Feb 07

Airbus A330

airbus-A330-323X-us-airways-20The Airbus A330 is a twin engine wide body of European aircraft manufacturer Airbus ,it is designed as a long-range aircraft . It has two turbofan engines with a high bypass ratio and like all modern commercial aircraft, a two-man cockpit. The first flight took place on 2 November 1992 in the A330-300 version.

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 trijets and versus rival twinjets. Boeing has offered variants of the 767 and 777 as competitors, along with the 787, which entered service in late 2011. Airbus’s A350 will also share this wide-body airliner market. As of December 2012, the A330’s order book stood at 1,244, of which 938 had been delivered. The largest operator is Cathay Pacific, which operates only the -300 model. The A330 is expected to continue selling until at least 2020.



Airbus A330 Summary to 31 December 2012
A300/A310 Single aisle A330/A340/A350 A380 Total
Total orders 816 9031 2203 262 12312
Total deliveries 816 5402 1315 97 7630
Aircraft in operation 478 5234 1293 97 7102

In 1981 the first studies for the A330 was known at that time under the name TA9 were (twin aisle, eg “aircraft with two aisles”) published in the English magazine aircraft “Air International”. Also at that time, the concepts of the A320 family under the name SA9 and A340 presented under the name TA11, Airbus decided to go a head with the A320 program and put back the development of TA9/TA11.

This program (the two long-haul Airbus A330/A340) decided unofficially on 24 January 1986 in Munich and officially in June 1987 in order to penetrate into the market dominated by Boeing, especially the wide-body long-haul aircraft. At that time there was this segment of the shipping service only the obsolete models McDonnell Douglas DC-10 and Lockheed L-1011 and the slightly newer Boeing 767.

The two versions A330/A340-200/300 considering a virtually identical configuration. The models differ only by the engine number (two for the A330 and four in A340). They both use the same wings , tail and fuselage parts . This reduced the development and production costs and made ??the other synergistic benefits for the airlines for maintenance and operation.

The Airbus A300 was taken as a basis for development of the hull. The cockpit was based on the A320. So this aircraft is in total, a mixture of the technical innovations of the A320 family and the fuselage cross-section of the A300/A310.

Program development

airbus-A330-swiss-air-dragonair-26The first presentation of the aircraft ( called roll or Reveal) took place on 14 October 1992,. A month later, on 2 November 1992, the Airbus A330 lifted in the 300 version from the first time. The third prototype was the first decreed a complete interior and was launched already painted in the colors of customer Air Inter. This aircraft was also used for admission tickets, the addition of high-tests 29th March to 8 April 1993 at Khartoum airport , the ETOPS flights included. The test flights were completed in December 1994 after passing all tests, the aircraft was authorized in Europe on 21 October 1993.

Sales through the rising oil price

Due to rising fuel prices, the A330 advantage could play out over time, more and more compared to their lower fuel consumption than A340. Therefore, the Airbus A330 continued to sell very well. Thus, confirmed Hartmut Mehdorn prediction that the designed for charter airlines Airbus A330 will sell three times as good as the A340. Experts had not expected this however.

As of December 2004 the Airbus A350 was marketed, was originally planned as a further development of the A330, but was later modified. As customers continued criticism, this development was stopped, and Airbus introduced instead a completely new aircraft called the A350 XWB. This type is not as complete redesign based on the A330 and have a bigger body diameter (the abbreviation XWB stands for eXtra Wide Body).

In many areas, the A330 will find again the application of the so-called commonality. This means that systems of different types of aircraft are identical, in order to save costs. Thus, the Airbus A330 practically a A340-300 with only two engines. The A330 is in contrast to the four-engined A340. No reinforcement in the area of the wings, where there are in the outer A340 engines Furthermore is the avionics essentially the same as the A340 and the A320 family, as well as the cockpit . The cockpit of the A380 and the A350 turn based thereon, thereby reducing the cost of training of pilots.

Manufacturing and Logistics

airbus-A330-swiss-air-25As for all Airbus aircraft, the individual components are manufactured locally, only the final assembly takes place in the Toulouse plant. The bow section and the suspension of the engine, and a portion of the central hull to be built in France, the horizontal stabilizer is made ??in Spain. The Airbus plants in Germany build the hull of the above sections, the vertical tail and the cabin interior. For the wings of the Airbus plant at Broughton in the UK. Currently seven A330/A340 per month are produced and delivered. It is planned to increase this to ten aircraft per month by 2015.


