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What Happened To American Airlines’ Airbus A300s?

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American Airlines operated a fairly sizeable fleet of Airbus A300 aircraft between 1988 and 2009. The A300 was the world’s first twin-engine widebody jetliner, and it served the Dallas/Fort Worth-based US legacy carrier well over this 21-year period. Let’s examine its time at the airline more closely.

American Airlines Airbus A300
American Airlines marketed the A300 as the ‘Luxury Liner.’ Photo: Getty Images

American’s A300s could carry up to 266 passengers in a two-class layout. With a maximum range of 4,070 nautical miles (7,540 km) when fully loaded, the airline saw the A300 as an ideal fit for its Caribbean and northern South American routes.

Off to a slow start

Developed by a consortium of aircraft manufacturers in the UK, France, and West Germany, the counties involved in its manufacture signed a Memorandum of Understanding in September 1967. Two years later, the UK withdrew from the project, leaving just the French and Germans to develop the world’s first twin-engine widebody jetliner.

Air France Airbus A300
Air France launched the Airbus A300 commercially in May 1974. Photo: GB_NZ via Flickr

This event spurred the creation of Airbus. Today, the company represents one half of the significant Airbus-Boeing duopoly when it comes to producing commercial aircraft. Air France was the launch customer for the A300, and it introduced the plane into service in 1974. To begin with, Airbus was reliant on Air France and German flag carrier Lufthansa for orders. This was because many airlines felt obliged to operate domestically-produced aircraft.

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To combat this, Airbus sent the A300 on a six-week tour of North America. This would give airline executives and financiers a first-hand look at the European offering. One of those executives who took a look at the A300 was former astronaut and then CEO of Eastern Airlines, Frank Borman.

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The aircraft offered 30% fuel savings compared to Eastern’s existing three-engine Lockheed L-1011 TriStar jetliners. As such, Borman leased four A300s, before placing an order for 23. This was the first US order to be made.

American Airlines Airbus A300 Getty
American Airlines received its first Airbus A300 in 1988. Photo: Getty Images

American Airlines joins the party

American Airlines also eventually placed an order for 25 A300s, with an option for ten more, to start delivery in 1988. This came at a time when Boeing and American were arguing over the 767-300, and the terms the Seattle plane maker wanted for the aircraft.

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Airbus was now touting their updated A300-600 that they were willing to sell and lease at a favorable price to American Airlines. Eventually amassing a fleet of 35 A300s, American found that it was the perfect aircraft for their shorter but high-demand routes to Latin America. The A300s sizeable passenger capacity and its effectiveness as a cargo carrier served American well during its 21 years with the airline.

The end of the line in 2009

The last American Airlines A300 flight took place between Miami International (MIA) and New York (JFK) on August 24th, 2009. Before the departure, the carrier held a celebration for 150 guests, as well as giving the aircraft a traditional water cannon send-off.

American Airlines Airbus A300
All in all, American flew 35 A300s over the years. Photo: Aero Icarus via Flickr

When talking about the A300 with Airbus, American Airlines Chief Pilot Delvin Young said:

“For those of us that flew the A300 at American Airlines, it was an aircraft that stole our hearts. It was more than an airplane, it was also the character and personality of the people that flew and worked it. We were an airline within the airline. We were, and are still, a family – including our friends at Airbus. We took two great teams and created airline history.”

Today, you can only find passenger-carrying A300s in very limited numbers in Iran. However, as a cargo aircraft, it has proven immensely popular, and remains in active service with freight airlines worldwide. Logistics giants FedEx and UPS both operate more than 50 A300s each.

Most of American’s A300s were sadly scrapped after leaving the airline. However, two examples, N7082A and N77080, have gone on to be converted for use as freighters. These aircraft, which are approaching 30 years old, are now enjoying new leases of life at Mexico’s AeroUnion.

Did you ever fly on an American Airlines Airbus A300? Perhaps you’ve experienced the world’s first twin-engine widebody jetliner with another carrier? Let us know your thoughts and experiences in the comments!

Source: https://simpleflying.com/american-airlines-airbus-a300/

Aviation

Airbus Conducts New A400M Helicopter Air-To-Air Refueling Test Campaign

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A400M HAAR
The Airbus A400M performs a simultaneous refueling of two H225M Caracal helicopters. (Photo: Anthony Pecchi/Airbus)

The tests with the A400M involved the day and night refueling of two French Air Force H225M Caracals.

Airbus recently announced the successful completion of a new Helicopter Air-to-Air Refueling (HAAR) test campaign with the A400M four-engine turboprop military transport aircraft. The aircraft is now getting closer to the full helicopter air-to-air refueling certification later this year, having completed the majority of its development and certification objectives.

The flight tests were performed with the participation of two French Air Force H225M Caracal helicopters (formerly known also as EC725 Caracal/Super Cougar) as receivers. The refueling tests took place in day and night conditions over the west coast of France at between 1,000 ft and 10,000 ft and speeds as low as 105 knots, according to Airbus’ press release.

