Airbus A330

Airbus A330

infobox Aircraft
subtemplate= Infobox Airbus airliners
name= Airbus A330

caption= Northwest Airlines A330-300
type= Wide-body jet airliner
manufacturer= Airbus
first flight= 2 November 1992
introduced= January 1994 with Air Inter
primary user= Northwest Airlines
more users= Qatar Airways Emirates Cathay Pacific
number built=555 as of 31 July 2008 [cite web | url = | title = Airbus orders & deliveries | publisher = Airbus S.A.S ]
unit cost= A330-200: US$176.3 to $185.5m (2008) [cite web | url = | title = Airbus Aircraft Range of 2008 List Prices | publisher = Airbus S.A.S retrieved 27 July 2008]
A330-300: $195.9 to $205.7m (2008)
A330-200F: $180.6 to $187.7m (2008)
developed from= Airbus A300
variants with their own articles= Airbus A340 Airbus A330 MRTT Northrop Grumman KC-45

The Airbus A330 is a large-capacity, wide-body, twin-engine, medium-to-long-range commercial passenger airliner. It was developed at the same time as the four-engined Airbus A340.

Design and development

Airbus intended the A330 to compete directly in the ETOPS (Extended-range Twin-engine Operation Performance Standards) market, specifically with the Boeing 767. The A330 was launched in 1987; airlines purchased it to replace the McDonnell Douglas DC-10. The A330 is 38% more fuel efficient than the DC-10. [ [ To Save Fuel, Airlines Find No Speck Too Small] , "New York Times", 11 June 2008]

The A330's fuselage and wings are virtually identical to those of the smaller A340 variants, although it has different engines. The A330 basic fuselage design is inherited from the Airbus A300, and the nose/cockpit section and the fly-by-wire system and flightdeck are inherited from the A320. Both the A330 and A340 are assembled on the same final assembly line at Toulouse-Blagnac, France.

By the end of July 2008, a total of 1,006 A330s [ [ 1,000 up for A330] Flight, 15/08/08] had been ordered and 555 delivered. The 1,000 milestone was passed with orders from the 2008 Farnborough Air Show.


There are two main variants of the A330. The A330-300 was launched in 1987 with introduction into service in 1993. The A330-200 was launched in 1995, introduced in 1998 with passenger, freighter and tanker (Airbus A330 MRTT) variants available.


The A330-200 was developed to compete with the Boeing 767-300ER. The A330-200 is similar to the A340-200 or a shortened version of the A330-300. With poor sales of the A340-200 (of which only 28 were built), Airbus decided to use the fuselage of the A340-200 with the wings and engines of the A330-300. This significantly improved the economics of the plane and made the model more popular than the four-engined variant.

Its vertical fin is taller than that of the A330-300 to restore its effectiveness due to the shorter moment arm of the shorter fuselage. It has additional fuel capacity and, like the A330-300, has a Maximum Take-Off Weight (MTOW) of 233 tonnes. Typical range with 253 passengers in a three-class configuration is 12,500 km (6,750 nautical miles).

Power is provided by two General Electric CF6-80E, Pratt & Whitney PW4000 or Rolls-Royce Trent 700 engines. All engines are ETOPS-180 min rated. First customer deliveries, to ILFC/Canada 3000, were in April 1998.

The direct Boeing equivalent is currently the 767-300ER and in the future will be the 787-8. The A330-200 has sold strongly since its launchFact|date=August 2008.


Due to flagging A300-600F and A310F sales, Airbus first began marketing a freighter derivative of the A330-200 around 2000-2001, although it was not launched at this time. [" [ Airbus aims to fill freighter void with A330 derivative] ." "Flight International". 14 March 2006.] The A330-200F re-emerged at the 2006 Farnborough Airshow and received its industrial go-ahead in January 2007. Entry into service is planned for the second half of 2009.

The A330-200F is a mid-size, long-haul all-cargo aircraft capable of carrying 64 tonnes over 4,000 NM / 7,400 km, or 69 tonnes up to 3,200 NM / 5,930 km. It introduces a new versatile main-deck cargo loading system that will be able to accommodate both pallets and containers. Several different arrangements will be possible on the main deck, taking up to 23 Side-by-Side (SBS) pallets, aimed at the high volume, high value commodities or Single Row (SR) loading of 16 pallets (96”x 96”x125” SR pallets) and/or nine AMA containers aimed at the general cargo higher density markets.

