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PICTURES: A330 freighter undergoes cold-weather tests

Airbus has undertaken cold-weather testing of its A330-200 freighter in northern Canada, and is being prepared for hot-weather trials in the Asia-Pacific region.

The first flight-test aircraft, MSN1004, was flown to Iqaluit on 23 January and subjected to temperatures down to minus 30°C.

Airbus says that the testing is not for certification but to verify system performance guarantees to customers, and check the response of modifications introduced during the freighter's development.

These include checks on the main cargo door, following cold-soak of the twin-jet to minus 27°C inside the cabin, as well as the auxiliary power unit and electrical systems.

A330-200F ice test

A330-200F ice test

A330-200F ice test
 © Airbus/Chris Windeyer

Technical personnel also tested the air conditioning system, notably its ability to restore the cabin to a specific temperature.

The main tests began at about 06:00 on 24 January with start-up through external electrical power and activation of the APU, says Airbus flight-test engineer Wolfgang Brueggemann.

Three hours of system checks followed before the aircraft was shut down again ahead of a second overnight cold-soak. Airbus then carried out a second series of test procedures, similar to those on the previous day, before the aircraft departed.

Brueggemann says the results of the tests were "very good" and that all the aircraft's systems behaved well.

Airbus is fitting the aircraft's interior with a partial cargo loading system and is preparing to fly the jet to Asia where it will undergo another set of tests in hot and humid conditions.

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