Take-off boost for A330neo

The Airbus A330neo is to undergo a series of performance enhancements that will increase its take-off weight by around 2.6 tonnes. 

The improvements will be achieved through changes to flap settings and by faster and earlier retraction of the undercarriage and landing gear doors.

Engineers on the A330neo programme have developed an upgrade which will offer four extra programmable flap positions and requiring no physical changes to the aircraft. The aircraft’s avionics will automatically move the slats and flaps on the wing to the desired intermediate position for take-off, and no changes to the actual flap lever itself are required, although some computer hardware modifications may be necessary.

At the most severely runway-restricted airports, the net take-off weight gain could be as much as four tonnes without increasing the engine’s thrust. Airports where such operators could expect gains include Madrid, Minneapolis, Reunion, Dusseldorf, Bogota, London Gatwick and Mumbai, Airbus said. Shortening the landing gear retraction time by around 0.8 seconds and reducing the landing gear doors’ opening and closing time by around 0.2 seconds, will add an extra tonne in take-off capability. As well as reducing the retraction time itself, the landing gear sequence is also being programmed to commence a couple of seconds earlier after take-off.