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Airbus A330 Airbus
Medium to Long-Range Jetliner

Airbus launched both the A330 and A340 projects following several years of design studies investigating high-capacity, long-range aircraft. The pair of new designs was developed primarily to compete with Boeing's 767, 777, and older models of the 747.

In keeping with the many advancements made by earlier Airbus products, the A330 and A340 set precedents of their own by becoming the first commercial aircraft to be designed entirely by computer-aided design (CAD) software. This innovation helped to reduce development time and costs. Development and production costs were further reduced by maximizing commonality between the A330 and A340 as much as possible. The two aircraft share the same fuselage, landing gear, tail assembly, flight deck and basic wing. In addition, the fly-by-wire control system developed for the A320 was incorporated into both aircraft as were the digitial cockpit displays used on the earlier A300 and A310. The only significant difference between the A330 and A340 is the propulsion arrangement. Whereas the A340 is equipped with four engines for intercontinental flights, the A330 instead uses two engines for better economy on shorter routes.

Two major versions of the A330 have been developed to date. These include the basic A330-300 and the shorter extended-range A330-200. Additional shortened and stretched versions have also been studied. The A330 has also been heavily marketed to military services needing in-flight refueling tanker and cargo transport capabilities. Known as the Multi Role Tanker Transport (MRTT), the design has been sold to Australia, the United Kingdom, and the UAE. Airbus has also partnered with the American defense contractor Northrop Grumman hoping to sell a version of the MRTT called the KC-30 to the US Air Force. Around 250 examples of the A330 were built by 2003 with production still underway.

Data below for A330-200 and A330-300
Last modified 13 June 2012

First Flight (A330-300) 2 November 1992
(A330-200) 13 August 1997
(A330-200F) 5 November 2009
Service Entry

(A330-300) January 1994 (with Air Inter)
(A330-200) April 1998
(A330-200F) planned for mid-2010 (with Etihad Airways)

CREW: two flight crew: pilot, co-pilot

PASSENGERS: (A330-200) 253 in three classes, 293 in two classes, 380 in one class
(A330-300) 335 in three classes, 440 in one class


(A330-200) $185 million [2008$]

Wing Root unknown
Wing Tip


Length (A330-200) 193.58 ft (59.06 m)
(A330-300) 208.83 ft (63.65 m)
Wingspan (A330-200) 197.83 ft (59.06 m)
(A330-300) 148.42 ft (45.23 m)
Height (A330-200) 58.67 ft (17.90 m)
(A330-300) 42.42 ft (12.92 m)
Wing Area (A340-200) 3,892 ft² (361.6 m²)
Canard Area

not applicable

Empty (A330-200) 265,700 lb (120,520 kg)
(A330-300) 265,185 lb (120,285 kg)
Normal Takeoff unknown
Max Takeoff (A330-200) 507,000 lb (229,970 kg)
(A330-300) 467,380 lb (212,000 kg)
Fuel Capacity (A330-200) 36,750 gal (139,090 L)
Max Payload

(A330-200) 80,250 lb (36,400 kg)
(A330-300) 102,960 lb (46,715 kg)

Powerplant two General Electric CF6-80E1 turbofans or
two Pratt & Whitney PW4000 turbofans or
two Rolls-Royce Trent 700 turbofans
Thrust (GE) 135,000 lb (600.6 kN)

Max Level Speed at altitude: 560 mph (900 km/h)
at sea level: unknown
cruise speed: 545 mph (880 km/h)
Initial Climb Rate unknown
Service Ceiling 39,370 ft (12,000 m)
Range (A330-200) 6,400 nm (11,850 km)
(A330-300) 4,500 nm (8,335 km)
g-Limits unknown

A300B9 Airbus design study based on the A300 that led to the A330 concept
A330-100 Proposed shortened model to replace the A300-600 and A310, combines the A300-600 fuselage with a wing derived from the A330 plus digital cockpit displays and a fly-by-wire control system
A330-200 Long-range model with a shorter fuselage and larger wing derived from that of the A340-300; 79 built by 2001
A330-200F Cargo freighter based on the A330-200
A330-300 First production model; 97 built by 2001
A330-300P2F Proposed passenger-to-freighter model that would be converted from A330-300 airliners
A330-400X Proposed stretched model for a larger passenger load to operate over shorter ranges
A330 MRTT Multi Role Tanker Transport marketed to military operators for use as a combined in-flight refueling tanker and cargo transport, model is based on the A330-200 and capable of carrying 37,000 gal (140,000 L) of fuel
KC-30 Designation used for the A330 MRTT offered to the US Air Force by EADS and partner Northrop Grumman

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Government/Military Australia (Royal Australian Air Force)
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United Arab Emirates (United Arab Emirates Air Force)
United Kingdom (Royal Air Force)


Airbus A330

  • Aboulafia, Richard. Jane's Civil Aircraft. Glasgow: Harper Collins Publishers, 1996, p. 34-35, Airbus A330.
  • Airbus A330/A340 site
  • Donald, David, ed. The Complete Encyclopedia of World Aircraft. NY: Barnes & Noble, 1997, p. 36, Airbus Industrie A330 and A340.
  • Donald, David, ed. The Encyclopedia of Civil Aircraft. San Diego, CA: Thunder Bay Press, 1999, p. 42-46, A330/A340.
  • Müller, Claudio. Aircraft of the World. NY: Muddle Puddle Books, 2004, p. 34-35, Airbus A330-200.
  • Rendall, David. Jane's Aircraft Recognition Guide, 2nd ed. London: Harper Collins Publishers, 1999, p. 205, Airbus A330.
  • Taylor, Michael. Brassey's World Aircraft & Systems Directory 1996/1997. London: Brassey's, 1996, p. 289-290, Airbus A330.
  • Taylor, Michael J. H. Brassey's World Aircraft & Systems Directory 1999/2000. London: Brassey's, 1999, p. 273-274, Airbus A330.

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