of the largest metropolitan area of Taiwan. Situated at the northern tip of the island, Taipei is located on the Tamsui River, and is about 25 km southwest of Keelung, its port on the Pacific Ocean...

 and Seoul
Seoul
Seoul , officially the Seoul Special City, is the capital and largest metropolis of South Korea. A megacity with a population of over 10 million, it is the largest city proper in the OECD developed world...

. Cathay Pacific received its Trent 700 A330s following the certification of that engine on 22 December 1994. MAS received its A330 on 1 February 1995 and then rescheduled its other ten orders.

Airbus intended the A330 to compete in the Extended-range Twin-engine Operation Performance Standards (ETOPS) market, specifically with the Boeing 767. (ETOPS is a standard that allows longer range flights away from a diversion airport for aircraft that have met special design and testing standards.) Instead of the "ETOPS out of the box" or "Early ETOPS" approach taken by Boeing with its 777,This meant that the Boeing 777 was certified for 180-minutes ETOPS from the first day of service. As a result, the aircraft could be 180 minutes (3 hours) of flying time from a diversionary airport during transoceanic services. Airbus gradually increased ETOPS approval on the A330 using in-service experience. Airbus suggested that the A340 and A330 were essentially identical except for their engine number, and that the A340's experience could be applied to the A330's ETOPS approval. The plans were for all three engine types to enter service with 90-minute approval, before increasing to 120 minutes after the total A330 fleet accumulated 25,000 flight hours, and then to 180 minutes after 50,000 flight hours, in 1995.After a total of 25,000 airborne hours, the A330 would be allowed a maximum of 120 minutes (2 hours) of flight time from a diversionary airport. After 50,000 hours, the limit would be raised to 180 minutes (3 hours). Aer Lingus
Aer Lingus
Aer Lingus Group Plc is the flag carrier of Ireland. It operates a fleet of Airbus aircraft serving Europe and North America. It is Ireland's oldest extant airline, and its second largest after low-cost rival Ryanair...

 and Cathay Pacific were two important airlines assisting Airbus in this endeavour by building up in-service flight hours on over-ocean flights. In November 2009, the A330 became the first aircraft to receive ETOPS–240 approval, which has since been offered by Airbus as an option.

Further developments

In response to a decline in A330-300 sales, increased market penetration by the Boeing 767-300ER, and airline requests for increased range and smaller aircraft, Airbus developed the Airbus A330-200. Known as the A329 and A330M10 during development, the A330-200 would offer nine per cent lower operating costs than the Boeing 767-300ER. The plane was aimed at the 11900 km (6,425.5 nmi) sector, where Airbus predicted demand for 800 aircraft between 1995 and 2015. The project, with US$450 million in expected development costs, was approved by the Airbus Industrie Supervisory Board on 24 November 1995.
The A330-200 first flew on 13 August 1997. The sixteen-month certification process involved logging 630 hours of test flights. The A330-200's first customer was ILFC; these aircraft were leased by Canada 3000
Canada 3000
Canada 3000 Inc. was a Canadian discount charter airline offering domestic and international flights. It was the largest charter airline in the world at the time of its operation, with over 90 destinations worldwide, although it changed to scheduled service in 2000 after the Canadian Airlines and...

, who became the type's first operator.

As Airbus worked on its A330-200, hydraulic pump
Hydraulic pump
Hydraulic pumps are used in hydraulic drive systems and can be hydrostatic or hydrodynamic.Hydrostatic pumps are positive displacement pumps while hydrodynamic pumps can be fixed displacement pumps, in which the displacement cannot be adjusted, or variable displacement pumps, which have a more...

 problems were reported by both A330 and A340 operators. This issue was the suspected cause of a fire that destroyed an Air France
Air France
Air France , stylised as AIRFRANCE, is the French flag carrier headquartered in Tremblay-en-France, , and is one of the world's largest airlines. It is a subsidiary of the Air France-KLM Group and a founding member of the SkyTeam global airline alliance...

 A340-200 in January 1994. On 4 January that year, a Malaysia Airlines A330-300, while undergoing regular maintenance at Singapore Changi Airport
Singapore Changi Airport
Singapore Changi Airport , Changi International Airport, or simply Changi Airport, is the main airport in Singapore. A major aviation hub in Southeast Asia, it is about north-east from the commercial centre in Changi, on a site....

, was consumed by a fire that started in the right-hand main undercarriage well. The incident caused US$30 million in damage, and the aircraft took six months to repair. Consequently, operators were advised to disable electrical pumps in January 1997.

Another issue was in-flight shutdowns of the Trent 700–powered A330-300s. On 11 November 1996, engine failure on a Cathay Pacific flight forced it back to Ho Chi Minh City
Ho Chi Minh City
Ho Chi Minh City , formerly named Saigon is the largest city in Vietnam...

