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Information about Airbus A330.

The Airbus A330 is a medium- to long-range wide-body twin-engine jet airliner made by Airbus. Versions of the A330 have a range of 5,000 to 13,430 kilometres (2,700 to 7,250 nmi; 3,110 to 8,350 mi) and can accommodate up to 335 passengers in a two-class layout or carry 70 tonnes (154,000 lb) of cargo.

The A330's origin dates to the mid-1970s as one of several conceived derivatives of Airbus's first airliner, the A300. The A330 was developed in parallel with the four-engine A340, which shared many common airframe components but differed in number of engines. Both airliners incorporated fly-by-wire flight control technology, first introduced on an Airbus aircraft with the A320, as well as the A320's six-display glass cockpit. In June 1987, after receiving orders from various customers, Airbus launched the A330 and A340. The A330 was Airbus's first airliner that offered a choice of three engines: General Electric CF6, Pratt & Whitney PW4000, and Rolls-Royce Trent 700.

The A330-300, the first variant, took its maiden flight in November 1992 and entered passenger service with Air Inter in January 1994. Airbus followed up with the slightly shorter A330-200 variant in 1998. Subsequently-developed A330 variants include a dedicated freighter, the A330-200F, a military tanker, the A330 MRTT, and a corporate jet, ACJ330. The A330 MRTT formed the basis of the proposed KC-45, entered into the US Air Force's KC-X competition in conjunction with Northrop Grumman, where after an initial win, on appeal lost to Boeing's tanker.

Since its launch, the A330 has allowed Airbus to expand market share in wide-body airliners. Competing twinjets include the Boeing 767 and 777, along with the 787, which entered service in late 2011. The long-range Airbus A350 XWB was planned to succeed both the A330 and A340. Airbus intends to replace the current A330 (referred to as the A330ceo (current engine option) since 2014) with the A330neo, which includes new engines and other improvements. As of November 2017, A330 orders stand at 1,694, of which 1,378 have been delivered and 1,346 remain in operation. The largest operator is Turkish Airlines with 64 A330s in its fleet.

Design of Airbus A330

The A330 is a medium-size, wide-body airliner, with two engines suspended on pylons under the wings. A two-wheel nose undercarriage and two four-wheel bogie main legs built by Messier-Dowty support the airplane on the ground. Its MTOW grew from 212 tonnes (467,000 lb) at introduction to 242 tonnes (534,000 lb) in 2015, enhancing its payload-range performance. John Leahy states it was intentionally being held down in takeoff weight and performance because Airbus avoided overlapping with the A340.

The airframe of the A330 features a low-wing cantilever monoplane with a wing virtually identical to that of the A340. On the A330-300 one engine is installed at the inboard pylon while the outboard pylon position is not used, while for the A340-300 both engine pylons are used, which allows the A340-300 wing to sustain a higher (wing limited) MTOW.

This is as the A340's two engines at each wing provide a more equal force distribution (engine weight) over the wing, while also the total engine weight counteracting moment is located more outboard with more engine weight located further outboard on the wing, hence the wing root bending moment with equal TOW is less on the A340-300 than on the A330-300. The wings were designed and manufactured by BAe, which developed a long slender wing with a very high aspect ratio to provide high aerodynamic efficiency.

The wing is swept back at 30 degrees and, along with other design features, allows a maximum operating Mach number of 0.86. The wing has a very high thickness-to-chord ratio of 12.8 percent, which means that a long span and high aspect ratio can be attained without a severe weight penalty. For comparison, the rival MD-11 has a thickness-to-chord ratio of 8–9 percent. Each wing also has a 2.74 m (8.99 ft) tall winglet instead of the wingtip fences found on earlier Airbus aircraft.

The shared wing design with the A340 allowed the A330 to incorporate aerodynamic features developed for the former aircraft. The failure of International Aero Engines' radical ultra-high-bypass V2500 "SuperFan", which had promised around 15 per cent fuel burn reduction for the A340, led to multiple enhancements including wing upgrades to compensate. Originally designed with a 56 m (180 ft) span, the wing was later extended to 58.6 m (190 ft) and finally to 60.3 m (200 ft). At 60.3 m (200 ft), the wingspan is similar to that of the larger Boeing 747–200, but with 35 percent less wing area.

Airbus A330 fuselage.

The A330 and A340 fuselage is based on that of the Airbus A300-600, with many common parts, and has the same external and cabin width: 5.64 m (19 ft) and 5.28 m (17 ft). Typical seating arrangements are 2–2–2 six-abreast in business class and 2–4–2 eight-abreast in economy class. The fin, rudder, elevators, horizontal tailplane are used as fuel tank, flaps, ailerons and spoilers are made of composite materials, making 10% of the structure weight. When necessary, the A330 uses the Honeywell 331–350C auxiliary power unit (APU) to provide pneumatics and electrical power.

The A330 shares the same glass cockpit flight deck layout as the A320 and A340, featuring electronic instrument displays rather than mechanical gauges. Instead of a conventional control yoke, the flight deck features side-stick controls, six main displays, and the Electronic Flight Instrument System (EFIS), which covers navigation and flight displays, as well as the Electronic Centralised Aircraft Monitor (ECAM). Apart from the flight deck, the A330 also has the fly-by-wire system common to the A320 family, the A340, the A350, and the A380. It also features three primary and two secondary flight control systems, as well as a flight envelope limit protection system which prevents maneuvers from exceeding the aircraft's aerodynamic and structural limits.


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