Airbus is attributing weight savings in its new A330-200 freighter partly to materials advantages taken from the A380 and A340-600 programmes.

The airframer expects the A330-200F to be at least 500kg lighter than original projections.

While Airbus had calculated a theoretical weight allowing for the strengthening of the fuselage on the type, chief engineer Matthias Ierovante says new methods were subsequently introduced for the structural design.

He adds that the airframer used A380 tools for calculation methods and, during the definition phase, introduced material changes - using, for example, the insulation from the A380 and A340-600 programmes.

"All this together achieved a lighter weight than that estimated at the beginning of the project," he says.

Airbus intends to weigh the finished jet at the end of this year or the beginning of 2010, but Ierovante states that he is "confident" that the aircraft will achieve the calculated weight saving.

Source: Air Transport Intelligence news