kaitak
Topic Author
Posts: 8944
Joined: Wed Aug 18, 1999 5:49 am

40th Anniversary Of First A300 Flight

Sat Oct 27, 2012 3:32 am

On this day in 1972, the first A300B1 took off from Toulouse on its first flight - marking the first flight of an Airbus, of a European built widebody and most significantly, the first widebody twin. It's a date worth marking, I'm sure you'll agree!

Since then, over 3,500 widebody twins have entered commercial service and I hardly need comment on the hundreds of 787s and A350s - not to mention existing types, such as 777s and A330s - still on order. We have to acknowledge the role of the 767 in opening up long haul flights for twin engined types, but it all began with the A300.
 
FlySSC
Posts: 5182
Joined: Tue Aug 12, 2003 1:38 am

RE: 40th Anniversary Of First A300 Flight

Sat Oct 27, 2012 11:22 am

" THIS IS A TYPICAL GOVERNMENT AIRPLANE ... THEY WILL BUILD A DOZEN OR SO AND THEN GO OUT OF BUSINESS".

Boeing vice president Jim Austin, 1974.


Happy Anniversary !!!

 
MadameConcorde
Posts: 9201
Joined: Fri Feb 23, 2007 5:08 pm

RE: 40th Anniversary Of First A300 Flight

Sat Oct 27, 2012 11:37 am

Quoting kaitak (Thread starter):
On this day in 1972, the first A300B1 took off from Toulouse on its first flight - marking the first flight of an Airbus

I remember... Airbus has certainly gone a long way.

There's plenty of room for both Boeing and Airbus considering how the aviation world has transformed itself and passenger transport has changed since that first A300 flight.

I liked that old Air France livery.
Everything was so different back then...

Providing no major global events occurring, Airbus have got many more bright years ahead of them.

  
There was a better way to fly it was called Concorde
 
User avatar
aerdingus
Posts: 2645
Joined: Tue Dec 05, 2006 8:58 pm

RE: 40th Anniversary Of First A300 Flight

Sat Oct 27, 2012 11:46 am

I was lucky enough to travel on a ZB A300 DUB - HER in 2003. I didn´t know much about planes at the time, but it was certainly very comfortable on an intra European flight. I think it´s a great looking plane also.
2016: BHX GLA KIR LCY LGW MUC VIE BA EI FR LH OS A320 A321 ATR 42 ATR 72 B738 E190 E195
 
SEA
Posts: 235
Joined: Mon Jul 25, 2011 10:21 pm

RE: 40th Anniversary Of First A300 Flight

Sat Oct 27, 2012 6:16 pm

Congrats to Airbus! I always liked the look of the A300 and A310. I've never flown on any Airbus widebody though  
 
vanguard737
Posts: 523
Joined: Wed Aug 08, 2001 7:02 am

RE: 40th Anniversary Of First A300 Flight

Sat Oct 27, 2012 6:18 pm

Congratulations to Airbus and the A300 development team, in particular.


View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Alan Lebeda



P.S.: Remember them? One of my favorite A300 liveries.  
320 717 722 732 733 735 737 738 744 752 753 763 772 DC9 DC10 MD80 B1900 S340 E120 ERJ CRJ CR7
 
User avatar
seabosdca
Posts: 4963
Joined: Sat Sep 01, 2007 8:33 am

RE: 40th Anniversary Of First A300 Flight

Sat Oct 27, 2012 6:23 pm

It was so far ahead of its time. Unfortunately, neither engines nor wing technology were quite ready for an optimal widebody twin. We didn't really get one until 20 years later with the A330. But the A300 paved the way.
 
User avatar
Luxair
Posts: 836
Joined: Tue Jan 30, 2001 12:17 am

RE: 40th Anniversary Of First A300 Flight

Sat Oct 27, 2012 6:28 pm

Very nice tribute to Airbus & the A300, the grandfather of the big twins, sure it is worth mentioning this event!
 
strandedinbgm
Posts: 250
Joined: Wed Jul 11, 2007 2:58 am

RE: 40th Anniversary Of First A300 Flight

Sat Oct 27, 2012 6:46 pm

That's very interesting.
It's 737s, 747s and 380s. Not 737's, 747's and 380's. Learn to use the apostrophe for crying out loud.
 
ltbewr
Posts: 12390
Joined: Thu Jan 29, 2004 1:24 pm

RE: 40th Anniversary Of First A300 Flight

Sat Oct 27, 2012 6:46 pm

The A300 was a major milestone in aircraft design, as other posters have well noted and it is good the date of this model's first flight is posted here.
Yes, it does have it's flaws, some were MX hogs, there are handling quirks, but for airlines like EA and AA, they were important parts of their fleets for their efficency, room for pax and freight. It created a new class of aircraft - the mid-sized 2 engined widebody. It also led to the consolidation of the European aircraft industry, a number of successful aircraft and new standards in aircraft like the A380. A significant number still fly in pax and freight ops, even some older ones, so it appears to be a success by any standards.
 
