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Ishrion
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Cathay Pacific/Dragon Retires The World's First A330

Fri Jul 24, 2020 12:07 pm

Cathay Pacific has announced the retirement of the world's first Airbus A330, B-HLJ.

This was the first A330 prototype (MSN 12) which rolled out in October 1992 and had its first flight on November 2, 1992.

Eventually, the aircraft was delivered to Cathay Pacific in 1996 and transferred to its subsidiary Dragonair in 2013.

B-HLJ was ferried from Hong Kong to Taipei Taoyuan last Friday after completing 63,900 hours and 26,983 cycles of service with Cathay Pacific.

This aircraft was never repainted in the Cathay Dragon livery, and still features the Dragonair branding.

Image

https://twitter.com/cathaypacific/statu ... 2757510144
Last edited by Ishrion on Fri Jul 24, 2020 12:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
TheWorm123
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Re: Cathay Pacific/Dragon Retires The World's Oldest A330

Fri Jul 24, 2020 12:14 pm

Still an incredibly modern plane in terms of automation and design when you think about it, minus the outdated inefficient engines.
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aemoreira1981
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Re: Cathay Pacific/Dragon Retires The World's First A330

Fri Jul 24, 2020 12:37 pm

Hopefully Airbus can acquire this frame back for a museum somewhere.
 
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Polot
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Re: Cathay Pacific/Dragon Retires The World's First A330

Fri Jul 24, 2020 12:52 pm

All those planes parked in the background is an impressive, albeit sad, sight.
 
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lightsaber
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Re: Cathay Pacific/Dragon Retires The World's First A330

Fri Jul 24, 2020 1:07 pm

I'm surprised at the low utilization. An A330 is certified for 180,000 hours and 60,000 cycles and over 24 years, this plane was just broken in.

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Dutchy
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Re: Cathay Pacific/Dragon Retires The World's First A330

Fri Jul 24, 2020 1:18 pm

Ishrion wrote:
This was the first A330 prototype (MSN 12) which rolled out in October 1992 and had its first flight on November 2, 1992.


Stupid question, how can the first A330 prototype be MSN12? Or is it the first A330-300?
Many happy landings, greetings from The Netherlands!
 
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Dutchy
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Re: Cathay Pacific/Dragon Retires The World's First A330

Fri Jul 24, 2020 1:19 pm

lightsaber wrote:
I'm surprised at the low utilization. An A330 is certified for 180,000 hours and 60,000 cycles and over 24 years, this plane was just broken in.

Lightsaber


Yes, good catch. I am amazed by the 180.000-hour mark though. Wasn't the 747 certified for 100.000hours?
Many happy landings, greetings from The Netherlands!
 
Ishrion
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Re: Cathay Pacific/Dragon Retires The World's First A330

Fri Jul 24, 2020 1:23 pm

Dutchy wrote:
Ishrion wrote:
This was the first A330 prototype (MSN 12) which rolled out in October 1992 and had its first flight on November 2, 1992.


Stupid question, how can the first A330 prototype be MSN12? Or is it the first A330-300?


I’m interested in the answer as well. The first A330 produced in general was the A330-300. The -200 was completed a few years later.
 
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Polot
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Re: Cathay Pacific/Dragon Retires The World's First A330

Fri Jul 24, 2020 1:23 pm

Ishrion wrote:
Dutchy wrote:
Ishrion wrote:
This was the first A330 prototype (MSN 12) which rolled out in October 1992 and had its first flight on November 2, 1992.


Stupid question, how can the first A330 prototype be MSN12? Or is it the first A330-300?


I’m interested in the answer as well. The first A330 produced in general was the A330-300. The -200 was completed a few years later.

Remember, the A330 was on the same line as the A340. MSN1-11 are all A343/A342s.
 
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Dutchy
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Re: Cathay Pacific/Dragon Retires The World's First A330

Fri Jul 24, 2020 1:27 pm

Polot wrote:
Ishrion wrote:
Dutchy wrote:

Stupid question, how can the first A330 prototype be MSN12? Or is it the first A330-300?


I’m interested in the answer as well. The first A330 produced in general was the A330-300. The -200 was completed a few years later.