. On 17 April 1997, Cathay Pacific's affiliate Dragonair
Dragonair
Hong Kong Dragon Airlines Limited , operating as Dragonair, is an international airline and flag carrier headquartered in Hong Kong; with its corporate headquarters, Dragonair House Hong Kong Dragon Airlines Limited (T: 港龍航空有限公司, S: 港龙航空有限公司, Cantonese: gong2 lung4 hong4 hung1 jau5 haan6 gung1 si1,...

 experienced an engine shutdown on an A330, caused by carbon clogging the oil filter. As a result, Cathay Pacific self-suspended its 120-minute ETOPS clearance. Another engine failure occurred on 6 May during climb
Climb
thumb|right|An [[Embraer ERJ 145]] climbingIn aviation, the term climb refers both to the actual operation of increasing the altitude of an aircraft and to the logical phase of a typical flight following take-off and preceding the cruise, during which an increase in altitude to a predetermined...

out with a Cathay Pacific A330. The problem was traced to a bearing failure in the gearbox
Transmission (mechanics)
A machine consists of a power source and a power transmission system, which provides controlled application of the power. Merriam-Webster defines transmission as: an assembly of parts including the speed-changing gears and the propeller shaft by which the power is transmitted from an engine to a...

 built by Hispano-Suiza
Hispano-Suiza
Hispano-Suiza was a Spanish automotive and engineering firm, best known for its luxury cars and aviation engines in the pre-World War II period of the twentieth century. In 1923, its French subsidiary became a semi-autonomous partnership with the parent company and is now part of the French SAFRAN...

. Three days later, a Cathay Pacific A330 on climbout during a Bangkok–Hong Kong flight experienced a drop in oil pressure. The resultant engine spool down
Flameout
A flameout refers to the failure of a jet engine caused by the extinction of the flame in the combustion chamber. It can be caused by a number of factors, including fuel exhaustion; compressor stall; insufficient oxygen supply; foreign object damage ; severe inclement weather; and mechanical...

 forced the flight back to Bangkok. The cause was later traced to metal contamination in the engine's master chip
Integrated circuit
An integrated circuit or monolithic integrated circuit is an electronic circuit manufactured by the patterned diffusion of trace elements into the surface of a thin substrate of semiconductor material...

. Cathay Pacific and Dragonair voluntarily grounded their A330 fleets for two weeks following a fifth engine failure on 23 May. The combined fifteen-aircraft grounding caused major disruption because Cathay's eleven A330s made up fifteen per cent of its passenger capacity. Rolls-Royce and Hispano-Suiza worked to resolve the problem, and a redesigned system for lubricating the areas involved was dispatched to airlines.
Airbus next worked on an A330 freighter variant. Responding to flagging A300-600F
Airbus A300
The Airbus A300 is a short- to medium-range widebody jet airliner. Launched in 1972 as the world's first twin-engined widebody, it was the first product of Airbus Industrie, a consortium of European aerospace companies, wholly owned today by EADS...

 and A310F
Airbus A310
The Airbus A310 is a medium- to long-range twin-engine widebody jet airliner. Launched in July 1978, it was the second aircraft created by Airbus Industrie,a consortium of European aerospace companies, Airbus is now fully owned by EADS and since 2001 has been known as Airbus SAS. the consortium of...

 sales, the company began marketing the Airbus A330-200F, a derivative of the A330-200, around 2001. The freighter has a range of 7400 km (3,995.7 nmi) with 65 tonnes (143,300.5 lb) on board, or 5900 km (3,185.7 nmi) with 70 tonnes (154,323.6 lb). The plane features a larger nosegear than the passenger-carrying A330. Housed in a distinctive bulbous "blister fairing", the gear emerges to raise the nose of the aircraft so that the cargo deck is level during loading.

The A330-200F made its maiden flight on 5 November 2009. This marked the start of a four-month, 180-hour certification programme. JAA and FAA certifications were expected by March the following year although approval by the JAA was delayed until April. The first delivery was subsequently made to the Etihad Airways
Etihad Airways
Etihad Airways is the flag carrier of the United Arab Emirates. Established in July 2003 and based at Abu Dhabi International Airport, Etihad commenced operations in November 2003....

 cargo division, Etihad Crystal Cargo, in July 2010.

By the end of August 2011, a total of 1,155 A330s had been ordered, with 807 delivered. The largest operators of the A330 are Cathay Pacific with 33 and Delta Air Lines—which had an all-Boeing fleet before getting its A330s in its merger with Northwest Airlines—with 32. Airbus announced in February 2011 that it intended to raise production rates from seven-and-a-half to eight per month to nine per month in 2012, and ten per month in 2013. Airbus expects the A330 to continue selling until at least 2015.

Design

The A330 is a medium-size, wide-body airliner, with two engines suspended on pylons under the wings. On the ground, the two-wheel nose undercarriage and two four-wheel bogie
Bogie
A bogie is a wheeled wagon or trolley. In mechanics terms, a bogie is a chassis or framework carrying wheels, attached to a vehicle. It can be fixed in place, as on a cargo truck, mounted on a swivel, as on a railway carriage/car or locomotive, or sprung as in the suspension of a caterpillar...

 main legs built by Messier-Dowty
Messier-Dowty
Messier-Dowty is a company involved in the design, development, manufacture and customer support of all types of aircraft landing gear. The company projects are divided into two business units: Airbus & European Programs and Boeing & North American Programs....

 support a maximum ramp weight
Maximum Ramp Weight
The Maximum Ramp Weight is the maximum weight authorised for manoeuvring an aircraft on the ground as limited by aircraft strength and airworthiness requirements...