B777LRF
Posts: 1437
Joined: Sun Nov 02, 2008 4:23 am

RE: 40th Anniversary Of First A300 Flight

Sat Oct 27, 2012 7:25 pm

Flew on a -600 on Thursday, taking a B4-200 out for a spin tomorrow. There's still life in the old girl, and long may she continue to grace the skies.

PS

Quoting seabosdca (Reply 6):
We didn't really get one until 20 years later with the A330. But the A300 paved the way.

That's rather a contentious remark. First of all because the wing on the A300 does exactly what it says on the tin, and that's short-medium haul flights. And in the 70s, "medium" was closer to 5 hours than the 7 or 8 we think of today. Secondly, if you're referring to a long-range twin, then one could argue with an equal degree of certainty the 767 did that job just fine, again taking into account the job it was built to do.
From receips and radials over straight pipes to big fans - been there, done that, got the hearing defects to prove
 
FI642
Posts: 992
Joined: Sat Mar 12, 2005 9:48 am

RE: 40th Anniversary Of First A300 Flight

Sat Oct 27, 2012 7:36 pm

When Eastern Airlines ordered them - the company was called "UnAmerican" for doing so. Their President pointed out "the engines are the expensive part, and they're made here in America." My how things have changed!

Bravo Airbus!
737MAX, Cool Planes for the Worlds Coolest Airline.
 
airsmiles
Posts: 74
Joined: Mon Sep 14, 2009 9:14 pm

RE: 40th Anniversary Of First A300 Flight

Sat Oct 27, 2012 7:39 pm

I clearly remember the early proving flights to LHR and the first Air France batch (F-BVGA to F-BVGF) that became regulars flying between Paris and London. At the time Carvavelles, Tridents, B707's and DC8's were still very common at LHR, so an A300 was quite something different.
 
maxpower1954
Posts: 1041
Joined: Thu Sep 25, 2008 1:14 am

RE: 40th Anniversary Of First A300 Flight

Sat Oct 27, 2012 9:22 pm

Quoting FI642 (Reply 11):
When Eastern Airlines ordered them - the company was called "UnAmerican" for doing so. Their President pointed out "the engines are the expensive part, and they're made here in America." My how things have changed!

Really? It wasn't exactly unprecedented. Capital bought 60 Viscounts, United ordered Caravelles, American, Braniff and Mohawk BAC-1-11s. As I recall, Airbus leased the A300 to Eastern initially for practically nothing to gain a foothold in the North American market.
 
SmokinL1011
Posts: 116
Joined: Mon Jun 19, 2006 1:43 am

RE: 40th Anniversary Of First A300 Flight

Sat Oct 27, 2012 9:29 pm

Today I was walking along the beachfront promenade in Nice, pausing to look each time a plane came in for a landing... the direction this late morning/early afternoon was to the west, so along the beach, and at one point I heard engines that weren't quite like the others. It was an A300 or A310 cargo plane. And I thought to myself, wow, nearly 40 years!

Didn't know today was the anniversary of the first flight...
 
User avatar
seabosdca
Posts: 4963
Joined: Sat Sep 01, 2007 8:33 am

RE: 40th Anniversary Of First A300 Flight

Sat Oct 27, 2012 9:31 pm

Quoting B777LRF (Reply 10):
First of all because the wing on the A300 does exactly what it says on the tin, and that's short-medium haul flights.

Airbus knew perfectly well at the time that the future of the widebody twin was long-haul, or at least medium-haul (which the A300 really couldn't do until the -600R came along). They just couldn't get there yet. Half of the reason was a very low weight limit imposed by the available engines, and the other half (it turned out) was insufficiently good aerodynamics. So they made lemonade of lemons by building a short-haul wing that was excellent for the time, and developing the rest of the aircraft with long-haul possibilities in mind. That paid off when they were able to build the A330 and A340 at lower cost thanks to the work already accomplished with the A300.

