[Updated] Reworked A330 Full Performance Analysis and Fuel Guide

A330-300 PERFORMANCE TESTING

Acceleration Performance
Climb Performance
Cruise Fuel Burn
Cruise Performance
Descent Performance
Braking Performance
Conclusion


Hello Community! My Infinite Flight Subscription expires in just over a week, and I will not be renewing it for the foreseeable future. Before I part ways with the game (not the community), I figured that I’d spend a few hours to create one last aircraft guide, and the newly reworked A330 sits in the spotlight. This guide will include fuel burn as always, but I have added five other aspects of the aircraft because I won’t be making another one for quite a while. Enjoy, and I hope someone out there finds this helpful.

The main gripe I’ve observed among community members with the A330 (even the pre and post-rework versions both) is that it is hopelessly underpowered compared to its widebody twinjet brethren. In real life, this argument is almost never made - and the numbers back it up. The A330-300’s power to weight ratio is 1 : 3.75, which is pretty close to the A350-900’s (1 : 3.67), slightly worse than the 777-200(ER)'s (1 : 3.50), and slightly better than the 787-9’s (1: 3.94). However, in Infinite Flight it sure feels underpowered. Let’s find out if it actually is.


Test Procedure
Tests were conducted on Runway 19L of Bangkok Suvarnabhumi, which sits at 4 MSL, the closest international airport to 0 MSL. Aircraft are loaded up to MTOW. Engines are spooled up to 95% N1 with parking brakes applied. Parking brakes are released and the timer starts.

Key Notes

  • The A330 actually outruns the 787 when locked at 95% N1. However, the 787 never really feels underpowered in Infinite Flight. This is likely because the 787 has so much more to give, spinning up to 117% N1 when needed (the A330 can barely top 100%). If you fully open up the 787, it’ll get to 100 in 14 seconds and through 150 in 21.6 seconds.

  • The A330 still cannot touch the A350 or the 777, especially as speeds rise.


Test Procedure
Same as above, except extended until takeoff. @DeerCrusher’s Unofficial Takeoff Profiles were used to determine flap setting and rotation speed (except for the 787-9 which doesn’t have one yet - used Flaps 15 @ 160 knots). Timer stops when all main gear leave the ground, and distance is calculated using runway markers on Google Earth.

Key Notes

  • The A330 might be slower than the competition, but it is able to generate massive lift and rotate at 155 knots easily in under 7000 feet.

  • The A350 wins. This might be a theme.

  • The 777, despite accelerating fast, takes a lot more speed to rotate than the others, resulting in a longer roll.

Return to Topics



Test Procedure
Aircraft are set to MTOW and locked in at 10,000 feet at their Mach Transition Speed (308 for A330, 315 for 777, 320 for 787 and A350). Autopilot is then set to FL300 (to avoid the aircrafts leveling out) but VS is manually set back to 0. Speed AP is released and VS AP is adjusted upwards. Throttle goes too 95% N1 at the same time. VS is adjusted as the aircraft climbs to hold Mach Transition Speed. Timer stops when aircraft cross FL280.

Key Notes

  • So far, the numbers seem to show that the A330 is extremely underpowered. It loses to the A350 by more than three minutes, and to the other two by smaller margins. In the last 2000 feet of the climb, I had to reduce to as low as 1000 FPM to keep speed, while all the others were going at least 1500 FPM. Patience is necessary for this thing to climb when heavy.

  • The A350 has way too much power once airborne. Even at MTOW it climbs at ~5,000 FPM for a majority of the first 10,000 feet, and in the initial burst of throttle while the VS is still increasing it hit 345 knots IAS, 25 higher than its starting speed (for reference, A330 went up by ~5, 777 and 787 by ~15).

  • The 787 suffers a lot from its 117% N1 limit.

Return to Topics



How to Read This Section

An orange cell signifies a cruise altitude a little too high for that aircraft at that weight that carries smaller fuel penalties.

A green cell signifies a cruise altitude appropriate for that aircraft at that weight going East, maximizing fuel economy.

A blue cell signifies a cruise altitude appropriate for that aircraft at that weight going West, maximizing fuel economy.

A grey cell signifies a cruise altitude that is too low for that aircraft at that weight that may or may not carry a small or large fuel penalty.

Fuel Capacity is simply the maximum fuel that can be loaded onto that aircraft.

Game-Estimated Maximum Flight Time is the flight time that Infinite Flight tells you when you fully fuel your aircraft.

Theoretical Maximum Flight Time is the flight time calculated from these numbers that is theoretically possibly, waiving all IFR altitude rules and reserve fuel rules.

