Wide body – slim wings

Posted by at 14:00

This time in our ‘Aircraft’ series we are going to take a closer look at the Airbus A330. KLM has eleven A330-200s in its fleet. Three A330-300s will be added in the spring of 2012.

A330 opstijgen

The A330 is a unique plane; it has a beautiful design and uses less kerosene than other types of aircraft. The A330 can be refuelled to the nearest kilo. During refuelling, the plane obviously gets heavier but unlike other planes that gradually sink as more fuel is taken on, the A330 sinks only in increments of 5 cm at a time.

The A330-200 has many automated systems and safety features. Almost all aircraft instruments are integrated into six screens (two for primary flight data, two for navigation, one for the systems and one for the engines and warnings) that give a clear view so that the flight crew can see the status of the aircraft at a glance. The aircraft has a digital ‘Fly by Wire’ system. This means that it is not controlled by mechanical cables but through electronic signals. In fact, the aircraft is controlled by a side stick, similar to the joystick used with game computers.

The A330 has a characteristic nose-down attitude on the ground.

A330 neus

Some facts and figures:

* The twin-engine wide-body aircraft is made by the European manufacturer Airbus.
* Depending on the type of aircraft and the seating plan, the A330 can carry 255 to 380 passengers; due to the Economy Comfort chairs with a 35 inch pitch, KLM’s A330-200s seat a maximum of 243 passengers.
* The slimmer wings have separate kerosene tanks, which improves the aerodynamics on take-off. After take-off, the aircraft distributes the fuel over several tanks. On a flight from Amsterdam to Atlanta, the aircraft consumes an average of 49,000 kilos of fuel. The maximum take-off weight is 233,000 kilos.
* The wing span is 60.3 metres and the wing surface is 361.2 square metres.
* The length of the aircraft is 58.37 metres and the vertical tail tip is 17.73 metres above ground.
* Average takes off speed is 315 kilometres per hour, climbing at an initial rate of 600 metres per minute. The surface ceiling of the A330 is 12,500 meters and the aircraft lands at an average of 260 kilometres per hour. The A330 cruises at 880 kilometres per hour and its maximum range is 8,800 kilometres. Depending on temperature, wind and air-pressure, the fully laden aircraft needs only 2,650 metres of runway. This short landing distance means that the aircraft can land at many airports.

A330 open

All of KLM’s A330-200s bear the names of famous squares around the world. Some time ago, we requested our followers on the KLM Bright Ideas page to come up with a name for the second A330-300 to arrive next year. With 142 votes, Piazza Navona (Roma) was chosen.

Karin
Corporate Communications

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12 Responses to Wide body – slim wings

  1. Robert

    Seattle – AMS is within the range of an A330, but how does KLM take a small aircraft to base, within the safety restrictions put in place by the authorities (like ETOPS)?

    • Robin

      I suppose you mean the delivery flights of new airplanes? (e.g. Boeing 737)
      They first fly from Boeing field (Seattle) to Keflavik (Iceland) refuel there and then continue to Amsterdam. The planes with a longer range  (e.g. Boeing 777) can fly this distance easy at one.

    • KLM

      On the B737-700 aircraft we fly non-stop Seattle-Amsterdam, which results in a flight time of nearly 10 hrs. Because the aircraft is practically empty, with only 6-10 persons on board we are able to take enough fuel to do so. For the slightly larger and heavier B737-800 the non-stop flight is only possible when the winds aloft are favorable, otherwise we need to have a fuel-stop in the United Kingdom. Our B737 aircraft are not ETOPS approved, but we stay within the 1 hour range of an airfield. The weather at these airfields needs to be better than a certain set minima, so in wintertime it can be challenging to find a route of flight which is covered by these 60 minutes airfields. I hope this answers your question.

  2. Robert

    Seattle – AMS is within the range of an A330, but how does KLM take a small aircraft to base, within the safety restrictions put in place by the authorities (like ETOPS)?

    • Robin

      I suppose you mean the delivery flights of new airplanes? (e.g. Boeing 737)
      They first fly from Boeing field (Seattle) to Keflavik (Iceland) refuel there and then continue to Amsterdam. The planes with a longer range  (e.g. Boeing 777) can fly this distance easy at one.

    • KLM

      On the B737-700 aircraft we fly non-stop Seattle-Amsterdam, which results in a flight time of nearly 10 hrs. Because the aircraft is practically empty, with only 6-10 persons on board we are able to take enough fuel to do so. For the slightly larger and heavier B737-800 the non-stop flight is only possible when the winds aloft are favorable, otherwise we need to have a fuel-stop in the United Kingdom. Our B737 aircraft are not ETOPS approved, but we stay within the 1 hour range of an airfield. The weather at these airfields needs to be better than a certain set minima, so in wintertime it can be challenging to find a route of flight which is covered by these 60 minutes airfields. I hope this answers your question.

  3. FERCHU2969

    BOEING  OR IM NOT GOING!!

  4. FERCHU2969

    BOEING  OR IM NOT GOING!!

  5. Shashie

    The most beautiful silhouette to me is still the B 747 *(all variants except the shorter body version [was it the SP?]). Its graceful wing sweepback, and majestic presence. Can’t beat the jumbo :) 

  6. Shashie

    The most beautiful silhouette to me is still the B 747 *(all variants except the shorter body version [was it the SP?]). Its graceful wing sweepback, and majestic presence. Can’t beat the jumbo :) 

  7. Issa

    Does the plane happen to have individual LCD screens for all seats in economy class with an audio video on demand system. I am specifically asking about the Toronto-Amsterdam route and the Amsterdam-Abu Dhabi route and on the way back for the same route?

  8. Issa

    Does the plane happen to have individual LCD screens for all seats in economy class with an audio video on demand system. I am specifically asking about the Toronto-Amsterdam route and the Amsterdam-Abu Dhabi route and on the way back for the same route?

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