The European Aviation Safety Agency today granted certification to Airbus for its new increased-takeoff-weight version of the A330 airliner, offering increased range or payload. The A330-300 has a maximum gross takeoff weight of 242 metric tons (533,510 pounds), which is 7 metric tons (15,432 pounds) more than the original A330-300.
“The latest A330’s maximum takeoff weight of 242 metric tons, combined with various aerodynamic refinements and increased fuel capacity means that soon operators will benefit from an extended range of up to 500 nautical miles or [the ability to] carry greater payload,” explained A330 program head Eric Zanin. “Moreover, they will do so with a fuel-consumption reduction of up to two percent.”
For now, the A330-300 242 t model is powered by a pair of GE Aviation CF6-80E1 engines, and Airbus is working on certification for models equipped with the alternative Pratt & Whitney PW4000 and Rolls-Royce Trent 700 engines. FAA certification should follow soon. Airbus is also working on a 242-ton variant of the smaller A330-200.
The 242-ton A330 airframe is the basis for development of the re-engined A330neo. To date, 11 airlines have selected the increased maximum takeoff weight option for new A330s they have on order.