A330- 200 GMF (General Market Freighter) Project became a serious test for the Engineering Centre ECAR.
The main point of the project was to design a new freighter fuselage structure basing on the existing passenger modification of the A330-200, and for this it was necessary to:
integrate the cargo door into the main deck,
install a barrier wall that protects the crew and staff of the consignment (couriers) in case of the emergency landing,
strengthen floor structure,
remove windows and passenger emergency doors.
In addition, because of design features of A330 passenger aircraft, it was necessary to put down the nose landing gear, thus providing horizontal position of cargo hold floor in parking position, and having secured and simplified the loading and unloading of pallets and containers on the main deck.
Having started in April 2007, from the detailed design phase, the project has passed the stages of design, drawing releasing for production, phase of production engineering support, which was carried out by ECAR engineers at several factories of Airbus, producing structural components and final assembly of the aircraft.
The project was completed in May 2010 and resulted in providing of the last certification reports.
On November 5th, 2009, A330 -200 GMF took its first flight from the Airbus airport in Toulouse.
Moreover, it was the one of the extraordinary cases in aviation, when the weight of airplane structure was 1 ton less than it was originally estimated. Thus, the payload of the aircraft increased from 69 tons to 70 tons without increasing the take-off weight.