Airbus A320 in Facts and Details
On Tuesday, March 24, an Airbus A320 of the Germanwings airline crashed in Southern France with 150 people on board.
MOSCOW (Sputnik) — The Airbus А320 is a family of single-aisle, short-haul and medium-haul airliners developed at the Airbus S.A.S. European consortium.In the early 1980s, the Airbus Industry consortium, undertook a feasibility study of the SA1, SA2 and SA3 single-aisle airliners with two CFM56 bypass turbojet engines each. The SA1, seating 130-140 passengers, and the slightly elongated SA2 version, seating 150-160 passengers, were selected.
In February 1981, the SA1 and the SA2 were named A320-100 and A320-200, respectively. Their passenger capacity later totaled 150, with both airliners differing only in terms of their range and payloads.
Officially, the A320 program was launched in March 1984. The first prototype A320 with CFM-56-5A1 engines first flew on February 22, 1987.
In late February and December, 1988, respectively the airliner received European and US flightworthiness certificates.The first A320 was delivered to Air France in March 1988.
The A320 was the first aircraft in history to be fitted with an electric remote-control system. The cockpit features side-mounted control columns instead of standard steering wheels and an all-composite horizontal tail.
The airliner has an EFIS digital avionics system, from France’s Thomson-CSF, now Thales Group. This system has six multirole color monitors showing all essential flight data, as well as data on all onboard systems. It also warns the crew about malfunctioning units and components.
Until February 2008, all A320s were assembled in Toulouse, France.From March 2008, due to high demand, Airbus started assembling the aircraft in Finkenwerder, a district of Hamburg, Germany. In 2011, China started operating an A320 assembly line with a rated monthly capacity of four aircraft.
The A320 became the “father” of an entire airliner family.
The A320 is the basic modified version seating 150-180 passengers, while the elongated A321 seats 185-220 passengers.
The A319 has a shorter fuselage, minus two rows of passenger seats, and it boasts the longest range in the entire A320 family (4,318 kilometers).
The A318, the smallest member of the A320 family, seats 107-132 passengers.
Unlike other similar airliners, the A320 has a capacious passenger compartment with large handbag racks, a more voluminous lower (freight) deck and wide luggage-compartment hatches.The A320 wingspan is 111.8 feet, the fuselage length is 123.3 feet and the maximum takeoff weight – 81 tons.
The A320 has two CFM International CFM56-5-A1 bypass turbojet engines.
The aircraft’s maximum speed is 575 mph and has a standard range of 5,840 miles.
The A320 payload is 150 passengers in two-class accommodation, 164 passengers in economy-class accommodation and 179 passengers maximum.
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