Photos of note: A330-200F completes maiden flight

A330-200F-firstflight_560.jpg

A330-200F in flight_560.jpg
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

6 Responses to Photos of note: A330-200F completes maiden flight

  1. AirShowFan November 5, 2009 at 4:21 pm #

    Good luck selling those! The fact that F-GUOA, F-GUOD, 9K-DAA, and 9K-DAB are still sitting outside painted all white, and the glacial pace of the 767 line, both seem to indicate that the market for widebody freighters isn’t so hot right now.

    Seriously, though, how many A330F orders are booked? The only numbers I can find is from early this year, “65, down 12 from 77 last year”. Even the 747-8F has more orders than that, and I think the 777F is also in the same ballpark from what I have found online.

    Kind of a shame how the big manufacturers started these freighter programs in 2007 when things looked great, and now…

    But it IS always neat to see a new airplane type fly :]

  2. Uwe November 6, 2009 at 5:09 am #

    Hey Smiling Man ;-)

    Just like the excessive boom gone by
    the current recession isn’t there to
    stay either.

    And I have second your last sentence:
    it is certainly nice to see new things fly.

    uwe

  3. Howard November 6, 2009 at 9:28 am #

    Funny that, a 4 month flight test program, but delivery isn’t until August. Hmm.

    I find it odd that they seem to only have one airplane for flight test, which is rather unusual for any flight test program. If there are other airplanes for flight test, where are they?

  4. mcpcshowcaseHD November 6, 2009 at 10:54 am #

    They are currently being assembled. The reason there is a delay between the end of flight testing and first delivery is because of the economic slowdown. The good thing is that the A330-200F has proven to be better than Airbus had anticipated which will make it a more attractive proposition to cargo operators.

  5. iamlucky13 November 6, 2009 at 5:32 pm #

    Airshowfan and Howard, I think both of you should remember the A330-200F is a relatively close derivative of an existing plane. Therefore, it doesn’t need a large order book to be financially successful, nor an extensive flight test program to prove out those systems that are already proven on the A330-200.

    It’s clear the timing is unfortunate in the freighter market, but it would be foolish to forget that aircraft programs like this have a life of 15-20 years or even longer. I’m sure it will do just fine in the long run.

    The double shin sure gives it a distinctive look…good and bad.

    Now with the 747-8 having finished the factory gauntlet, 787 still hoping to fly by the end of the year, and possibly even the A400 flying by the same time, this could be a good quarter for new aircraft first flights.

  6. David Barrie November 8, 2009 at 4:34 pm #

    I was with Max Kingsley-Jones at the press room at Airbus, and I didn’t even recognize him! What a shame :p
    It was a great event …
    Here is the shot I took when it performed its touch-and-go: http://www.pictaero.com/en/pictures/picture,62336
    Extend my regards to Max ;)