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Airbus A300B4

Airbus A300B4 - The major production version. Features a centre fuel tank for increased fuel capacity (47,500 kg). Production of the B2 and B4 totaled 248. The first A300B4 (the 9th A300) flew on 25 December 1974 and was certificated on 26 March 1975. The first delivery was made to Germanair (which later merged into Hapag Lloyd) on 23 May 1975.
  • A300B4-100: 157.5 Metric Ton MTOW, first delivery to Germanair in 1975.
  • A300B4-200: 165 Metric Ton MTOW, first delivery to Hapag-Lloyd Flug in 1980
  • A300B4-200FF: An A300 with a "forward-facing" crew compartment. The world's first 2-crew widebody airliner. Includes some of the A310's and A300-600's digital avionics. First saw service with Garuda Indonesia in 1982, further customers were VASP, Tunisair, Kar-Air/Finnair and MNG Airlines.
  • A300B4-600: Referred to as the A300-600. See Below.
  • A300C4: Convertible freighter version, with a large cargo door on the port side. First delivered to South African Airways in October 1982.
  • A300F4-203: Freighter version of the A300B4-200. First delivery occurred in 1986, but only very few were built as the A300F4-200 was soon replaced by the more capable A300-600F (official designation: A300F4-600).

A300B2/B4 - Two 227kN (51,000lb) General Electric CF6-50Cs or 236kN (53,000lb) Pratt & Whitney JT9D-9 turbofans.

A300B2-200 - Typical high speed cruising speed 917km/h (495kt), typical long range cruising speed 847km/h (457kt). Range with 269 passengers and reserves 3430km (1850nm). A300B4-200 - Same except range with 269 passengers and reserves 5375km (2900nm), range with max fuel 6300km (3400nm).
A300B2-200 - Operating empty 85,910kg (189,400lb), max takeoff 142,000kg (313,055lb).
A300B4-200 - Operating empty 88,500kg (195,109lb), max takeoff 165,000kg (363,760lb).
Wing span 44.84m (147ft 1in), length 53.62m (175ft 11in), height 16.53m (54ft 3in). Wing area 260.0m2 (2798.7sq ft).
Flightcrew of two pilots and a flight engineer. Seating for between 220 and 336 single class passengers in main cabin. Typical two class arrangement for 20 business class and 230 economy class passengers. Belly cargo compartments can carry 20 LD3 containers.
A300B2 and B4 orders stood at 249 when production was completed in 1984. Approximately 145 in service in late 2002, including 75 freighters.

Medium range widebody airliner

The Airbus A300 is significant not only for being a commercial success in its own right, but for being the first design of Europe's most successful postwar airliner manufacturer.
Aerospatiale of France, CASA of Spain and the forerunners of Germany's DaimlerChrysler Aerospace and British Aerospace formed the Airbus Industrie consortium in the late 1960s specifically to develop a twin engined 300 seat widebody `air bus' to fill an identified market gap.
The original 300 seat airliner design matured into a smaller 250 seater, the A300 designation gaining a `B' suffix to denote the change. Two prototype A300B1s were built, the first of these flying from Toulouse, France on October 28 1972, the second on February 5 the next year. The General Electric CF6 was the powerplant choice for initial A300s. Following the prototype A300B1s was the 2.65m (8ft 8in) longer A300B2, the first production version which first flew in April 1974. The B2 entered service with Air France on May 23 1974.
Subsequent versions included the B2-200 with Krueger leading edge flaps and different wheels and brakes; the B2-300 with increased weights for greater payload and multi stop capability; the B4-100 a longer range version of the B2 with Krueger flaps; and the increased max takeoff weight B4-200 which featured reinforced wings and fuselage, improved landing gear and optional rear cargo bay fuel tank. A small number of A300C convertibles were also built, these featured a main deck freight door behind the wing on the left hand side. Late in the A300B4's production life an optional two crew flightdeck was offered as the A300-200FF (customers were Garuda, Tunis Air and VASP).
Production of the A300B4 ceased in May 1984, with manufacture switching to the improved A300-600.
Older A300s are now finding a useful niche as freighters, with a number of companies, in particular DaimlerChrysler Aerospace Airbus, offering conversion programs.

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