 (MRW) of 230.9 tonnes (509,047.4 lb), while the designed maximum takeoff weight (MTOW) is 230 tonnes (507,063.2 lb) on the A330-200 variant. An option allows a maximum ramp weight of 233.9 tonnes (515,661.2 lb) with a maximum takeoff weight of 233 tonnes (513,677.1 lb).

The airframe of the A330 features a low-wing cantilever monoplane with a wing virtually identical to that of the A340. The wings were designed and manufactured by BAe, which developed a long slender wing with a very high aspect ratio to provide high aerodynamic efficiency. The wing is swept back at 30 degrees and, along with other design features, allows a maximum operating Mach number
Mach number
Mach number is the speed of an object moving through air, or any other fluid substance, divided by the speed of sound as it is in that substance for its particular physical conditions, including those of temperature and pressure...

 of 0.86. The wing has a very high thickness-to-chord
Chord (aircraft)
In aeronautics, chord refers to the imaginary straight line joining the trailing edge and the center of curvature of the leading edge of the cross-section of an airfoil...

 ratio of 12.8 per cent, which means that a long span and high aspect ratio
Aspect ratio (wing)
In aerodynamics, the aspect ratio of a wing is essentially the ratio of its length to its breadth . A high aspect ratio indicates long, narrow wings, whereas a low aspect ratio indicates short, stubby wings....

 can be attained without a severe weight penalty. For comparison, the rival MD-11 has a thickness-to-chord ratio of 8–9 per cent. Each wing also has a 2.74 m (9 ft) tall winglet instead of the wingtip fences found on earlier Airbus aircraft.

The shared wing design with the A340 allowed the A330 to incorporate aerodynamic features developed for the former aircraft. The failure of International Aero Engines
International Aero Engines
IAE International Aero Engines AG is a Zürich-registered joint venture manufacturing company formed in 1983.- Ownership :Current shareholders are:* Pratt & Whitney of the United States * MTU Aero Engines of Germany...

' radical ultra-high-bypass V2500 "SuperFan", which had promised around 15 per cent fuel burn reduction
Fuel efficiency
Fuel efficiency is a form of thermal efficiency, meaning the efficiency of a process that converts chemical potential energy contained in a carrier fuel into kinetic energy or work. Overall fuel efficiency may vary per device, which in turn may vary per application, and this spectrum of variance is...

 for the A340, led to multiple enhancements including wing upgrades to compensate. Originally designed with a 56 m (183.7 ft) span
Wingspan
The wingspan of an airplane or a bird, is the distance from one wingtip to the other wingtip. For example, the Boeing 777 has a wingspan of about ; and a Wandering Albatross caught in 1965 had a wingspan of , the official record for a living bird.The term wingspan, more technically extent, is...

, the wing was later extended to 58.6 m (192.3 ft) and finally to 60.3 m (197.8 ft). At 60.3 m (197.8 ft), the wingspan is similar to the larger Boeing 747-200 but with 65 per cent of the wing area.
The A330 and A340 fuselage is based on that of the Airbus A300-600
Airbus A300
The Airbus A300 is a short- to medium-range widebody jet airliner. Launched in 1972 as the world's first twin-engined widebody, it was the first product of Airbus Industrie, a consortium of European aerospace companies, wholly owned today by EADS...

, with many common parts, and has the same external and cabin width: 5.64 m (18.5 ft) and 5.28 m (17.3 ft). Allowed seating is 2–2–2 six-abreast in first
First class (aviation)
First class is a luxury travel class on some airliners that exceeds business class, premium economy, and economy class. On a passenger jetliner, first class refers to a limited number of seats or cabins located in the front of the aircraft which are notable for their comfort, service, and privacy...

 and business class
Business class
Business class is a travel class available on many commercial airlines and rail lines, known by brand names which vary by airline or rail company. In the airline industry, it was originally intended as an intermediate level of service between economy class and first class, but many airlines now...

, and 2–4–2 eight-abreast in economy
Economy class
__FORCETOC__Economy class, also called coach class , steerage, or standard class, is the lowest class of seating in air travel, rail travel, and sometimes ferry or maritime travel....

. The vertical stabiliser and rudder are made mostly of composite material
Composite material
Composite materials, often shortened to composites or called composition materials, are engineered or naturally occurring materials made from two or more constituent materials with significantly different physical or chemical properties which remain separate and distinct at the macroscopic or...

s. On the ground, the A330 uses the Honeywell 331–350C auxiliary power unit
Auxiliary power unit
An auxiliary power unit is a device on a vehicle that provides energy for functions other than propulsion. They are commonly found on large aircraft, as well as some large land vehicles.-Function:...

 (APU).

The A330 shares the same glass cockpit flight deck layout as the A320 and A340, featuring electronic instrument displays rather than mechanical gauges. Instead of a conventional control yoke
Yoke (aircraft)
A yoke, alternatively known as control column, is a device used for piloting in most fixed-wing aircraft.- Principle :The aviator uses the yoke to control the attitude of the plane, usually in both pitch and roll. Rotating the control wheel controls the ailerons and the roll axis...

