The European Aviation Safety Agency granted type approval for the Airbus A330-200F today, following a 200-hour flight-test campaign. Airbus performed the trials with two aircraft, covering both engine types on offer: the Pratt & Whitney PW4000 and the Rolls-Royce Trent 700.
This dedicated freighter aircraft–a derivative of the A330-200 passenger model–gained certification through an amendment to the existing A330-200 EASA type certificate granted to Airbus in 1998. Airbus expects FAA type certification to follow soon.
“After a very smooth and successful flight test campaign we have reached certification in line with our planning, said Christian Favre, A330/340 chief engineer. “Moreover, thanks to some design optimization, the aircraft’s payload capability of 70 [metric] tons is one [metric] ton more than first expected.
“With the freighter market already showing signs of recovery, rising by 20 percent so far this year, we now have a great new aircraft to offer customers,” Favre concluded.
The A330-200F features an optimized fuselage cross-section, offering flexibility to carry a wide variety of pallet and container sizes. Airbus claims the aircraft offers 30 percent more volume than any other freighter in its class.
The company estimates that carriers will need more than 3,400 freighters in the next 20 years to cater for a 5.2-percent average annual growth rate. The forecast calls for a demand for some 1,600 midsize freighters such as the A330-200F.