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Airbus A300

France (1974)
Picture of Airbus A300 Wide-Body Passenger Jet Airliner

The A300-series wide-body passenger airliner represented the French Airbus plunge into the commercial aircraft market.


Detailing the development and operational history of the Airbus A300 Wide-Body Passenger Jet Airliner.  Entry last updated on 4/11/2018. Authored by Staff Writer. Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com

The Airbus A300 series of passenger jet airliner was developed by the French concern as a wide-body passenger hauler for medium-range markets. First flight was on October 28th, 1972 and the series was first introduced through carrier Air France on May 30th, 1974. The aircraft went on to see adoption by the likes of FedEx, UPS and others during its long, storied career. To date (2014), some 561 air frames have been completed. The A300 also forms the basis of the A310 and A300-600ST "Beluga" and went on to influence the A330 and A340 designs that followed.

The A300-600 and A310 share a high percentage of commonality in terms of air frame design and construction (decreasing maintenance and repair costs somewhat), with the A300 maintaining the wider cross section - a full 222 inches - and is touted by the Airbus corporation as the widest cross-section in the world for a passenger aircraft of this size. All Airbus aircraft cockpit systems are designed approximately the same, allowing for one Airbus pilot to easily transfer his / her skills over to a newer or differing base model. This is equal to the ground crew engineers as well, being able to work on one platform of Airbus models and easily translating those skills and techniques to another.

The Airbus A300 is categorized as a "widebody" commercial airliner and is a lengthened-fuselage version of its A310 counterpart in the A300 family line. The A300 is utilized by upwards of 80 transit companies worldwide and maintains a competitive standing in the commercial airliner market against the likes of America's Boeing Company. In all, the A300 series has seen orders and sales of units top 800 with nearly 650 of those already, and still, in operational service as commercial transit passenger airliners or freight cargo airliners.
The cockpit of A300 aircraft offer up a modernized approach to jetliner flight. The two-member crew that was introduced with the A300 series has now become an industry standard arrangement. The cockpit is dominated by no fewer than six CRT displays that provide real-time and crucial systems monitoring and work together to decrease pilot workload overall. The cockpit can also be fitted with a communications system that allows the crew to verify with corresponding ground engineers on needed maintenance issues. An "autoland" capability is also integrated in the cockpit programming to assist crews in bad-weather landings.

Airbus plans to maintain support for A300 systems through 2049 with a series of modernization programs, upgrades and retrofit kits that should keep the system afloat and competitive in the lucrative commercial airliner market. Freight models are maintained by such high profile clients as FedEx, UPS, TNT and Channel Express.






Our Data Modules allow for quick visual reference when comparing a single entry against contemporary designs. Areas covered include general ratings, speed assessments, and relative ranges based on distances between major cities.

Image of collection of graph types

Relative Maximum Speed Rating
Hi: 750mph
Lo: 375mph
    This entry's maximum listed speed (554mph).

    Graph average of 562.5 miles-per-hour.
City-to-City Ranges
NYC
 
  LON
LON
 
  PAR
PAR
 
  BER
BER
 
  MOS
MOS
 
  TOK
TOK
 
  SYD
SYD
 
  LAX
LAX
 
  NYC
Graph showcases the Airbus A300-600F's operational range (on internal fuel) when compared to distances between major cities.
Aviation Era
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Useful in showcasing the era cross-over of particular aircraft/aerospace designs.
Unit Production Comparison
Comm. Market HI*: 44,000 units
Military Market HI**: 36,183 units
561
561


  * Commercial Market High belongs to Cessna 172.

