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 HERNDON, Va., Oct. 21 /PRNewswire/ -- Airbus Industrie's newest aircraft, the A330, became the first airliner in the world to achieve simultaneous European and American certification(A) Oct. 21, clearing it for airline service. The A330 is the largest twin-engined airliner ever built, as well as the second new Airbus aircraft to win approval in less than a year -- the A340 was certificated in December 1992.
 A330 certification marks the culmination of a $3.5 billion joint A330/A340 program, launched in June 1987, which tested both aircraft to their limits of operation -- and sometimes beyond them to provide a margin -- to ensure full compliance with rigorous safety standards.
 Joint European and American certification of the Airbus A330 is a valuable step forward in harmonizing civil-aircraft standards worldwide, setting a standard from which future aircraft will benefit. The A330's historic achievement is a tribute to the combined efforts of hundreds of specialists of different disciplines and nationalities, who have upheld the highest safety standards in a spirit of cooperation.
 In addition to JAA and FAA pilots putting the A330 through its paces in flight, the joint certification team involved specialists in some 200 meetings and the creation of more than 900 technical reports.
 "The A330's approval for airline service is a further milestone in the evolution of the Airbus aircraft family, which remains the most modern an airline can buy and comes almost 21 years to the day since the consortium's first aircraft, the A300, made its maiden flight(B)," said Airbus Industrie Managing Director Jean Pierson.
 The A330 tests involved three Airbus A330s -- all powered by General Electric CF6-80E1 engines -- flying more than 1,100 hours in over 420 missions. In addition to ensuring good handling for pilots and measuring take-off, cruise and landing performance, these flights included a live test of extended range twin-engine operations (ETOPS) with an engine being deliberately shut down above the Atlantic Ocean, plus rigorous route-proving flights with Malaysia Airlines out of Kuala Lumpur and with Air Inter from Paris. The flight trials also showed that the A330 performed better than promised, which means that airlines can look forward to better fuel consumption and the ability to carry more payload.
 Other trials bent the wing of a real aircraft until it broke in static testing, subjected another aircraft to the equivalent of a lifetime(C) in airline service during fatigue trials and verified systems behavior in many hundreds of hours on a special test rig.
 The A330 has also benefited from many of the tests carried out on the A340, which is identical except for its engines. For example, many of the flight test achievements, structural tests and systems trials carried out on the A340 are also valid for the A330, and this played an important part in ensuring that A330 trials went smoothly.
 French carrier Air Inter will be the first airline to take delivery of the A330, in December this year, followed by Malaysia Airlines and Thai Airways in 1994 and by Cathay Pacific Airways and German carrier LTU in 1995.
 Further development of the A330 is continuing, with the aim of achieving certification for versions powered by the Pratt & Whitney PW4168 at end-April 1994 and by the Rolls-Royce Trent 700 at end-December 1994.
 Firm orders for the A330/A340 family stand at 238 from 33 customers.
 (A) The European Joint Airworthiness Authorities (JAA) representing 19 countries -- Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Monaco, The Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom -- and the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).
 (B) The A300 made its first flight on Oct. 28, 1972.
 (C) Testing will continue to the equivalent of 2.5 lifetimes.
 -0- 6/18/93
 /NOTE TO EDITORS: The Airbus A330 typically seats 335 passengers in a first and economy class layout and can carry them up to 4,500 n.m./8,300 km. It has two engines because Airbus studies show this to be the best solution for short-to-medium-haul routes. Airbus Industrie offers the similarly sized four-engined A340 for very-long- haul routes, where four engines are the most efficient solution. An airline can thus chose the best aircraft for the kind of routes that it wants to fly -- the A330 for short-haul flights and the A340 for long- haul ones. The A330 continues Airbus Industrie's leadership of the widebody, twin-engined aircraft market, which it created in the early '70s with its A300 family.
 The A330 and A340 are identical except for their engines, sharing the same fuselage, wings, empennage, systems and cockpits. They are the largest aircraft in the Airbus aircraft family. The A340 entered airline service in March this year with Lufthansa and Groupe Air France and has since been joined by THY of Turkey. It has already earned a good reputation for itself in airline service, proving popular with both airlines and passengers.
 /CONTACT: Mark Zielazny of Airbus Industrie, 703-834-3455/

CO: Airbus Industrie ST: Virginia IN: ARO AIR SU:

MH-DS -- DC018 -- 5117 10/21/93 11:11 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Oct 21, 1993

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