Remember, the A330 was on the same line as the A340. MSN1-11 are all A343/A342s.


Ah right, that explains the. odd MSN number for a prototype. Thanks.
Many happy landings, greetings from The Netherlands!
 
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747classic
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Re: Cathay Pacific/Dragon Retires The World's First A330

Fri Jul 24, 2020 1:38 pm

Dutchy wrote:
Ishrion wrote:
This was the first A330 prototype (MSN 12) which rolled out in October 1992 and had its first flight on November 2, 1992.


Stupid question, how can the first A330 prototype be MSN12? Or is it the first A330-300?


The A340 and A330 were built at the same assembly line.
The first 11 aircraft were A340-300 and A340-200 aircraft.
MSN 12 was the first A330-301 (later rebuilt to A330-341 standard and before delivery to Cathay in 1996 to A330-342 standard.)
MSN 181 was the first A330-200, a shortened, longer-range variant.
Operating a twin over the ocean, you're always one engine failure from a total emergency.
 
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747classic
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Re: Cathay Pacific/Dragon Retires The World's First A330

Fri Jul 24, 2020 1:40 pm

Dutchy wrote:
lightsaber wrote:
I'm surprised at the low utilization. An A330 is certified for 180,000 hours and 60,000 cycles and over 24 years, this plane was just broken in.

Lightsaber


Yes, good catch. I am amazed by the 180.000-hour mark though. Wasn't the 747 certified for 100.000hours?


No, 747 classics 135.00 hrs and 744/748 165.000 hrs.
Operating a twin over the ocean, you're always one engine failure from a total emergency.
 
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aemoreira1981
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Re: Cathay Pacific/Dragon Retires The World's First A330

Fri Jul 24, 2020 2:03 pm

Dutchy wrote:
Ishrion wrote:
This was the first A330 prototype (MSN 12) which rolled out in October 1992 and had its first flight on November 2, 1992.


Stupid question, how can the first A330 prototype be MSN12? Or is it the first A330-300?


A330s and A340s share a common MSN system. The first A330 was this, the 12th in the series built. The first A330-200 was MSN 181, and has been scrapped (it last flew for TP).

BTW, when originally certified, the A330 was certified for 33,000 or 34,000 FC/100,000 FH and the A340 for 16,000 FC/100,000 FH. When did the limits of validity increase?
 
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Re: Cathay Pacific/Dragon Retires The World's First A330

Fri Jul 24, 2020 2:10 pm

lightsaber wrote:
I'm surprised at the low utilization. An A330 is certified for 180,000 hours and 60,000 cycles and over 24 years, this plane was just broken in.

Lightsaber

Same, I thought they would have used it to high-90s at the very least.

But given their schedule and frequent long overnight stops I was not too surprised on the other hand - the plane was a predominantly regional bird so hours wouldn't be too high.

Michael
 
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AECM
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Re: Cathay Pacific/Dragon Retires The World's First A330

Fri Jul 24, 2020 2:44 pm

As a side note the first A330-200 MSN181 was retired in November 2018 after flying for around 22 years, It was also the prototype and started flying with RR and then shifted to PW engines, then went to Austrian Airlines for 7 years with the Star Alliance c/s and in 2007 went to TAP Portugal also wearing the Star Alliance c/s until the retirement.

Something similar happen to this A333 MSN012, it first flew in November 1992 with GE engines and in January 1994 changed to RR engines. It was only delivered to Cathay in October 1996.
 
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lightsaber
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Re: Cathay Pacific/Dragon Retires The World's First A330

Fri Jul 24, 2020 2:58 pm

747classic wrote:
Dutchy wrote:
lightsaber wrote:
I'm surprised at the low utilization. An A330 is certified for 180,000 hours and 60,000 cycles and over 24 years, this plane was just broken in.

Lightsaber


Yes, good catch. I am amazed by the 180.000-hour mark though. Wasn't the 747 certified for 100.000hours?


No, 747 classics 135.00 hrs and 744/748 165.000 hrs.

Airbus increased the limit if Validity to better compete with the 787s 200,000 hours and 66,000 cycles. The A330 has a 12 year corrosion interval for heavy maintenance (HMV). So the high limit on cycles/hours was to allow 60,000 Flight hours (FH) or up to 20,000 flight cycles between heavy maintenance visits.

