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French Air Force's first A330 MRTT Phénix took to the skies

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World Aviation Defense & Security News - France
 
 
French Air Force's first A330 MRTT Phénix took to the skies
 
Airbus Defence and Space on Thursday Sept. 7 successfully completed the maiden flight of the first A330 MRTT Multi Role Tanker Transport for France. The aircraft, which will be known in French service as Phénix, is the first of nine ordered by the French Defence Procurement Agency DGA, plus another three expected to be confirmed.
     
French Air Force s first A330MRTT Phénix took to the ies jp 640 001French Air Force's A330 MRTT First Flight
(Credit: Pablo Cabellos / Airbus DS)
     
It is the second new standard A330 MRTT to fly, featuring structural modifications, aerodynamic improvements giving a fuel-burn reduction of up to 1%, upgraded avionics computers and enhanced military systems. The aircraft was converted in Getafe from a standard A330 assembled in Toulouse.

The crew reported that the aircraft performed in line with expectations during the 3h 25min flight. The Phénix fleet will be equipped with a combination of the Airbus Aerial Refuelling Boom System (ARBS) and underwing hose-and-drogue refuelling pods, and can carry 272 passengers or be configured for medical evacuation. First delivery is due in 2018.

Fifty-one A330 MRTTs have been ordered by eight nations of which 28 have been delivered.