Airbus A340-600 (F-WWCA): wide-body jet airliner
When Airbus designed the Airbus A300 during the 1970s it envisioned a broad family of airliners to compete against Boeing and 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, Airbus had identified nine possible variations of the A300 known as A300B1 to B9. A tenth variation, conceived in 1973, later the first to be constructed, was designated the A300B10. It was a smaller aircraft that would be developed into the long-range Airbus A310.
Airbus then focused its efforts on the single-aisle market, which resulted in the Airbus A320 family, which was the first digital fly-by-wire commercial aircraft. The decision to work on the A320, instead of a four-engine aircraft proposed by the Germans, created divisions within Airbus.
Prototype made in Toulouse (France)
First flight: 1991
Crew: 2 persons
Capacity: 370 passengers
Engine: Rolls-Royce Trent 500
Speed: 900 km/h
Range: 14000 km
Ceiling: 12364 m (41,450 ft)