Showing posts with label A300. Show all posts
Showing posts with label A300. Show all posts

24 May, 2023

Lufthansa and Airbus mark delivery of 600th Lufthansa aircraft at Airbus’s Hamburg-Finkenwerder site

The delivery to Lufthansa of its first Airbus A300B2 on February 9, 1976 laid the foundation for a strong partnership within European civil aviation that has now extended almost 50 years. With more than ten different Airbus aircraft types supplied since then to almost every air operator in the Lufthansa Group, today saw the 600th such aircraft – an Airbus A321neo – handed over to Lufthansa in a formal ceremony at Airbus’s Hamburg-Finkenwerder site.

Four-time launching customer and the third-biggest A350 customer

600th Lufthansa aircraft formally named ‘Münster’

Special livery for the milestone A321neo unveiled in delivery ceremony at   Hamburg-Finkenwerder

Carsten Spohr, Chairman of the Lufthansa Group Executive Board:  “Lufthansa and Airbus are united by a very special partnership. Ever since Airbus’s creation, we have enjoyed close and trusting collaborations on a wide range of research projects and new developments. Lufthansa has also served no fewer than four times as Airbus’s launching customer for a new aircraft type, most recently for the A320neo family that is proving such a success. Lufthansa has ordered every family of aircraft that Airbus has developed over the past five decades. And more than 90 per cent of the 600 Airbuses that we have taken delivery of during that time are still in Lufthansa Group service today. We also wish to welcome our 700th Airbus to our fleet as part of Lufthansa’s centennial celebrations in 2026.”

Guillaume Faury, Airbus CEO:  “Lufthansa and Airbus have been partners ever since we delivered the first Lufthansa A300 back in February 1976. Since then, Lufthansa has taken delivery of an Airbus aircraft an average of every month – 600 of them in almost 50 years! No other airline group has received more of our aircraft to date. My particular thanks, on behalf of everyone at Airbus, go to all the teams at Lufthansa for all their confidence and trust. We look forward to the next 50 years of our partnership and our shared commitment to the goal of sustainable air travel.”

The story to date

Lufthansa signed its first purchase agreement with Airbus for three A300B2s in 1975 and received its first such aircraft from Europe’s new manufacturer seven months later on February 9, 1976. Subsequent years saw the first deliveries of further Airbus types: the A310 in 1983, followed by the A300-600 in 1987. The first Airbus A320 to join the Lufthansa fleet was delivered in October 1989. Over 370 aircraft of the A320 family are in service today with the various airlines of the Lufthansa Group. The first A340 followed in 1993; and just one year later the Lufthansa Airbus fleet passed the 100-aircraft mark. The A330 followed in 2004; and in 2010 the A380 – the world’s largest passenger aircraft – joined the Lufthansa long-haul fleet.

Lufthansa has also served as launching customer for a new Airbus type on four occasions to date: for the A310, the A340, the A220 and – in 2016 –A320neo. Not only the Airbus A320 family is a cornerstone of today’s Lufthansa fleet: the A350-900, which first arrived in 2016, has also become a key component in the Lufthansa long-haul fleet, and the Lufthansa Group is the world’s third-biggest A350 customer.

600th Airbus named ‘Münster’

The 600th Airbus aircraft to be delivered to Lufthansa, which bears the registration D-AIEQ, is an Airbus A321neo. Seating 215 passengers, the A321neo is a state-of-the-art and fuel-efficient short- and medium-haul twinjet that has been in Lufthansa service since 2019. D-AIEQ has been named ‘Münster’ after the German city.

Partners in sustainability, too

Lufthansa and Airbus attach particular importance to their collaborations on the sustainability and the research & development fronts. Over the last three decades, the Lufthansa Group has equipped several of its long-haul Airbus aircraft with instruments to conduct climate and weather research. In addition to three such Airbus jets that are presently gathering climate-related data for scientific purposes, Lufthansa is also working with the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology on a world-first project to convert a Lufthansa Airbus A350-900 into a research aircraft.

Lufthansa performed its longest non-stop flight to date in 2021 when it flew one of its Airbus A350-900s from Hamburg to Mount Pleasant on the Falkland Islands on behalf of the Alfred Wegener Institute. The same year also saw a Lufthansa A350-900 converted into a climate research aircraft for the CARIBIC Project.

Back in 2011 Lufthansa was the first airline to trial biofuel in its daily flight operations. For some six months, a Lufthansa Airbus A321 was operated on the Hamburg-Frankfurt route with one of its two engines powered with a fuel blend consisting 50% of biosynthetic kerosene. In the same year Lufthansa teamed up with the Forschungszentrum Jülich to conduct a new type of long-term climate research study using scheduled air services to monitor the Earth’s atmosphere. As part of this IAGOS research project, specially developed instruments were installed aboard a Lufthansa Airbus A340-300 to collect trace elements from the atmosphere in the course of the aircraft’s regular flight operations.

The Lufthansa Group purchases four additional ultra-modern Airbus A350-900 long-haul aircraft. The aircraft will be acquired from Deucalion Aviation Limited and delivered to the Group still this year.

Lufthansa currently operates 21 Airbus A350-900s and has ordered five more A350-900s and ten A350-1000s as recently as March 2023. In total, Lufthansa holds 38 firm orders for this highly efficient Airbus long-haul aircraft, making it the world's third-largest Airbus A350 customer.