The first testing of this kind was performed by Airbus in 2019, when the first dry contacts (without fuel transfer) between the A400M and the H225M were achieved, followed by another round of testing in 2020. During this year’s flights, a total of 81 wet contacts were achieved with 6.5 tonnes of fuel transferred to the helicopters.

During the tests, the A400M performed also the simultaneous refueling of two helicopters for the first time from its underwing refueling pods, similar to the ones used by the MC-130Js of the U.S. Air Force and the KC-130Js of the Italian Air Force from which the H225M already refueled in the recent years. In addition to the two pods, the A400M can use also a fuselage refueling unit, but Airbus did not specify if the latter was used during the tests.

HAAR is a unique military capability used by helicopters supporting Special Forces operations, useful to extend their endurance and range. This operation is very complex as it involves aircraft with different flight profiles and sharing a very limited common flight envelope, requiring close formation flying patterns at low altitudes with the tanker flying near its minimum speed and the helicopters flying near their maximum speed. Wake turbulence and nighttime conditions (which are common during Special Forces operations) can further complicate the HAAR operations.

A400 HAAR
The Airbus A400M flies in formation with two H225M Caracal helicopters during the HAAR test campaign. (Photo: Anthony Pecchi/Airbus)

Although it was born as a tactical airlifter, the A400M is certified to be quickly configured as a tanker which can carry up to 50.8 tonnes of fuel in its wings and centre wing box. More fuel can be carried by installing two additional cargo hold tanks that can be filled with 5.7 tonnes of fuel each.

In the tanker role, the A400M has already demonstrated its ability to refuel fighter receivers such as Dassault Rafale from the French Air Force, Eurofighter Typhoon and Tornado from the German Air Force and F/A-18 from the Spanish Air Force, as well as another A400M for buddy refueling, and cargos like the C295 or C-130.

Germany is the first nation that started to use operationally the A400M as a tanker, even deploying one to Jordan in support of Operation “Counter Daesh” (as the German intervention against ISIL in Syria and Iraq is codenamed), where they provided the air-to-air refueling capability for the four German Tornado IDS deployed there in the Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) role.

Stefano D’Urso is a contributor for TheAviationist based in Lecce, Italy. He’s a full-time engineering student and aspiring pilot. In his spare time he’s also an amateur aviation photographer and flight simulation enthusiast.

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Source: https://theaviationist.com/2021/04/21/a400m-haar/

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Aviation

Airbus Conducts New A400M Helicopter Air-To-Air Refueling Test Campaign

Avatar

Published

on

A400M HAAR
The Airbus A400M performs a simultaneous refueling of two H225M Caracal helicopters. (Photo: Anthony Pecchi/Airbus)

The tests with the A400M involved the day and night refueling of two French Air Force H225M Caracals.

Airbus recently announced the successful completion of a new Helicopter Air-to-Air Refueling (HAAR) test campaign with the A400M four-engine turboprop military transport aircraft. The aircraft is now getting closer to the full helicopter air-to-air refueling certification later this year, having completed the majority of its development and certification objectives.

The flight tests were performed with the participation of two French Air Force H225M Caracal helicopters (formerly known also as EC725 Caracal/Super Cougar) as receivers. The refueling tests took place in day and night conditions over the west coast of France at between 1,000 ft and 10,000 ft and speeds as low as 105 knots, according to Airbus’ press release.

The first testing of this kind was performed by Airbus in 2019, when the first dry contacts (without fuel transfer) between the A400M and the H225M were achieved, followed by another round of testing in 2020. During this year’s flights, a total of 81 wet contacts were achieved with 6.5 tonnes of fuel transferred to the helicopters.

During the tests, the A400M performed also the simultaneous refueling of two helicopters for the first time from its underwing refueling pods, similar to the ones used by the MC-130Js of the U.S. Air Force and the KC-130Js of the Italian Air Force from which the H225M already refueled in the recent years. In addition to the two pods, the A400M can use also a fuselage refueling unit, but Airbus did not specify if the latter was used during the tests.

HAAR is a unique military capability used by helicopters supporting Special Forces operations, useful to extend their endurance and range. This operation is very complex as it involves aircraft with different flight profiles and sharing a very limited common flight envelope, requiring close formation flying patterns at low altitudes with the tanker flying near its minimum speed and the helicopters flying near their maximum speed. Wake turbulence and nighttime conditions (which are common during Special Forces operations) can further complicate the HAAR operations.

A400 HAAR
The Airbus A400M flies in formation with two H225M Caracal helicopters during the HAAR test campaign. (Photo: Anthony Pecchi/Airbus)

Although it was born as a tactical airlifter, the A400M is certified to be quickly configured as a tanker which can carry up to 50.8 tonnes of fuel in its wings and centre wing box. More fuel can be carried by installing two additional cargo hold tanks that can be filled with 5.7 tonnes of fuel each.