Technical innovations

The Airbus A330 has many technical innovations. These include, for instance, a digital fly-by-wire flight control system, which was first applied to a wide body, just as a side stick instead of a control horn . The A330 was a so-called glass cockpit with CRT – or later LCD displays shipped with simultaneous reduction of the number of analog instruments. In later installments , the analogous “back-up” instruments have been replaced by a central instrument cluster. First sectors of the hull are partially made ??of composite materials made. The Airbus A330 has a so-called FADEC system in which the engine control and monitoring are performed by a computer.


Design and diameter of the trunk was taken from the A300/A310 and depending on the version extended and modified by the position of the doors. The hull is constructed in aluminum half-shell design and is divided into sections in order to facilitate the transport. It is fully pressurized, except in the area of the landing gear and the tail. The Airbus A330 has a total of 8 doors, which are designed in part as emergency exits. In the lower torso area in front of and behind the main landing gear, a cargo each space by each loaded a large cargo door on the right side too. The cargo holds are fully equipped with a conveyor system, which enables the loading of standard containers. The A330 has an exceptionally large cargo hold, the cargo volume equivalent to the larger Boeing 747.


The Airbus A330 has a low-wing monoplane design. The wings are a new development, but the experience of the Airbus A310 has been incorporated . The wings are designed for the long haul, which resulted in a relatively large range, and bring both to the required fuel. The profile is an evolution of the super-critical profile of the A310. The wings are only slightly different from those of the A340, only the lines to the engines (of which the A340 has four) and their suspensions are different. The wings are composed of three box beams are made ??of aluminum. The sweep is 30 °. They are fixed to the hull. In each wing, there are two fuel tanks. The Airbus A330. Still a center tank in the fuselage, and thus a capacity of 135,000 liters of fuel, the outer flaps, spoilers and ailerons which are made ??of composite fiber plastics. As flotation devices, the A330 has the leading edge slats , which are interrupted at the engine mounts. They can be defrosted by hot engine bleed air. At the trailing edge are the flaps . These are as a simple system Fowler . designed and extend continuously from the body to the point where there are the Airbus A340, the outer engines Here close to two independent ailerons, which are controlled by two hydraulic systems. The ailerons are supported by mounted on the top of the wing spoiler, these also serve as air brakes . At the wing tip winglets are appropriate to reduce both the resistance and buoyancy.


The tail of the A330 is designed as a self-supporting, with a conventional tail fins and rudders. The fin was taken from the A310 and is made from carbon composite material. The horizontal stabilizer was developed from scratch. The horizontal stabilizer trim is fully articulated and consists of an aluminum spar, the rest is also made of carbon fiber composite material. Each version of the A330 has the horizontal stabilizer trim installed a tank, which is also inherited from the A310. During the flight is controlled by a computer, for optimizing the CG between the fuel tank and the other trim tanks pumped back and forth. The resulting lower required deflections of the elevator lead to fuel savings. The trim tank can be used as an additional fuel tank.


airbus-a330-interior-cabin-02The chassis of the A330 is made of a uniaxial nosewheel with two tires and two main landing gear, which are equipped with four tires biaxial. It is designed as a conventional landing gear, and is hydraulically actuated. The nose wheel steering, and the carbon brakes with which the eight main landing gear tire are fitted, are also operated hydraulically. The nose wheel is braked at the A330.

Flight Control

The A330 has a digital, multi-computer-monitored flight control system, which is actuated by means of the sidestick and the rudder pedals in the cockpit. This was taken from the A320 and is also used in the Airbus A340. There is no mechanical connection to the control surfaces. All control surfaces are hydraulically actuated by three independent hydraulic systems (Yellow, Green, Blue). By the fully digital control provided by five independent computer, Airbus has built a number of electronic safety procedures designed to protect the aircraft from uncontrolled flight conditions. Such a system was first used here in a large aircraft. Boeing moved until years later after the 777th Through this system could achieve an Airbus cockpit layout and flight behavior, which the A320 Family is so similar that it is possible after a short training pilots is to fly this type of aircraft.


airbus-a330-interior-brussels-airlines-07On Airbus A330 three different engines are used: the General Electric CF6-80E , the PW4000-100 from Pratt & Whitney and Rolls-Royce Trent 700 . The last two were especially developed for the A330.

The Trent 700 has the Airbus A330 has a market share of about 53%, buyers include EgyptAir , Lufthansa , Gulf Air and Etihad Airways .The remaining 47% of the market share, the PW4000 and the CF6. Examples of users are: for the CF6 Air France and Qantas and for the PW4000 China Southern and Korean Air .The main reason that Rolls-Royce, with its engine market leader in the A330, is the fact that The Trent 700 is the smallest and lightest but at the same time the most powerful engine offered. This creates less drag and the aircraft need less fuel. The CF6 however only costs a half, but at the same time it is larger and therefore causes greater air resistance. The PW4000 is anywhere in the middle, but it is the hardest of the three.



