It was at 10:31 am. that the new Airbus A330-800 NEO made the first take off from the slopes of Toulouse-Blagnac airport. With serial number MSN 1888, the aircraft launched a flight schedule of about four hours, during which the first tests and the opening of the flight envelope will be carried out.
In the controls there are two experienced pilot pilots Malcolm Ridley and François Barre assisted by three flight engineers (José Corugedo, Ludovic Girard and Catherine Schneider). This first takeoff opens the flight test campaign, which has to collect a total of 300 hours of flight. The aim is the certification of aircraft by the European and American civil aviation authorities in 2019.
His big brother, the A330-900 NEO, has already been licensed to fly on September 26 after eleven months of flight testing and 1400 hours of testing. The big brother has done much of the certification, as the smaller version of the A350, the 800 series, will only need 300 hours of additional testing.
The A330 NEO is the modernized version of the A330, which was first launched in 1994. The NEO version is available in version 800 with 257 seats and in version 900 (287 passengers). Both are equipped with the new Rolls Royce Trent 7000 engines, an improved flap compared to the previous generation of A330s and fins made of composite materials. The set improves the aerodynamic performance of the aircraft and allows a 25% reduction in consumption compared to the previous generation of aircraft.
However, Britain's Rolls Royce suffered considerable delays in delivering new engines. The Portuguese company TAP is the launch company of the 900 edition. It has ordered twenty in total, of which ten copies will be rented.
Last Tuesday, Airbus said it would deliver the first A330-900 NEO to the Portuguese company TAP "soon". These aircraft will launch the new "Airspace" cabin inspired by what was developed for the A350. On the commercial side, the NEO of the A330 won only 224 fixed orders for the largest edition (900), while the 800 edition has only ten buy-ins.