Airbus began as a collaboration between European countries and has since evolved into a global pioneer in the aerospace industry, designing, manufacturing, and operating in the commercial aircraft, helicopters, defense, and space sectors.
And now Airbus is one of the world’s largest aviation corporations. With more than 130,000 employees, it has offices in the Netherlands, France, Spain, and Germany. Airbus manufactures and sells civilian and military aircraft around the world, including the Airbus A380 and A400M Atlas.
In 1970, several European manufacturers formed the company to compete with the more prominent US manufacturers (not just Boeing at this time). Airbus created its first plane, the A300, to compete with Boeing’s popular jets.
This was truly a European-wide effort. The cockpit and central fuselage would be built in France. The tailplane was made in Spain, the wings in the UK, the flaps and spoilers in Holland, and the other fuselage sections in West Germany. This collaboration is still going on today.
Compared to the A320, which is more tailored to shorter flights, the A330 is made with longer flights and flights far from airports—more than an hour of flight time—in mind. As a result, there are just a few more redundancies.
The Airbus A320 was launched in March 1984, made its first flight on February 22, 1987, and was first introduced by Air France in April 1988.
Since 2009, the assembly has been held in Tianjin, China; Hamburg, Germany; Toulouse, France; and Mobile, Alabama, United States, since April 2016.
A318 – A319 – ACJ319 – A320 – A321 – Freighter – A321P2F – A320P2F
Airbus manufactures the Airbus A330 as a wide-body airliner. Midway through the 1970s, Airbus developed a number of variations of the A300, its first commercial airplane, and simultaneously worked on the A330 twinjet and the A340 quad jet.
The first variant, the A330-300, flew for the first time in November 1992 and entered service with Air Inter in January 1994. In 1998, the slightly shorter A330-200 variant was introduced.
The A330 has the same airframe as the early A340 variants, but with two engines instead of four, two main landing gear legs instead of three, lower weights, and slightly different engines.
With the introduction of the Airbus A330neo, the existing Airbus A330 family members (A330-200, 200F, 300, and MRTT) were renamed Airbus A330ceo (“current engine option”).
A330-300HGW – A330 Regional – A330-200 – A330-200F – A330P2F – A330neo – A330-800 – A330-900.
A320 vs A330
6 m (123 ft) long and can accommodate 150 to 186 passengers. The 44.5 m (146 ft) A321 provides 185 to 230 seats. The Airbus Corporate Jets are business jet versions. In December 2010, Airbus announced the re-engined A320neo (new engine option), which entered service with Lufthansa in January 2016.
With improvements and efficient turbofans including sharklets, it provides up to 15% better fuel economy. Earlier A320s are now referred to as A320ceo (current engine option). It surpassed the Boeing 737 to become the highest-selling airliner.
As of January 2020, a total of 9,273 aircraft have been delivered to more than 330 operators including low-cost carriers, with 8,814 aircraft in support. American Airlines is the largest operator with 414 aircraft.
Orders pending were 6,068, for a total of 15,315 orders. While the 737 MAX is Boeing’s response to the A320neo the A320ceo initially competed with the 737 Classic and the MD-80, then the MD-90 and the 737 Next Generation.
The A330-300 has a range of 11,750 km or 6,350 nmi with 277 passengers, while the shorter A330-200 can cover 13,450 km or 7,250 nmi with 247 passengers. Later variants include the A330-200F dedicated freighter, the A330 MRTT military tanker, and the ACJ330 corporate jet.
The A330 MRTT was proposed as the EADS/Northrop Grumman KC-45 for the US Air Force’s KC-X competition but lost to the Boeing KC-46 in an appeal after an initial win. As of December 2019, A330 orders stand at 1,823 of which 1,492 have been delivered and 1,443 remain in operation.
Its largest operator is Turkish Airlines with 68 aircraft. The A330 has allowed Airbus to expand its wide-body market share. It competes with the Boeing 767 and smaller variants of the 777 and the 787. It is complemented by the larger Airbus A350 XWB which succeeded the A340.