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How Safe And Strudy Was The A300?  
User currently offline747400sp From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 3758 posts, RR: 2
Posted (6 years 2 months 3 weeks 20 hours ago) and read 6141 times:

Growing up, I was told all kind of stories of how the A300 was falling out of the air left and right in the 70's. I have looked at the accident record of the A300, and fond out it was the only first generation wide body not to have a fatality in the 70's. I would say it safer than a 747 looking at it's record, but then I can not rule out that AA crash in 2001 ware that newer model A300 tail riped off because of over steering.
So here is my question, is the A300 a well built plane? If so was it as well built as the US built first gen widebodies?

34 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineSashA From Russia, joined May 1999, 861 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (6 years 2 months 3 weeks 20 hours ago) and read 6134 times:

I am no tech expert with A300 but the fact that only last year they shipped the last one off the conveyor belt, tells some story. Imho, it's a well built plane, yes. As for the AA over steering - the accident is reported to have resulted in AA amending their pilot training procedures, which would suggest it probably wasn't the plane sturdiness issue but poor airmanship? Gee, I mean... if flaps are deployed at speed exceeding their limit.. they gonna eventually come off just as easily, won't they.


An2/24/28,Yak42,Tu154/134,IL18/62/96,B737/757/767,A310/320/319,F100,BAe146,EMB-145,CRJ,A340-600,B747-400,A-330-300,A-340
User currently offlineNicoEDDF From Germany, joined Jan 2008, 1110 posts, RR: 1
Reply 2, posted (6 years 2 months 3 weeks 20 hours ago) and read 6134 times:

Do you have any serious doubt?
Me thinks a plane proofs its sturdiness over the life cycle. The 300 has done exactly that.

Hence, no doubts from my part why the 300 shouldn't be well built. After all, the Airbus engineers in the 70s didn't exactly come out of the toy industry but were experienced professionals.  Wink


User currently offlineStarlionblue From Greenland, joined Feb 2004, 17186 posts, RR: 66
Reply 3, posted (6 years 2 months 3 weeks 18 hours ago) and read 6092 times:



Quoting 747400sp (Thread starter):
but then I can not rule out that AA crash in 2001 ware that newer model A300 tail riped off because of over steering.

Doesn't count. There was nothing wrong with the aircraft. The rudder control may have been "oversensitive" but the pilot should not have touched it anyway.



"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots."
User currently offlineHAWK21M From India, joined Jan 2001, 31712 posts, RR: 56
Reply 4, posted (6 years 2 months 3 weeks 13 hours ago) and read 6026 times:



Quoting 747400sp (Thread starter):
Growing up, I was told all kind of stories of how the A300 was falling out of the air left and right in the 70's.

Any Examples of these stories.....A300s seem to be very good at IC until they were retired a few years ago.The only complain some Mx folks had of them were of Hydraulic wetness in the areas of Hydraulic lines every where.
regds
MEL



Think of the brighter side!
User currently offlineViscount724 From Switzerland, joined Oct 2006, 26029 posts, RR: 22
Reply 5, posted (6 years 2 months 3 weeks 1 hour ago) and read 5858 times:

Quoting 747400sp (Thread starter):
Growing up, I was told all kind of stories of how the A300 was falling out of the air left and right in the 70's.

In fact there were no A300 crashes or hull losses for any reason in the 1970s. Both the A300 and A310 went more than 10 years between their first flight and first hull loss, a much better record than other widebodies of that era especially when considering the higher number of sectors flown by the A300 due to its shorter range. And few A300/310 hull losses to date appear to involve design issues,certainly no more than any other widebodies. Most A300/310 hull losses were the result of pilot error, terrorism, being shot down, fires during maintenance and a variety of other causes.

For information, the number of hull losses during the 10 years after their first flights.Many losses of other types also for reasons unrelated to the aircraft type.

A300......0
A310......0
L1011....3
747.........8
DC-10....8

[Edited 2008-10-08 14:27:54]

User currently offline474218 From United States of America, joined Oct 2005, 6340 posts, RR: 9
Reply 6, posted (6 years 2 months 3 weeks ago) and read 5843 times:

The following statics are from the "Flight Safety Network" web site:

Aircraft - Hull Loss Accidents - Fatalities

A300 - 17 - 1126
A310 - 8 - 673
A330 - 2 - 7
A340 - 2 - 0
747 - 39 - 2350
767 - 6 - 539
777 - 1 - 0
DC-10 - 26 -1261
MD-11 - 5 - 235
L-1011 - 7 - 534

Based on these numbers the A310 is slightly safer than the DC-10.


