The Airbus A320-100 is a short to medium range twin jet, first flying on 22 February 1987. Featuring a two crew cockpit, fly-by-wire controls and sophisticated on board computers, it was considered a technological marvel when it arrived.
Powered by two CFM International CFM56-5B engines and seating around 150 passengers, the first airline to put the aircraft into service was Air France on 18 April 1988.
Airbus A320 Video
Following on from the last video about the Dutch Fokker F27 Friendship, we stay in Europe to look at the Airbus A320. The video below runs for just under 10 minutes and is produced by Skyships Eng.
The Airbus A320-100 was designed as a shorter range domestic version to compete with the Boeing 737-300 and -400. It was never popular, with airlines far preferring the Airbus A320-200. If you’ve been on an A320, it’s likely the latter type you’ve been on as most of them are this version.
Even though the video is about the whole programme rather than just the A320-100, it touches on all the salient points. There is also some decent footage of the production, first flight and so on.
The Airbus A320-100 is visually different to the more popular -200 as it lacks wingtip fences. Otherwise it is mostly similar, with the main differences being a lower maximum take-off weight and less fuel capacity.
Airbus A320-100 Operators
Researching the production list shows there were just three operators of the first version of the A320. People who travelled on Air France, Air Inter and British Airways could have flown on one of these aircraft. Just like my article on the original Boeing 737-100, below are pictures of all the airline colour schemes that the Airbus A320-100 wore in service.
Though the image at the very top of this article is British Caledonian, they never entered service in these colours. A few of the jets were painted in full BCal livery however the airline was taken over by British Airways before delivery. BA apparently attempted to cancel the order however they couldn’t and they were eventually delivered in the Landor scheme. You can see more about the British Caledonian planes here.
Just 21 Airbus A320-100 aircraft were produced. One remained with Airbus, eight went to Air France, seven to Air Inter (and subsequently to Air France), and British Airways had five. The final aircraft was retired from British Airways in September 2011 and Air France had previously retired theirs in 2009.
Two were lost in accidents. One in the infamous Air France flight 296 accident at an air show in Habsheim, where the pilots essentially flew the aircraft into the ground. The other was Air Inter flight 148. All the rest were scrapped apart from the prototype which is at the Aeroscopia Museum in Toulouse.
Have you ever flown on board an Airbus A320-100? Do you remember how game changing this aircraft was when it first arrived? Thank you for reading and if you have any comments or questions, please leave them below.
Enjoying the series? Check out the index to all the “Does Anyone Remember…” articles.
Featured image via Pinterest.
Original Air France livery, British Airways Landor and G-BUSE World Tail by Aero Icarus from Zürich, Switzerland via Wikimedia Commons.
Air Inter Europe livery by Freek Blokzijl on Jetphotos.
Air France 2000s livery by Laurent Errera from L’Union France via Wikimedia Commons.
Original Air Inter livery by Michel Gilliand on Airliners.net via Wikimedia Commons.
Later Air Inter livery by Bertrand Leduc on Planespotters.net.
G-BUSB World Tail by Michael Eaton on JetPhotos.
G-BUSC World Tail by Donato Bolelli on Planespotters.net via Pinterest.
British Airways final livery by Juergen Lehle on AlbSpotter Flugzeugbilder Aircraft Photos via Wikimedia Commons.