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28th of October 1972

It was on this day in aviation history that the first Airbus took to the sky, the Airbus A300.

F-WUAB just airborne on its maiden flight, 28th of October 1972


On the 18th of December 1970, Airbus was created to fulfil the memorandum of understanding that was signed by aircraft manufacturers from the United Kingdom, France and Germany. (September 1967) After the UK pulled out of the deal in April 1969 France and Germany continued to project. The roots of the A300 go back to the 1960s when Hawker Siddeley and the British Aircraft Cooperation (UK) and Sud Aviation (France) had the ambition to build a 2oo seat aircraft. Which, after years of political; twisting and turning, led to the appointment in July 1967 of Roger Béteille as the technical director of what would be the A300 program. One of his key design features were the use of composite materials in the leading and trailing edges of the wing and the tail fin. The A300 would be the first passenger aircraft to incorporate composites in its structures.

An A300B4 Freighter

The first A300 prototype built was officially designated an A300B1, it would be the first of 6 main variants with many subvariants, an overview;


  • A300B1 (2 built) The first prototype (F-WUAB later F-OCAZ) and the second prototype (F-WUAC, later leased to TEA as OO-TEF) Powered by 2 GE CF6-50A engines with 49.000 lbs of thrust. They were both 5 frames shorter than the later production versions. Only being 167.2 feet long (50.97 meters)

  • A300B2 (6 built) Powered by GE CF6-50 or P&W JT9D engines this was the first production version of the A300. Three sub-versions were made, the main differences were the MTOW's.

  • A300B4 (242 built) This would be the main production version. A centre tank was installed, increasing the fuel capacity to 104.700 lbs (47.500 kg). It also featured Wing-root Krüger slats. The first A300B4, the ninth A300 built first flew in December 1974. 8 different sub-variants would be developed, Among hem full freighters and Convertible freighters

  • A300-600 (313 built) Officially designated as the A300B4-600, this variant featured the rear fuselage from the Airbus A320, more powerful engines (GE CF6-80 pr P&W PW4000) Other improvements were an improved wing (without outboard ailerons) and the avionics similar to the AirbusA 310, eliminating the need for a Flight Engineer. 6 different sub-variants were developed

  • A300B10 aka A310 The smaller and modernised version of the A300 series. Check the blog from the 3rd of April on this aircraft for more details, by clicking here

  • A300-600ST aka Airbus Beluga (5 built) Heavily modified version for transport of Airbus aircraft sections between the different factories.


An Airbus A300-600


Specifications of the A300-600 Crew 2

Passengers 266 / 345 Engines 2 General Electric CF6-80C2A5, Thrust 60100 lbf Pratt & Whitney PW4158, Thrust 58000 lbf Cruise Spd 891 km/h481 kts

Mmo Mach 0.82 Ceiling 12.192 m / 40.000 ft Range 6.667 km / 3.600 NM Empty Wght 78.201 kg172.404 lbs MTOW 170.500 kg / 375.888 lbs MLW 140.000 kg / 308.647 lbs Wing Span 44,84 m / 147 ft 1 in Wing Area 260,0 m² / 2799 ft²

Length 54,08 m / 177 ft 5 in

Height 16,54 m / 54 ft 3 in

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