Airbus is prepping the first A330-200 freighter for its maiden
flight, marking the debut of another aircraft derived from the same
platform as EADS/Northrop Grumman's proposed KC-45 Tanker.
This mid-size, long-haul cargo aircraft has been painted in its
commercial livery and is now being readied for ground tests that
will lead to a first takeoff in November.
The A330-200F is equipped with a 141x101-inch cargo door on the
forward fuselage - which also is included in the KC-45's
configuration - and has benefitted from an extensive weight saving
initiative throughout its development. Estimates are that will
translate into at least 1,100 lbs. more payload than the
A total of 67 firm orders have been booked for the A330-200F
from nine customers.
Certification of the A330-200F is expected during the spring of
2010, with the first delivery to follow in the summer.