Quoting B777LRF (Reply 10):
Secondly, if you're referring to a long-range twin, then one could argue with an equal degree of certainty the 767 did that job just fine,

Again, Boeing had to make lemonade out of lemons. They built the long-haul twin by sacrificing what they knew was the optimal cross-section for a widebody in order to lower drag and weight to a level where the existing engines would work. Both the A300 and the 767 were compromises that pointed the way toward the optimized medium-size widebody twin -- an aircraft resembling the A330 and 787.

None of this is to take away from the marvelous accomplishment the A300 represents. It truly pointed to the future of commercial aviation, a decade before anyone else got there.

[Edited 2012-10-27 14:34:41]
 
XT6Wagon
Posts: 2637
Joined: Tue Feb 13, 2007 4:06 pm

RE: 40th Anniversary Of First A300 Flight

Sat Oct 27, 2012 9:33 pm

Quoting B777LRF (Reply 10):
First of all because the wing on the A300 does exactly what it says on the tin, and that's short-medium haul flights.

The earliest A300 short haul was a stretch. The MTOW growth made short haul atleast comfortable, but the A300 didn't really hit its stride till the advances made on the A310 were rolled back into the A300 to produce the A300-600. That is the first Airbus to me that made any sense to buy at normal market prices. It finaly had payload and range that was meaningful, with solid operating economics.
 
User avatar
American 767
Posts: 3927
Joined: Wed May 19, 1999 7:27 am

RE: 40th Anniversary Of First A300 Flight

Sat Oct 27, 2012 9:36 pm

Airbus has been in business for 40 years now!
I remember my first flight on an A300, it was with Air France as far as I can remember, back in 1980 when the plane was new. The Air France bar code livery was also new at that time. I was excited to fly on it. I flew on it from CDG to NCE.

Quoting SEA (Reply 4):
Congrats to Airbus! I always liked the look of the A300 and A310. I've never flown on any Airbus widebody though

The A300 and A310 are the two widebody Airbus I have ever flown on. I have never flown on the A330, A340 and A380.

Quoting FI642 (Reply 11):
When Eastern Airlines ordered them - the company was called "UnAmerican" for doing so.

Eastern may have been the first US airline to order an Airbus plane, but it wasn't the first US airline to order a Europe built plane. United flew the Caravelle. American, Braniff and US Air flew the BAC-111.

Ben Soriano
Ben Soriano
 
User avatar
Aesma
Posts: 7598
Joined: Sat Nov 14, 2009 6:14 am

RE: 40th Anniversary Of First A300 Flight

Sat Oct 27, 2012 9:42 pm

Happy anniversary !

I flew for the first time of my life on A300s during a school trip in the 90's PAR-FRA-MUC and back. And more recently I flew the A300-600 ORY-TUN. Really love the widebodies on short trips, something quite rare overall.
New Technology is the name we give to stuff that doesn't work yet. Douglas Adams
 
User avatar
breiz
Posts: 1417
Joined: Tue Mar 29, 2005 9:12 pm

RE: 40th Anniversary Of First A300 Flight

Sat Oct 27, 2012 10:35 pm

An anniversary which does not make us younger. Already 40 years!
I followed the Airbus development from the outset. To me, it was such a daring hope that 4 nations would manage to collaborate and somehow help the EU to come true.
Both at Airbus and in the EU, we are not there yet, but what a ride!
 
User avatar
SQ22
Crew
Posts: 308
Joined: Sat Feb 25, 2012 9:29 am

RE: 40th Anniversary Of First A300 Flight

Sat Oct 27, 2012 10:48 pm

Some years ago they were quite common on routes with high demand within Germany. I flew on LH's A306 quite often from HAM to FRA. I can remember sometimes they were using them as a replacement for flights to the US East Coast too.
 
eastern747
Posts: 578
Joined: Tue Oct 17, 2006 5:34 am

RE: 40th Anniversary Of First A300 Flight

Sun Oct 28, 2012 1:08 am

The A300 was a great aircraft. It was a pleasure to fly in, and IT was a good work horse. Airbus gave us a great deal, as Boeing stuck their nose up on us..................Boeing finally gave us a deal on the 757, which we proudly flew for years
 
ogshelly
Posts: 25
Joined: Sun Feb 13, 2005 4:15 am

RE: 40th Anniversary Of First A300 Flight

Sun Oct 28, 2012 3:40 am

I flew on an A300 back in September 1987 in Continental Airlines from beautiful Mexico City (evidently my home town) to Houston. I was in window seat in the back on the right side. I remember how impressive the wing lifted during the U turn in the final approach to IAH. Nice aircraft, flew in some other flights like AA: JFK-London, Lima-Miami and Miami-Bogota. First class was awesome in Viasa, the Venezuelan airline from Caracas to Santiago in the cockpit one night under full moon! Great memories. Happy birthday Airbus!
 
hoons90
Posts: 3124
Joined: Wed Aug 01, 2001 10:15 pm

RE: 40th Anniversary Of First A300 Flight

Sun Oct 28, 2012 4:03 am

Congratulations to Airbus!