Practical Maximum Flight Time is the flight time calculated from these numbers that takes into account a 90% passenger and 75% cargo load (75% cargo load only for the Freighter), IFR altitude rules, and a 30-minute reserve. Beyond this flight time you will need to compromise on passengers/cargo.

Flight Profiles are the ideal sequences of cruise altitudes for an aircraft at different loads percentages.

Disclaimers

Disclaimer I : Numbers are from solo testing and have not been tested live yet.

Disclaimer II : Measurements are taken at M 0.82

Disclaimer III : To keep it simple, I only took measurements every 10% load. If there were huge drops in fuel burn over those 10% I tried to take them into account when determining the climb profile.

Disclaimer IV : I am assuming linear rate of change of fuel burn between 10% increments. This is likely not the case, but it should be close enough.

Disclaimer V : Numbers in charts are in pounds. Works all the same for kilograms just different numbers.

A330-300

*Altitude chosen despite current fuel inefficiency due to increased efficiency overall within 10% load

Fuel Capacity: 240,710 lbs or 109,184 kg

Game-Estimated Maximum Flight Time: 23hr 44m

Theoretical Maximum Flight Time: 23hr 46m

Practical Maximum Flight Time: 12hr 36m (Eastbound) | 12hr 37m (Westbound)

Flight Profile (East): FL310 (100%-81%), FL330 (80%-61%), FL350 (60%-41%), FL370 (40%-31%), FL390 (30%-11%), FL410 (10%-0%)

Flight Profile (West): FL300 (100%-81%), FL320 (80%-71%), FL340 (70%-51%), FL360 (50%-31%), FL380 (30%-21%), FL400 (20%-0%)


Test Procedure
Too long to explain. Basically take measurements at different altitudes and load factors, then do math.

Key Notes

  • With the new facelift, the A330 can now nearly complete an entire day of flying. It sitll cannot stack up to the 787 or 777 in terms of raw range, though. Its practical range, however, is lacking. Because fuel load takes up 97% of its load capacity, it has to sacrifice a lot to carry passengers and cargo. It also can hold 440 passengers (up from 200-some) so it gets penalized there as well.

  • The 787 has a bit of a short range compared to what one might expect.

Return to Topics



Test Procedure
Aircraft are locked at FL350, 50% load, and 0.1 Mach below their cruise speed (0.72 for A330, 0.74 for 777, 0.75 for A350 and 787). 100% N1 is given. Timer stops when aircraft reach their cruise speeds.

Key Notes

  • The A330 seems to get worse with speed. It loses out big to all three others.

  • Someone at Infinite Flight LLC definitely strapped rockets to the A350 without the others noticing.


Test Procedure
Aircraft are locked in at FL280, MTOW, and at their cruise speeds (0.82 for A330, 0.84 for 777, 0.85 for A350 and 787). AP is set to FL500 and VS to 1000. Once AP sets throttle to 100% N1, Speed AP is disengaged. The results above are the maximum altitudes reached.

Key Notes

  • The A330 actually does alright. It was (unsurprisingly) the first to hit 100% N1 by a long shot but it didn’t slow down as much as the others after that happened, so it’s not too far off.

  • Space Shuttle is back in the game (colorized, 2021). The A350 didn’t even disengage AP until it had nearly cleared the 787’s maximum altitude.

  • I think it is important to note here that when light the 787 can fly the highest, up to ~FL480.

Return to Topics



Test Procedure
Aircraft are locked at 300 knots IAS, 15,000 feet, 30% load. AP is set to 0 feet and -1800 FPM (~3 degree descent). When aircraft pass 14,000 feet throttles are cut and flight spoilers are applied. Timer stops when 240 knots IAS is achieved.

Key Notes

  • The A330’s lack of power actually helps it here, and it beats out all but the 787.

  • The A350 needs a parachute. I advise you to be careful on descent with it because it barely even got to 260 knots IAS (the very upper limit) by 10,000 feet. A very slippery aircraft.

Return to Topics



Test Procedure
Aircraft are locked at MLW and brought up to 135 knots ground speed with full flaps and spoilers armed. Throttles are cut, full reversers and brakes are applied, and the timer is started when the aircraft hits 130 knots. Timer stops when the aircraft comes to a stop. Same test is then repeated, but just using reversers, and then just brakes.

Key Notes

  • The A330 has surprisingly powerful brakes. It has the lightest MLW of the four, but only by 25,000 pounds compared to the next lightest (787). The reversers are essentially useless, though.

  • Due to the nature of this test, the 787’s ability to utilize its 117% N1 gives it a large advantage when going reversers-only.

Return to Topics



  • The A330 is certified underpowered the second it leaves the ground, but at the end of the day it flies well enough to not be annoying or frustrating. Also, I’m glad to see that it at least has a sound pack, even if it’s a reused one.

  • The 777 and 787 are wonderfully average, and that’s just fine.

  • The A350, well…

joke /jōk/ (noun): a thing that someone says to cause amusement or laughter, especially a story with a funny punchline.

Thank you to Infinite Flight LLC for a great four years. I’ll miss it greatly.

Andrew Out ✌️

108 Likes

Wonderful work once again @AndrewWu !!! We’ll dearly miss you when you finish using your Pro sub soon

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Thanks Millard, I’ll miss y’all too but at least I’m still remaining on the community

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This was cool and all, but 💀

That image is the weirdest thing you’ve posted lmao


Jokes aside, amazing work Andrew! Sad to see you leave
:(

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This is a certified Andrew Wu classic.

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Devs you have some explaining to do regarding the A350….🤣

Regardless, excellent work as always Andrew!

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Awesome @AndrewWu so much work and inspiring insights, we’ll miss you in the skies especially over WSSS.

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Great guide here, very detailed! Keep up the good work :)

By the way,

Now this is quite surprising (after I tried flying the A333 too) because after some calculations, I found out the A330-300 has a higher thrust to weight ratio than the 787-9. However that isn’t the case here, the A333 feels a bit underpowered, maybe because the N1 of the 787 literally goes through the roof at 117% while the A330 tops off at below 105.

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Amazing research! Thank you @AndrewWu once again for the insightful information!

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Once again an amazing guide by Andrew. Thank you, and good luck on your future endeavors!

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No it’s the best thing I’ve posted.

I suspected this as well.

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Yeah. I find it a bit strange, considering the calculations I’ve done regarding thrust and weight ratio.

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Pollo 👍

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Pollo 👍

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That would make sense, presumably the thrust rating of the engine is for 100% N1 since that’s the max normal rpm for the low pressure fan if my memory serves me. If Infinite Flight let’s push that higher with the 787 than the A330 realistic or not it would even out the thrust to weight comparison. All this goes out the window though if the engine thrust number you used to drive thrust to weight ratios is the max not the max normal rpm though. May also be worth considering the 787 is probably a more slippy plane aerodynamically give that its like 20 years newer, that may make it perform better comparatively as well.

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It does make me wonder how the power in this game is calculated. 95% → 117% is an increase of 22% (or 23% depending on how you calculate it) but the acceleration from 0-100 is 43% faster. I suppose since friction and air resistance are technically subtractive quantity (as in they always apply a force subtracted from the force of the engines) and acceleration is a multiplicative quantity (Fnet = MA), the constant force of kinetic rolling friction has a much larger relative effect at 95% N1 compared to 117%.

Math

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…and that’s where you lost me

Great topic! Bookmarked for later 🙂

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Sounds right to me, I’m not an aeronautical engineer though. Again I don’t know how much infinite flight accounts for this, but I at least suspect thrust, especially in a jet, is not a straight one to one between rpm and thrust. Though in a modern high bypass engine this would probably be closer to 1 to 1 since bypass air that only passes through the low pressure fan is the majority of thrust so the combination chamber which isn’t inherently measured at all by N1 accounts for less of the total power. Still though perhaps the thrust scales in a higher than 1 to 1 ratio relative to N1. I genuinely have no idea though, it would be pretty epic if someone here who actually knows what they are talking about would chime in.

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Actually, most aircraft tyres don’t slip that much so kinetic friction is almost negligible here. What’s not negligible is air drag and and static friction. You have air drag increasing with the speed^2 and maximum static friction being the friction coefficient*(weight of aircraft - lift) and lift is increasing with speed^2 too. You can sum all the forces vectorially and write down a differential equation for this - that will give you a much more accurate estimate for the time taken to reach some speed based on the N1 value (which for most engines seems to be a somewhat linear correlation between thrust and N1). I haven’t gone through the calculations (because it’s terribly tedious and I have to account for the lower static friction at low speeds) but you get the idea - I trust that IF’s calculations are correct because they do use an actual physics engine to do it :)

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Oh, I didn’t realize that would be static friction. The static friction coefficient between rubber and asphalt is incredibly high so I think that means dragging rubber across the pavement from a stop, rolling is probably a whole other thing. And yeah, I trust IF too I’m just trying to make sense of it in my head.

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