Airbus A310

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Biman Bangladesh Airlines A310-325/ET
Role Wide-body jet airliner
National origin Many
Manufacturer Airbus
First flight 3 April 1982
Introduction April 1983 with Swissair
Status Out of production, in service
Primary users FedEx Express
Pakistan International
Air Transat
Mahan Air
Produced 1983–1998
Number built 255[1]
Developed from Airbus A300
Variants A310 MRTT
CC-150 Polaris

The Airbus A310 is a jet airliner made by Airbus. It was announced in July 1978 and it was the second aircraft to be made by Airbus. The A310 is a shorter version of the Airbus A300, which was Airbus' first plane.

History[change | change source]

Background[change | change source]

When the Airbus A300 was being designed, Airbus studied many different sizes of plane. The Airbus A300B was chosen, and it was one of the smaller designs. When the A300B prototypes were made, many airlines asked for a plane which could hold more passengers. Airbus then changed to the A300B2 version, which was the first type to be made. Airbus noticed that many airlines also wanted smaller planes. Some airlines did not have enough passengers to use the A300.[2]

Airbus wanted to keep the cost of designing a smaller A300 as low as possible. Airbus decided that the plane would hold 220 passengers, which was what many airlines wanted.

Another problem was the rate of inflation. In the UK during 1979–1980, it was 35%. This would mean that the designing costs would be very high, and so would the price of the plane.[3]

Design effort[change | change source]

From late 1977, BAe began designing the wing for the A310 at Hatfield.

At the April 1978 Hanover Air Show, Airbus brought a model A310. Its wing area was 219.25 m2 (2,360.0 sq ft), was a bit larger than what Airbus designed. If two classes were used in the plane, 195 passengers could travel in the aircraft. If the plane is all-economy, 245 passengers could fit inside.[4]

An Airbus A310-221 of Delta Airlines

On 15 March, Swissair bought the A310. It said that it would buy 10 and have 10 options, to replace its McDonnell Douglas DC-9 series. Lufthansa bought ten planes for $240 million. Air France and Iberia soon did the same.[4] On 1 April 1979 Lufthansa increased its order to 25 orders and 25 options. Two days later, KLM bought 10 planes and had 10 options, which cost ₤238 million.[4][5][6] Other airlines which bought the A310 during 1979 included Martinair, Sabena and Air Afrique.[5][6]

At first, Airbus planned two versions of the A310: the A310-100 and the A310-200. The A310-100 could fly for 2,000 nmi (3,700 km) with 200 passengers, and the -200 could carry the same number of passengers for 1,000 nmi (1,900 km) longer.[7]

Making[change | change source]

Air Paradise International A310-300 landing at Perth Airport (2003)
Air Transat A310-300 at Frankfurt Airport

Airlines kept buying the A310, and the A310-200 flew for the first time on 3 April 1982. Orders and options had been made for 181 aircraft, which was a much better start than the A300. Airbus realised that the −200 aircraft was much more popular than the -100 aircraft. In 1979, Airbus decided to stop making the A310-100.[5]

No airlines bought the A310 during the late 1990s because Airbus had made the Airbus A330. Airbus stopped making the A300 and the A310 in July 2007. The freighter version of the A310 was replaced by the A330-200F.[8]

The A310 was replaced by the A330-200. Between 1983 and 1998, 255 A310s were made.[1]

The A300 and A310 helped Airbus compete with Boeing.

Design[change | change source]

The A310 was a changed version of the A300; the aircraft was first called the A300B10. The main differences between the A300 and the A310 are:

  • Shorter
  • Back of the plane had its design changed
  • Wings were re-designed
  • Re-designed wheels with carbon brakes
  • Better auxiliary power unit.[9]

Flight deck[change | change source]

The aircraft has a glass cockpit. The A300-600 has the same flight deck as the A310. The flight deck can hold up to two more seats.

Different types of Airbus A310[change | change source]

TAROM Airbus A310-325 "Transilvania" at London Heathrow Airport
A Mahan Air Airbus A310-300 at departing from Dusseldorf International Airport, Germany to Tehran-IKA International, Iran. (2007)
Czech Airlines A310-304 during boarding
Yemenia Airbus A310-324 at airport in Paris in 2005
A310 MRTT of the German Air Force
The Konrad Adenauer A310-304[10]

Two versions of the A310 were made: the −200 and the −300. The first version which was designed was the −200.

