Presentation of the new A330-300
Of the Belgian Defense
Text and Pictures : Serge Van Heertum - S.B.A.P. (other as stated)
November 19, 2009 was a special day for the Belgian Defence and particularly for the Air Component who introduced its new Airbus A330-300 of the 15th Transport Wing based at Melsbroek airbase. This inauguration was done in presence of the Minister of Defence, Mister Pieter de Crem and the representative of the French leasing company AVICO.
To make this day memorable, the VIP's and the members of the press were invited on a flight in the plane overhead Belgium and during a high altitude flight, the aircraft was intercepted by 2 F-16's of Florennes Airbase.
But although this airplane is new in the Belgian military fleet, it is not a brand new one and knows the Belgian skies already well. Indeed, this Airbus served under the colours of the Belgian National Company Sabena between 1999 and 2001. Before this Belgian civil career, the plane flew for Malaysian Airlines. The CS-TMT also flew under the colours of Garuda International and Air Luxor. After the bankruptcy of Sabena, the aircraft was taken over by HiFLY (Portugal).
The arrival of this Airbus A330-300 under the Belgian military colours is a real new concept. This plane is in fact leased on a basis of 2000 flight hours /year.
It was imperative for the Belgian Air Component to have a plane with long haul capabilities to replace the aging Airbus A310 fleet. One of the A310 will remain in service and the other one (CA02) is grounded due the limitations attained for the foreseen "D" level maintenance ("Depot"-level maintenance).
A330-300 TECHNICAL CHART
ength: 63,60 m
Height: 16,85 m
Wingspan: 60,30 m
Cabine Lenght: 50,35 m
Cabin Configuration: 42 Business - 236 Economy
Max Takeoff Weight: 215 t
Fuel Capacity: 98.000 Lts
Max Cruise Altitude: 41.000'
Max Speed: Mach .86
Range with max pax: 10.500 km
We wish nice and safe flights to the new plane and his crew members, and to fly the Belgian colours all over the world with pride.
|Inauguration in presence of Mr Pieter de Crem||The CS-TMT in Belgian uniform|
|The old fleet, Airbus A310||The plane flown by Sabena as OO-SFX|
|The pilots office (Eddy "Bink" Kellens)||The cabin (Eddy "Bink" Kellens)|
|The A330-300 back in Belgium||Note the reflection on the engine covers|
|Intercepted by QRA F-16's (Serge Van Heertum left - Eddy "Bink" Kellens right)|
|The FA68 in the wing||Well protected (Eddy "Bink" Kellens)|
|Under the Falcon eyes||National wingtip (Eddy "Bink" Kellens)|
|The national colours on the top of the fuselage (Eddy "Bink" Kellens)||Banking above the clouds (Eddy "Bink" Kellens)|
|The crew and the Minister of Defence after the first official flight|
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