This plane should be due for the next HMV on the calendar.

Sadly, at this point, I expect no widebody to go through a HMV. (Heck, few narrowbody won't be parked for a while). Younger aircraft will be parked. Those over 20 years old become beverage containers. This one is one of the rare examples worthy of a museum.

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zakuivcustom
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Re: Cathay Pacific/Dragon Retires The World's First A330

Fri Jul 24, 2020 3:11 pm

lightsaber wrote:
I'm surprised at the low utilization. An A330 is certified for 180,000 hours and 60,000 cycles and over 24 years, this plane was just broken in.

Lightsaber


I am surprised at the relatively low cycles. Those A330s are used quite heavily on those 3-4 hrs "regional" flights.

Anyway, happy retirement to B-HLJ, and certainly refreshing to see the old KA livery.
 
bcbhokie
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Re: Cathay Pacific/Dragon Retires The World's First A330

Fri Jul 24, 2020 3:25 pm

I’m not ready for the A330 (and 777, for that matter) to be retiring due to old age.

Maybe I should be retiring due to old age... with a 16 year old account here on a.net, these aircraft were young and innovative when I got interested in aviation, and it’s hard for me to see them as outdated.

Agree with others this would be a good preservation candidate - even if the A340 was the first, the A330 was clearly the more influential and successful model.
 
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Re: Cathay Pacific/Dragon Retires The World's First A330

Fri Jul 24, 2020 3:42 pm

They should've turned Kai Tak into an aviation museum/park, at least a small portion of the land. There're so many history/memories there, and they can park this plane there for its final resting place.
 
Ellofiend
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Re: Cathay Pacific/Dragon Retires The World's First A330

Fri Jul 24, 2020 3:45 pm

Can't say I'll miss it, third-most boring and un-interesting aircraft on my list after the A332 and the A320 (No I don't dislike Airbus it just I find these aircraft less interesting than the next on my list, the B738) Can't wait for them to be replaced on the ADL route in due course with the A359/K (Not fussy :))
 
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lightsaber
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Re: Cathay Pacific/Dragon Retires The World's First A330

Fri Jul 24, 2020 5:01 pm

bcbhokie wrote:
I’m not ready for the A330 (and 777, for that matter) to be retiring due to old age.

Maybe I should be retiring due to old age... with a 16 year old account here on a.net, these aircraft were young and innovative when I got interested in aviation, and it’s hard for me to see them as outdated.

Agree with others this would be a good preservation candidate - even if the A340 was the first, the A330 was clearly the more influential and successful model.

These were the new, latest greatest, when I was receiving my engineering education. These were the new slick "modern" planes.

Now they are obsolete. But as someone who knows old aircraft maintenance and PiPs pay for my career, I'm very sad for the early demise. The reality is, the smaller widebodies are what the market is looking for.

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skipness1E
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Re: Cathay Pacific/Dragon Retires The World's First A330

Fri Jul 24, 2020 8:14 pm

FSflyer899 wrote:
They should've turned Kai Tak into an aviation museum/park, at least a small portion of the land. There're so many history/memories there, and they can park this plane there for its final resting place.

There is a small park on the piano keys of 13 with a preserved Jetstream 41.
 
BML87
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Re: Cathay Pacific/Dragon Retires The World's First A330

Fri Jul 24, 2020 11:40 pm

Why was it ferried to TPE?
 
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Re: Cathay Pacific/Dragon Retires The World's First A330

Sat Jul 25, 2020 2:54 am

lightsaber wrote:
I'm surprised at the low utilization. An A330 is certified for 180,000 hours and 60,000 cycles and over 24 years, this plane was just broken in.

Lightsaber


I initially thought of the same thing as well, but it could very well be that this particular frame still has the original LOV of 100,000 FH and 33,000 FC. In which case, it was most definitely not just broken in, especially in terms of flight cycles.

lightsaber wrote:
. The A330 has a 12 year corrosion interval for heavy maintenance (HMV). So the high limit on cycles/hours was to allow 60,000 Flight hours (FH) or up to 20,000 flight cycles between heavy maintenance visits.

