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Airbus A320
US Airways Nevada A319-132
Narrow-body jet airliner
National origin
First flight
22 February 1987
28 March 1988
Active service
Primary users
US Airways
China Southern Airlines
United Airlines
Number built
4,485 as of 30 November 2010
Unit cost
A318: US$62.5M (2010)
A319: $74.4m (2010)
A320: $81.4m (2010)
A321: $95.5m (2010)

About A320 :

The A320 series has two variants, the A320-100 and A320-200. Only 21 A320-100s were ever produced; these aircraft, the first to be manufactured, were delivered only to Air Inter (an airline later acquired by Air France) and British Airways (as a result of an order from British Caledonian Airways made prior to its acquisition by British Airways). The A320-200 features wingtip fences and increased fuel capacity over the A320-100 for increased range; other than that differences are minimal. Five of the last A320-100 aircraft, operated by British Airways, were disposed of at the end of 2007. The final A320-100, operated by Air France was retired in 2010. Typical range with 150 passengers for the A320-200 is about 2,900 nautical miles (5,400 km). It is powered by two CFMI CFM56-5 or IAE V2500 with thrust ratings between 25,500 to 27,000 pounds force (113 kN to 120 kN). The direct Boeing competitor is the 737-800

  • Design

The Airbus A320 families are low-wing cantilever monoplanes with a conventional tail unit with a single fin and rudder. They have a retractable tricycle landing gear and are powered by two wing mounted turbofan engines.Compared to other airliners of the same class, the A320 features a wider single-aisle cabin of 155.5 inches (3.95 m) outside diameter, compared to 148 inches (3.8 m) in the Boeing 737 and 131.6 inches (3.34 m) in the Boeing 717, and larger overhead bins, along with fly-by-wire technology. In addition, the aircraft has a spacious cargo hold equipped with large doors to assist in expedient loading and unloading of goods.The A320 features an ECAM (Electronic Centralized Aircraft Monitor) which gives the flight crew information about all the systems of the aircraft. With the exception of the very earliest A320s, most can be upgraded to the latest avionics standards, keeping the aircraft advanced even after two decades in service.

  • Technology

Technology used in the A320 includes:
  • The first fully digital fly-by-wire flight control system in a civil airliner.
  • Fully glass cockpit rather than the hybrid versions found in aircraft such as the A310, Boeing 757 and Boeing 767.
  • The first narrow body airliner with a significant amount of the structure made from composites.
  • The Electronic Centralized Aircraft Monitoring (ECAM) concept, which is included in all Airbus aircraft produced after the A320. This system constantly displays information concerning the aircraft's engines, as well as other key systems such as flight controls, pneumatics and hydraulics, to the pilots on the two LCD displays in the centre of the flight deck. ECAM also provides automatic warning of system failures and displays an electronic checklist to assist in handling the failure.
  • Newer Airbus used LCD (liquid crystal display) units in the flight deck of its A318, A319, A320, and A321 flight decks instead of the original CRT (cathode ray tube) displays. These include the main displays and the backup artificial horizon, which was an analogue display prior to this. LCDs weigh less and produce less heat than CRT displays; this change saves around 50 kilograms on the plane's total weight.
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