, the flight deck features side-stick controls, six main displays, and the Electronic Flight Instrument System
Electronic Flight Instrument System
An electronic flight instrument system is a flight deck instrument display system in which the display technology used is electronic rather than electromechanical. EFIS normally consists of a primary flight display , multi-function display and engine indicating and crew alerting system display...

 (EFIS), which covers navigation and flight displays, as well as the Electronic Centralised Aircraft Monitor (ECAM). Apart from the flight deck, the A330 also has the fly-by-wire system common to the A320 family, the A340, the A380
Airbus A380
The Airbus A380 is a double-deck, wide-body, four-engine jet airliner manufactured by the European corporation Airbus, a subsidiary of EADS. It is the largest passenger airliner in the world. Due to its size, many airports had to modify and improve facilities to accommodate it...

, and the upcoming A350
Airbus A350
The Airbus A350 is a family of long-range, wide-body jet airliners under development by European aircraft manufacturer Airbus.A consortium originally comprising European aerospace companies from the UK, France, Spain and West Germany, Airbus is now fully owned by EADS and since 2001 has been known...

. It also features three primary and two secondary flight control systems, as well as a flight envelope
Flight envelope
In aerodynamics, the flight envelope or performance envelope of an aircraft refers to the capabilities of a design in terms of airspeed and load factor or altitude. The term is somewhat loosely applied, and can also refer to other measurements such as maneuverability...

 limit protection system which prevents maneuvers from exceeding the aircraft's aerodynamic and structural limits.

A330-300

The A330-300, which entered service in 1993, was developed as a replacement for the A300. It is based on a stretched A300-600 fuselage 63.69 metre long but with new wings, stabilisers and fly-by-wire systems. The -300 carries 295 passengers in a three-class cabin layout, 335 in two-class, or 440 in a single-class layout. It has a range of 10500 km (5,669.5 nmi). The -300 has a large cargo capacity, comparable to that of early Boeing 747
Boeing 747
The Boeing 747 is a wide-body commercial airliner and cargo transport, often referred to by its original nickname, Jumbo Jet, or Queen of the Skies. It is among the world's most recognizable aircraft, and was the first wide-body ever produced...

s. It is powered by the choice of two General Electric CF6-80E, Pratt & Whitney PW4000, or Rolls-Royce Trent 700 engines, all of which are ETOPS-180
ETOPS/LROPS
ETOPS is an acronym for extended operations as re-defined by the US Federal Aviation Administration in 2007 . This rule allows twin-engined airliners to fly long-distance routes that were previously off-limits to twin-engined aircraft...

 rated.

As of September 2011, 547 -300s had been ordered, 371 of which had been delivered, with 369 remaining in operation. The 2011 list price is $222.5 million. The closest competitors have been the Boeing 777-200
Boeing 777
The Boeing 777 is a long-range, wide-body twin-engine jet airliner manufactured by Boeing Commercial Airplanes. It is the world's largest twinjet and is commonly referred to as the "Triple Seven". The aircraft has seating for over 300 passengers and has a range from , depending on model...

 and the now-out-of-production McDonnell Douglas MD-11
McDonnell Douglas MD-11
The McDonnell Douglas MD-11 is a three-engine medium- to long-range widebody jet airliner, manufactured by McDonnell Douglas and, later, by Boeing Commercial Airplanes. Based on the DC-10, it features a stretched fuselage, increased wingspan with winglets, refined airfoils on the wing and smaller...

. Airbus is planning a two-tonne increase in maximum gross weight of the -300.

A330-200

The A330-200 is a shortened, longer-range variant, which entered service in 1998. Typical range with 253 passengers in a three-class configuration is 13400 km (7,235.4 nmi). The A330-200 is ten fuselage frames shorter than the original -300, with a length of 58.82 metre. To compensate for the smaller moment arm
Torque
Torque, moment or moment of force , is the tendency of a force to rotate an object about an axis, fulcrum, or pivot. Just as a force is a push or a pull, a torque can be thought of as a twist....

 of the shorter fuselage, the vertical stabiliser height of the -200 was increased by 104 cm (40.9 in). The -200's wing was also modified; structural strengthening of the wing allowed the maximum takeoff weight of the -200 to be increased to 229.8 tonnes (506,622.3 lb). The -200 is offered with three engine types similar to those found on the -300, namely the General Electric CF6-80E, Pratt & Whitney PW4000, or Rolls-Royce Trent 700. Airbus also boosted fuel capacity by using the centre section 139100 l (36,746.3 US gal) fuel tank, standard in the A340.

