Photo © French Frogs Aviation Pictures
The last A300 ever to leave the Airbus Final Assembly Line was delivered to FedEx today, 12th of July 2007.
Over the life span of the A300/A310 programme a total of 821 planes have been ordered and today there are more than 650 A300s and A310s in service with about 80 operators.
The Airbus A300, launched in May 1969 and entering service with Air France in May 1974, was the very first wide-body twin-engine aircraft ever brought to the market: it set totally new standards in the industry.
The A300B and its follower, the A310, had a rather slow start, but as their reputation for economy and reliability spread among airlines, they went on to become market leaders in short to medium haul passenger operations, and the family also became the best selling freight aircraft ever. With more than 820 aircraft sold, the A300/A310 family included different variants, both newly built and converted freighters, combis, air tankers, military and VIP transport, and of course Airbus' fleet of 5 A300-600ST Belugas.
The constant design evolution across the family, along with the integration of new technology and materials, earned it a place in aviation with many industry "firsts": the first two-man forward facing cockpit for a twin-aisle, the innovative glass cockpit, the first application of composites on secondary, then primary structures, the first use of electrical signalling for secondary controls and the introduction of both drag-reducing wingtip devices and centre of gravity control.
Such innovation ensured the A300/A310 Family maintained levels of economic and operational performance that continued to attract new customers and generate airline profits well into the 21st century.
Today, a third of Airbus' customers operate A300/A310 Family aircraft as part of a wider Airbus fleet and more than 200 of the 650 aircraft currently flying with some 80 operators will still be in service in 2025. The A300/A310 Long Term Support team will ensure that maximum customer satisfaction is maintained throughout the life cycle of the A300/A310 Family.
Responding to the future cargo market needs for more efficient aircraft with more range, more capacity as well as lower operational costs, Airbus launched the new A330-200F freighter in January this year. Only 6 months after the launch, the A330-200F is already experiencing great demand in the cargo market with a total of 67 orders and commitments from seven customers to date. Airbus anticipates a demand for over 1,600 freighters in the mid-sized freighter category during the next 20 years.
More details, including a nice movie on the history of the A300/A310 family can be found on:
edit: added the link and the picture
[Edited 2007-07-12 14:07:06]