Airbus has completed the first flight of the A330-800 wide-body aircraft in Toulouse, France with a test aircraft to perform flight-physics tests required for this variant.

Airbus say the A330-800’s certification development programme will include around 300 flight-test hours, making the way for certification in 2019.

The larger A330-900 family member, recently completed its development testing and certification programme which validated the A330neo Family’s common engines, systems, cabin and flight and ground operations.

The A330-800 and A330-900 will accommodate 257 and 287 passengers respectively in a three-class seating layout, and are powered by the latest-generation Rolls-Royce Trent 7000 engines.

The new aircraft will feature new ‘Airspace’ cabin amenities and feature a new larger span wing with Sharklet wingtip devices.

“Today’s first flight of the A330-800 is the latest addition to our efficient Widebody family,” said Guillaume Faury, president Airbus Commercial Aircraft. “The A330-800 is an exceptionally versatile ‘route-opener’, offering unbeatable economics for airlines – encompassing everything from short to very-long haul widebody missions.” He added: “We look forward to the successful flight-test campaign, leading to certification next year.”

The maiden flight of the first A330-800, MSN1888, lasted four hours and four minutes.

At the end of September 2018, Airbus’ orderbook includes 14 customers who have placed orders for a total of 224 A330neos.

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