First A330-200F Rolls Out from Paint Shop in Toulouse

 - October 19, 2009, 9:18 AM

The first A330-200 Freighter last Friday emerged from the paint shop at Airbus’s Toulouse manufacturing complex as engineers ready the airplane for ground testing and transfer to the flight line. Airbus plans to hand over the airplane late this month to its flight-test department, which expects to fly it for the first time in November, on schedule.  
Preliminary data now shows that the aircraft can carry at least a half a metric ton more payload than Airbus first expected. The company attributes the gain to a reduction in the aircraft’s empty weight by a corresponding amount following an “extensive” weight-saving exercise throughout the development phase.
Billed as the first Airbus to address the market for heavy cargo and the first new midsize cargo aircraft launched in 40 years, the A330-200 has drawn firm orders from nine customers. The company expects to gain certification next spring and deliver the first example during the summer.