Short to Medium-Range Jetliner
Description: Developed to compete with the Boeing 737 and McDonnell Douglas MD-80, the A320 was Airbus' first entry in the narrow-body market. Although the aircraft borrows some features from the larger A300 and A310, it is essentially a new design equipped with many state- of- the-art engineering innovations. For example, the A320 was the first commercial jetliner with a full fly-by-wire control system
Other advanced features include widespread use of composite materials to reduce weight, sophisticated avionics including a gust alleviation system allowing a smoother ride, advanced cockpit warning systems, and high-technology engines to reduce noise and fuel consumption.
The major design variant, the A320-200, also incorporates winglets to improve aerodynamic efficiency. As a result of all these innovations, the A320 has proven to be very reliable and economical in service, and has become Airbus' most widely sold aircraft to date with some 900 built by 2001.
The success of the A320 is further illustrated by the fact that three additional aircraft, the A321 stretched model and A319 and A318 shortened versions have been developed from its basic design.
The Airbus 320 is equipped with the latest communications, navigation and computer technology as well as systems compliant with the recommendations of the International Civil Aviation Authority. These systems include:
1. ADIRU (Air Data Inertial Reference)
2. ACAS II (Anti Collision Air-traffic System)
3. CAT- II landing and approach(Category)
4. RVSM (Reduce Vertical Separation Minimum)
History: First Flight 22 February 1987 - Service Entry 28 March 1988 (With Air France)
Crew: 2 Flight crew
Passengers: 150 in two classes - 179 in one class