Airbus’s higher-weight A330-900 has obtained certification from the European airworthiness authority, enabling operators to take advantage of greater range.

The aircraft, the larger variant of the A330neo family, has a maximum take-off weight of 251t.

French carrier Corsair will be the first carrier to introduce the new version.

Airbus commenced flight-testing of the higher-weight version at the end of February this year, using MSN1967.

A330-900 251t-c-Airbus

Source: Airbus

Airbus started flying the 251t version of the A330-900 in February 2020

The aircraft has undergone modifications, including strengthened landing-gear and structural reinforcements, which the airframer describes as “weight-neutral” – adding that it retains 99% spares commonality.

“Modifications to the nose- and main landing-gear have also enabled Airbus engineers to extend their time-before-overhaul,” it says, stretching the interval from 10 to 12 years.

The increased capability gives the A330-900 an additional 650nm (1,200km) of range compared with the 242t version.

Airbus says the 251t aircraft has secured European Union Aviation Safety Agency certification.

“With this new A330-900 offering, operators will have the necessary range and capacity to capitalise on longer routes while rationalising their fleets,” it adds.

A330-900 ground 251t-c-Airbus

Source: Airbus

Airbus has reinforced the landing-gear as part of the twinjet’s development

Airbus A330 chief engineer Francois Kubica says the aircraft is “more flexible” as a result of the enhancement, able to take 6t more payload.

The airframer intends to obtain similar 251t certification next year for the smaller A330-800.

Airbus is aiming the longer-range A330neos – which are powered by Rolls-Royce Trent 7000 engines – at the transpacific markets as well as Asia-European routes.