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Airbus A310

By Wikipedia,
the free encyclopedia,

Airbus A310
Emirates SkyCargo A310-300
Role Airliner
Manufacturer Airbus
First flight 3 April 1982
Introduced April 1983
Primary users FedEx Express
Air Transat
Air India
Pakistan International
Produced 1983-2007
Number built 255
Developed from Airbus A300
Variants A310 MRTT
CC-150 Polaris

The Airbus A310 is a medium to long-range widebody airliner. Launched in 1978, it was the second aircraft created by the Airbus consortium of European aerospace companies, which is now fully owned by EADS. The A310 is a shortened derivative of the A300, the first twin-engined widebody airliner. The A310 (along with the A300) officially ceased production in July 2007 although the last delivery was in June 1998.


The range of the A310 exceeds that of the A300-series with the exception of the A300-600, which surpasses the A310-200. The ability of the A310 to go farther than other planes has led to the aircraft being used extensively on transatlantic routes. The A300 and A310 introduced the concept of commonality: A300-600 and A310 pilots can qualify for the other aircraft with one day of training.

Demand for the aircraft started to slow down and there were no new A310 passenger orders during the late 1990s. The A310 (along with the A300) ceased production in July 2007, though five orders from Iraqi Airways remained on the books until July 2008. The remaining freighter sales are to be fulfilled by the new A330-200F derivative.

The aircraft was formally launched in July 1978 for Lufthansa and Swissair. A further development of the A300, the aircraft was initially designated the A300 B10. Essentially a "baby" A300, the main differences in the two aircraft are

  • Shortened fuselage - same cross section, providing capacity of about 200.
  • Redesigned rear fuselage - altered tapering and moving aft of the rear bulkhead created additional capacity. The redesign was also used for the A300-600 and A330/A340 fuselages.
  • Redesigned wing - designed by British Aerospace who rejoined Airbus consortium
  • Smaller vertical fin

The A310 was marketed as an introduction to widebody operations for developing airlines. The A310 was replaced in Airbus' lineup by the highly successful A330-200, which shares its fuselage cross-section. Between 1983 and the very last aircraft produced 1998, 255 A310s were delivered by Airbus.

The A300 and A310 established Airbus as a competitor to Boeing and allowed it to go ahead with the more ambitious A320 and A330/A340 families.


TAROM Airbus A310-300
TAROM Airbus A310-300 "Transilvania"

Biman Bangladesh Airlines Airbus A310-300 landing
Biman Bangladesh Airlines Airbus A310-300 landing

Czech Airlines A310-304 during boarding
Czech Airlines A310-304 during boarding


The first A310, the 162nd Airbus off the production line, made its maiden flight in April 1982 powered by Pratt & Whitney JT9D engines. The -200 entered service with Swissair and Lufthansa a year later. Also the late series -200 also featured winglets just like the -300.

  • A310-200C

A convertible version, the seats can be removed and cargo placed on the main deck.


First flown in July 1985, the -300 has an increased MTOW and an increase in range, provided by additional centre and horizontal stabilizer (trim-tank) fuel tanks. This model also introduced wingtip fences to improve aerodynamic efficiency, a feature that has since been retrofitted to some -200s. The aircraft entered service in 1986, again with Swissair. No production freighters of the A310 were produced. Operators such as FedEx instead adapt ex-airline A310s into freighters. Most have been the -300 version.

  • A310-300C

A convertible passenger/cargo version, the seats can be removed and cargo placed on the main deck.


A310 MRT of the German Luftwaffe
A310 MRT of the German Luftwaffe

The A310 has been operated by many of the world's airforces as a pure transport (A310-300 MRT), however several have now been converted to the "Multi Role Tanker Transport" configuration by EADS, providing an aerial refueling capability. At least six have been ordered; four by the German Luftwaffe and two by the Canadian Forces. Deliveries began in 2004. Three were converted at EADS' Elbe Flugzeugwerke (EFW) in Dresden, Germany; the other three at Lufthansa Technik in Hamburg, Germany. The Chilean Air Force has purchased two second-hand A310s to replace its ageing 707-320 'Aguila' tanker and transports. The first was received in October 2007.


