Posted on: 07 September 2015 by Mark Howells
The first cutting of metal for the A330neo is under way at the Airbus’s production facilities in Toulouse and Nantes one year after the OEM launched the programme.
Machining of the first engine pylon started during the summer at Airbus’s facility in Saint-Eloi, Toulouse, while the OEM’s plant in Nantes began production of the first A330neo centre wing box.
The A330-800neo and the A330-900neo are two new members of the Airbus widebody family with first deliveries scheduled to start in Q4 of 2017. In addition to greater fuel savings, A330neo operators will also benefit from a range increase of up to 400 nautical miles and of course all the operational commonality advantages of the Airbus family.
The first A330neo centre wing box rib 1 produced in Nantes uses an innovative Isogrid design with 330 triangular pockets which enables the part to meet all of Airbus’s rigidity, strength and low weight requirements.
The all-new pylon produced in Saint-Eloi is a key element in the A330neo’s innovative design, attaching the latest generation, fuel-efficient Rolls-Royce Trent 7000 engines to the wings. Made out of lightweight titanium, the A330neo pylon uses cutting-edge aerodynamics, materials and design technologies derived from the A350 XWB. The A330neo pylon will be fitted with a new A350 XWB-inspired fairing made from composite materials and titanium for ensuring optimised aerodynamics.
The A330neo pairing’s orderbook stands at 145 (10 A330-800neos and 135 A330-900neos). Low-fare, long-haul carrier AirAsia X was the launch customer on the programme and has orders for 55 A330-900neos.