Delta Pilots Show Us the A330-900neo Flight Deck

Delta Air Lines pilots walk FLYING through the instrument panel of the sophisticated, fuel-efficient Airbus A330-900neo.

Piloting the Airbus A330-900neo for Delta Air Lines at EAA AirVenture were First Officer Ryan Endres, left, Capt. Karen Ruth, center, and First Officer Sheila Baldwin, right. [Photo: Thom Patterson]

In the eight years since Airbus announced it would be building a more technologically sophisticated and fuel efficient variant of its popular A330 airliner, the industry has responded by ordering 262 of the new aircraft, dubbed the A330-900neo. 

“Neo”—or new engine option—refers to the airliner’s twin Rolls-Royce Trent 7000 turbofan engines. Not only are these engines quieter than their predecessors, they also help the airliner cut fuel consumption by 14 percent per seat. The A330neo also boasts an increased wingspan, new engine pylons, and a longer range of up to 400 nm, compared to its previous variant.  

Delta Air Lines has ordered 35 of these long-haul workhorses, the first of which entered service for the carrier in 2019, flying a route connecting Seattle and Shanghai. 

The A330-900neos are part of Delta’s strategy to grow its international service, in tandem with its Airbus A350 flagship airliners. However, during the height of the pandemic, Delta also used A330-900neos for cargo-only flights to Europe and Asia to help prop up the weakening global supply chain. 

These aren’t Delta’s first Airbus neos. The airline has also ordered 155 single-aisle Airbus A321neos, which also are designed for greater fuel efficiency. 

Last week, Delta first officers Ryan Endres and Sheila Baldwin spent a few minutes with FLYING at the EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, to walk us through the flight instrument display and show us what sets the A330-900neo apart.  Here's the video with what they showed us:

About the Aircraft

Cruise speed537 mph (467 knots)
Range6,995 miles (6078 nm)
Maximum takeoff weight (MTOW)251 tonnes (553,360 pounds)
Engines Two Rolls-Royce Trent 7000
Wingspan210 feet
Length208 feet, 10 inches

Delta Air Lines brought its Team USA Airbus A330-900neo airliner to this year’s EAA AirVenture. [Photo: Thom Patterson]

The A330neo first entered service in 2018 with TAP Portugal. Delta’s A330-900neo configuration has 281 seats, including 29 flat-bed, first-class Delta One suites, 28 business class, 56 Delta Comfort-plus and 168 main cabin seats.

Thom is a former senior editor for FLYING. Previously, his freelance reporting appeared in aviation industry magazines. Thom also spent three decades as a TV and digital journalist at CNN’s bureaus in Washington and Atlanta, eventually specializing in aviation. He has reported from air shows in Oshkosh, Farnborough and Paris. Follow Thom on Twitter @thompatterson.

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