User currently offlineStarlionblue From Greenland, joined Feb 2004, 17186 posts, RR: 66
Reply 7, posted (6 years 2 months 2 weeks 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 5807 times:



Quoting 474218 (Reply 6):
The following statics are from the "Flight Safety Network" web site:

Aircraft - Hull Loss Accidents - Fatalities

A300 - 17 - 1126
A310 - 8 - 673
A330 - 2 - 7
A340 - 2 - 0
747 - 39 - 2350
767 - 6 - 539
777 - 1 - 0
DC-10 - 26 -1261
MD-11 - 5 - 235
L-1011 - 7 - 534

Based on these numbers the A310 is slightly safer than the DC-10.

Those statistics are unfortunately useless. They do not account for number of flights, flight hours or cause of accident. For example the 330 accident was during a test flight, not indicative of real life ops.



"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots."
User currently offline474218 From United States of America, joined Oct 2005, 6340 posts, RR: 9
Reply 8, posted (6 years 2 months 2 weeks 6 days 21 hours ago) and read 5782 times:



Quoting Starlionblue (Reply 7):
Those statistics are unfortunately useless. They do not account for number of flights, flight hours or cause of accident. For example the 330 accident was during a test flight, not indicative of real life ops.


You are correct. However, they are every bit as usefull as these!

Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 5):
For information, the number of hull losses during the 10 years after their first flights.Many losses of other types also for reasons unrelated to the aircraft type.

A300......0
A310......0
L1011....3
747.........8



User currently offlineBuckFifty From Canada, joined Oct 2001, 1316 posts, RR: 19
Reply 9, posted (6 years 2 months 2 weeks 6 days 19 hours ago) and read 5741 times:

Quick Google search came up with this:

http://www.airsafe.com/events/models/airbus.htm

# 27 June 1976; Air France A300; Entebbe, Uganda: Aircraft was hijacked and all aboard taken hostage. Some passengers were released shortly after the hijacking and the remainder were taken to Entebbe, Uganda. The remaining hostages were eventually rescued in a commando raid. About seven of the 258 passengers were killed.

# 3 July 1988; Iranair A300; Persian Gulf, near Straits of Hormuz: Aircraft was shot down by a surface to air missile from the American naval vessel U.S.S. Vincennes. All 16 crew and 274 passengers were killed.

# 28 September 1992; Pakistan International Airlines A300B4; near Katmandu, Nepal: The crew was flying the aircraft was flying an approach about 1300 feet (400 meters) lower than planned when the aircraft collided with high ground. The event happened in daylight and with cloud shrouding the mountains. All 12 crew and 155 passengers were killed

# 26 April 1994; China Airlines A300-600; Nagoya, Japan: Crew errors led to the aircraft stalling and crashing during approach. All 15 crew and 249 of the 264 passengers were killed.

# 24 December 1994; Air France A300; Algiers Airport, Algeria: Hijackers killed 3 of the 267 passengers. Later, commandos retook the aircraft and killed four hijackers.

# 26 September 1997; Garuda Indonesia Airways A300B4; near Medan, Indonesia: The aircraft was on approach to Medan on a flight from Jakarta when it crashed in a mountainous area about 19 miles (30 km) from the airport. Extensive smoke and haze from numerous forest fires caused reduced visibility in the area. All 12 crew members and 222 passengers were killed.

# 16 February 1998; China Airlines A300-600; near Taipei, Taiwan: The aircraft crashed into a residential area short of the runway during its second landing attempt. The scheduled flight had been inbound from the island of Bali in Indonesia. The event occurred under conditions of darkness with rain and reduced visibility due to fog. All 15 crew and 182 passengers were killed. At least seven persons on the ground were also killed.

# 24 December 1999; Indian Airlines A300; near Katmandu, Nepal: The flight was hijacked shortly after takeoff. The hijackers killed one of the 173 passengers, but none of the 11 crew members.

# 12 November 2001; American Airlines A300-600; Queens, New York: The aircraft was on a flight from New York to Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic when it crashed into a residential neighborhood just outside JFK airport. The aircraft experienced an in-flight breakup, with the vertical fin and one engine landing away from the main impact site. The crash damaged or destroyed several homes, and killed five people on the ground. Also killed were all nine crew members and 251 passengers on the aircraft, including five infants.


Doesn't sound like there were any hull losses attributed to the type because of an inherent design flaw, but I could be wrong.