Military operators

The A310 has been used by the armed forces of the following countries:

Accident and incidents

  • Hull-loss Accidents: 9 with a total of 673 fatalities.
  • Hijackings: 10 with a total of 5 fatalities
  • 23 March 1994: Aeroflot Flight 593, an A310-300 carrying 63 passengers and 12 crew, crashed in Siberia after the pilot let his son sit at the controls and the autopilot silently and partially disconnected.
  • 30 January 2000: Kenya Airways Flight 431 crashed in the Atlantic Ocean shortly after takeoff from Abidjan on 31 January 2000.
  • 12 July 2000: Hapag-Lloyd Flight 3378, an A310-304, crashed during an emergency landing in Vienna due to fuel exhaustion.
  • 9 July 2006: S7 Airlines Flight 778, an Airbus A310-324 jet from Moscow carrying 196 passengers and eight crew, overshot the runway at Irkutsk in Siberia, plowed through a concrete barrier and caught fire as it crashed into buildings. Reports said that 70 of the 204 on board survived, with 12 still missing. Since the accident, casualty figures have fluctuated, in part due to three people boarding the aircraft that were not on the passenger manifest, and some survivors having walked home and assumed to be trapped in the wreckage.
  • 12 March 2007: Biman Bangladesh Airlines Flight BG006, an A310-325 carrying 236 passengers and crew, suffered a collapsed nose gear while accelerating down the runway. Fourteen people suffered minor injuries in the accident at Dubai International Airport. The aircraft came to rest at the end of the runway and was evacuated, but blocked the only active runway and forced the airport to close for nearly eight hours. The aircraft was written off.
  • 10 June 2008: Sudan Airways Flight 109, an A310-300 from Amman, Jordan carrying 203 passengers and 11 crew, veered off the runway after landing at Khartoum International Airport during bad weather. Soon after a fire started in the aircraft's right wing area. As of 12 June reports confirm 30 people were killed with another 6 still missing.


FedEx Express A310-200F
FedEx Express A310-200F

Hapagfly A310-304 landing at Stuttgart Airport, note deployed thrust reversers on the engines
Hapagfly A310-304 landing at Stuttgart Airport, note deployed thrust reversers on the engines
  [11] A310-200 A310-200F A310-300 A310-300F
Crew 2
Length 46.66 m (153 ft 1 in)
Height 15.8 m (51 ft 10 in)
Wingspan 43.9 m (144 ft)
Wing area 219 m² (2,357 ft²)
Wing sweep 28 °
Cross section 5.64 m (18 ft 6 in)
Passengers (2cl) 240 33t cargo 240 33t cargo
MTOW 141,974 kg (312,342 lb) 164,000 kg (361,600 lb)*
Empty weight 80,142 kg
(176,312 lb)
72,400 kg 83,100 kg
(183,300 lb)
73,900 kg
Max fuel 55,200 l (14,603 US g) 75,470 l (19,940 US g)
Cruise speed (M) 0.80 (850 km/h.)
Max speed (M) 0.84 (901 km/h.)
Ceiling 12,500 m (41,000 ft)
Thrust (×2) (lb) 50,000-53,200 56,000-59,000
Engines PWJT9D-7R4 or CF6-80C2A2    PW4156A or CF6-80C2A8   
Range 6,800 km
(3,670 nm)
5,550 km 9,600 km
(5,200 nm)
7,330 km

* 157,000 kg is standard for the -300, 164,000 kg is an option.


Model Date Engines
A310-203 1985 General Electric CF6-80A3
A310-204 2001 General Electric CF6-80C2A2
A310-221 1985 Pratt & Whitney JT9D-7R4D1
A310-222 1985 Pratt & Whitney JT9D-7R4E1
A310-304 1988 General Electric CF6-80C2A2
A310-322 1987 Pratt & Whitney JT9D-7R4E1
A310-324 1987 Pratt & Whitney PW4152
A310-325 1996 Pratt & Whitney PW4156A

A310 deliveries

By the end of September 2008 a total of 255 A310s had been ordered and delivered.

See also

Related development

Comparable aircraft

Related lists

External links

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Published in July 2009.

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