The Airbus A320

Aer Lingus Airbus A320

Typical range with 150 passengers for the A320-200 is about 2900 nautical miles (5,400 km). 

The first Airbus A320 entered service in March of 1988 with Air France.

By september 2005 already 1414 airbus A320 had been delivered, of which all but one were still in service. By september 2005 airbus had recieved in total 2021 orders for an A320 airplane.

By 2014 the Airbus A320 family is extremely popular all over the world.

Airbus A340-200Next page about the Airbus A320

The A320 flies with: Aer Lingus, Iberia, Air France, Alitalia, British airways, US Airways, Egypt Air, Finnair, Royal Jordanian, ...

By january 2006 total orders for the A320 stood at 2441.

Development
After the initial success of the Airbus A300, Airbus developed a true Boeing 727 sucessor. It would be of the same size, but offering better operating economics and available in various passenger capacities. The A320 achieved 50% better fuel consumption over the 727 and featured a wider cabin. It is powered by two CFMI CFM56-5 or IAE V2500 with thrust ratings between 25,500 to 27,000 pounds force (113 kN to 120 kN). Fuel capacity is 23 858 litres.

This resulted in massive orders from airlines such as Northwest, United and British Airways in the 1990's. By the first few years of the 21st century, its mature design, low maintenance and operating costs appealed the low-cost carriers. Jet Blue, for example, ordered up to 233 of the A320 family for its fleet. Other low-cost carriers carriers with significant orders include EasyJet and Air Asia.

The A320 series has two variants, the A320-100 and A320-200, but very few A320-100s were produced. The A320-200 features wingtip fences and increased fuel capacity over the A320-100 for increased range.

The A320 was the result of the research carried out during the eighties which included fly-by-wire flight controls, composite primary structures, centre-of-gravity control using fuel, glass cockpit and 2-man flight deck to name a few.

Airbus decided to employ most of the new technology into the new A320 including for the first time in civil aviation, fully digital fly-by-wire flight control system. Its fly-by-wire technology also gives passengers smoother flights.

Airbus A340-200Next page about the Airbus A320

The technology from the A320 has also been used in the larger A330-300 and A340-300 airplanes.

A320 family of aircraft
The A320 has given rise to a family of aircraft which share a common design but are a little smaller (the A319), a lot smaller (the A318), or a little larger (the A321). Passenger capacity is between 100 to 220.

The Airbus A320, A319 (smaller) and A321 (larger) are to Airbus what the B737-800, B737-700 (smaller) and B737-900 (larger) are to Boeing. These Next Generation B737 are the answer of Boeing to the succes of the Airbus A320 family of airliners.

By september 2005 some 2503 aircraft of the A 320 family have been delivered. The total orders for A 320 family aircraft stood at 3.613. By january 2006 total orders for all A320 family aircraft variants together stood at 4.296.

Competiton
Boeing deverloped the Next Generation Boeing 737 range, with the 737-800 as main competitor against the Airbus A320.

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