Airbus A300: The First Ever Widebody, Twin-Engine Airplane
The Airbus A300 is a medium range, wide body, twin-engine jet aircraft developed and mass-produced by Airbus. First introduced during 1972 as the first wide body, twin-engine airplane in the world, it was the first ever creation of the Airbus Industries, a conglomerate between European aerospace manufacturers, which is now a subsidiary of the Airbus Group.
The A300 can accommodate 266 passengers in a two-class design and can reach a maximum range of 7,540 kilometers or 4,070 nautical miles when completely loaded.
Air France introduced it into the commercial world on May 30, 1974.
After its initial launching, the A300 sales were low for a few years. At one point, Airbus had produced 16 “whitetail” A300s but weren’t sold. Germanwings, an international airliner, was the first ever to buy an A300 while Indian Airlines was the first domestic airliner to buy an A300. Presently, these airplanes are not in service anymore.
Korean Air purchased 4 A300s in 1974, making it the first non-European international airliner to acquire an Airbus aircraft. Airbus foresaw that Southeast Asia is an important market that’s ready to be unlocked, and they think Korean Air is the “key”.
It evidently revealed that the whole idea of having a short, wide-body aircraft was imperfect. Airlines that operate the A300 on short routes were required to lower the number of flights to try and fill the airplane. Thus, they lost many passengers to airlines who operate with airplanes that have narrow bodies frequently.
The idea that wide body comfort would be in demand by passengers was erroneous. In the end, Airbus had to create its own narrow body aircraft, which was the A320 to contend with the McDonnel Douglas DC-9/MD-80 and Boeing 737. The A300 was saved by the implementation of the ETOPS of Extended Range Twin Operations, a revised FAA rule that allowed twin-engines to travel long distance course that were before prohibited to them. This made Airbus create a medium/long range aircraft.
During 1977, Eastern Air Lines chartered 4 A300s to serve as an in-service trial. Frank Borman, who was the CEO and an ex-astronaut, was fascinated by the fuel efficiency of the A300, which consumed 30% less fuel compared to his fleet of Tristars and later bought 23 A300s. Pan Am followed to order A300s. From that moment on, the A300 was doing well, with sales reaching 878 delivered aircraft.
And in 1977, the first ETOPS compliant airplane was created by Airbus, the A300B4 –with its high performance and safety standards, which made it qualify for ETOPs over water; this provided operators more flexibility in routing. Garuda Indonesia became the first airliner to sail using the A300B4-200FF in 1982. In 1981, sales grew rapidly, with 300 sold aircraft and a selection of 200 more aircraft for forty airliners. Due to the success of the A300, Boeing answered with the creation of the Boeing 767.
FedEx Express is the biggest freight operator to use the A300. As of January 2012, it has 71 A300 aircraft at their disposal. UPS Airlines has also been operating freighter variety of the Airbus A300. The final version was the A300-600R, which has a rating of 180-minute ETOPs.
The A300-600R, Airbus’ recent-and-improved aircraft model, is a leading choice for huge group private plane charters. It is the ideal jet for long-haul intercontinental private charter flights; in fact, you can even travel halfway around the globe without a fuel stop. It is powered by two 249kN (56,000lb) Pratt & Whitney PW-4156s turbofans. It maintains an incredible cruising speed of up to 450 knots. It also boasts 8% lower operating cost per seat than its rivals, making it a top choice amongst group travelers.
For air charter service, Charter Flight Group can provide you access to the Airbus A300-600R and our wide selection of the newest and safest private aircraft charters available today. For more information, contact us!