The A300, Airbus's first airliner, was designed to be part of a larger family of commercial aircraft. Airbus then concentrated its efforts on single-aisle (SA) research, eventually developing the Airbus A320 family of airliners, the first commercial aircraft with digital fly-by-wire controls. B1 through B9 are the nine potential variants found by Airbus. The A300B10 was designed in 1973 and evolved into the Airbus A310, which has a greater range. The B9 was viewed as a feasible alternative for the DC-10 and Lockheed L-1011 TriStar trijets, with the same range and payload as the DC-10 but with 25% better fuel economy.
Photo By Cory Barnes on Flickr.
A variety of engines from three major engine manufacturers was intended from the start of the TA9's development. The Trent 600 was originally intended to power Airbus's newest twinjet and the future McDonnell Douglas MD-11. Later, the business decided to construct a Trent 700 engine specifically for the A330, with a bigger diameter and 311 kN (69,900 lbf) of thrust. Pratt & Whitney and Airbus inked an agreement for the development of the A330-only PW4168. Instead of the 38 blades seen on smaller PW4000 engines, 34 blades were utilised in the CF6-80E1.
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A total of 1,496 A330ceos has been ordered as of January 2019, with 1,437 having been delivered. On July 19, 2013, Airbus delivered the 1000th A330 to Cathay Pacific. Airbus said in December 2014 that it will cut the A330 manufacturing rate from 10 to nine aircraft per month. In February 2016, Airbus stated that, in response to additional A330 orders, the manufacturing pace will be increased from 6 to 7 per month. This would push back the start of A330ceo manufacturing to July 2017, allowing for a smooth transition to the A330neo, which was supposed to commence in spring 2017. On October 1, 2019, the final A330-200 was delivered to OpenSkies (who operates for LEVEL). The A330 became Airbus's first twin-aisle aircraft to surpass 1500 deliveries in September 2020; only the Boeing 747 and 777 had previously achieved this milestone. Along with the A330neo, manufacture of the A330 MRTT/KC-30B and Beluga XL continues. On February 28, 2020, the final A330-300 was flown to Brussels Airport, and Aer Lingus accepted delivery on March 4, 2020, but four finished A330-300s for struggling Hong Kong Airlines remained undeliverable.
Photo By Bernal Saborio on Flickr.
The previous members of the Airbus A330 family (A330-200, 200F, 300, and MRTT) were given the moniker Airbus A330ceo ("current engine option") with the debut of the Airbus A330neo.
The Airbus A330-300 has a range of 11,750 kilometres (6,350 nautical miles) and can carry 277 people with a maximum of 440 passengers and 32 LD3 containers. After 420 test flights totaling 1,100 hours, it received European and American certification on October 21, 1993. The Boeing 777-200/200ER and the out-of-production McDonnell Douglas MD-11 were the closest contenders.
In September 2013, Airbus revealed the A330 Regional or A330-300 Regional, a variant of the A330-300. The A330 Regional seats up to 400 passengers and has a lower engine output, a maximum takeoff weight of 199 t (439,000 lb), and a range of 2,700 nautical miles (5,000 km; 3,110 mi). The maximum takeoff weight of these aircraft is reported to be a "simple upgrade to 242 t (534,000 lb)" for the extended range variant, which has a range of 6,350 nautical miles (11,800 km; 7,310 mi). It is said to have up to 26% cheaper operating expenses than the A330-300, which has a larger range. Airbus delivered the first A330 Regional to Saudia on August 18, 2016.
The Airbus A330-200 is a shorter, longer-range derivative of the Airbus A330 that first flew with Korean Air in 1998. Airbus announced plans for a greater gross weight variant of the A330 in 2008 in order to compete more effectively against the Boeing 787 Dreamliner. Beginning with MSN 555 in 2004, a new vertical stabiliser was deployed, adapted on the design of the A340-500 and -600. The Airbus A330-Maximum 200HGW's Takeoff Weight was increased by 5 tonnes, allowing for a range increase of 560 kilometres (302 nmi; 348 mi) and a payload increase of 3.4 tonnes (7,500 lb). It was reported in November 2012 that the gross weight will be increased to 242 t. On September 8, 2015, the EASA approved it. As of December 2020, 661 of the 200 aircraft had been ordered, 645 had been delivered, and 600 were in service.
The A330-200F is an all-cargo variant of the A330-200, capable of transporting 65 t (140,000 lb) over 7,400 km (4,000 nmi; 4,600 mi) or 70 t (150,000 lb) up to 5,900 km (4,000 nmi; 4,600 mi) (3,200 nmi; 3,700 mi). Airbus had delivered 38 aircraft as of December 2020, with no pending orders. The A330-200F does not have a General Electric engine. Two Pratt & Whitney or Rolls-Royce Trent 700 engines provide propulsion. Airbus has recommended that current 200 airliners be converted to freighters. The A330F features a redesigned nose undercarriage configuration to ensure a level deck during cargo loading, overcoming the normal A330's nose-down body inclination on the ground.
With the help of Airbus, their Dresden-based Elbe Flugzeugwerke joint venture, and Singapore-based engineering firm ST Aerospace, the A330P2F freighter conversion initiative was introduced during the 2012 Singapore Airshow. The first was delivered to DHL on December 1st, following flight tests in October 2017 and the award of an EASA Supplemental Type Certificate in November. The first was delivered to EgyptAir Cargo on 3 August 2018, following June flight tests and the STC in July.
