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Slow and low – flypast for Airbus’ newest widebody aircraft

Airbus employees were treated to a stunning flypast yesterday morning when the plane makers newest widebody aircraft, an A330neo paid a visit over the skies of Wrexham as part of its flight test programme.

Around 100 Airbus employees watched, along with Wrexham.com and Deeside.com, as the aircraft flew in from Hamburg arriving over Broughton just after 12.30pm, it performed a low and slow pass along the runway before powering up and heading off to Toulouse.

The jet will now embark on a tour of 15 major airports worldwide over five continents, aiming at achieving 150 flight test hours in three trips.

The tour will demonstrate the A330’s readiness for airline operations ahead of entering service with Portuguese flag carrier TAP Air Portugal, the tour is the final step in the aircraft certification phase.

The function & reliability tests, also known as “route proving” will include ETOPS missions – landing at diversion airports and testing airport handling services.

Following the flypast over Airbus’ European sites yesterday, the A330neo will head for 15 major airports worldwide over five continents, aiming at achieving 150 Flight Test Hours in three trips.

The route proving tests are performed with the first A330-900 production aircraft, fully equipped with an Airspace by Airbus cabin and flying in launch operator’s Tap Air Portugal colours.

The aircraft first flew on May 15 this year – launching flight-tests to check cabin systems such as air conditioning.

Route proving tests form part of the last trials required for aircraft Type Certification scheduled for summer 2018.

The A330neo family was launched in 2014 and is the new generation A330, comprising two versions: the A330-800 and A330-900.

The A330neo is powered by Rolls-Royce’s latest-generation Trent 7000 engines and features a new Broughton made wing with increased span and A350 XWB inspired Sharklets.

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