The A330-200 is designed to replace the A300-600R and to compete with the Boeing 767-300ER. The A330-200 program was officially launched in November 1995, the first order for 13 aircraft was ILFC starting in February 1996. The first flight came on 13 August 1997, its approval was in April 1998.

The A330-200 is nearly identical to the A330-300, with the exception of the shortened by ten fuselage frames. From a subsequent decrease by almost six meters in length rersults in a maximum passenger capacity of 256 passengers in three classes. Other important differences are a higher vertical stabilizer and an additional fuel tank with which increases the range to 12,500 km.
The A330-200 has, among other customers , Air China , Avianca , Gulf Air , Air France / KLM , China Eastern , China Southern , Emirates , Etihad , Air Berlin , Northwest Airlines , Qantas , Oman Air and TAM.

2009 was the first time Korean Air ordered a version of the A330-200, with a higher take-off weight of 238 tons, which extends the range to a maximum of 13,334 km.

After the sales of the A330-200 initially lagged behind that of the A330-300, the 200 variant has become the most popular model in the range. By July 2010, Airbus has received orders for 580 machines.

Airbus A330 MRTT

airbus-a330-etihad-crystal-cargo-04MRTT is M ulti R ole T anchor T ransport and called for the aerial refueling and equipped military transport model A330 MRTT . The MRTT is based on the civilian Airbus A330-200 and can without any additional fuel tanks carry 111 tons. As a multi-purpose aircraft can also be used as tanker aircraft and carry 300 troops or 380 passengers or carry instead a payload of up to 45 tonnes. Besides A330MRTT continue, the A310 MRTT can be ordered, this version comes from a converted passenger aircraft of the smaller A310.

The A330 MRTT can be a number of different types of combat aircraft, such as the Euro Fighter , the F/A-18 , F16 , Sukhoi 30 or larger aircraft (other tankers or Transport-/Tankflugzeug A400M refueling) or are themselves fueled by others.

The Royal Australian Air Force has a launch customer first five copies at EADS ordered they called KC-30A. The after years of negotiations on 27 Contract signed in March 2008 had a value of EUR 16.5 billion. The three-hour maiden flight of the A330 MRTT was completed on 15 June 2007 in Getafe , where the modification of the first aircraft at Airbus Military is. The following examples are by the airline Qantas converted in Brisbane. The tank configuration consists of the ARBS boom system on the rear fuselage and the probe-drogue system under the wings. The feed with the GE engines equipped tanker at the 33rd Squadron at RAAF Base Amberley (Queensland) took place between May 2011 and December 2012.

France’s defense minister announced in October 2012, purchased 2013 14 copies. The engine and fuel tank configurations are not yet known.

Saudi Arabia has six copies (three in early 2008 and three in July 2009) for the Royal Saudi Air Force ordered (RSAF), the first aircraft on 15 Had its first flight in March 2011 and is scheduled for delivery by the end of the year. The tank configuration consists of the boom system on the rear fuselage and the probe-drogue system under the wings. Three helicopters will be delivered by the end of 2012, the next three 2014 to 2016.

The United Kingodom’s Royal Air Force has the 27th March 2008 14 A330-200 as the Future Strategic Transport Aircraft orders (FSTA). The now as Voyager KC2/KC3 designated A330 can pass twice as much fuel as the Vickers VC10 , one of the two types, which uses the RAF as a tanker. The first unit arrived on 10 July 2009 on the conversion at Airbus Military in Getafe one. Meanwhile the first two A330s were converted to tankers at Getafe and are in flight test. The conversion of the remaining tankers should in Bournemouth place at Cobham. Due to program delays, only the aircraft three and four in England to be converted. From machine again five Airbus takes over Getafe in this task. The operation is the client, the consortium AirTanker take over, (40% owned by EADS ( EFW ), 25% by Rolls-Royce and Cobham plc and 10% Thales ). The tank configuration consists of two probe-drogue systems under the wings and another under the fuselage, the latter, however, only seven copies. The military approval of 2-point tanker, Voyager KC2 was granted in September 2011.

