Air International 2007-05
I.Goold - Airbus A300 - First of the Family /Commercial/
Airbus Industrie used the A300 airframe as the basis for the Beluga, which is used to transport large components around the various manufacturing sites. In the background are two of the Super Guppy aircraft that the A300-600STs replaced.
October 28, 1972, marked the beginning of a new era as the first aircraft produced by Airbus Industrie took to the skies. The aircraft in question was A300, F-WUAB, which is pictured departing on its maiden flight.
Airbus even managed to secure A300 orders from what could be considered the toughest of markets for a European manufacturer to succeed - the US. The now defunct Eastern Airlines was the first US carrier to operate the A300, with others following suit. Pictured is an American Airlines A300-600R about to depart London's Heathrow Airport.
Plentiful numbers of Airbus A300s are still being used by airlines around the world. This A300-600R belongs to China Eastern Airlines and is one of 12 in its fleet.
Iberia was one of a number of European flag-carriers to order A300s. This is a '-B4 variant that was delivered to the Spanish airline on February 2, 1982.
To meet South African Airways' requirement for an aircraft that could operate in 'hot and high' conditions Airbus used the heavier '-B4’s Kruger flaps on what it termed the '-B2K variant.
Airbus A300s have gained a good reputation as freighters, and orders for these variants have kept the type in production in recent years. This DHL A300-B4 is pictured being loaded with cargo containers at East Midlands Airport.