Introduction of A330neo
Airbus A330neo is the outcome of a strong competition between two aircraft manufacturing giants; Boeing and Airbus. The aircraft was Airbus’ answer to Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner so as to maintain a balance in the global aviation industry. Although, Dreamliner has outpaced the competition in terms of range and fuel economy. But A330neo seems to stay floating for a while as well. In addition. the aircraft has two variants namely as A330-800 and A330-900. The 900 series was launched earlier than the 800 series.
Reason for Existence of A330neo
Airbus was the first one to bring up the concept of wide-body commercial aircraft in the global aviation industry. There was a major transition from A320 (a narrow-body commercial aircraft) to a bigger aircraft A340 (a wide-body commercial aircraft). It was a big leap since it was about moving from twin engines to quad engines. Moreover, the fuselage size also increased along with the weight factor. Although, the A340 came earlier than the older version of the Boeing 777, it could not match the growing pace of the Boeing 777 due to its high fuel consumption. Airbus A330-300 was closely launched after A340 since its airframe was primarily based on the airframe of A340.
Read more:- Airbus A330 Technical Data
The Hour of the Need
While the A340 failed to capture the market share in the wide-body aircraft, its counterpart Boeing came with a better solution. The solution offered twin engines, almost similar capacity but with better fuel efficiency. At this hour, Airbus realized that an aircraft is needed to sustain its position in the market. Airbus A330-200 was a good recovery as it received more orders than the A330-300. The continuation of the A330 series leads to the production of the Airbus A350 which is actually a true competition for the Boeing 787. Dreamliner. However, Airbus also thought of bringing A330neo to improve its market position. The first A330neo of the 900 series was inducted by TAP Air Portugal in December 2018.
This variant had 298 seats including 34 full-flat businesses, 96 economy plus, and 168 economy seats. The aircraft its first commercial flight on 15 December 2018 from Lisbon to Sau Paulo. TAP Air Portugal holds the highest number of A330neo in its fleet around the globe. At present, it has an inventory of 19 aircraft.
Special Features of Airbus A330neo
Airbus A330neo has two significant features which made its sustainability possible in the present neck-to-neck competition. The major changes include the new engine, the inherited Sharklets aerodynamic design, and the new interior airspace cabins. In addition, from the aerodynamic point of view, the length of its wings has also increased. This extension in length has improved the lift factors. The specialized features A330neo can be divided into three broad areas of Power, Efficiency, and Commodity respectively.
The A330neo is equipped with the most powerful power plant. It has a Rolls Royce Trent 7000 Turbo Fan Engine. The abbreviation ‘TRENT’ stands for ‘ Thrust, Efficiency, New Technology). The engine is an advanced version of the Trent 1000 Engine. The latter one is in use with the Boeing 787 Dreamliner. The unique feature of the TRENT 7000 Engine is its Fan size. Due to a larger diameter of 112 inches, it has a bypass ratio of 10:1. The bypass ratio is the ratio of the air bleeding out of the engine to the air entering the core part of the engine for combustion. High bypass ratio engines produce more thrust.
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Inherited ‘SHARKLET’ Design with Wing Design Change
Airbus A330neo has inherited the SHARKLET design from Airbus A350. Not only this, but there is a change in length of the wings. Both these factors have improved the fuel efficiency and lesser fuel burn with better aerodynamics. The aircraft saves 14% lesser fuel than any other aircraft of similar configuration.
The aircraft has a redefined interior cabin. The newly designed airspace is the efficiency enabler. The cabin of A330-900 has 18 inches wider seats that add ten additional seats in the economy class, while A330-800neo is able to offer six extra seats. The longer fuselage of the A330-900neo provides seating for up to 440 passengers and the A330-800neo can seat up to 406 passengers. The aircraft offers 2 x 4 x2 seating configuration with two aisles.
A330neo : A Complete Digital Aircraft
In addition. passengers travelling in the new A330neo are provided with fourth generation in-flight entertainment by Skywise digital solution . The aircraft will also offer LED mood lighting and Wi-Fi connectivity. Over and above, Airbus A330neo is a complete digital aircraft equipped with the best digital platform. This platform not only supports the operational and maintenance requirements but also extends a customized ‘WIFI SOLUTION’ to its customers.
Read more:- Airbus A330-200F
By looking at the aircraft itself, there are both tangible and intangible positive factors associated with A330neo. Both, for the operators and the customers. Just take a quick look at what we have in Airbus A330neo?
Airbus A330neo is yet to make its foothold in the aviation industry. The number of orders for A330neo are still not too much promising as it was expected. With the presence of a strong competitor and travel restrictions due to pandemic, the growth is still pacing slower than expected. However, Airbus is quite optimistic about this variant of the Airbus family: owing to its better fuel efficiency and customers’ preference for better travel experience.
Written by guest writer, Faisal Bashir