Airbus Military has obtained the civil Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) from the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) for the A330 Multi Role Tanker Transport (MRTT) aircraft. This certification is for the military additions and modifications to the basic passenger A330-200 which had been certified in 1998 prior to entry into commercial service. It is the first civil certification ever extended by EASA to a Tanker and Transport aircraft developed in Europe.
The Supplemental Type Certificate was handed over to Airbus Military Senior VP Miguel Angel Morell by EASA Certification Director Dr Norbert Lohl on Wednesday 17th March in Cologne, Germany.
The modifications installed in the A330 MRTT include all the equipment to ensure refueling of receiver planes such as fighters but also other large aircraft. This covers the operations of the totally new Airbus Military developed fly-by-wire Aerial Refueling Boom System (ARBS), the pods, the operating console installed in the cockpit of the aircraft, as well as other military modifications applied to the avionics. The flight control laws of the aircraft were also modified and adapted to the needs of performing refueling operations.
The certification follows a period of flight tests during which more than 170 test flights were performed. Of these, more than 60 were for the tests required for the STC, while the others were for the design validation and certification of military aspects. During these trials, some 320 wet and dry contacts were performed, involving fighter aircraft such as F-16s and F-18s, as well as the 707 (E3) AWACS. During these contacts, some 140 tonnes of fuel were transferred to the receiver aircraft. In addition some 190 contacts were made with the A330 MRTT acting as a receive. All systems as well as the aerodynamic performance of the aircraft were responding as expected.
“Receiving this Supplemental Type Certificate gives us great satisfaction. After many years of hard work, it confirms the readiness and quality of our product which complies with the stringent civil certification requirements”, said Miguel Morell when receiving the document. “I would like to thank all those who worked hard on all fronts to make this milestone possible. The next step is receiving the Military Certification prior to delivery of the aircraft to the first operator, in this instance the Royal Australian Air Force”.
The military certification by the Instituto Nacional de Tecnología Aerospacial (INTA) is expected this summer, with two A330 MRTT aircraft due to be delivered to the RAAF prior to year end.