The first Airbus A330-200 Freighter has rolled out of the paintshop in Toulouse and is being prepared for transfer to the flight line. The aircraft (MSN 1004) will be handed over to the Airbus flight-test department at the end of October where it will undergo ground tests ahead of its maiden flight next month.
Airbus recently revealed that the A330-200F will exceed performance expectations, with preliminary data showing that it will be able to carry at least 500kg (1,100lb) more payload than previously published. Airbus attributes the gain to an "extensive weight-saving" effort which has seen the manufacturer's empty weight reduced by a corresponding amount.
The A330-200F is due for certification in spring next year, with the first delivery to follow during the summer. Etihad Airways is expected to be the first to take delivery. Total orders stand at 67 firm from nine customers.
Source: Flight International