Airbus Industrie has revealed details of the A330-100 derivative it is offering airlines to replace the A310 and A300-600 medium-range airliners.
Demand for a new aircraft in the 165-250-seat range is growing, and Airbus and Boeing are preparing solutions based around the A330-200 and 777 (Flight International, 11-17 January).
Airbus senior vice-president commercial John Leahy says Singapore Airlines and Lufthansa are front-runners in looking for new medium-range airliners. If there is sufficient market interest "we would expect to have something available by 2004", he adds.
The solution proposed by Airbus is based around a shortened A330 fuselage combined with a wing based on that of the A300-600. The fuselage would incorporate the A330 fly-by-wire cockpit and internal improvements made since the A310 and A300-600 were launched in 1978 and 1980, respectively. The wing, which would be the same size as that of the A300-600, would incorporate "very modern aerodynamics", says Leahy.
Airbus financial controller Ian Massey says the A300-600 "is still a very good aeroplane, but it lacks the fly-by-wire cockpit commonality with the rest of the range. A shrink of the A330-200 was not considered because its wing has too much span for the medium-range market. That's why we're looking at taking the best from both aircraft."
Massey says Airbus will "talk to all the engine manufacturers" about powerplants, which are expected to be in the 60,000lb- thrust (267kN) class. The A330-100 is "far from being launched", he adds, but "will not add too much to the financial burden".
Source: Flight International