This plane should be due for the next HMV on the calendar.


At EIS, A330 structural checks were done at 10 year intervals. If this bird didn't have the upgrades/retrofits that the A330 is known for, it could very well be that it never got to the new maintenance intervals.

AECM wrote:
As a side note the first A330-200 MSN181 was retired in November 2018 after flying for around 22 years, It was also the prototype and started flying with RR and then shifted to PW engines, then went to Austrian Airlines for 7 years with the Star Alliance c/s and in 2007 went to TAP Portugal also wearing the Star Alliance c/s until the retirement.

Something similar happen to this A333 MSN012, it first flew in November 1992 with GE engines and in January 1994 changed to RR engines. It was only delivered to Cathay in October 1996.


I've had the pleasure of flying on MSN181, the first A330-200, back in 2002. Flew VIE-YUL with Austrian Airlines.

bcbhokie wrote:
I’m not ready for the A330 (and 777, for that matter) to be retiring due to old age.

Maybe I should be retiring due to old age... with a 16 year old account here on a.net, these aircraft were young and innovative when I got interested in aviation, and it’s hard for me to see them as outdated.


Same here, with my 19 year old account !
us Air Traffic Controllers have a good record, we haven't left one up there yet !!
 
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zeke
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Re: Cathay Pacific/Dragon Retires The World's First A330

Sat Jul 25, 2020 3:35 am

BML87 wrote:
Why was it ferried to TPE?


For scrapping
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Re: Cathay Pacific/Dragon Retires The World's First A330

Sat Jul 25, 2020 5:25 am

zeke wrote:
BML87 wrote:
Why was it ferried to TPE?


For scrapping

Seems like an odd place to scrap an aircraft. I thought that usually is done in some of those desert airports in US or Australia or Spain...

Did someone buy the plane for scrapping? Or it's still owned by KA?
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ZK-NBT
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Re: Cathay Pacific/Dragon Retires The World's First A330

Sat Jul 25, 2020 9:20 am

raylee67 wrote:
zeke wrote:
BML87 wrote:
Why was it ferried to TPE?


For scrapping

Seems like an odd place to scrap an aircraft. I thought that usually is done in some of those desert airports in US or Australia or Spain...

Did someone buy the plane for scrapping? Or it's still owned by KA?


No idea why TPE, but there is no scrapping facilities in Australia.
 
yanzistart
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Re: Cathay Pacific/Dragon Retires The World's First A330

Sat Jul 25, 2020 10:26 am

ZK-NBT wrote:
raylee67 wrote:
zeke wrote:

For scrapping

Seems like an odd place to scrap an aircraft. I thought that usually is done in some of those desert airports in US or Australia or Spain...

Did someone buy the plane for scrapping? Or it's still owned by KA?


No idea why TPE, but there is no scrapping facilities in Australia.


Like it's sister /B777-267 B-HNA was scrapped in TPE last year.

B-HLJ now parked in the CI's hanger , tittle are removed and seems starting parting out.

Really sad to see that.
 
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Btblue
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Re: Cathay Pacific/Dragon Retires The World's First A330

Sat Jul 25, 2020 11:47 am

I've unearthed this video from 1994, featuring a Cathay Pacific A330. I'm guessing this is the test aircraft that was reengined.

The BBC did a Farnborough programme, in 1996 and recall them featuring Cathay Pacific and their A330 which was pre delivery display and flying programme. Time has flown by so fast!

Around the 4.10 mark.

https://youtu.be/Q0K41K5vQSs


Sent from my EVR-L29 using Tapatalk
 
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aemoreira1981
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Re: Cathay Pacific/Dragon Retires The World's First A330

Sat Jul 25, 2020 11:51 am

ZK-NBT wrote:
raylee67 wrote:
zeke wrote:

For scrapping

Seems like an odd place to scrap an aircraft. I thought that usually is done in some of those desert airports in US or Australia or Spain...

Did someone buy the plane for scrapping? Or it's still owned by KA?


No idea why TPE, but there is no scrapping facilities in Australia.


Not even Alice Springs?
 
