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 Nov 16 2020

First training flight with on-board passengers on A330 MRTT

EINDHOVEN, The Netherlands - An Airbus A330 Mulitrole Tanker Transport (MRTT) aircraft took off from Eindhoven Air Base in the Netherlands for its first training flight with passengers on board on November 9, 2020. 

On its flight from Eindhoven to Brussels National via German airspace and then back to Eindhoven the passengers on board the A330 MRTT were able to experience the aircraft’s engine power during takeoffs and maneuverability in the air. The aircraft is one of two MRTTs so far received by the Multinational MRTT Unit (MMU) located at Eindhoven. Eventually operating nine A330 MRTTs, the MMU fleet will provide strategic transport of people and cargo, substantially enhance European air-to-air refueling capabilities, and will be available for medical evacuation, if needed.

The  A330 MRTT provides a Jack-of-all-trade solution

Six NATO Allies have pooled resources to make this initiative possible: Belgium, the Czech Republic, Germany, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and Norway. The effort has been supported by NATO and the European Union,  demonstrating effective cooperation 

between the two organisations to deliver critical capabilities for their members. The aircraft are owned by NATO and managed by the NATO Support and Procurement Agency, with the support of the Organization for Joint Armament Cooperation.

At a length of 58.8m and a width of 60.3m, the A330 MRTT is equipped with two Rolls-Royce engines of 72,000 pounds of thrust each, providing a maximum take-off weight of up to 233 tons including some 110 tons of kerosene, and reaching a cruising speed of 880 km/h. Air-to-Air Refuelling missions can be done with an “advanced refuelling boom system” and “hose and probe refuelling” via the pods under both wings allowing topping off all NATO fighter planes in flight. In addition an A330 MRTT can transport 267 passengers and 45 tons of cargo. One of the nine aircraft will come in a medical evacuation configuration which is equipped six intensive care units, 16 stretchers and 21 chairs for medical support.

Story by Belgian Air Force 

The Multinational MRTT Unit based at Eindhoven Air Base, the Netherlands, has received two of its foreseen nine A330 MRTT aircraft that will offer a reliable and versatile capability to the programme's member nations. Photo by Belgian Air Force/Jozef Vanden Broek  
An unusual perspective looking at the belly of an A330 MRTT aircraft at Eindhoven Air Base with a view of the control cameras for air-to-air refuelling operations. Photo by Belgian Air Force/Jozef Vanden Broek.
An A330 MRTT aircraft taking off - impressive engine power and maneuverability. Photo by Belgian Air Force/Jozef Vanden Broek.

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