Airbus A330 Spotting Guide


The Airbus A330 is a derivative of Airbus's first airliner, the Airbus A300. The two-engine A330 was developed in parallel with the four-engine Airbus A340, and the two airliners share a number of common airframe, design, and operational components. 

Airbus A330 Variants

The A330-300, the first variant, first flew in November of 1992 and entered passenger service with Air Inter in January of 1994. The overall length of the A330-300 is 208' 11".

Airbus later developed the shorter A330-200 variant, ten fuselage frames shorter than the -300, in 1998. The length of the A330-200 is 193'. the -200 has a taller tail than the -300, and measures 57' in height.

Since its launch, the A330 has allowed Airbus to expand market share in wide-body airliners. Competing twinjets include the Boeing 767 and Boeing 777, as well as the newer Boeing 787.

A total of 1,368 A330s have been delivered by Airbus as of December of 2017.

A330 Model Overall
Length
Overall
Height
Typical
Seating
Range
A330-200 193' 0" 57' 0" 247 7,250nm
A330-300 208' 10" 55' 3" 277 6,350nm
A330-800neo 193' 0" 57' 0" 257 7,500nm
A330-900neo 208' 10" 55' 3" 287 6,550nm

Airbus A330neo

Airbus A330neo
Airbus A330neo (photo courtesy of Airbus)

The new A330neo family of jetliners incorporates the latest-generation Rolls-Royce Trent 7000 engines, along with multiple aerodynamic improvements.

With a range of 7,500 nautical miles, the A330-800neo typically will seat 257 passengers in three classes of service, while offering capacity for up to 406 travellers in a high-density configuration.

The A330-800neo retains the same overall length as the A330-200, i.e, 193'.

The extended-fuselage member of Airbus’ A330neo product line, the A330-900neo, can accommodate 287 seats in a typical three-class layout or up to 440 for high-density configurations. It incorporates the latest-generation Rolls-Royce Trent 7000 engines, along with aerodynamic improvements including new composite Sharklet wingtip devices, as well as increased lift and reduced drag.

The A330-900neo retains the same overall length as the A330-300, i.e, 208' 10".

The first A330neo prototype, a A330-900neo, first flew on October 19, 2017 from Toulouse. A second A330-900neo and a A330-800neo will also participate in flight testing.

To date 12 customers have placed orders for a total of 212 A330neos.

Airbus A330 Spotting Tips

Airbus A330 spotter's guide: notched windshield window, two engines (one under each wing), one passenger deck the length of the fuselage, main landing gear fall to the rear, a "bulged' area between the wings, winglets, and a straight fuselage under the tail structure.
Airbus A330 spotter's guide: notched windshield window, two engines (one under each wing), one passenger deck the length of the fuselage, main landing gear fall to the rear, a "bulged' area between the wings, and a straight fuselage under the tail structure.

Comparison of the Airbus A330-200 (top) and A330-300 (bottom). The difference in the number of windows between the two forward fuselage doors can distinguish the two models. Typically, the -200 has 12 windows between the two doors, while the -300 has between 17-18 windows; window configuration does vary.
Comparison of the Airbus A330-200 (top) and A330-300 (bottom). The difference in the number of windows between the two forward fuselage doors can distinguish the two models.


In-flight side-by-side comparison of the Airbus A330-200 (top) and A330-300 (bottom). The tail structure is taller on the -200 than the -300.
In-flight side-by-side comparison of the Airbus A330-200 (top) and A330-300 (bottom)

Airbus A330-200F spotter's guide: the freighter version of the A330 features a large nose undercarriage "blister" to facilitate a level deck during cargo loading and unloading.
Airbus A330-200F spotter's guide: the freighter version of the A330 features a large nose undercarriage "blister" to facilitate a level deck during cargo loading and unloading

The chart below shows how similar the Airbus A300 (top) and the A330 (bottom) are in overall appearance. One significant difference is between the wings and under the fuselage. The A300 is flat under the fuselage, whereas the A330 features a bulge in that area.
The chart below shows how similar the Airbus A300 and the A330 are in overall appearance. One significant difference is between the wings and under the fuselage. The A300 is smooth under the fuselage, whereas the A330 features a bulge in that area.


Shown below is a side-by-side comparison of the Airbus A330 (top) and A340 (bottom)
Side-by-side comparison of the Airbus A330 (top) and A340 (bottom)

Airbus A330 (bottom) and Boeing 767 (top) main landing gear differences
Boeing 767 and Airbus A330 spotting guide

Airbus A330 Photographs

US Airways Airbus A330-200
US Airways Airbus A330-200 in a landing approach

Air Canada Airbus A330-300
Air Canada Airbus A330-300

Northwest Airlines Airbus A330-300
Northwest Airbus A330-300


Air Canada Alliance Airbus A330-343
Air Canada Alliance Airbus A330-343

Delta Air Lines Airbus A330
Delta Air Lines Airbus A330


For More Information on the Airbus A330

Visit the official website of Airbus Commercial Aircraft

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