On a sad note, Korean Air is retiring its last A300 in a couple of months, after nearly 38 years. Korean Air was the very first airline outside of Europe to buy Airbus planes.
The biggest mistake made by most human beings: Listening to only half, understanding just a quarter and telling double.
 
justinlee
Posts: 323
Joined: Wed Aug 29, 2012 3:08 pm

RE: 40th Anniversary Of First A300 Flight

Sun Oct 28, 2012 4:24 am

My first wide body experience is an MU AB6 in 1997. MU is still using some AB6 and these make a lot of money for them!
 
ABQopsHP
Posts: 461
Joined: Wed May 24, 2006 10:47 am

RE: 40th Anniversary Of First A300 Flight

Sun Oct 28, 2012 1:33 pm

Quoting American 767 (Reply 17):
Quoting FI642 (Reply 11):
When Eastern Airlines ordered them - the company was called "UnAmerican" for doing so.

Eastern may have been the first US airline to order an Airbus plane, but it wasn't the first US airline to order a Europe built plane. United flew the Caravelle. American, Braniff and US Air flew the BAC-111.

Ben Soriano


Those that were doing the name calling, likely had no idea what a Caravelle or BAC-111 was. Probably thought it was another DC9, if they even bothered to take it that far. And probably the same people that decided they were going to call "French fries"....."Freedom Fries"  

JD CRP
ABQ ops, Cactus 202 requesting you order 5 Green Chile Chicken stew for us to p/u on arrival. ;)
 
User avatar
RayChuang
Posts: 8005
Joined: Sat Jun 24, 2000 7:43 am

RE: 40th Anniversary Of First A300 Flight

Sun Oct 28, 2012 1:53 pm

I think one of the more interesting "what ifs" was what would have happened if the British government didn't officially pull out of the Airbus consortium in 1968 over the fact Airbus decided to "scale down" the original plane design using General Electric CF6--50 engines. The British government should have asked Rolls-Royce to develop the higher-rated RB.211-524 engines earlier, and that would have ended up on the A300B2/B4 models instead. Instead of buying a fleet of Lockheed L1011's, British Airways--after the BOAC/BEA merger--would have operated a fairly large A300B fleet for its longer-range intra-European routes.

I do think the combination of Eastern Airlines buying the plane for its longer routes (23 were sold to Eastern) and the enormous success of the A300B in the eastern Asian market finally made this airliner profitable--and this was before Airbus made improvements with more fuel capacity for longer range and ETOPS certification that made it possible for the later A300B4-600R to fly much longer flights on transoceanic routes.
 
User avatar
FlyCaledonian
Posts: 1734
Joined: Mon Dec 29, 2003 6:18 am

RE: 40th Anniversary Of First A300 Flight

Sun Oct 28, 2012 3:03 pm

Quoting RayChuang (Reply 26):
I think one of the more interesting "what ifs" was what would have happened if the British government didn't officially pull out of the Airbus consortium in 1968 over the fact Airbus decided to "scale down" the original plane design using General Electric CF6--50 engines. The British government should have asked Rolls-Royce to develop the higher-rated RB.211-524 engines earlier, and that would have ended up on the A300B2/B4 models instead. Instead of buying a fleet of Lockheed L1011's, British Airways--after the BOAC/BEA merger--would have operated a fairly large A300B fleet for its longer-range intra-European routes.

And it's interesting that whilst P&W joined GE in providing engines for the A300 (and the A310), RR never got its engines on an Airbus until the A330. I wonder if when BA went for RR 767s in the late 1980s it would have considered the A300-600 if RR engines had been available? However, I'm sure given BA's RR powered 747-400 orders, Boeing must have given them a sweet deal on the 767 given that BA was the launch customer for the RR powered 767 (and only one other airline acquired them, with only a total of 31 RR 767-300s produced).
Let's Go British Caledonian!
 