The first A310 first flew on 3 April 1982. It had Pratt & Whitney JT9D-7R4D1 engines. The −200 was used by Swissair and Lufthansa.
This version can be changed from a passenger plane to a cargo plane and back again.
A310-200F / -300F
Freighter. It can carry 39t of freight for 5,950 km.[11] No A310 freighters were made. All freighter versions of the A310 are changed versions of normal A310s.
Identical to the −200, but it can fly for longer. Swissair was the first airline to use the plane in 1986.
Same as the A310-200C, but it is a version of the -300 and not the -200.
The A310 has been used by many air forces as a transport plane (A310-300 MRT). However, several have been changed to the "Multi Role Tanker Transport" design by EADS. The plane can refuel other planes while flying. At least six have been bought.

Users[change | change source]

Military users[change | change source]

Canadian Air force CC-150 (A310-304) 15005

The militaries of these countries use the A310.

  • Belgian Air Component
  • Egyptian Air Force
  • German Air Force
  • Mongolian Air Force
  • Royal Jordanian Air Force (used the A310 in the past)
  • Spanish Air Force
  • Royal Thai Air Force

Deliveries[change | change source]

When Airbus stopped making A310s, 255 had been ordered and delivered.

Total 1998 1997 1996 1995 1994 1993 1992 1991 1990 1989 1988 1987 1986 1985 1984 1983
Deliveries 255 1 2 2 2 2 22 24 19 18 23 28 21 19 26 29 17

Data until the end of December 1998.[1]

Accidents[change | change source]

The A310 has had ten hull-loss accidents. 825 people have died in these accidents.[12] A hull-loss accident is when a plane is damaged so much that it cannot be repaired, or if the plane is completely destroyed.

The A310 has also had ten hijackings. Five people have died in these.

Details[change | change source]

FedEx Express A310-200F
Hapagfly A310-304 landing at Stuttgart Airport
 [13] A310-200 A310-200F A310-300 A310-300F
Crew Two
Length 46.66 metres (153 ft 1 in)
Height 15.8 metres (51 ft 10 in)
Wingspan 43.9 metres (144 ft)
Wing area 219 square metres (2,360 sq ft)
Capacity 218 passengers (3-class)
240 passengers (2-class)
280 passengers (1-class)
33t cargo 218 passengers (3-class)
240 passengers (2-class)
280 passengers (1-class)
33t cargo
Cruise speed (M) 0.80 (850 km/h.)
Max speed (M) 0.84 (901 km/h.)
Ceiling (the plane cannot fly higher than this) 12,500 m (41,000 ft)
Engines PWJT9D-7R4 or CF6-80C2A2    PW4156A or CF6-80C2A8   
(when full)
6,800 km
(3,670 nm)
5,550 kilometres (3,000 nmi) 9,600 km
(5,200 nm)
7,330 kilometres (3,960 nmi)

Related pages[change | change source]

Aircraft related to this one
Similar aircraft

References[change | change source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 "Airbus - Historical Orders and Deliveries". Airbus S.A.S. January 2007. Archived from the original (Microsoft Excel) on 2007-02-07. Retrieved 10 December 2012.
  2. Gunston 2009, p. 85
  3. Gunston 2009, p. 86
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Gunston 2009, p. 89
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 Flight International 27 Oct 1979 edition
  6. 6.0 6.1 Airclaims Jet Programs 1995
  7. Gunston 2009, p. 91
  8. "Airbus aims to fill freighter void with A330 derivative."[permanent dead link] Flight International, 14 March 2006
  9. "A310 Europe builds on Airbus success." Flight International, 27 February 1982
  10. "Airbus A310.", 12 November 2010
  11. "A310-200F Freight version." Aerospace Technology. Retrieved: 6 November 2011
  12. "Airbus A310 hull-loss incidents." Archived 2012-10-26 at the Wayback Machine Aviation Safety Net. Retrieved 6 November 2011
  13. "Aircraft Family – A310 Specifications." Archived 2009-09-03 at the Wayback Machine Retrieved: 6 November 2011

Other websites[change | change source]