User currently offlineViscount724 From Switzerland, joined Oct 2006, 26029 posts, RR: 22
Reply 10, posted (6 years 2 months 2 weeks 6 days 18 hours ago) and read 5723 times:



Quoting 474218 (Reply 6):
The following statics are from the "Flight Safety Network" web site:

Aircraft - Hull Loss Accidents - Fatalities

A300 - 17 - 1126
A310 - 8 - 673
A330 - 2 - 7
A340 - 2 - 0
747 - 39 - 2350
767 - 6 - 539
777 - 1 - 0
DC-10 - 26 -1261
MD-11 - 5 - 235
L-1011 - 7 - 534

You seem to have excluded some hull losses from your totals. Did you not include terrorist incidents for example? Aviation-safety.net (assume that's the site you're referring to) shows the following total "hull loss occurrences" which includes losses of all types (terrorism, hangar fires etc.) Many of the numbers are higher than yours, for example 25 A300 hull losses (vs 17). Fatality totals also much higher than your numbers in some cases (e.g. 747 fatalities 3760 vs your 2350). Fatality totals below include those on the ground except those in the 9/11 767 crashes. Was just curious what you excluded to account for such large differences in some numbers.

A300 - 25 - 1438
A310 - 8 - 673
A330 - 4 - 7
A340 - 5 - 0
747 - 47 - 3760
767 - 11 - 851
777 - 1 - 0
DC-10 - 30 - 1442
MD-11 - 5 - 240
L-1011 - 11 - 553


User currently offline474218 From United States of America, joined Oct 2005, 6340 posts, RR: 9
Reply 11, posted (6 years 2 months 2 weeks 6 days 18 hours ago) and read 5719 times:



Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 10):
You seem to have excluded some hull losses from your totals. Did you not include terrorist incidents for example? Aviation-safety.net (assume that's the site you're referring to) shows the following total "hull loss occurrences" which includes losses of all types (terrorism, hangar fires etc.) Many of the numbers are higher than yours, for example 25 A300 hull losses (vs 17). Fatality totals also much higher than your numbers in some cases (e.g. 747 fatalities 3760 vs your 2350). Fatality totals below include those on the ground except those in the 9/11 767 crashes. Was just curious what you excluded to account for such large differences in some numbers.

Because I don't think a "hull loss due to hijacking" should be held against the airframe.


User currently offlineSoon7x7 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 12, posted (6 years 2 months 2 weeks 6 days 8 hours ago) and read 5521 times:

All aircraft have a stat list for one reason or another but in answer to your question...the a300 proved itself over a timely record...it was the first major transport to incorporate a perfectly round pressure vessel as this results in optimum fuselage strength. Earlier models were introduced with all metal tail feathers and later models retro fitted with carbon tail feather assemblies. Earlier models even had outboard ailerons...currently spoilerons are used along with inboard high speed ailerons but no outboards. On one trip to the carribean we edged around a hurricane in an AA A300. We got the sh-t beat out of us. I was afraid the superstructure was going to come apart...but as luck would have it...it did not...aircraft still in service today...

User currently offline474218 From United States of America, joined Oct 2005, 6340 posts, RR: 9
Reply 13, posted (6 years 2 months 2 weeks 6 days 7 hours ago) and read 5486 times:



Quoting Soon7x7 (Reply 12):
...it was the first major transport to incorporate a perfectly round pressure vessel as this results in optimum fuselage strength.

Could you explain this statement. What do you mean by "first major" to incorporate a "perfectly round".


User currently offlineKimberlyrj From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2008, 385 posts, RR: 1
Reply 14, posted (6 years 2 months 2 weeks 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 5401 times:



Quoting 747400sp (Thread starter):
So here is my question, is the A300 a well built plane? If so was it as well built as the US built first gen widebodies?

From what I understand the Airbus A300 was the type of aircraft that would fly no matter what was thrown at it. It did suffer a lot of technical issues, however once these were ironed out the aircraft (A300-600 series) became a very reliable aircraft which still flies in many fleets today.

Quoting 474218 (Reply 6):
Aircraft - Hull Loss Accidents - Fatalities

A300 - 17 - 1126
A310 - 8 - 673
A330 - 2 - 7
A340 - 2 - 0
747 - 39 - 2350
767 - 6 - 539
777 - 1 - 0
DC-10 - 26 -1261
MD-11 - 5 - 235
L-1011 - 7 - 534

Based on these numbers the A310 is slightly safer than the DC-10.

