Airbus A320 (F-WWAI)
When Airbus designed the A300 during the late 1960s and early 1970s, it envisaged a broad family of airliners with which to compete against Boeing and Douglas (later McDonnell Douglas), two established US aerospace manufacturers.
From the moment of formation, Airbus had begun studies into derivatives of the Airbus A300B in support of this long-term goal. Prior to the service introduction of the first Airbus airliners, engineers within Airbus had identified nine possible variations of the A300 known as A300B1 to B9. A 10th variation, conceived in 1973, later the first to be constructed, was designated the A300B10.
It was a smaller aircraft which would be developed into the long-range Airbus A310. Airbus then focused its efforts on the single-aisle market, which was dominated by the 737 and McDonnell Douglas DC-9.
Plans from a number of European aircraft manufacturers called for a successor to the relatively successful BAC One-Eleven, and to replace the 737-200 and DC-9.
Germany’s MBB (Messerschmitt-Bölkow-Blohm), British Aircraft Corporation, Sweden’s Saab and Spain‘s CASA worked on the EUROPLANE, a 200 seat aircraft. It was abandoned after intruding on A310 specifications. VFW-Fokker, Dornier and Hawker Siddeley worked on a number of 150 seat designs.
Previously, Hawker Siddeley had produced a design called the HS.134 “Airbus” in 1965, an evolution of the HS.121 (formerly DH.121) Trident, which shared much of the general arrangement of the later JET3 study design. The name “Airbus” at the time referred to a BEA requirement, rather than to the later international programme.
The Airbus A320 family is a series of narrow-body airliners developed and produced by Airbus. The A320 was launched in March 1984, first flew on 22 February 1987, and was introduced in April 1988 by Air France. The first member of the family was followed by the longer A321 (first delivered in January 1994), the shorter A319 (April 1996), and the even shorter A318 (July 2003). Final assembly takes place in Toulouse in France; Hamburg in Germany; Tianjin in China since 2009; and in Mobile, Alabama in the United States since April 2016.
The twinjet has a six-abreast cross-section and came with either CFM56 or IAE V2500 turbofan engines, except the CFM56/PW6000 powered A318. The family pioneered the use of digital fly-by-wire and side-stick flight controls in airliners. Variants offer maximum take-off weights from 68 to 93.5 tonnes (150,000 to 206,000 lb), to cover a 5,740–6,940 kilometres; 3,570–4,320 miles (3,100–3,750 nmi) range.
The 31.4 m (103 ft) long A318 typically accommodates 107 to 132 passengers.
The 124-156 seat A319 is 33.8 m (111 ft) long.
The A320 is 37.6 m (123 ft) long and can accommodate 150 to 186 passengers. The 44.5 m (146 ft) A321 offers 185 to 230 seats. The Airbus Corporate Jets are business jet versions.