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Airbus A300
wide-body
"1972"

The Airbus A300 is a wide-body airliner developed and manufactured by Airbus. In September 1967, aircraft manufacturers in the United Kingdom, France, and West Germany signed a memorandum of understanding to develop a large airliner. West Germany and France reached an agreement on 29 May 1969 after the British withdrew from the project on 10 April 1969. European collaborative aerospace manufacturer Airbus Industrie was formally created on 18 December 1970 to develop and produce it/

Airbus A300 wide-body "1972"

Role Wide-body airliner
National origin Multinational
Manufacturer Airbus
First flight 28 October 1972
Introduction 23 May 1974 with Air France
Status In service
Primary users FedEx Express / UPS Airlines / European Air Transport Leipzig
Produced 1971–2007
Number built 561
Variants A300-600ST Beluga / Airbus A310
Developed into Airbus A330 / Airbus A340

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Airbus A300 wide-body "1972"

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Airbus A300 wide-body "1972"

The Airbus A300 is a wide-body airliner developed and manufactured by Airbus. In September 1967, aircraft manufacturers in the United Kingdom, France, and West Germany signed a memorandum of understanding to develop a large airliner. West Germany and France reached an agreement on 29 May 1969 after the British withdrew from the project on 10 April 1969. European collaborative aerospace manufacturer Airbus Industrie was formally created on 18 December 1970 to develop and produce it. The prototype first flew on 28 October 1972.

The first twin-engine widebody airliner, the A300 typically seats 247 passengers in two classes over a range of 5,375 to 7,500 km (2,900 to 4,050 nmi). Initial variants are powered by CF6-50 or JT9D turbofans and have a three-crew flight deck. The improved A300-600 has a two-crew cockpit and updated GE CF6-80 or PW4000 engines; it made its first flight on 8 July 1983 and entered service later that year.

Design

The Airbus A300 is a wide-body medium-to-long range airliner; it has the distinction of being the first twin-engine wide-body aircraft in the world. In 1977, the A300 became the first Extended Range Twin Operations (ETOPS)-compliant aircraft, due to its high performance and safety standards. Another world-first of the A300 is the use of composite materials on a commercial aircraft, which was used on both secondary and later primary airframe structures, decreasing overall weight and improving cost-effectiveness. Other firsts included the pioneering use of center-of-gravity control, achieved by transferring fuel between various locations across the aircraft, and electrically signaled secondary flight controls.

The A300 is powered by a pair of underwing turbofan engines, either General Electric CF6 or Pratt & Whitney JT9D engines; the sole use of underwing engine pods allowed for any suitable turbofan engine to be more readily used. The lack of a third tail-mounted engine, as per the trijet configuration used by some competing airliners, allowed for the wings to be located further forwards and to reduce the size of the vertical stabilizer and elevator, which had the effect of increasing the aircraft’s flight performance and fuel efficiency

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Airbus A300 Wide-body (1972)

On 23 May 1974, the first A300 to enter service performed the first commercial flight of the type, flying from Paris to London, for Air France.

Immediately after the launch, sales of the A300 were weak for some years, with most orders going to airlines that had an obligation to favor the domestically made product – notably Air France and Lufthansa, the first two airlines to place orders for the type.:50–52 Following the appointment of Bernard Lathière as Henri Ziegler’s replacement, an aggressive sales approach was adopted. Indian Airlines was the world’s first domestic airline to purchase the A300, ordering three aircraft with three options. However, between December 1975 and May 1977, there were no sales for the type. During this period a number of “whitetail” A300s – completed but unsold aircraft – were completed and stored at Toulouse, and production fell to half an aircraft per month amid calls to pause production completely.

Specifications

  • Crew 2
    Passengers 266 / 345
    Propulsion 2 Turbofan Engines
    Engine Model General Electric CF6-80C2A5
    Engine Power (each) 267,3 kN 60100 lbf
    alternative Engine Variant
    Engine Model Pratt & Whitney PW4158
    Engine Power (each) 258,0 kN 58000 lbf

Speed 891 km/h 481 kts / 554 mph
Mmo (max. Mach) Mach 0.82
Service Ceiling 12.192 m 40.000 ft
Range 6.667 km 3.600 NM
Empty Weight 78.201 kg 172.404 lbs
max. Takeoff Weight 170.500 kg 375.888 lbs
max. Landing Weight 140.000 kg 308.647 lbs

Wing Span 44,84 m 147 ft 1 in
Wing Area 260,0 m˛ 2799 ft˛
Length 54,08 m 177 ft 5 in
Height 16,54 m 54 ft 3 in
First Flight 28.10.1972 / 08.07.83 (-600R)
Production Status out of production
Production Range 1974-2007
Total Production 561

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Launch customer Air France introduced the type on 23 May 1974. After limited demand initially, sales took off as the type was proven in early service, beginning three decades of steady orders. It has a similar capacity to the Boeing 767-300, introduced in 1986, but lacked the 767-300ER range. During the 1990s, the A300 became popular with cargo aircraft operators, as passenger airliner conversions or as original builds. Production ceased in July 2007 after 561 deliveries.

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