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747classic
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Re: Cathay Pacific/Dragon Retires The World's First A330

Sat Jul 25, 2020 11:53 am

These early built A330 aircraft require far more structural maintenance than the current built A330's.
Also part of the avionic system is aging, if no major updates are performed during the operational life of the aircraft.
See for more A330 background info : https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q ... DiFVUtRjn7
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melpax
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Re: Cathay Pacific/Dragon Retires The World's First A330

Sat Jul 25, 2020 1:18 pm

aemoreira1981 wrote:

No idea why TPE, but there is no scrapping facilities in Australia.


Not even Alice Springs?[/quote]

Alice Springs is purely storage, hence why when QF retire aircraft, they're usually flown to the Southern California boneyards
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Weatherwatcher1
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Re: Cathay Pacific/Dragon Retires The World's First A330

Sat Jul 25, 2020 2:55 pm

It is probably worth noting the impact of a freighter conversion market on retirements. The lower gross weight A330-300s have not proven to be popular for freighter conversion.

767-300ERs have been very popular freighters which is resulting in 767-300ERs typically being retired in the 110-130K Hours/ 30K-45K Cycles range.
 
Weatherwatcher1
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Re: Cathay Pacific/Dragon Retires The World's Oldest A330

Sat Jul 25, 2020 3:12 pm

TheWorm123 wrote:
Still an incredibly modern plane in terms of automation and design when you think about it, minus the outdated inefficient engines.


I’m going to guess that the avionics aren’t so incredibly modern. Those early 1990s avionics needs upgrades to meet the latest mandates such as ADS-B Out, CPDLC, etc. Flight Management Computers also need to be upgraded with more memory for the more advanced navigation requirements.

The Pegasus II upgrade on the A330 is a multi million dollar upgrade. Here are some details

https://aerospace.honeywell.com/content ... 0_A320.pdf

All the upgrades to modernize the A330 avionics are available, but they are expensive. The avionics mandates often are a deciding factor on when to retire Early vintage 1990s Airplanes like the A330, A320, 757, 767, 747 and MD11. There were significant avionics advances between around 1988 and 1997. Unfortunately the early vintage avionics are hardly modern. There are multi million dollar upgrades required.
 
TheWorm123
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Re: Cathay Pacific/Dragon Retires The World's Oldest A330

Sat Jul 25, 2020 7:17 pm

Weatherwatcher1 wrote:
TheWorm123 wrote:
Still an incredibly modern plane in terms of automation and design when you think about it, minus the outdated inefficient engines.


I’m going to guess that the avionics aren’t so incredibly modern. Those early 1990s avionics needs upgrades to meet the latest mandates such as ADS-B Out, CPDLC, etc. Flight Management Computers also need to be upgraded with more memory for the more advanced navigation requirements.

The Pegasus II upgrade on the A330 is a multi million dollar upgrade. Here are some details

https://aerospace.honeywell.com/content ... 0_A320.pdf

All the upgrades to modernize the A330 avionics are available, but they are expensive. The avionics mandates often are a deciding factor on when to retire Early vintage 1990s Airplanes like the A330, A320, 757, 767, 747 and MD11. There were significant avionics advances between around 1988 and 1997. Unfortunately the early vintage avionics are hardly modern. There are multi million dollar upgrades required.

You raise a very good point when you put it that way, it’s interesting to see just how underpowered the computers are in such an expensive and advanced plane, if I’m not mistaken even the Neo models still come with floppy disks. It’s also interesting just how little storage they require and how compressed the FMS and databases are on disk.

Thanks for the PDF link it’s a very interesting read, my degree is in Computing as well so it’s doubly interesting :mrgreen:
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tomcat
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Re: Cathay Pacific/Dragon Retires The World's First A330

Sat Jul 25, 2020 7:53 pm

eamondzhang wrote:
lightsaber wrote:
I'm surprised at the low utilization. An A330 is certified for 180,000 hours and 60,000 cycles and over 24 years, this plane was just broken in.

Lightsaber

Same, I thought they would have used it to high-90s at the very least.

But given their schedule and frequent long overnight stops I was not too surprised on the other hand - the plane was a predominantly regional bird so hours wouldn't be too high.

Michael


No only the flight hours are low but the flight cycles as well at less than 3 flights per day.

