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The Airbus A310 is a medium- to long-range wide body airliner developed from the Airbus A300 and manufactured by Airbus Industrie.


Biman Airbus A310-300

Perhaps the greatest attribute of the A310 is that of range. The A310-300's range exceeds all A300 models and the -200 exceeds all A300 models in range except the A300-600. This quality has led to the aircraft being used extensively on transatlantic routes. The A300 and A310 introduced the concept of commonality which has become one of the Airbus family's greatest marketing points - A300-600 and A310 pilots can qualify for the other aircraft with only one day of training.


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 wing - designed by British Aerospace who rejoined Airbus consortium
  • Smaller vertical fin

The A310 is marketed as an excellent introduction to wide body operations for developing airlines. With the Airbus A330 now a major success, further orders for the A310 are unlikely. Between 1983 and 1997 255 A310s were delivered by Airbus. The A300 and A310 established Airbus as a major competitor to Boeing and allowed it to go ahead with the more ambitious A330/A340 family.


  • A310-200
    The first A310 was the 162nd Airbus off the production line, the aircraft made its maiden flight in April 1982 powered by Pratt & Whitney JT9Ds. The -200 entered service with Swissair and Lufthansa a year later.
  • A310-300
    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 winglets to improve aerodynamic efficiency - since retrofitted to some -200s. The aircraft entered service in 1986, again with Swissair.
  • A310-C
    The convertible model can be produced from either model, taking the designations A310-200C and -300C.
  • A310-F
    No production freighters were produced, operators (e.g. FedEx) instead adapting ex-airline A310s.
  • A310 MRTT
    The A310 has long been operated by many of the world's air forces as a pure transport, however some are now being converted to the Multi Role Tanker Transport configuration by EADS, providing an aerial refuelling capability. Six have been ordered; four by the German Luftwaffe and two by the Canadian Forces. Deliveries began in 2004. Three are being converted at EADS' Elbe Flugzeugwerke (EFW) in Dresden, Germany; the other three at Lufthansa Technik in Hamburg, Germany.

Accident summary

  • Hull-loss Accidents: 6 with a total of 518 fatalities
  • Hijackings: 10 with a total of 5 fatalities
  • Other Incidents: Rudder partially fell off a Air Transat flight

Specifications (A310)

General characteristics

  • Crew: 2
  • Capacity: 220 (2 class) or 280 (1 class)
  • Length: 46.66 m (153 ft)
  • Wingspan: 43.9 m (144 ft)
  • Height: 15.8 m (51 ft)
  • Wing area: 219 m (2360 ft)
  • Empty: 80,800 kg ( lb)
  • Maximum takeoff: 164,000 kg ( lb)
  • Power plant: Two Pratt & Whitney PW4152 or General Electric CF6-80 turbofans, 262 kN (59,000 lbf) thrust


  • Maximum speed: 897 km/h ( mph)
  • Range: 9,600 km (5,200 miles)
  • Service ceiling: 41,000 m (12,500 ft)

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