Would we not need to know total hours, amounts that were built etc

I would like to know what Airbus A300's pilots feet about her!? Anyone know if there are any on this site?

Kimberly.


User currently offlineDavid L From United Kingdom, joined May 1999, 9546 posts, RR: 42
Reply 15, posted (6 years 2 months 2 weeks 6 days 3 hours ago) and read 5376 times:



Quoting 747400sp (Thread starter):
I was told all kind of stories of how the A300 was falling out of the air left and right in the 70's.

You may have seen a little of such nonsense here. There have been a few members whose "dad knew a guy, who knew a guy, who knew a guy, who said Airbus make inferior aircraft". When pressed for details, they usually fell silent. Funny, that.  Smile


User currently offlineStratosphere From United States of America, joined Sep 2007, 1658 posts, RR: 5
Reply 16, posted (6 years 2 months 2 weeks 4 days 20 hours ago) and read 5136 times:



Quoting SashA (Reply 1):
I am no tech expert with A300 but the fact that only last year they shipped the last one off the conveyor belt, tells some story. Imho, it's a well built plane

One problem notorious for both the A300 and the 310 is in the cargo environment is if you let these aircraft sit for more than a day you will have fuel leaks out the ying yang. Fuel and fuel qty issues plague this fleet at FedEx.



NWA THE TRUE EVIL EMPIRE
User currently offline474218 From United States of America, joined Oct 2005, 6340 posts, RR: 9
Reply 17, posted (6 years 2 months 2 weeks 4 days 19 hours ago) and read 5121 times:



Quoting David L (Reply 15):
You may have seen a little of such nonsense here. There have been a few members whose "dad knew a guy, who knew a guy, who knew a guy, who said Airbus make inferior aircraft". When pressed for details, they usually fell silent. Funny, that.

When Eastern first started flying the A300 a group of us went to LAX to check one out. My first impression was that you could really tell it was made by a consortium. Fuselage joints between major sections did not line up, the wings looked like they were installed half way up on the fuselage, the main landing gear seemed like it was as long as a Connies nose gear and the raised floor in the aft cabin just cemented my option.

However, I have flown on the A300 and A310 found them provide a smooth comfortable ride. The only complaint being how the sidewalls will not allow you to set straight up in a window seat.


User currently offlineMD11Engineer From Germany, joined Oct 2003, 14140 posts, RR: 62
Reply 18, posted (6 years 2 months 2 weeks 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 5112 times:



Quoting Stratosphere (Reply 16):
Quoting SashA (Reply 1):
I am no tech expert with A300 but the fact that only last year they shipped the last one off the conveyor belt, tells some story. Imho, it's a well built plane

One problem notorious for both the A300 and the 310 is in the cargo environment is if you let these aircraft sit for more than a day you will have fuel leaks out the ying yang. Fuel and fuel qty issues plague this fleet at FedEx.

I've discussed this issue with a guy who worked for Fedex (I used to work for a few years for the other big US cargo company or similar aircraft).
We had similar issues with our brand new A300-600s, but we traced down the fuel qty issues to production swarf (drill shavings, rivet heads etc.) being left inside the wings after manufacturing and thus shortening out the fuel probes, setting the fuel qty system inop, which then would affect other aircraft systems, like flight management, auto trim etc..
On one aircraft, we removed a whole bucket full of drill shavings etc. from the inside of a wing and the plane was just a few weeks old at this time.
Once these quality issues were ironed out in conjunction with the manufacturer (I assume some people in Airbus's wing plant in Filton, England, got a sound b*ll*cking for not cleaning up after finishing their work), the planes proved to be very reliable.
BTW, we didn't have any problems with fuel leaks.

Jan


User currently offlineHAWK21M From India, joined Jan 2001, 31712 posts, RR: 56
Reply 19, posted (6 years 2 months 2 weeks 4 days 13 hours ago) and read 5066 times:



Quoting MD11Engineer (Reply 18):
On one aircraft, we removed a whole bucket full of drill shavings etc. from the inside of a wing and the plane was just a few weeks old at this time.

Amazing that Airbus Quality control did not ensure these cleanings.
regds
MEL



Think of the brighter side!
User currently offlineDavid L From United Kingdom, joined May 1999, 9546 posts, RR: 42
Reply 20, posted (6 years 2 months 2 weeks 4 days 3 hours ago) and read 4962 times:



Quoting 474218 (Reply 17):
Fuselage joints between major sections did not line up

Strange - there didn't seem to be that problem on the earlier Concorde programme.

