First A330neo Becomes Airborne for Its Maiden Flight
(Source: Airbus; issued Oct 19, 2017)
The first Airbus A330-neo test aircraft took off on its maiden flight this morning, four years after the program was launched to improve the economics of the company’s most successful twin-aisle aircraft. (Airbus photo)
TOULOUSE, France --- The first A330neo took off this morning at Blagnac in Toulouse, France at 09.57 hrs local time, for its maiden flight taking place over south-western France. The aircraft, MSN1795, is a A330-900 and the first of three certification flight-test aircraft to fly, powered by the latest technology Rolls-Royce Trent 7000 turbofans.
The crew in the cockpit on board this flight comprises Experimental Test Pilots Thierry Bourges, Thomas Wilhelm and Test-Flight Engineer Alain Pourchet. Meanwhile, monitoring the aircraft systems and performance in real-time at the flight-test-engineer’s (FTE) station are Jean-Philippe Cottet, Emiliano Requena Esteban and Gert Wunderlich.
The A330neo’s certification development programme itself will last around 1,400 flight-test hours. This will comprise 1,100 flight hours for the A330-900 campaign – to achieve its respective EASA and FAA Type Certification around the middle of 2018; plus 300 flight hours for A330-800 version – which will be certified in 2019. Overall, the full A330neo Family flight-test campaign will be performed by three certification flight-test aircraft, plus the first production aircraft (the latter to validate the Airspace cabin prior to EIS).
Launched in July 2014, the latest generation of Airbus’ widebody family, the A330neo builds on the A330’s proven economics, versatility and reliability while reducing fuel consumption by a further 14 per cent per seat. The NEO’s two versions – the A330-800 and A330-900 – will accommodate 257 and 287 passengers respectively in a three-class seating layout, are powered by the latest-generation Rolls-Royce Trent 7000 engines, accommodate up to 10 more seats, offer new “Airspace” cabin amenities, and feature a new larger span wing with Sharklet wingtip devices.
Airbus is a global leader in aeronautics, space and related services. In 2016 it generated revenues of €67 billion and employed a workforce of around 134,000. Airbus offers the most comprehensive range of passenger airliners from 100 to more than 600 seats and business aviation products. Airbus is also a European leader providing tanker, combat, transport and mission aircraft, as well as one of the world’s leading space companies. In helicopters, Airbus provides the most efficient civil and military rotorcraft solutions worldwide.
Rolls-Royce Trent 7000 Powers Airbus A330neo First Test Flight
(Source: Rolls-Royce plc; issued Oct 19, 2017)
The Rolls-Royce Trent 7000, the latest member of the Trent family of engines, has successfully powered the new Airbus A330neo into the skies for its first test flight today.
The aircraft took off from the Airbus facility in Toulouse, France, this morning, marking the beginning of a flight test programme.
The Trent 7000, the exclusive engine for the A330neo and the seventh in the Trent series, brings together:
-- Experience from the Trent 700 - the engine of choice for the current A330
-- Architecture from the Trent 1000 TEN - the latest version of the Trent 1000 engine
-- Latest technology from the Trent XWB - the world’s most efficient large civil engine
Rolls-Royce also provides the most popular engine choice for the original A330, the Trent 700. The 68-72,000lb thrust Trent 7000 delivers a step change in performance and economics compared to that engine. It improves specific fuel consumption by ten per cent and has twice the bypass ratio.
The flight also marks an important milestone for Rolls-Royce as it celebrates its third ‘first flight’ in less than 12 months, the others being the Trent XWB-97 and Trent 1000 TEN, an unprecedented achievement in the aerospace industry. Each programme has brought together more than 20,000 parts to create an engine that then undergoes rigorous testing at a number of test beds and facilities around the world.
Before today’s first flight, the Trent 7000 has undergone a series of ground tests that has included: altitude, icing, cross-wind, noise and cyclic testing in USA, and endurance, operability and functional performance testing in UK.
Eric Schulz, Rolls-Royce, President – Civil Aerospace, who was at the Airbus facility in Toulouse to witness today’s flight, said: “This is a great moment for Airbus and Rolls-Royce and I am proud to see the latest member of the Trent family power this outstanding aircraft for the first time today. We have helped Airbus create a new product that offers customers a transformation in performance and economics. We are now focused on supporting the flight test programme and ensuring our customers have a smooth entry into service.”
The Trent 7000 will power the entry into service of the A330neo next year with Portuguese operator TAP.
Trent 7000 – incredible engineering by numbers:
-- The front fan is just under 10 ft feet across (9.3) and sucks in up to 1.3 tonnes of air every second at take-off.
-- High pressure turbine blades inside the engine rotate at 12,500 rpm, with their tips reaching 1,200mph – nearly twice the speed of sound.
-- At take off each of the engine’s high-pressure turbine blades generates around 800 horsepower per blade - similar to a Formula One racing car.
-- At full power, air leaves the nozzle at the back of the engine travelling at almost 1000mph.