Starting on June 19, TAP’s new Airbus A330neo made the first of a series of flight tests around the world, in the TAP colors and with some TAP flight crew. The first flight in this series brought the A330neo to Lisbon for the first time, from where it flew to Rio de Janeiro, returning to the Portuguese capital before heading off once more, this time to São Paulo, Recife and Miami (below).
By the end of June, the A330neo in TAP’s colors will have carried out a test flight plan that will have taken it to Kuala Lumpur, Manila, Jakarta, Bangkok and Mauritius. During the final stage, TAP’s new aircraft will fly to New Delhi, Reykjavik, Chicago and Atlanta, before finishing its journey around the world by returning to the Airbus factory in Toulouse.
As the final step in the aircraft certification stage, these tests are also known as route tests and include ETOPS mission, diverted airport landings and handling tests. After visiting Europe, the A330neo will go on to visit the 15 main airports on five continents to achieve 150 hours of test flights.
The route verification tests are the latest requirements for Aircraft Type Certification scheduled for this summer.
On March 20 this year, TAP made history with this aircraft when TAP pilots took the A330-900neo for a flight in Toulouse. Normally only Airbus pilots are allowed to operate these flights. The aircraft was tested in several different flight configurations that are only used in training simulators, as well as several take-off and landing manoeuvres.
TAP will be the first airline in the world to operate the new A330-900neo aircraft. This aircraft will be the first equipped with the new version of the Airspace cabin, which is a new concept shaped to meet TAP’s ambition to offer the best product in the industry to its clients. As well as this new Airspace cabin interior, the A330neo will also incorporate the latest generation Rolls-Royce Trent 7000 jet turbines and aerodynamic improvements. With its unbeatable economy, versatility and reliability, the A330neo will consume up to 14% less fuel per seat, making it the world’s most efficient wide-bodied aircraft.
Top Copyright Photo (all others by Miami International Airport and Airbus): The first A330neo before its first flight: TAP Portugal – Air Portugal Airbus A330-941 F-WWCP (CS-TUB) (msn 1836) TLS (Eurospot). Image: 941471.
TAP aircraft slide show: