The Royal Air Force’s (RAF) first A330 MRTT future strategic tanker aircraft (FSTA) has completed its maiden flight, following its conversion from a basic A330-200 aircraft.

The FSTA took off at 11.41 local time from the Airbus Military facility at Getafe, Madrid, and landed at 13.37 local time after a flight of two hours.

During the flight, the MRTT, its systems, and two Rolls-Royce Trent 700 engines performed satisfactorily and no refuelling activity was undertaken.

The first flight is the beginning of a test campaign that will lead to the first delivery to the RAF by the end of 2011.

The A330 MRTT with wide-body fuselage can also be used as a transport aircraft to carry 300 passengers or a payload of up to 45t (99,000lb).