User avatar
Mortyman
Posts: 4118
Joined: Sat Aug 12, 2006 8:26 pm

RE: 40th Anniversary Of First A300 Flight

Sun Oct 28, 2012 3:30 pm

Congrats to Airbus and the A300. Certianly an anniversary to point out.

I have flown the A300 with American Airlines ,Thai Airways and Scanair

No bad experiences with it that I remember.
 
User avatar
longhauler
Posts: 4950
Joined: Sat Mar 06, 2004 12:00 am

RE: 40th Anniversary Of First A300 Flight

Sun Oct 28, 2012 3:52 pm

Congratulations to Airbus Industrie! Much like the 10,000th B737, there is something to be said for a well designed airplane that is well built.

I hold the A300 fondly, as it was my first airline job. I flew the A300B4-203 for Wardair. Sadly, only for less than a year, before I was sent to Toulouse to train for the new A310-304s coming. In all the Airbus aircraft I have flown since, I have always seen the family lines and family logic.

The longest flights I flew on the A300 were YYZ-BGI 2106 nm, and YUL-ACA 2159 nm.
Just because I stopped arguing, doesn't mean I think you are right. It just means I gave up!
 
tk1244
Posts: 216
Joined: Thu May 03, 2007 12:50 am

RE: 40th Anniversary Of First A300 Flight

Sun Oct 28, 2012 7:40 pm

I really miss those days when the Turkish charter companies used A300s for their flights  
"The future is in the skies. For any nation that cannot defend its skies will never be confident of its future." Atatürk
 
skyymarc
Posts: 50
Joined: Sun Aug 19, 2001 6:30 am

RE: 40th Anniversary Of First A300 Flight

Sun Oct 28, 2012 9:53 pm

I was reading the 1977 Allegheny Airlines annual report posted on another website that stated their intention to purchase 2 A300B aircraft for sought after routes from PIT to the west coast. Needless to say the routes did not materialize until later and the purchase of the first Airbus never went through. I never new that Allegheny (later USAir) came so close to purchasing this aircraft. Certainly an interesting "what if" that never happened. I always thought the early Airbus to be an exotic aircraft because I didn't see many of them at PHX in the eighties and early nineties. When I worked at HP I always thought that a couple of A300s or A310s would have look quite good in our livery. One can dream. Congratulations Airbus!
 
CPH-R
Posts: 6059
Joined: Thu May 03, 2001 5:19 pm

RE: 40th Anniversary Of First A300 Flight

Sun Oct 28, 2012 10:14 pm


View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Udo K. Haafke


The very type and company that lit the spark that became my passion for all things aviation. I can still remember going down to either the Canary Islands or Rhodes, and more or less as soon as we reached cruising altitude, the captain announced that the cockpit door was open and pax were free to come have a look. And the view was absolutely breathtaking, as it was cloudy below us, and so you had these peaks and valleys of bright white clouds. And on a 6-7 year old boy, that's the sort of thing that leaves an impressions.

[Edited 2012-10-28 15:16:09]
 
User avatar
OA260
Posts: 21029
Joined: Thu Nov 30, 2006 8:50 pm

RE: 40th Anniversary Of First A300 Flight

Sun Oct 28, 2012 10:55 pm

Happy Anniversary to one of the best aircraft ever built. So many years I flew on Olympic Airways A300-B4's . Lovely memories.


http://i955.photobucket.com/albums/ae40/PhilipOA260/A3/c4dda6c665af6cb6617412f0b5f0c841.jpg
.

Always wanted this clock too  
Quoting vanguard737 (Reply 5):

Oh yes blast from the past. Lovely livery indeed.
 
CF-CPI
Posts: 1315
Joined: Sat Nov 18, 2000 12:54 am

RE: 40th Anniversary Of First A300 Flight

Sun Oct 28, 2012 11:07 pm

Quoting RayChuang (Reply 26):
I do think the combination of Eastern Airlines buying the plane for its longer routes (23 were sold to Eastern) and the enormous success of the A300B in the eastern Asian market finally made this airliner profitable

Eastern did specify the A300B4 model, which had an additional leading edge slat fitted at the wing root, plus the uprated GE CF6 engines identical to those used on the long-range DC-10-30. These factors really helped give the A300 some North American transcontinental range. I'm not sure that the earlier B2 models could have done transcons without some sort of payload compromise.

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: adamh8297, afterburner, akebkk, alggag, Amwest2United, Bing [Bot], exitrowaisle, Google Adsense [Bot], hoons90, intotheair, jksc, PanzerPowner, Pbb152, ra132914, SJOFlyer, VS4ever and 230 guests