28 October, 2022

28 October, 50th Anniversary of the first flight of the Airbus A300

Photo Airbus
50 years ago today the first Airbus aircraft, the A300B, embarked on its maiden flight. On this historic anniversary, we look back with pride and admiration at the aircraft and programme that were at the beginning of the Airbus story.

On 28 October 1972, the world’s first twin-engined widebody commercial aircraft, the A300B1 development aircraft, MSN 1, bearing the registration F-WUAB, performed its maiden flight in Toulouse. The test flight crew were Captain Max Fischl, First Officer Bernard Ziegler, Flight Test Engineers Pierre Caneil and Gunter Scherer, with Romeo Zinzoni as Test Flight Engineer/Mechanic in the cockpit. The flight was initially scheduled for Friday 27 October but unfavourable weather conditions (fog) pushed it back by 24 hours. On the following day, Saturday 28th, conditions were better with some sunshine but with the risk of wind. However, the weather was judged sufficiently good for the flight to go ahead. The flight lasted 1h 25 min. during which a maximum speed of 185kt (342.6Kmh) was reached at an altitude of 14,000ft (4,300m). Autopilot was engaged, moving surfaces were tested and landing gear retraction and deployment were performed. Upon return to Blagnac airport, strong wind gusts, the famous Toulouse “Vent d’Autan”, required a controlled crosswind landing which was expertly handled by Max Fischl.

Forging a collective European ambition

In the mid-1960s, various studies for a new 250-seat short-to-medium-haul aircraft were being considered by European aircraft manufacturers. The HBN 100 had been in discussion between Hawker Siddeley, Breguet and Nord Aviation, and alternative designs for a similar-sized aircraft, the Galion, were also being considered by Sud Aviation. Germany’s MBB and VFW, later to collectively become Deutsche Airbus, had also set up a dedicated “air bus” study group. European airframers at the time, although leaders in many technological developments and having produced some excellent airliners, only had around 10% of the global market share, with the remaining 90% going to the three main American manufacturers. To say the stakes were high is an understatement. Only an aircraft borne of a transnational collaboration would be able to successfully challenge the long-established competition while substantially reducing the development costs for each of the participants.

By 1966, the studies had evolved into a joint European project, the French government appointed Sud-Aviation as its partner in the venture, whilst Deutsche Airbus and Hawker Siddeley would respectively represent Germany and the United Kingdom. Engine development was initially trusted to Rolls-Royce, who were to develop the power plants (RB.207) for the new “air bus”.

In July 1967, a framework agreement for "strengthening European cooperation in the field of aviation for the joint development and production of an air bus” (a non-proprietary term used by the airline industry in the 1960s to refer to a commercial aircraft of a certain size and range) was reached by the French, German and UK governments, allowing detailed design work and planning to start in earnest. By this time the project had evolved towards a 270 to 300-seat aircraft (hence the A300 name).

In April 1969, the UK government decided to withdraw from the programme due to uncertain commercial prospects and because Rolls-Royce, who was positioned to be the “official” UK partner in the Airbus venture, had decided to focus its efforts on the development of a less powerful engine, the RB211, for the Lockheed Tristar and was not keen on developing another engine, the RB.207, for the Airbus. This resulted in the selection of the General Electric CF6-50A as the engine for the A300, with the additional benefit that it was a proven engine, hence reducing risks for the development and certification of a brand-new airframe.

The A300 gets the green light

By the time of its launch, the aircraft's capacity had also been reduced to some 225 passengers, this at the request of the two initial potential customers, Air France and Lufthansa who did not require the larger 300 seater which British European Airways and Rolls-Royce were initially in favour of. As a result, the design was updated with a new fuselage cross-section which was able to accommodate eight seats in a row (instead of nine) with two aisles, and also two standard LD3 containers side by side in the belly holds. This could be achieved by slightly raising the floor of the cabin, making it the optimum fuselage cross-section for what would become a true twin-aisle wide-body. This new version was thus named A300B to reflect the new configuration.

Photo Airbus
At the 1969 Le Bourget Airshow, France and Germany formally co-launched the A300B programme. The signature ceremony between the French Transport Minister Jean Chamant and German Economics Minister Karl Schiller took place inside a specially constructed forward fuselage mock-up.

To provide the necessary legal and governance framework for the programme, Airbus Industrie was formally established as a Groupement d'Intérêt Économique (Economic Interest Group or GIE) on 18 December 1970. Shareholders were the French company SNIAS, later to be called Aérospatiale (the merged Nord and Sud Aviation companies) and the West German company Deutsche Airbus, which was the legal entity representing MBB, VFW and Hamburger Flugzeugbau (HFB), each owning a 50% share. In October 1971, CASA of Spain acquired a 4.2% share of Airbus Industrie, with Aérospatiale and Deutsche Airbus reducing their respective stakes. Despite the British government having stepped away from the venture, Hawker Siddeley remained onboard in a private capacity as an “associate” partner to supply the A300’s wings on the design of which they had already substantially progressed at time of the programme launch.  In 1977, Hawker Siddeley and British Aircraft Corporation merged to form British Aerospace and in January 1979, British Aerospace joined the Airbus consortium by acquiring a 20% share, further reducing the shares of the original partners to 37.9% each.