As of September 2011, 566 of the -200 had been ordered, 433 of which had been delivered, with 429 aircraft still in operation. The 2011 list price is $200.8 million. The changes made to the -200 significantly improved the economics of the aircraft and made the variant more popular than the four-engine A340. The -200 competes with the Boeing 767-300ER and to a lesser extent the 767-400ER. The 787 Dreamliner represents future competition. The A330-200 is also available as an ultra-long-range corporate jet
Business jet
Business jet, private jet or, colloquially, bizjet is a term describing a jet aircraft, usually of smaller size, designed for transporting groups of up to 19 business people or wealthy individuals...

 from Airbus Executive and Private Aviation
Airbus Executive and Private Aviation
Airbus Executive and Private Aviation is a producer of large corporate aircraft. It is a part of Airbus S.A.S., an EADS company, and had a model range that parallels the commercial aircraft offered by the company, ranging from the A318 Elite to the double/triple-decked Airbus A380 Prestige...

, marketed as the A330-200 Prestige.

A330-200F

The A330-200F is an all-cargo derivative of the A330-200 capable of carrying 65 t (143,300.5 lb) over 7400 km (3,995.7 nmi) or 70 tonnes (154,323.6 lb) up to 5900 km (3,185.7 nmi). To overcome the standard A330's nose-down body angle on the ground, the A330F uses a revised nose undercarriage layout to provide a level deck during cargo loading. The normal A330-200 undercarriage is used, but its attachment points are lower in the fuselage, thus requiring a distinctive blister fairing on the nose to accommodate the retracted nose gear. Power is provided by two Pratt & Whitney PW4000 or Rolls-Royce Trent 700 engines. General Electric does not plan to offer an engine for the A330-200F.

As of September 2011, Airbus had 61 firm orders, 8 of which had been delivered. The list price is $203.6 million. As well as new-build freighters, Airbus has proposed passenger-to-freighter conversions of existing -200 airliners. Comparable freighters to the -200F include Boeing's 767-300F
Boeing 767
The Boeing 767 is a mid-size, wide-body twin-engine jet airliner built by Boeing Commercial Airplanes. It was the manufacturer's first wide-body twinjet and its first airliner with a two-crew glass cockpit. The aircraft features two turbofan engines, a supercritical wing, and a conventional tail...

.

A330-200HGW

In 2008, Airbus released plans for a higher gross weight version of the A330-200 to more effectively compete against the Boeing 787 Dreamliner. The new-build A330-200HGW had a 5 tonne increase in maximum takeoff weight, allowing a 560 kilometres (302.4 nmi) range increase and a 3.4 tonnes (7,495.7 lb) payload increase. Korean Air
Korean Air
Korean Air Lines Co., Ltd. , operating as Korean Air, is both the flag carrier and the largest airline of South Korea, with global headquarters located in Seoul, South Korea. Korean Air's international passenger division and related subsidiary cargo division together serve 130 cities in 45...

 became the first customer on 27 February 2009, ordering six -200HGWs. Deliveries of the first aircraft started in 2010.

Airbus A330 MRTT

The Airbus A330 MRTT
Airbus A330 MRTT
The Airbus A330 Multi Role Tanker Transport is an aerial refuelling tanker aircraft based on the civilian Airbus A330-200. The A330 MRTT has been ordered by the Royal Australian Air Force , Royal Air Force , United Arab Emirates Air Force, and Royal Saudi Air Force...

 is the Multi-Role Transport and Tanker (MRTT) version of the A330-200, designed for aerial refuelling and strategic transport. As of June 2011, the A330 MRTT has been ordered by the air forces of Australia, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and the United Kingdom.

EADS/Northrop Grumman KC-45

The EADS/Northrop Grumman KC-45 was a proposed version of the A330 MRTT for the United States Air Force (USAF)'s KC-X
KC-X
KC-X is the United States Air Force program to procure its next-generation aerial refueling tanker aircraft to replace some of the older Boeing KC-135 Stratotankers. The contest was for a production contract for 179 new tankers with estimated value of US$35 billion...

 aerial refuelling programme. In February 2008, the USAF selected the aircraft to replace the Boeing KC-135 Stratotanker. The replacement process was mired in controversy, instances of corruption, and allegations of favouritism. In July 2010, EADS submitted a tanker bid to the USAF without Northrop Grumman
Northrop Grumman
Northrop Grumman Corporation is an American global aerospace and defense technology company formed by the 1994 purchase of Grumman by Northrop. The company was the fourth-largest defense contractor in the world as of 2010, and the largest builder of naval vessels. Northrop Grumman employs over...

 as a partner. However, on 24 February 2011, the USAF picked the Boeing KC-767
Boeing KC-767
The Boeing KC-767 is a military aerial refueling and strategic transport aircraft developed from the Boeing 767-200ER. The tanker received the designation KC-767A in 2002, after being selected by the US Air Force initially to replace older KC-135Es...

 proposal, later named KC-46
Boeing KC-46
The Boeing KC-46 is a military aerial refueling and strategic transport aircraft developed by Boeing from its 767 jet airliner. In February 2011, the tanker was selected by United States Air Force as the winner in the KC-X tanker competition to replace older KC-135 Stratotankers.-Background:The U.S...

, as the winner because of its lower cost.

