A300/A310 - Aircraft Profiles - Aviation Resource Center Navigation Bar

A300/A310 General Overview


Airbus Industrie's A300 and A310 are the world's most popular widebody twin-engine transports. Approximately 750 have been ordered, with more than 700 delivered to some 86 different customers. Operators include scheduled and charter airlines, as well as governments that use the aircraft for VIP and support services.

Both the A300 and A310 have the same optimum fuselage cross-section -- the widest for any transport in this class of aircraft -- which provides passengers a comfortable and spacious cabin. They are the only airliners in their category capable of carrying the industry-standard LD3 cargo-containers side-by-side in the underfloor cargo hold.

The A300 was Airbus Industrie's first aircraft. Consortium founders saw the need for an efficient, twin-engine widebody transport able to serve short, medium and long-range routes. Since its service entry in 1974 with Air France, the A300 has been extensively developed and updated.

In production today is the A300-600, with seating capacity for approximately 270 passengers in a standard two-class cabin layout. This version first entered airline service with Saudia in 1988, and is available in passenger, freighter, and convertible passenger/freight configurations. The long-range A300-600R, which is flown by Japan Air System and many other carriers, operates on routes of up to 7,700 km./4,150 naut. mi. with a full payload.

Federal Express has been using the A300-600 Freighter version since 1994, which is capable of carrying more than 50 metric tons (110,200 lb.) of cargo.

Carriers with sizable A300 fleets include American Airlines, Air France, Korean Air, Lufthansa and Thai Airways. A government operator is Amiri Flight Abu Dhabi, which has two A300s. The A310 has been in airline service since 1983, when Lufthansa and Swissair became the first carriers to operate this shorter-fuselage version of the A300. Typical seating capacity in a two-class configuration is 220 passengers. Two A310 versions currently are available: the medium-range A310-200, and the long-range A310-300. With a full payload, the A310-300 is capable of flying routes of up to 9,600 km./5,200 naut. mi. A wide range of entertainment and communications can be offered to A300 and A310 passengers -- an attractive feature on longer route segments. In 1992, an Emirates A310 was the first airliner on which every passenger in first, business and economy classes had their own personal video display and a choice of programs. A year later, Emirates pioneered multi-channel telephone calls via satellite on the A310, and now also offers the ability to send faxes.

The A310 and A300 use the same cockpit and have the similar in-flight handling qualities. As a result, they share a common type-rating, allowing pilots qualified on one to fly the other without extra training. The commonality also facilitates maintenance for airlines operating both type of aircraft.

General Electric's CF6-80C2s and the Pratt & Whitney PW4000 are offered on the A300 and A310. The aircraft are certified for extended-range twin-engine operations (ETOPS) for up to 180 minutes with either engine. This authorization is based on the extensive airline service with both aircraft and their powerplants. This permits the use of A300s and A310s on long-haul flights over remote areas, including transatlantic routes.

Airlines with large A310 fleets include Singapore Airlines, Lufthansa and Turk Hava Yollari. Government A310 operators are the French air force, with two aircraft; the Canadian government, which has five; the Royal Thai air force, with one; and the German air force, which uses aircraft acquired when the former East German airline Interflug ceased operations.

+ Remember to Bookmark
Navigation: Sections:
Resource Search:
GeoCL Free Webspace GeoCities Netscape RSAC
Questions, Comments, or Suggestions: email the webmaster
© Copyright 1997, 1998 Matthew Koop. All rights reserved. | This site was created on a Mac