  ** Military Market High belongs to Ilyushin Il-2.


Altitude Visualization
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Origin: France
Year: 1974
Type: Wide-Body Passenger Jet Airliner
Manufacturer(s): Airbus - France
Production: 561
Status: Active, In-Service
Global Operators:
France, Turkey, Greece, United Kingdom, Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands among others.
Historical Commitments / Honors:

Military lapel ribbon for Operation Allied Force
Military lapel ribbon for the Arab-Israeli War
Military lapel ribbon for the Battle of Britain
Military lapel ribbon for the Battle of Midway
Military lapel ribbon for the Berlin Airlift
Military lapel ribbon for the Chaco War
Military lapel ribbon for the Cold War
Military lapel ribbon for the Cuban Missile Crisis
Military lapel ribbon for the Falklands War
Military lapel ribbon for the French-Indochina War
Military lapel ribbon for the Golden Age of Flight
Military lapel ribbon for the 1991 Gulf War
Military lapel ribbon for the Indo-Pak Wars
Military lapel ribbon for the Iran-Iraq War
Military lapel ribbon for the Korean War
Military lapel ribbon for the 1982 Lebanon War
Military lapel ribbon for the Malayan Emergency
Military lapel ribbon for the attack on Pearl Harbor
Military lapel ribbon for the Six Day War
Military lapel ribbon for the Soviet-Afghan War
Military lapel ribbon for the Spanish Civil War
Military lapel ribbon for the Suez Crisis
Military lapel ribbon for the Vietnam War
Military lapel ribbon for Warsaw Pact of the Cold War-era
Military lapel ribbon for the WASP (WW2)
Military lapel ribbon for the World War 1
Military lapel ribbon for the World War 2
Military lapel ribbon for the Yom Kippur
* Ribbons not necessarily indicative of actual historical campaign ribbons. Ribbons are clickable to their respective campaigns/operations.
Measurements and Weights icon
Structural - Crew, Dimensions, and Weights:
Unless otherwise noted the presented statistics below pertain to the Airbus A300-600F model. Common measurements, and their respective conversions, are shown when possible.

Operational
CREW


Personnel
3


Dimension
LENGTH


Feet
177.49 ft


Meters
54.1 m


Dimension
WIDTH


Feet
147.11 ft


Meters
44.84 m


Dimension
HEIGHT


Feet
54.27 ft


Meters
16.54 m


Weight
EMPTY


Pounds
198,636 lb


Kilograms
90,100 kg


Weight
LOADED


Pounds
375,899 lb


Kilograms
170,505 kg

Engine icon
Installed Power - Standard Day Performance:
2 x Pratt & Whitney PW4156 developing 56,000 lb of thrust each OR CF6-80C2 turbofans developing 61,500 lb of thrust each.

Performance
SPEED


Miles-per-Hour
554 mph


Kilometers-per-Hour
891 kph


Knots
481 kts


Performance
RANGE


Miles
4,660 mi


Kilometers
7,500 km


Nautical Miles
4,050 nm


Performance
CEILING


Feet
40,026 ft


Meters
12,200 m


Miles
7.58 mi

Armament - Hardpoints (0):

None.
Variants: Series Model Variants
• A300B1 - Prototype Models; later prototypes has their fuselage lengthened.
• A300B2-100 - Base Production Model fitted with 2 x General Electric CF6-50 turbofans.
• A300B2-200 - Integrated leading edge flaps installed.
• A300B2-220 - Fitted with 2 x Pratt & Whitney JT9D-59A turbofans.
• A300B2-300 - Increased MTOW; reinforced airframe.
• A300B4-100 - Fitted with CF6 or JT91 powerplants as a long-range passenger version.
• A300B4-200 - Increased MTOW; reinforced airframe.
• A300B4-200FF - Cockpit crew reduced to two.
• A300C4 - Based on the A300B4 model as a conversion transport / air freighter.
• A300F4 - Based on the A300B4 model as a true air freighter production model.
• A300F4-600R - Cargo Freight Aircraft Model fitted with specialized loading system for cargo loading / unloading.
• A300-600 - Full Commercial Model Designation
• A300-600F
• A300R-600 - Based on the A300-600 as an extended-range (use of "R" in designation) variant.
• A300C-600 - Based on the A300-600 as a converted air freighter variant ("C" in designation).
• A300F-600 - Based on the A300-600 as a true air freight model ("F" in designation).
• A300-600ST "Beluga" - Super Transport (ST) Heavy-Lift Cargo Handler Model.