|Role||Narrow-body jet airliner|
|First flight :||22 february 1987|
|Primary users :||Air France US Airways|
|United Airlines EasyJet|
|Produced :||1988 - present|
|Introduced :||28 March 1988|
|Number built :|| more then 5500 |
|Unit cost :||US$ 98 million (2016)|
|List of Airbus A320 by registration number|
The Airbus A320 is a short to medium range, narrow-body jet airliner built by Airbus. The 320 model was introduced in March 1984 and first flew on 22 February 1987. It was the first model of the A320 family. This aircraft family includes the Airbus A318, Airbus A319, Airbus A320 and the Airbus A321. After the introduction of the Airbus A320 NEO the first generation models are called A320 CEO (current engine option).
The Airbus A320 was among the pioneers of the use of digital fly-by-wire flight control systems in civilian and commercial aircrafts.
As of January 2016 more then 6876 aircraft belonging to the Airbus A320 family have been delivered to customers all over the world and another 5400+ are on order. This makes the A320 family the world's fastest-selling jet airliner and the best-selling single-generation aircraft program.
In December 2010 Airbus announced the Airbus A320 NEO (New Engine Option) which is an upgraded variant of the A320 with new CFM International LEAP-X or Pratt and Whitney PW1000G engines, airframe improvements, sharklets. This new aircraft is advertised to deliver a 15% improvement of fuel consumption. By the end of 2015 more then 3700 Airbus A320 NEO family aircraft were on order. The new version entered service on 25 January 2016 with Lufthansa.
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The Airbus A320 is part of a broad family of airliners developed and constructed by Airbus. Initially in the 1960's Airbus constructed the Airbus A300B from which they planned to create a number of derivatives (B1 to B9). Later in 1973 Airbus came up with a new variation dubbed A300B10. This was a smaller aircraft which ultimately led to the construction of the Airbus A310. After this Airbus started focusing on the single-aisle market and built the first Airbus A320.
The components for the Airbus A320 are produced at one of the many plants Airbus has across Europe. Final assembling is made at the plants located near Hamburg Finkenwerder XFW EDHI and Toulouse Blagnac TLS LFBO airports. The large components are ferried between the plants using A300-600ST Beluga aircraft.
In order to match the demand for the Airbus A320 the manufacturer has set up new production facilities. The first one opened in Tianjin, China - this plant produces aircraft for the Chinese market. The second new plant is located in Mobile, Alabama, The United States of America and is currently (2016) under construction.
Completion of an A320 takes around eight months. Currently Airbus builds 32 A320 every month with plans to raise this number to 40.
The Airbus A320 is a narrow-body , low-wing cantilever monoplane. The single-aisle cabin of the aircraft is wider (3.95 m or 155.5 inches) then the cabin of other similar aircraft. The tail of the airplane is conventional and the aircraft has a single fin and rudder. The landing gear is rectractable and is in a form of a trycicle. The engines are fixed on the wings, each wing having one turbofan engine (so the plane has two engines). There are two suppliers of engines for the A320: CFM International supplying the CFM56 engine and International Aero Engines with the V2500 engine.
Among other features of the Airbus A320 we can find ECAM (Electronic Centralised Aircraft Monitor). This system can provide information to the pilots about all systems of the aircraft.
Operational ServiceThe Airbus A320 received its type certificate on the 26th of February 1988 from the Joint Aviation Authorities (JAA). Air France was the first airline to introduce the A320 into commercial operation.
As of 25 November 2015, more then 6,500 Airbus A320-family aircraft (all variants) were in commercial service with over 250 airline operators.
See also: List of Airbus A320 operators
CompetitorsAlthough it was designed to compete with the Boeing 737 and the McDonnel Douglas MD80 series, the only real competitor today for the Airbus A320 is the Boeing 737 Next Generation. As of February 2012 the Airbus A320 is the best and fastest selling aircraft in the world with more then 4800 units built and an additional 3200 on order. The Boeing 737 has been produced in larger numbers but it has entered service almost 20 years earlier then the Airbus A320. Another point in favor of the Airbus A320 is that it has a bigger number of outstanding orders then the Boeing 737
The A320 Enhanced codename is used for a large number of improvements to the Airbus A320 family. These improvements include aerodynamic refinements, engine improvement, weight reduction and cabin improvements.
A320 New Engine Option (NEO)
Airbus announced on 1 December 2010 that its exploring a new engine options for the Airbus A320 family. The engines include the CFM International LEAP-X and the Pratt and Whitney PW1100G. The new engines will be larger and more efficient resulting in a fuel economy of 16%, 8% less operating costs and less noise. This will allow an increase in range of 950 km (510 nm) or a 2 ton (4400 lb) extra payload.
The NEO family will also feature the blended winglets called "Sharklets". The Airbus A320 NEO entered service on 25 January 2016 with Lufthansa.
See also the full article on the Airbus A320 NEO
- 15 January 2009 - US Airways Flight 1549. The incidents which involves an A320 en route from from New York La Guardia LGA KLGA to Charlotte Douglas International CLT KCLT. The aircraft hit a flock of birds and lost both engines in the process. The pilot decided to ditch the plane in the frozen Hudson River. All the passangers and the whole crew survived.
- 24 March 2015 - Germanwings Flight 9525 (4U9525) operated by Germanwings with an Airbus A320 registration D-AIPX crashed in the South of France while en route from Barcelona El Prat Airport to DÃ¼sseldorf Airport.
- See full list here : List of accidents involving an Airbus A320
Airbus A320 family
List of Airbus A320 by registration number
List of Airbus A320 operators
Comparison of narrow-body aircraft
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