History: Airbus A320

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A Finnair Airbus A320-200
A Finnair Airbus A320-200
The Airbus A320 is a 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.
The Airbus A320 was among the pioneers of the use of digital fly-by-wire flight control systems in civilian and commercial aircrafts.




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.

Completion of an A320 takes around eight months. Currently Airbus builds 32 A320 every month with plans to raise this number to 40.

Planform view of an Iberia Airbus A320-200
Planform view of an Iberia Airbus A320-200


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 Service

The 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.


Although it was designed to compete with the Boeing 737 and the McDonnel Douglas MD80 MD90 series, the only real competitor today for the Airbus A320 is the Boeing 737 Next Generation. As of March 2010 the Airbus A320 is the best and fastest selling aircraft in the world with 4200 units built and an additional 2300 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

A320 Enhanced




Further reading

Airbus A320 family
List of Airbus A320 by registration number
List of Airbus A320 operators
Comparison of narrow-body aircraft

Role:Narrow-body jet airlinerManufacturer:Airbus Unit cost:$73.2m to $80.6m
First flight:22 february 1987Introduced: 28 march 1988 Status: active service
Number built:4225 (march 2010) Primary users: Air France US Airways United Airlines EasyJet Wizz Air List of Airbus A320 by registration number


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