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Airbus A300 Airbus
Short to Medium-Range Jetliner

During the mid-1960s, a number of European governments and aircraft manufacturers discussed the possibility of pooling resources to develop a short-range commercial jetliner. After studying a number of potential designs, attention focused on the HBN-100 being developed by Hawker Siddeley in Britain as well as Bregeut and Nord in France. The project finally got underway once France and West Germany agreed to proceed with the venture. This cooperative effort ultimately led to the formation of what would become European Airbus Industrie. The conglomerate would come to consist of Hawker Siddeley (later part of British Aerospace), Aerospatiale in France, DASA in Germany, and CASA in Spain. Major subcontractors also include Fokker in the Netherlands and Belairbus in Belgium.

The first plane the partners agreed to construct was a twin engine wide-body airliner to fill a niche between the Boeing 707 and Boeing 727 seating between 220 and 330 passengers. This design would become the A300. Although of typical airliner configuration with a cylindrical fuselage and mid-set swept-wing, the A300 incorporated a number of advanced features for its time. Among these were a wing full of high-lift devices and quiet, fuel efficient engines. Despite slow initial sales, the A300 gradually made inroads into the airline industry and was being operated throughout Europe, the Middle East, Asia, and North America within a decade.

Production later switched to the upgraded A300-600 series, and over 500 A300 aircraft had been built by 2001. Sales of the A300 and related A310 slowed during the late 1990s and the production line was finally closed in May 2007. A replacement is currently in development in the form of the A350. A number of the remaining A300 airliners are being converted to cargo freighters.

Data below for A300-600
Last modified 27 September 2009

First Flight (A300B1) 28 October 1972
(A300-600) 8 July 1983
Service Entry

30 May 1974 (with Air France)

CREW: two to three flight crew: pilot, co-pilot, flight engineer

PASSENGERS: 250 in three classes
266 in two classes
330 in one class



Wing Root unknown
Wing Tip


Length 177.42 ft (54.08 m)
Wingspan 147.08 ft (44.84 m)
Height 54.25 ft (16.53 m)
Wing Area 2,798.6 ft² (260.0 m²)
Canard Area

not applicable

Empty (A300-600) 172,400 lb (78,200 kg)
(A300-600R) 198,000 lb (89,815 kg)
Normal Takeoff unknown
Max Takeoff (A300-600) 363,765 lb (165,000 kg)
(A300-600R) 375,885 lb (170,500 kg)
Fuel Capacity internal: 16,380 gal (62,000 L)
external: not applicable
Max Payload

87,930 lb (39,885 kg)

Powerplant two General Electric CF6-80C2A1 turbofans or
two Pratt & Whitney PW4156 turbofans
Thrust (GE) 123,000 lb (547.2 kN)
(PW) 112,000 lb (498.2 kN)

Max Level Speed at altitude: unknown
at sea level: unknown
cruise speed: 555 mph (890 km/h) at 25,000 ft (7,620 m), Mach 0.82
long-range cruise speed: 545 mph (875 km/h) at 31,000 ft (9,450 m)
Initial Climb Rate unknown
Service Ceiling unknown
Range max payload: 4,150 nm (7,700 km)
g-Limits unknown

A300B1 First prototypes; 2 built
A300B2 First production model
A300B4 Longer-range model with increased fuel capacity, Kruger leading edge flaps, and increased maximum takeoff weight; total of 284 B2 and B4 aircraft built before production ended in 1984
A300C4 Convertible freighter model with large cargo door added in port side
A300-600 Improved passenger model with extra row of seats, re-designed two-crew flight deck, and numerous drag-reduction items including wing-tip fences
A300-600R Long-range model of A300-600 with increased maximum takeoff weight and trim tank
A300-600 Convertible Convertible freighter model of A300-600
A300-600F Dedicated cargo version of A300-600
A300-600T Beluga Extensively modified A300-600 with enlarged fuselage for carrying outsized loads

KNOWN OPERATORS: Abu Dhabi Amiri Flight
Air Afrique
Air Anatolia
Airbus International Transport
Air Contractors
Air France
Air India
Air Inter
Air Inter Europe
Air Jamaica
Air Liberté
Air Macau
Air Niugini
Air Scandic
Air Togo
Akdeniz Airlines
Alfa Airlines
American Airlines
Angel Airlines
Ariana Afghan Airlines
Australian Airlines
Aviation Sales Leasing Company
Aviation Systems International
Avion Aircraft Trading
AwAir International
Bellview Airlines
Cathay Pacific Airways
Channel Express
China Airlines
China Eastern Airlines
China Northern Airlines
China Northwest Airlines
City Bird
Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC)
Continental Airlines
DHL Airways
Eastern Airlines
Emery Worldwide Airlines
Emirates Post
Euro First Air
European Air Charter
European Air Transport
European Aviation Airlines
Faucatt Peru
Galaxy Airlines
Garuda Indonesia Airways
Grand Air
Heavylift Cargo Airlines
ICC - Air Cargo Canada
Indian Airlines
Iran Air
Istanbul Airlines
Japan Air Systems
Jet Link Holland
JHM Cargo Express
Khalifa Airways
Korean Air Lines
Kuwait Airways
Mahan Air
Malaysian Airline System (MAS)
Malaysian Airlines Cargo (MASkargo)
MNG Cargo Airlines
Monarch Airlines
Olympic Airways
Pace Air Cargo
Pakistan International
Pan Air
Pan American World Airways (Pan Am)
Pan American World Airways (Pan Am II)
Philippine Air Lines
Qatar Airways
Schreiner Airways
Sempati Air
Singapore Airlines
South African Airways
Sudan Airways
Thai Airways International
TNT Airways
Toa Domestic Airlines (TDA)
Tradewinds International
Trans Aer
Trans Australia Airlines (TAA)
Tristar Air
Tulip Air Charter
United Parcel Service (UPS)
ZAS Airline of Egypt

Airbus A300

  • Aboulafia, Richard. Jane's Civil Aircraft. Glasgow: Harper Collins Publishers, 1996, p. 26-27, Airbus A300.
  • Airbus A300/A310 site
  • Chant, Christopher and Taylor, Michael J.H. The World's Greatest Aircraft. Edison, NJ: Chartwell Books, 2006, p. 235, Airbus Industrie A300.
  • Donald, David, ed. The Complete Encyclopedia of World Aircraft. NY: Barnes & Noble, 1997, p. 34, Airbus Industrie A300.
  • Donald, David, ed. The Encyclopedia of Civil Aircraft. San Diego, CA: Thunder Bay Press, 1999, p. 18-25, Ascendant Airbus.
  • Rendall, David. Jane's Aircraft Recognition Guide, 2nd ed. London: Harper Collins Publishers, 1999, p. 202, Airbus A300.
  • Taylor, Michael. Brassey's World Aircraft & Systems Directory 1996/1997. London: Brassey's, 1996, p. 284-286, Airbus A300B2 and B4 freighter conversions, Airbus A300-600.
  • Taylor, Michael J. H. Brassey's World Aircraft & Systems Directory 1999/2000. London: Brassey's, 1999, p. 268-269, Airbus A300B2 and B4 freighter conversions, Airbus A300-600.

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