Airbus Military has announced that the first A330 MRTT Future Strategic Tanker Aircraft (FSTA) for the Royal Air Force has made its first flight since being converted to tanker configuration.
The flight took place from Getafe, near Madrid, on September 16 and lasted for nearly two hours. The crew reported that the aircraft, its systems, and two Rolls-Royce Trent 700 engines performed satisfactorily. No refuelling activity was undertaken during the flight.
“After this major conversion of the aircraft to a MRTT, it was very satisfying to find everything working so well,” said chief pilot FSTA Tim Butler. “This first flight of a second version of the A330 MRTT confirms the handling qualities and maturity of the aircraft.”
The flight marks the beginning of a test campaign that will lead to first delivery to the RAF towards the end of 2011. Initial operating capability is expected in 2014.