A330-200Lite

To compete with Boeing's 7E7, Airbus offered a minimum-change derivative called the A330-200Lite in 2004. As the name indicated, this proposed variant would have had a lower maximum takeoff weight of 202 tonnes (445,333.8 lb), coupled with de-rated engines, giving a range of 7400 km (3,995.7 nmi). It was aimed at Singapore Airlines
Singapore Airlines
Singapore Airlines Limited is the flag carrier airline of Singapore. Singapore Airlines operates a hub at Changi Airport and has a strong presence in the Southeast Asia, East Asia, South Asia, and "Kangaroo Route" markets...

, who had looked to replace its Airbus A310-300s. The variant was also to be a replacement for Airbus A300-600Rs and early Boeing 767s. Airlines, however, were not satisfied with the compromised aircraft; the company instead proceeded with an entirely new aircraft, the A350 XWB.

A330-300HGW

In 2000, it was reported that Airbus was studying an A330-300 version with a higher gross weight. It was named A330-300HGW and had a takeoff weight of 240 tonnes (529,109.4 lb), 7 tonnes (15,432.4 lb) greater than the -300's weight. The version would have a strengthened wing and additional fuel capacity from a 41600 litres (10,989.6 US gal) centre section fuel tank. The A330-300HGW's range was increased to over 11000 km (5,939.5 nmi). Among those that showed interest was leasing company ILFC, which sought airliners that could fly from the West Coast of the United States to Europe.

Power was to be supplied by all three engines offered to the two other A330 passenger models. Airbus also considered using the new Engine Alliance GP7000 engine for the A330-300HGW, which would have been the engine's first twinjet application. The -300HGW was to enter airline service in 2004. However, the programme was not launched, and quietly disappeared.

A330-500

Also known as the A330-100, the A330-500 was a proposed "shrink" of the A330-200 version launched in July 2000 at the Farnborough Airshow, with eight fuselage frames removed — four ahead and four behind the wing. This would allow for the seating of 222 passengers. The -500's maximum takeoff weight was to be 228 tonnes (502,654 lb), a 5 tonnes (11,023.1 lb) decrease from the A330-200, allowing a range of 12970 km (7,003.2 nmi). A lighter sub-variant, at 195 tonnes (429,901.4 lb), would have flown up to 8060 km (4,352.1 nmi). The aircraft would have had 5 per cent better specific fuel consumption than the A300-600, powered by either the CF6-80G2, PW4000, or the Trent 500.

Prospective customers included ILFC, CIT Aerospace, Lufthansa, and Hapag-Lloyd
Hapag-Lloyd
Hapag-Lloyd is a German transportation company comprising a cargo container shipping line, Hapag-Lloyd AG, which in turn owns other subsidiaries such as Hapag-Lloyd Ships and a cruise line, Hapag-Lloyd Cruises which is now integrated into TUI AG, Hanover...

. The latter two, however, were unimpressed with the long-range variant, preferring a shorter-range aircraft, which was better suited to their route structure. Singapore Airlines was also an expected customer because it was looking for a replacement for the A310. Airbus intended to freeze the design in late 2001, with the first flight scheduled for the third quarter of 2003 and entry into service within a year. The programme was later abandoned, as interest from customers was lacking.

Operators

As of September 2011, 812 Airbus A330s of all types were in airline service. In September 2011 there were a total 429 A330-200s in service with various airlines, including Emirates (27), Air China
Air China
Air China is the flag carrier and one of the major airlines of the People's Republic of China. Based in Beijing Capital International Airport, Air China is the world's 10th largest airline by fleet size. The airline ranked behind its main competitors China Southern Airlines and China Eastern...

 (20), TAM Linhas Aereas
TAM Linhas Aéreas
TAM Airlines is Brazil's and Latin America's largest airline. It is headquartered in the city of São Paulo, and operates scheduled services to destinations within Brazil, as well as international flights to Europe and other parts of North and South America...

 (20), Etihad Airways (16), Qatar Airways
Qatar Airways
Qatar Airways Company Q.C.S.C. , operating as Qatar Airways, is the flag carrier of Qatar. Headquartered in the Qatar Airways Tower in Doha, it operates a hub-and-spoke network, linking over 100 international destinations from its base in Doha, using a fleet of over 100 aircraft...

 (16), and Air France (15). For the A330-300, there were 369 in service with major operators being Cathay Pacific (33), Delta Air Lines (21), Thai Airways International (20), China Airlines
China Airlines
China Airlines is both the flag carrier and the largest airline of Republic of China . Although not directly state-owned, the airline is owned by China Airlines Group, which is owned by the China Aviation Development Foundation...

 (20), and Korean Air (16).

Orders and deliveries

|Deliveries
TypeTotalBacklogTotal2011201020092008200720062005200420032002200120001999199819971996199519941993
A330-200 566 133 433 29 32 38 49 42 39 29 25 19 36 16 27 40 12
A330-200F 61 53 8 3 5
A330-300 547 176 371 30 50 38 23 26 23 27 22 12 6 19 16 4 11 14 10 30 9 1
Total 1,174 362 812 62 87 76 72 68 62 56 47 31 42 35 43 44 23 14 10 30 9 1

Data through end of September 2011. Updated on 6 October 2011.

