The Airbus A330 is a large-capacity medium-to-long-range commercial passenger
airliner manufactured by Airbus. It was developed at the same time as the
Airbus intended the A330 to compete directly in the ETOPS
(Extended Twin-engine Operations) market, which was effectively established
by the Boeing 767. The Boeing 777 also belongs to this class; the Boeing 757
shares a heritage with the 767 but lacks the range and is not wide-bodied.
The A330's fuselage and wings are virtually identical to the A340's, although
it has different engines. The A330 basic fuselage design is inherited from the
Airbus A300, as is the nose/cockpit section, the fly-by-wire system, and
flightdeck from the Airbus A320.
There are two variants of the A330: the long fuselage A330-300 measures
63.6 m (208 ft 1 in) in length and can fly up to 10,500 km (5,650 nautical miles).
The short fuselage A330-200 measures 59.0 m (193 ft 7 in) in length with an
operating range of 12,500 km (6,750 nautical miles).
The A330-200 was developed in part to replace the A300-600R and to compete
with the 767-300ER. The A330-200 is a shortened version of the original -300.
Its vertical stabilizer is taller than that of the -300 to restore its effectivness
due to the fuselage shrink. It has additional fuel capacity and has a MTOW
of 275 tonnes. Typical range with 253 passengers in a three-class configuration
is 12,500 km (6,750 nautical miles).
Power is provided by two General Electric CF6-80E, Pratt & Whitney PW4000 or
Rolls-Royce Trent 700 engines. All engines are ETOPS-180 min rated. First
customer deliveries, to ILFC/Canada 3000, were in April, 1998.
The A330-200 has sold strongly since its launch and has virtually eliminated
the Boeing 767 from the marketplace. As a result, Boeing has asked both
Rolls Royce and GE to design engines that enable the 787 Dreamliner to be
15% more economical than the A330-200.
The direct Boeing equivalents are the 767-400ER and 787.
Operators of the A330-200 include Aer Lingus, Air France, Air Transat,
Austrian Airlines, EgyptAir, Emirates, EVA Air, Gulf Air, LTU, Lufthansa,
Malaysia Airlines, Qantas, Qatar Airways, Swiss International Air Lines, and TAM.
The A330-300 was developed as replacement for the A300. It is based on a
stretched A300-600 fuselage but with new wings, stabilizers, and new
The A330-300 carries 295 passengers in a three-class cabin layout over a range
of 10,500 km (5,650 nautical miles). It has a large cargo capacity, comparable
to a Boeing 747. Some airlines run overnight cargo-only flights after daytime
It is powered by two General Electric CF6-80E, Pratt & Whitney PW4000, or
Rolls-Royce Trent 700 engines. All engines are ETOPS-180 min rated.
It entered service in 1993.
The direct Boeing equivalent is the 777-200.
Operators of the A330-300 include Aer Lingus, Air Canada, Cathay Pacific
Airways, China Airlines, Dragonair, Garuda Indonesia, Korean Air,
Malaysia Airlines, Northwest Airlines, Philippine Airlines, Qantas, SAS,
SN Brussels Airlines, Thai Airways International, and US Airways.
The Multi Role Tanker Transport version of the A330-200 provides aerial
refueling and strategic transport. In January, 2004, the UK Ministry of Defense
announced that the A330 MRTT had been selected to provide air-refueling for
the RAF for the next 30 years under the Future Strategic Tanker Aircraft
program. In this and the Australian contest, announced April 16, 2004,
the A330 beat competition from the Boeing 767 AAR derivative.
The A330 MRTT is also in the running to land a contract from the United
States Air Force for perhaps up to 200 tankers to replace aging KC-135
and KC-10 aircraft. If the contract is won, it will require EADS to invest
approximately US$600 million in an assembly plant in the United States.
Boeing 767 AAR derived tankers were originally selected by the USAF, but
following the discovery of a bribery scandal the American government cancelled
the Boeing lease and reopened the competition.
The A330-200Lite would have contained weight reduction and new engines in
an attempt to compete with the 787-9. The concept was extended and renamed
as the A350. Singapore Airlines (SIA) is one of several potential customers.
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License.
It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Airbus A330".