The specially tailored to the U.S. market, A330-200 variant was running, as in Australia, under the designation KC-30. With the U.S. group Northrop Grumman as a project partner, EADS applied with the KC-30 is a major order from the United States Air Force on first 179 tanker aircraft, which the aging Boeing KC-135 was intended to replace fleet ( KC-X and KC -45A program ). In February 2008, now called the KC-45A design was initially awarded the contract before the Boeing KC-767 model. In summer 2008, but the order was withdrawn, and it was a new procedure. In March 2010, Northrop Grumman pulled back from the procedure, after which EADS offered independently the KC-45, but then in February 2011 the Boeing KC-46 was defeated.


airbus-a330-china-eastern-airlines-05Airbus planned for some time, the A330-200 to offer as a commercial freighter. After the events of the 11th September 2001 , these plans were not initially prepared. When in early 2006 the impending end of production of the A300 was announced, including its cargo variant to rumors thickened that these plans are to be resumed. Airbus originally had before, the A330-200 as part of the air show Farnborough International Airshow officially introducing the public. A press statement, including the announcement of an order for 30 copies of the type was also found for a short time on the Airbus website . However, this statement was a little later removed again, rumors of short-term problems with the contract with the launch customer. The first firm declaration of intent on 20 A330 Freighters for U.S. leasing company Intrepid Aviation was announced finally on 15 January 2007, followed by the first firm order, a day later. Primary customer is the Indian cargo airline Flyington Freighters , which has ordered six copies of the Airbus A330-200 for delivery from late 2009.

The new freighter has a slightly higher capacity than the existing A300 -freight model and longer reach. In passenger versions of the A330, the cabin floor for a stay on the ground to the front slightly downhill, because the nose gear is slightly shorter than the main landing gear. [30] Since this is not required for the handling of cargo containers, the A330-200 is the bottom of the bow with a drop-shaped bulge provided striking, in which the landing gear is accommodated. Such a higher level of the bow and thus a cab floor is achieved without gradient, without the development of a long nose gear is necessary. Cargo door corresponds to the one A300 freighter is easier, since it is not electrically and hydraulically driven. The structurally modified fuselage has only three windows, reinforced with the payload for the ribs and fuselage panels for crash landings and an aluminum barrier at the end of the hold were installed. By removing the passenger equipment and use of the technology of the machine compared to the A380, Airbus forecasts by 500 kg was easier.

Until December 2009, Airbus had received orders for 68 machines.


The 300 version is 295 passengers in three classes (335 in two and up to 440 in a class) carry over a distance of up to 10,500 km. Moreover, a large amount of freight to be transported – the freight volume of the A330 is comparable with the Boeing 747.

As engines are two General Electric CF6-80E1 , Pratt & Whitney PW4000-100 or Rolls-Royce Trent 700. All actuators are ETOPS certified -180. (From November 2009 all A330-types can also be ordered with 240min ETOPS). In 1993, the first aircraft was delivered.

After the A330-300 is the first model of the A330 series is initially sold better than the smaller sister model, the A330-200, this is now more popular. Nevertheless, the Airbus A330-300 continues to record good sales. By July 2010, Airbus has received orders for 448 machines, of which 318 have been delivered already. One machine was lost in a crash.


airbus-a330-air-europa-16Since July 1999, all A340 and A330 are equipped with revised cockpit instrumentation. Especially since the A330-300 will be delivered with these improvements, often misdiagnosed as A330-300E and / or A330-300X called. The variant name-300E Airbus itself is neither officially nor unofficially used. All A330-200 and -300 run with revised instrumentation continues as A330 without additional e after the model designation.
However, Airbus began with the revised instrumentation for the A330-300, a variant with a higher maximum take-off weight of 230 to 233 tons (normal A330-300: 212 to 217 tonnes) and additional central fuel tank for greater range to offer. This variant is referred to unofficially as the A330-300X.

The term-300X does not relate to the cockpit instrumentation, but only to the increased take-off weight and increased range. The majority of deliveries from July 1999-300X A330-300s are equipped, so the extra fuel tank. The only exceptions are on the current state of all Airbus A330-300 Qantas , Qatar Airways and China Airlines , which will not therefore the additional X result in the type designation.


Within the framework of the Paris Air Show 2007 in Le Bourget, Airbus announced that one of Intrepid Aviation was a buyer of the A330-200F, when asked about the possibility of a freighter version of the Airbus A330-300. According to information, this possibility is already with cargo airlines such as FedEx , DHL and UPS Airlines investigated. A schedule has been announced yet.


At the Paris Air Show in Farnborough in the summer of 2012 Airbus announced that there will be new versions of the A330 to make competition to the Boeing 777. In addition to more fuel-efficient engines also have other improvements. The A330-300 is at 240 kg takeoff weight with 300 passengers with a range of about 11,000 km and 5 have tons more payload. The A330-200 has the same starting weight of 246 passengers with a range of about 13,000 kilometers, and 2.5 tonnes more payload. From mid-2015, the improved A330-300 will be available.

Airbus A330 Photo Gallery

Airbus A330 Video

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