To overcome the standard A330's nose-down body angle on the ground, the A330F will make use of a revised nose landing gear layout. The same leg will be used, however it will be attached lower in the fuselage, 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.

Airbus has 66 firm orders from seven customers: Aircastle 15, Avion Aircraft Trading 8, Etihad Airways 3, Flyington Freighters 12, Guggenheim Aviation Partners 6, Intrepid Aviation Group 20 and MNG Airlines 2. Additionally ACT Airlines has signed an MOU for 2. [" [ ACT Airlines commits for two A330 freighters] ." "Airbus". 17 August 2006.] Deliveries will begin in late 2009. [Flight International, 23-29 January 2007]

Other wide-body freighters include the B767-300F, DC-10F, MD-11F,B777F.

Airbus plans to assemble the A330-200F in the USA, along with the proposed KC-45A, at a new assembly line at Brookley Field in Mobile, Alabama.


In an announcement on 9 September 2008, Airbus have released plans for a higher gross weight version of the Airbus A330-200 variant to more effectively compete with the Boeing 787. [" [ Airbus to offer heavier A330 against delayed 787] ." "Flight Global". 9 September 2008.]


The A330-300, which entered service in avyear|1993, was developed as replacement for the A300. It is based on a stretched A300-600 fuselage but with new wings, stabilisers and fly-by-wire systems.

The A330-300 carries 295 passengers in a three-class cabin layout (335 in 2 class and 440 in single class layout) over a range of 10,500 km (5,650 nautical miles). It has a large cargo capacity, comparable to early Boeing 747s. Some airlines run overnight cargo-only flights after daytime passenger servicesFact|date=August 2008.

It is powered by two General Electric CF6-80E, Pratt & Whitney PW4000 or Rolls-Royce Trent 700 engines, all of which are ETOPS-180 min rated. French domestic airline Air Inter was the launch customer for the aircraft. US Airways was the launch customer in the United States with nine A330-300s.

The direct Boeing equivalents are the Boeing 777-200 and the Boeing 767-400ER.

Tanker derivatives

;Airbus A330 MRTT : The Multi-Role Transport and Tanker version (MRTT) of the A330-200 provides aerial refueling and strategic transport. To date it has been selected by Australia, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and the UK.

;Northrop Grumman KC-45: On 29 February 2008 the United States Air Force announced that an American assembled variant of the A330 MRTT, now designated KC-45A by the USAF, had been selected to replace the Boeing KC-135 Stratotanker. [" [ Air Force Awards Tanker Contract to Northrop Grumman] ." "The Pentagon". 29 February 2008.] . The Air Force's fleet of KC-135 tankers has been in service since 1957, the last aircraft having been delivered in 1965. [" [ "KC-135 Stratotanker"] , [ "Air Force Link"] , March 2008.] However, due to mistakes in the tanker selection process, outgoing Air Force head Michael Wynne told media that he expected the selection process to be repeated. [ [ Reuters: Air Force to seek new tanker bids: outgoing boss] ]


A330 deliveries

By the end of August 2008 a total of 1,003 aircraft of the A330 have been ordered (551 A330-200, 74 A330-200F and 378 A330-300) and 562 delivered (316 A330-200 and 246 A330-300).cite news|title=Airbus - Orders and Deliveries | publisher=Airbus S.A.S.|date=31 August 2008|url=]

ee also

* Airbus A300
* Airbus A330 MRTT
* Northrop Grumman KC-45
* Airbus A340
* Airbus A350
similar aircraft=
* Boeing 767
* Boeing 777
* Boeing 787
* Ilyushin Il-96
* McDonnell Douglas MD-11
* List of airliners
* List of civil aircraft
* List of Airbus A330 operators
see also=
* Competition between Airbus and Boeing


External links

* [ Details on the Airbus A330/A340 family of aircraft]
* [ Airbus A330 production list]

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