The A330-800 is based on the A330-200, but with cabin upgrades, larger Trent 7000 engines, and improved aerodynamics. The first flight of the A330-800 took conducted on November 6, 2018. In October 2020, the first two A330-800s were delivered to Kuwait Airways, the aircraft's inaugural customer.
Because of cabin optimization, the Airbus A330-900 preserves the fuselage dimensions of the A330-300 while adding 10 seats. It should use 14 percent less fuel per seat than the A330-300 over a 4,000-nmi journey, thanks to contemporary Trent 7000 engines and revised winglets. In a typical configuration, it should cruise 6,550 nautical miles (12,130 kilometres) with 287 passengers.
Photo By Riik@mctr on Flickr.
The Airbus A330 had been involved in 40 major aviation incidents as of December 2019, including 13 confirmed hull-losses and two hijackings, resulting in 339 fatalities.
On a test flight, an Airbus-owned A330-300 crashed while simulating an engine failure, resulting in the first tragic accident for the A330. Air France Flight 447 crashed in the Atlantic Ocean, killing all 228 people on board. All but one Dutch kid died when Afriqiyah Airways Flight 771 crashed on approach to Tripoli International Airport in Libya.
Pitot tube icing failures on Air Carabes' A330s were reported twice in 2008. While 150 kilometres (81 miles) from the RAAF Learmonth air base in northwestern Australia, Qantas Flight 72, an A330-300, experienced a rapid loss of altitude in two unexpected uncommanded pitch-down operations. The incident, which resulted in 106 casualties, 14 of which were serious, was ultimately determined to be the result of a design defect in the plane's Air Data Inertial Reference Unit.
Due to a poorly installed hydraulic part, Air Transat Flight 236 sustained a gasoline leak over the Atlantic Ocean on August 24, 2001, and was forced to glide for almost 15 minutes to an emergency landing in the Azores. Cathay Pacific Flight 780 from Surabaya Juanda International Airport to Hong Kong landed safely on April 13, 2010, after both engines failed due to tainted fuel. A total of 57 passengers were hurt. The International Federation of Air Line Pilots' Associations awarded its two pilots the Polaris Award for their bravery and airmanship.
A Malaysia Airlines A330-300 suffered structural damage on March 15, 2000, when oxalyl chloride, a corrosive chemical compound that had been wrongly classified before delivery, leaked and caused structural damage. The plane was declared a total loss. At Beijing Capital International Airport on August 27, 2019, an Air China A330-300 caught fire while parked at the gate. The passengers and staff were evacuated safely. The plane was most likely beyond repair.
The hijacker of Philippine Airlines Flight 812 on 25 May 2000, who leaped out of the plane to his death, was the only person killed in the two hijackings involving the A330. When Spanish police took control of Sabena Flight 689 on October 13, 2000, no one was killed in the hijacking. The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam attacked Bandaranaike International Airport in Colombo, Sri Lanka, and destroyed two unoccupied SriLankan Airlines A330s. On December 25, 2009, a man tried to detonate explosives hidden in his underpants on Northwest Airlines Flight 253.
Several Trent 700-powered A330-300s experienced in-flight shutdowns. To solve the problem, Rolls-Royce and Hispano-Suiza changed the lubricating system. Cathay Pacific and Dragonair voluntarily grounded their A330 fleets for two weeks after a fifth engine failure on May 23, causing substantial inconvenience because Cathay's eleven A330s accounted for 15% of its passenger capacity. An engine malfunction forced a Cathay Pacific flight to return to Ho Chi Minh City on November 11, 1996. Three days later, during a Bangkok–Hong Kong flight, a Cathay Pacific A330 encountered an oil pressure decrease and a resulting engine spool down, forcing a return to Bangkok.
Photo By Riik@mctr on Flickr.
The Airbus A330 is a medium-sized wide-body plane with two engines hung on pylons beneath the wings. Messier-Dowty designed a two-wheel nose undercarriage and two four-wheel bogie main legs to sustain the plane on the ground. Its MTOW increased from 212 tonnes (467,000 pounds) at launch to 242 tonnes (534,000 pounds) in 2015. On the A330-300, one engine is positioned at the inboard pylon and the outboard pylon is not used; on the A340-300, both engine pylons are used, allowing the wing of the A340-300 to support a greater (wing restricted) MTOW. The fuselage of the A330 and A340 is based on the Airbus A300-600. The A330 was able to include aerodynamic characteristics developed for the A340 thanks to the same wing design. The failure of International Aero Engines' ultra-high-bypass V2500 "SuperFan" resulted in a number of improvements, including wing changes.
Photo By Colin Brown on Flickr.
Orders for A330 family aircraft totaled at 1,839 as of January 2022, with 1,527 having been delivered. Aerolneas Argentinian's longest flight is 6,000 nautical miles (11,000 kilometres) from Buenos Aires to Rome. 17 A350-900s have been ordered by operators with at least five A330s, whereas 11 B787-8/9s have been ordered by operators with at least five A330s. The -200's average sector is 2,000 nautical miles (3,700 kilometres), and the -300's longest trip is 6,000 nautical miles (11,000 kilometres) from Buenos Aires to Rome by Aerolneas Argentinas, and 5,000 nautical miles (9,300 kilometres) from Paris to Reunion by Corsair and French Blue. Turkish Airlines (64), Air China (55), China Eastern Airlines (55), Delta Air Lines (53), and China Southern Airlines (53), were the top five airlines (40).