The first Airbus A330-200F (F-WWYE) completed its four-hour maiden flight in skies over France, kicking off a four-month, 180-hour flight test campaign that will see the first freighter handed over to Etihad Airways in August of 2010.
On the flightdeck of the Pratt & Whitney PW4000-powered freighter (MSN 1004) for the 3h 50min flight were Airbus test pilots Philippe Perrin and Martin Scheuermann, accompanied by test-flight engineers Wolfgang Brueggemann, Stephane Vaux and Pascal Verneau.
Flight International Magazine Deputy Editor Max Kingsley-Jones was on hand for the first flight, which saw the aircraft flown to its maximum altitude and speed of 41,000 feet a 330 knots. The aircraft was also flown down to its lowest speed or Alpha Max. Max reports that when the A330 Freighter returned to Toulouse, it flew two autoland approaches, include a late go-around and touch-and-go, before making a full stop landing on Runway 32.
The maiden flight of the aircraft came a day after the aircraft completed rejected take off testing and two weeks after leaving the paint hangar. EASA and FAA certification is expected in March of next year.
Photos Courtesy Airbus