One year after the program was launched, Airbus have declared the production of the very first A330neo underway.
The program was announced at the Farnborough Air Show in July last year and in their recent statement, Airbus have announced that the first ‘cutting of metal’ has commenced at production facilities in Nantes and Toulouse.
The wide-body twin-engine jet airliner, which is now under development, will replace the Airbus A330 and there will be two variants of the A330neo - the A330-800neo and the A330-900neo.
The A330neo will also feature enhancements such as winglets, a longer wingspan (64 meters) and new engine pylons. These enhancements are said to reduce the fuel burn by 14% per seat.
Airbus revealed: “The first A330neo Centre Wing Box rib 1 produced in Nantes uses an innovative Isogrid design with 330 triangular pockets which enables the part to meet all our rigidity, strength and low weight requirements.
The all-new pylon produced in Saint-Eloi is a key element in the A330neo’s innovative design, attaching the latest generation, fuel-efficient Trent 7000 engines to the wings. Made out of lightweight titanium, the A330neo pylon uses cutting-edge aerodynamics, materials and design technologies derived from the A350 XWB. The A330neo pylon will be fitted with a new A350 XWB inspired fairing made from composite materials and titanium for ensuring optimised aerodynamics.”
The A330-800neo and A330-900neo jetliners are the most cost efficient, medium-range wide-body aircraft on the market and the A330neo is the latest evolution to Airbus’ wide-body family, which includes A330, A350 XWB and A380 jetliners.