I'm going to guess that since it was the first A330, it may have required a bit more maintenance than a more mature MSN. As a result, it is possible that Airbus sold it with a greater discount than the later MSNs. This would mean that the capital cost for CX was relatively low and they could afford to use this frame at a low utilization rate, limiting the maintenance burden while giving them some capacity flexibility.
 
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Re: Cathay Pacific/Dragon Retires The World's First A330

Sat Jul 25, 2020 9:10 pm

aemoreira1981 wrote:
Dutchy wrote:
Ishrion wrote:
This was the first A330 prototype (MSN 12) which rolled out in October 1992 and had its first flight on November 2, 1992.


Stupid question, how can the first A330 prototype be MSN12? Or is it the first A330-300?


A330s and A340s share a common MSN system. The first A330 was this, the 12th in the series built. The first A330-200 was MSN 181, and has been scrapped (it last flew for TP).

BTW, when originally certified, the A330 was certified for 33,000 or 34,000 FC/100,000 FH and the A340 for 16,000 FC/100,000 FH. When did the limits of validity increase?

There is a nice overview of Airbus service goals in the FAST#61 magazine ( https://services.airbus.com/content/dam ... il2018.pdf ).
For the WV000 and WV020 series A330-330, the DSG is 40000 FC / 60000 FH, the ISG is 33000 FC / 100000 FH and the ESG 40000 FC / 126000 FH. The ESG was expected to be certified in Q1 2018.
 
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zeke
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Re: Cathay Pacific/Dragon Retires The World's First A330

Sun Jul 26, 2020 2:14 am

raylee67 wrote:
Seems like an odd place to scrap an aircraft.


It would make sense if they wanted to recycle parts like the engines for the other aircraft. Lots of flights back to HKG.
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yyztpa2
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Re: Cathay Pacific/Dragon Retires The World's First A330

Sun Jul 26, 2020 2:32 pm

The first A330-200 delivery was 205 for Canada 3000 in 1998. I remember Canada 3000 promoting that delivery.

It was last seen with Batavia in 2013 when they went out of business. Only 15 years old, has it been forgotten in Indonesia since?
 
na
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Re: Cathay Pacific/Dragon Retires The World's First A330

Sun Jul 26, 2020 2:41 pm

63,900 hours.
Not very much for 28 year old airplane which has been in contnous service for 24 years. For comparison KLM´s 744s have flown twice as many hours over the same period!
 
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Re: Cathay Pacific/Dragon Retires The World's First A330

Sun Jul 26, 2020 2:58 pm

 
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Re: Cathay Pacific/Dragon Retires The World's First A330

Sun Jul 26, 2020 3:56 pm

zakuivcustom wrote:
lightsaber wrote:
I'm surprised at the low utilization. An A330 is certified for 180,000 hours and 60,000 cycles and over 24 years, this plane was just broken in.

Lightsaber


I am surprised at the relatively low cycles. Those A330s are used quite heavily on those 3-4 hrs "regional" flights.

Anyway, happy retirement to B-HLJ, and certainly refreshing to see the old KA livery.


It was previously a CX bird, operating flights to Asia which were longer then the KA flights mainly to China.
 
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747classic
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Re: Cathay Pacific/Dragon Retires The World's First A330

Mon Jul 27, 2020 5:47 am

na wrote:
63,900 hours.
Not very much for 28 year old airplane which has been in contnous service for 24 years. For comparison KLM´s 744s have flown twice as many hours over the same period!


Some details about the first four (Airbus owned ) years :

First flight was at November 12th 1992 with registation F-WWKA.
The first one and a half years the aircraft was used for test flights for certification and frequently grounded for modifications/ installation of test equipment. Thereafter she was modified from the -301 configuration (GE CF6-80E powered) to the -341 configuration (RR Trent 768-60 powered) .
First flight in -341 configuration was at January 312 1994, followed by again, now low frequency, test flights.
She was again changed in configuration , now -342 (RR Trent 772-6 powered)
Finally the aircraft was reconfigured to airline configuration and normal production standard (without test equipment and test wiring)
She was delivered at October 18th 1994 to Cathay Pacific with registation VR-HLJ.
Operating a twin over the ocean, you're always one engine failure from a total emergency.

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