I love it when a plane comes together.
Airbus has just released a two-minute video showing the assembly of an A330-900 jetliner, from delivery of components to the final assembly line, and finally to flight.
The video starts with the parts being unloaded from Airbus Beluga 3, one of the company’s original fleet of five whale-shaped cargo planes which fly its aircraft components between European production sites and its final assembly lines in Toulouse, Hamburg and Tianjin.
The plane we’re watching being assembled is Air Mauritius’ first A330-900, which it took delivery of in Toulouse, France, on April 18.
The A330-900 is the extended-fuselage member of the A330neo family, making Air Mauritius the first A330neo operator based in the southern hemisphere.
The plane’s named Aapravasi Ghat, after a Mauritian UNESCO World Heritage site, and it will feature a two-class cabin with 28 business class seats and 260 economy class seats.
The engines are latest-generation Rolls-Royce Trent 7000 engines while the Sharklet composite wingtips are designed to reduce fuel burn.
The carrier will deploy the aircraft on routes connecting Mauritius to Europe, India and South East Asian routes and on regional destinations including Johannesburg, Antananarivo and Reunion Island.
The A330 has an order book of more than 1,700 aircraft from 120 customers, meaning that staff in Toulouse and elsewhere are going to be kept pretty busy rolling out more widebody craft just like this one.