PICTURE: First Trent-powered A330 freighter starts flight tests

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Airbus has conducted the first flight of a Rolls-Royce-powered A330-200 freighter, bringing a second airframe into the twin-jet's test programme.

The aircraft, MSN1032, fitted with Trent 700 engines, carried out a three-hour maiden flight today.

Airbus has so far performed tests with a Pratt & Whitney PW4000-powered example, which first flew on 5 November last year. The jet has recently been undergoing autopilot and autoland tests, and has been switched to cold- and hot-weather trials.

As well as being fitted with Trent engines the second aircraft is the first to be equipped with the full 'courier' interior section which provides seating for six passengers. The aircraft also has a galley and crew rest zone.

trent 700 powered airbus a330-200f airbus
 © Airbus

Development work on this example will include tests on furnishings and systems for communication, power distribution, air conditioning, smoke detection, plus oxygen, water and waste.

The airframer expects the A330-200F certification programme to include 200hr of flight tests.

Certification of the jet is "on track" for March, says Airbus, with initial deliveries to Etihad Airways' cargo division in summer.