Accidents and incidents

As of June 2011, the Airbus A330 had been involved in thirteen major incidents, including six confirmed hull-loss accidents
Aviation accidents and incidents
An aviation accident is defined in the Convention on International Civil Aviation Annex 13 as an occurrence associated with the operation of an aircraft which takes place between the time any person boards the aircraft with the intention of flight and all such persons have disembarked, in which a...

 and two hijacking
Aircraft hijacking
Aircraft hijacking is the unlawful seizure of an aircraft by an individual or a group. In most cases, the pilot is forced to fly according to the orders of the hijackers. Occasionally, however, the hijackers have flown the aircraft themselves, such as the September 11 attacks of 2001...

s, for a total of 338 fatalities. The following are notable accidents and incidents:
  • On 30 June 1994, on a test flight
    1994 A330 test flight crash
    The 1994 A330 test flight crash occurred on when an Airbus A330-300, registration F-WWKH, crashed at Toulouse-Blagnac Airport while undergoing performance tests. It was the first fatal accident involving an Airbus A330 as well as the first hull-loss of the type...

     an A330 owned by Airbus was simulating an engine failure on climbout. The aircraft crashed shortly after takeoff from Toulouse, killing all seven on board.

  • On 24 July 2001, the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam attacked Bandaranaike International Airport
    Bandaranaike Airport attack
    The Bandaranaike Airport attack was an assault by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam on Bandaranaike International Airport, on July 24, 2001...

    , Colombo, Sri Lanka. Two SriLankan Airlines
    SriLankan Airlines
    SriLankan Airlines Limited is the flag carrier airline of Sri Lanka. It operates to destinations in Asia and Europe from its base and hub at Bandaranaike International Airport . The airline's trademark phrase is 'You're Our World', and the company's logo features a stylized peacock...

     A330s were destroyed among other airliners and military aircraft.

  • On 7 October 2008, Qantas Flight 72
    Qantas Flight 72
    Qantas Flight 72 was a scheduled flight from Singapore Changi Airport to Perth Airport on 7 October 2008 that made an emergency landing at Learmonth airport near the town of Exmouth, Western Australia following an inflight accident featuring a pair of sudden uncommanded pitch-down manoeuvres that...

    , an A330-303 (VH-QPA), suffered a rapid loss of altitude in two sudden uncommanded pitch down manoeuvres causing serious injuries while 150 km (81 nmi) from the Learmonth
    RAAF Learmonth
    RAAF Learmonth, also known as Learmonth Airport , is a joint use Royal Australian Air Force base and civil airport. It is located near the town of Exmouth on the north-west coast of Western Australia. As an RAAF base, Learmonth is one of the RAAF's three 'bare bases'...

     air base in northwestern Australia. After declaring an emergency, the aircraft landed safely at Learmonth. 106 people onboard were injured, fourteen seriously. A year after the incident Qantas still did not know what caused the computer malfunction.

  • On 1 June 2009, Air France Flight 447
    Air France Flight 447
    Air France Flight 447 was a scheduled airline flight from Rio de Janeiro-Galeão to Paris-Roissy involving an Airbus A330-200 aircraft that crashed into the Atlantic Ocean on 1 June 2009, killing all 216 passengers and 12 aircrew. The investigation is still ongoing, and the cause of the...

    , an A330-203, en route from Rio de Janeiro
    Rio de Janeiro
    Rio de Janeiro , commonly referred to simply as Rio, is the capital city of the State of Rio de Janeiro, the second largest city of Brazil, and the third largest metropolitan area and agglomeration in South America, boasting approximately 6.3 million people within the city proper, making it the 6th...

     to Paris with 228 people on board, disappeared over the Atlantic Ocean. The aircraft crashed in the Atlantic Ocean 640–800 km (345.6–432 nmi) northeast of the islands of Fernando de Noronha
    Fernando de Noronha
    Fernando de Noronha is an archipelago of 21 islands and islets in the Atlantic Ocean, offshore from the Brazilian coast. The main island has an area of and had a population of 3,012 in the year 2010...

    . All passengers and crew were killed. Malfunctioning pitot tube
    Pitot tube
    A pitot tube is a pressure measurement instrument used to measure fluid flow velocity. The pitot tube was invented by the French engineer Henri Pitot Ulo in the early 18th century and was modified to its modern form in the mid-19th century by French scientist Henry Darcy...

    s provided an early focus for the investigation. It was later determined that the immediate cause of the crash was the inadequate response of the pilots to these malfunctions.

  • On 25 December 2009, a passenger on Northwest Airlines Flight 253
    Northwest Airlines Flight 253
    Northwest Airlines Flight 253 was an international passenger flight from Amsterdam Airport Schiphol in Haarlemmermeer, Netherlands, to Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport in Romulus, Michigan, United States...

    , an A330-300, attempted to detonate explosives in his underwear while the flight was in the air. Passengers and crew subdued the perpetrator, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab
    Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab
    Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab , popularly referred to as the "Underwear Bomber", is a suspected terrorist who attempted to detonate plastic explosives hidden in his underwear while on board Northwest Airlines Flight 253, en route from Amsterdam to Detroit, Michigan, on December 25,...

    .

