What is VMAX on Airbus A330? (Vmo, Vle, Or Vfe, Depending On Configuration)

When it comes to aviation, there are various important speed limitations that pilots must adhere to in order to ensure the safety and optimal performance of the aircraft. One such limitation is the Vmo, or maximum operating speed, which applies to the Airbus A330 aircraft. In addition to Vmo, there are two other key speed limitations on the A330: Vle and Vfe, which depend on the specific configuration of the aircraft.

Understanding Vmo: Maximum Operating Speed

Vmo, also known as VMAX, is the maximum operating speed of the Airbus A330. It represents the highest calibrated airspeed that should not be exceeded during any phase of flight. The Vmo is specific to each aircraft and is determined by factors such as aerodynamic limitations, structural integrity, and engine characteristics. Exceeding Vmo can result in potential damage to the aircraft’s structure and systems, and it can compromise the safety of the flight.

For the Airbus A330, the typical Vmo value is Mach 0.86, which is equivalent to a calibrated airspeed of approximately 350 knots or 407 miles per hour. This means that the aircraft should not exceed this speed, even in favorable flight conditions. It is crucial for pilots to closely monitor their airspeed and make adjustments as necessary to ensure they remain below the Vmo limit.

Vle and Vfe: Configuration-Dependent Speed Limitations

Unlike Vmo, which applies to the entire aircraft, Vle and Vfe are speed limitations that depend on the specific configuration of the Airbus A330. Let’s take a closer look at what these limitations entail:

Vle: Maximum Landing Gear Extended Speed

Vle, or the maximum landing gear extended speed, refers to the highest speed at which the landing gear can be safely extended or left extended during flight. This speed limitation is essential to prevent damage to the landing gear or the aircraft’s structure.

On the Airbus A330, the Vle value depends on the configuration of the landing gear. In the normal configuration, where the landing gear is fully extended, the Vle is typically around 280 knots or 322 miles per hour. However, it is important to note that this value may vary depending on the specific aircraft and its modifications, so pilots must consult the aircraft’s documentation for the accurate Vle value.

Exceeding the Vle speed can have serious consequences for the aircraft, including potential damage to the landing gear, hydraulic systems, and other critical components. Pilots must approach landing with caution, ensuring that they reduce their speed below Vle before extending the landing gear.

Vfe: Maximum Flaps Extended Speed

Vfe, or the maximum flaps extended speed, is another configuration-dependent speed limitation on the Airbus A330. Flaps are aerodynamic surfaces that extend from the wings to increase lift and drag during takeoff and landing. The purpose of Vfe is to define the maximum speed at which the flaps can be safely extended.

Similar to Vle, the Vfe value varies depending on the configuration of the flaps. On the Airbus A330, the Vfe speeds range from around 200 knots or 230 miles per hour for Flaps 1, to approximately 215 knots or 247 miles per hour for Flaps 2, and up to 230 knots or 265 miles per hour for Flaps 3 or Full. These values may differ based on the specific aircraft variant, so pilots must consult the aircraft’s documentation for accurate Vfe values.

Exceeding the Vfe speed can compromise the aerodynamic performance of the aircraft and potentially lead to a loss of control. It is crucial for pilots to ensure that they do not exceed the specified Vfe speed during flap extension or retraction, as it can have significant safety implications.


Understanding and adhering to speed limitations such as Vmo, Vle, and Vfe is vital for the safe operation of the Airbus A330 aircraft. These speed limitations are set to ensure the structural integrity of the aircraft and prevent potential damage that could compromise its performance and safety.

Pilots must always monitor their airspeed and make necessary adjustments to ensure they remain within the specified speed limitations. By doing so, they can ensure a smooth and safe flight for themselves and their passengers.

For More: What is QT on Airbus A330? (Quart)