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Airbus raises A330 takeoff weight, fuel capacity

Dec. 3, 2012, Marignane, France - European aircraft manufacturer Airbus has increased the maximum takeoff weight (MTOW) capability of the A330 aircraft to 242 tonnes and improved fuel capacity option for the larger A330-300 variant.


December 3, 2012
By Carey Fredericks

Earlier this year, the aircraft manufacturer announced its plans to increase the maximum takeoff weight of the A330 to more than 240 tonnes.

The improved versions of both A330 models will be available to operators in 2015.

Airbus A330 program head Patrick Piedrafita said that the A330 was already an efficient and reliable airliner and the company had increased this further, along with takeoff weight and payload increases.

"We are currently delivering more A330s per month than ever before, and this is set to continue, especially given the ongoing improvements we are introducing to the airframe, cabin interior, and engines," Piedrafita said.

The total payload range has been increased by 500 nautical miles over the existing 235 tonne A330-300 variant, and by 350 nautical miles over the current 238 tonne A330-200.

Fuel capacity is being raised only for the A330-300, from 97,500 litres to more than 139,000 litres by activating the centre wing tank; the longer range aircraft A330-200 always had centre tank and the related systems.

With enhancements in takeoff weight capability and fuel capacity, the new A330-300 is expected to allow airlines to carry additional payload on long-haul routes such as direct flights between south-east Asia and Europe.

From 1,200 firm orders, more than 900 aircraft are in service with 90 operators worldwide; the A330 is also available in VIP and military transport/tanker variants.

The A330 line features flight-by-wire technology and advanced onboard systems, which provide high aerodynamic efficiency, and covers a range of about 5,450 nautical miles.