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A330neo starts route proving flights
First A330-900 for Air Portugal. © Airbus

A330neo starts route proving flights

The first A330-900 production aircraft has embarked on a worldwide tour to demonstrate its readiness for airline operations.

The first A330-900 production aircraft has embarked on a worldwide tour to demonstrate its readiness for airline operations. These function and reliability tests, also known as route proving, will include ETOPS (Extended-range Twin-engine Operational Performance Standards) missions, landing at diversion airports and testing airport handling services.

After a fly-past over Airbus’ European sites, the A330neo will head for 15 major airports worldwide over five continents, aiming at achieving 150 flight test hours in three trips.

The aircraft is equipped with an Airspace by Airbus cabin and flying in launch operator TAP Air Portugal’s colours. The aircraft first flew on 15 May 2018, launching flight tests to check cabin systems such as air conditioning. TAP has ordered 10 A330-900s.

Today, two A330-900 flight test aircraft and the TAP customer aircraft are involved in the intensive flight test programme, which will reach 1,000 flight hours during the tour of the Airbus plants. Type certification is scheduled for summer 2018.

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