  • On 12 May 2010, Afriqiyah Airways Flight 771
    Afriqiyah Airways Flight 771
    Afriqiyah Airways Flight 771 was a scheduled international passenger flight that crashed on 12 May 2010 at about 06:10 local time on approach to Tripoli International Airport...

    , an A330-202, crashed on approach to Tripoli International Airport
    Tripoli International Airport
    The Tripoli International Airport is an international airport that serves Tripoli, Libya. It is operated by the Civil Aviation and Meteorology Bureau of Libya and is the nation's largest airport...

    , Libya, on a flight from OR Tambo International Airport, Johannesburg, South Africa. All but one of the 104 people on board were killed. The sole survivor was a nine-year-old Dutch boy.


Specifications

A330-200 A330-200F A330-300
Cockpit crew Two
Seating capacity,
typical
253 (3-class)
293 (2-class)
380 (maximum)
n/a 295 (3-class)
335 (2-class)
440 (maximum)
Length 58.82 metre 63.69 metre
Wingspan 60.3 metre
Wing area 361.6 m² (432.5 sq yd)
Wing sweepback 30°
Tail height 17.39 metre 16.9 metre 16.83 metre
Cabin width 5.28 metre
Fuselage width 5.64 metre
Cargo capacity 136 m³ (4,802.8 cu ft) 475 m³ (16,774.5 cu ft)
70 t
Tonne
The tonne, known as the metric ton in the US , often put pleonastically as "metric tonne" to avoid confusion with ton, is a metric system unit of mass equal to 1000 kilograms. The tonne is not an International System of Units unit, but is accepted for use with the SI...

 / up to 12 couriers
162.8 m³ (5,749.2 cu ft)
Operating empty weight 
(typical)
119600 kg (263,672.9 lb) 109000 kg (240,303.9 lb) 124500 kg (274,475.5 lb)
Maximum takeoff weight 
(MTOW)
233000 kg (513,677.1 lb)
to 238000 kg (524,700.2 lb)
227000 kg (500,449.3 lb)
to 233000 kg (513,677.1 lb)
230000 kg (507,063.2 lb)
to 235000 kg (518,086.3 lb)
Maximum landing weight
Maximum Landing Weight
The Maximum Landing Weight is the maximum aircraft gross weight due to design or operational limitations at which an aircraft is permitted to land...

180,000 kg (396,900 lb) 185,000 kg (407,925 lb)
Cruising speed Mach
Mach number
Mach number is the speed of an object moving through air, or any other fluid substance, divided by the speed of sound as it is in that substance for its particular physical conditions, including those of temperature and pressure...

 0.82 (871 km/h/537 mph at 11,000 m/36,000 ft)
Maximum operating speed Mach 0.86 (913 km/h/563 mph at 11,000 m/36,000 ft)
Maximum range, fully loaded 13,430 km (7,250 nmi) 7,400 km (4,000 nmi) 10,830 km (5,850 nmi)
Takeoff distance at MTOW 2220 m (7,283.5 ft) n/a 2500 m (8,202.1 ft)
Maximum fuel capacity 139090 l (36,743.7 US gal) 97530 l (25,764.7 US gal)
Service ceiling 12,527 m (41,100 ft)
Engines (×2)
(see below)
General Electric CF6-80E1
General Electric CF6
The General Electric CF6 is a family of high-bypass turbofan engines produced by GE Aviation. A development of the first high-power high-bypass jet engine available, the TF39, the CF6 powers a wide variety of civilian airliners. The basic engine core formed the basis for the LM2500, LM5000, and...

 
Pratt & Whitney PW4000
Pratt & Whitney PW4000
|-See also:-External links:* * *...

 
Rolls-Royce Trent 700
Rolls-Royce Trent 700
|-See also:-External links:*...

Pratt & Whitney PW4000
Rolls-Royce Trent 700
General Electric CF6-80E1
Pratt & Whitney PW4000
Rolls-Royce Trent 700
Thrust (×2) PW: 70,000 lbf
Pound-force
The pound force is a unit of force in some systems of measurement including English engineering units and British gravitational units.- Definitions :...

 (311 kN)
RR: 71,100 lbf (316 kN)
GE: 72,000 lbf (320 kN)
PW: 70,000 lbf
Pound-force
The pound force is a unit of force in some systems of measurement including English engineering units and British gravitational units.- Definitions :...

 (311 kN)
RR: 71,100 lbf (316 kN)
PW: 70,000 lbf
Pound-force
The pound force is a unit of force in some systems of measurement including English engineering units and British gravitational units.- Definitions :...

 (311 kN)
RR: 71,100 lbf (316 kN)
GE: 72,000 lbf (320 kN)

Sources:Airbus, Pratt & Whitney, EASA, FAA, The International Directory of Civil Aircraft

See also

  • Competition between Airbus and Boeing
    Competition between Airbus and Boeing
    Competition between Airbus and Boeing is a result of both companies' domination of the large jet airliner market since the 1990s, a consequence of mergers within the global aerospace industry over the years. Airbus began as a consortium from Europe, whereas the American Boeing took over its former...

  • List of civil aircraft


External links

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.
 
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