Quoting 474218 (Reply 17):
the wings looked like they were installed half way up on the fuselage, the main landing gear seemed like it was as long as a Connies nose gear

But weren't they pretty much the way they were meant to be?

Quoting 474218 (Reply 17):
and the raised floor in the aft cabin just cemented my option

I think the reason for this was discussed fairly recently - optimising the passenger deck and cargo deck, rather than just the passenger deck.


User currently offline474218 From United States of America, joined Oct 2005, 6340 posts, RR: 9
Reply 21, posted (6 years 2 months 2 weeks 4 days ago) and read 4909 times:



Quoting David L (Reply 20):
Strange - there didn't seem to be that problem on the earlier Concorde programme.

It is clearly visible in this photo of an A300. The skins appears to be a patch work pattern.


View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Juan Carlos Guerra - APM



Notice on the 767 how the skins panels are straight and the seams symmetrical.


View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Carlos Borda



User currently offlineAirxLiban From Lebanon, joined Oct 2003, 4518 posts, RR: 53
Reply 22, posted (6 years 2 months 2 weeks 3 days 17 hours ago) and read 4823 times:

Surprised that no one has mentioned the DHL A300F that got shot out of the sky over Baghdad and still managed to make it back safely to SDA:


View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Speedbird999




PARIS, FRANCE...THE BEIRUT OF EUROPE.
User currently offlineSoon7x7 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 23, posted (6 years 2 months 2 weeks 3 days 16 hours ago) and read 4816 times:



Quoting 474218 (Reply 13):

Round pressure vessels were found to be stronger over all with less flat spots or zones that over time were prone to fatigue such as the section 41 on the 747 which has flat surfaces and has since had formers redesigned,to combat cracking and other fatigue issues. The typical boeings and DC series aircraft as I'm sure your aware of, in cross section, use the double lobe design. In it of itself, this design has proven a great design but from a cost/production standpoint...the round tube was easier/cheaper. The 747 actually incorporates the round vessel as does the 777. Not sure about the 787 as I have not been following it like most a/netters but my guess is given the Carbon Fibre/ Barrel design...it too probably utilizes a round cross section. I'm sure I'll be corrected on that one...


User currently offline474218 From United States of America, joined Oct 2005, 6340 posts, RR: 9
Reply 24, posted (6 years 2 months 2 weeks 3 days 5 hours ago) and read 4746 times:



Quoting Soon7x7 (Reply 23):
Round pressure vessels were found to be stronger over all with less flat spots or zones that over time were prone to fatigue such as the section 41 on the 747 which has flat surfaces and has since had formers redesigned,to combat cracking and other fatigue issues. The typical boeings and DC series aircraft as I'm sure your aware of, in cross section, use the double lobe design. In it of itself, this design has proven a great design but from a cost/production standpoint...the round tube was easier/cheaper. The 747 actually incorporates the round vessel as does the 777. Not sure about the 787 as I have not been following it like most a/netters but my guess is given the Carbon Fibre/ Barrel design...it too probably utilizes a round cross section. I'm sure I'll be corrected on that one...

The above did not answer my question: You said the A300 was the first "major transport" to use a "perfectly round" fuselage. I wanted to know how you came to this conclusion? I know of several "major transports" that used "perfectly round" fuselages before the A300.


25 David L : The variations in texture and colour don't seem to help and AA's (lack of) livery might exaggerate the issue. I'm still not sure how that makes it "i
26 474218 : I had to go back and read my reply again because I didn't think I said anything about the being "inferior"? I said the A300 (and most other Airbus de
27 David L : Ah, it was in response to my comment about Airbus allegedly making inferior aircraft so I just assumed. Yes, I know... some American expression about
28 Soon7x7 : I just made it up...jeeeez!
29 Soon7x7 : In all fairness I should have stated that it was "one of the first" as the DC-10 and L1011 also had this as did the C-141 however in the sense of the
30 Tdscanuck : I've seen this on other OEM's aircraft as well. The shear number of holes that have to be drilled to assemble an aluminum wing compared to the wing v
31 JohnClipper : Maybe AA should have left their A300s painted to avoid that horrible "cosmetic" problem. It's not an airframe problem. I've seen Boeings with that sam
32 HAWK21M : That was one fantastic skill of flying. regds MEL
33 474218 : The way the skin is rolled has nothing to do with the multitudes of seams in the photos of the A300 and the 767 I posted in Reply 21. Aft of the flig
34 Metroliner : So what? It's a different design. Doesn't have an ant's arse to do with where it was built, by whom, or why. More how it was designed.
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