Iberia has extended its contract with Airbus Defence and Space to carry out the transformation of three Airbus A-330 aircraft, from the Airbus factory, into MRTT (Multi Role Tanker Transport) tanker aircraft for mid-flight refuelling.
This contract will be in place for another three years, given that it is estimated that the transformation of each plane will take Iberia’s engineering and maintenance teams one year to complete.
This is not the first time that Iberia’s Technical Management teams carry out this kind of work, having completed full modifications to Airbus A-330 aircraft belonging to the Saudi Royal Air Force.
A transformation based on maximum technological complexity
In order to carry out the transformation it is necessary to completely dismantle the plane’s cabin to structurally alter it, install new equipment and, lastly, take a number of test flights.
All in all, up to 5,500 systems parts will be altered in each plane, of which 2,000 will undergo structural changes; around 60km of additional wiring will be installed, including 1km of coaxial wiring and another 1,000m of fibre optic cable.
Additionally, the transformation contemplates the installation of a hose and funnel system on the wings (pods system), as well as a flying boom and a mid-flight refuelling system, along with the Fly-by-wire flight control device.
This type of work forms part of Iberia’s strategy to diversify its business area and include products with added value and greater technological complexity.
Iberia has more than 20 years’ experience in the maintenance of military aircraft. As well as carrying out the inspections and repairs of the Pegasus engines in Harrier aircraft and the Boeing 707, and providing operational support services to the Air Force, countries such as Argentina and Turkmenistan have entrusted the maintenance of their presidential airplanes to Iberia Maintenance.
Iberia Maintenance is in charge of carrying out the inspections and repairs of aircraft, engines and components belonging to the airline itself and to some 100 clients all over the world. Specifically, in 2013, it conducted approximately 1,000 A and C aircraft inspections and checked 184 engines and 63,247 aeronautical components.
About Iberia: Iberia operates more than 100 destinations in 38 countries. It is market leader on routes between Europe and Latin America, offering easy and convenient connections at its hub of Madrid Barajas T4, recently voted the world’s third best air terminal in a survey by Skytrax. Together with its subsidiary Iberia Express and its franchise partner Iberia Regional/Air Nostrum, it operates about 600 flights a day with a fleet of almost 130 aircraft. Iberia is currently ranked fourth in punctuality amongst the world’s international airlines, according to FlightStats. For more information, please visit http://grupo.iberia.es