In the tanker role, the A400M has already demonstrated its ability to refuel fighter receivers such as Dassault Rafale from the French Air Force, Eurofighter Typhoon and Tornado from the German Air Force and F/A-18 from the Spanish Air Force, as well as another A400M for buddy refueling, and cargos like the C295 or C-130.

Germany is the first nation that started to use operationally the A400M as a tanker, even deploying one to Jordan in support of Operation “Counter Daesh” (as the German intervention against ISIL in Syria and Iraq is codenamed), where they provided the air-to-air refueling capability for the four German Tornado IDS deployed there in the Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) role.

Stefano D’Urso is a contributor for TheAviationist based in Lecce, Italy. He’s a full-time engineering student and aspiring pilot. In his spare time he’s also an amateur aviation photographer and flight simulation enthusiast.

Coinsmart. Beste Bitcoin-Börse in Europa
Source: https://theaviationist.com/2021/04/21/a400m-haar/

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SriLankan A320neo Horizontal Stabilizer Damaged In Ground Vehicle Collision

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While on a flight to Malé in the Maldives on Wednesday, a SriLankan Airbus A320neo had the bad fortune to get hit by an airport ground service vehicle. The aircraft, one of only four narrowbodies currently active in the airline’s fleet, seems to have suffered damage to one of its horizontal stabilizers and remains on the ground.

SriLankan Airlines A320
A SriLankan Airlines A320neo received a slightly different welcome at Malé International Airport earlier today. Photo: Getty Images

No replacement yet

Earlier today, a SriLankan Airlines A320neo was damaged while at Malé International Airport, the main international gateway to the tourist destination of the Maldives. The four-year-old aircraft, registered as 4R-ANB, was unlucky enough to have an accidental altercation with a ground service vehicle while on its jaunt across the Indian Ocean.

The plane was operating flight UL1115, departing Colombo at 13:13 local time. It arrived in Malé after a flight time of one hour and nine minutes. The aircraft was scheduled to operate the return flight UL1116, departing at 15:05. However, the jet remains on the ground, and according to flight data, SriLankan has yet to dispatch a replacement aircraft and operate the flight.

While the exact nature of the incident is still unknown, photos following the run-in have emerged. From them, it would seem the airplane suffered damage to the left horizontal stabilizer and elevator.

Simple Flying has reached out to both SriLankan Airlines and Malé International Airport for further details on how the incident occurred but was yet to receive a response at the time of publication.

SriLankan A320neo
The aircraft in question is a four-year-old A320neo, one of only two in the airline’s fleet. Photo: Reman Abubakr via Wikmedia Commons

Skeleton fleet of narrowbodies

4R-ANB is one of two A320neos in SriLankan’s fleet. The other, 4R-ANA, is currently listed as parked. The airline’s five A320-200s are all also listed as inactive, as are its sole A321-200 and one out of four A321neos.

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With only three other narrowbodies currently in service, it is not strange that SriLankan is yet to deploy a replacement to operate the Malé to Colombo flight, despite the flight time between the two averaging somewhere close to one hour.

Male International Airport
SriLankan was the largest international operator at Malé in 2019, with three flights per day from Colombo. Photo: StromBer via Wikimedia Commons

Three flights per day during brighter times

Prior to the pandemic, SriLankan was the largest foreign carrier at Malé, operating 21 flights per week. Currently, it is operating the service six times a week as flights UL101 and UL102 with its fleet of Airbus A330 widebodies. The additional narrowbody flights of UL1115 and UL1116 are scheduled for once a week on Wednesdays.

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Sri Lanka has been hoping to initiate a travel bubble with India in order to revive the island’s ailing tourism industry. However, as India’s medical facilities are currently crippled by the country’s stampeding second wave of infections, it looks as if this could still be some way off.

On the other end, the Maldives is looking to attract more tourists with a ‘vaxcation'[ege_cards_related id=”0 scheme, offering the jab to travelers who may not yet be eligeble in their home countries.

What is the longest delay you have encountered as a result of a mechanical issue? Do you know what it was and how well was the airline communicating over the course of the delay? Tell us about your experience in the comment section. 

Coinsmart. Beste Bitcoin-Börse in Europa
Source: https://simpleflying.com/sri-lankan-a320neo-damaged-male/

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Aviation

SriLankan A320neo Horizontal Stabilizer Damaged In Ground Vehicle Collision

Avatar

Published

on

Advertisement:

While on a flight to Malé in the Maldives on Wednesday, a SriLankan Airbus A320neo had the bad fortune to get hit by an airport ground service vehicle. The aircraft, one of only four narrowbodies currently active in the airline’s fleet, seems to have suffered damage to one of its horizontal stabilizers and remains on the ground.

SriLankan Airlines A320
A SriLankan Airlines A320neo received a slightly different welcome at Malé International Airport earlier today. Photo: Getty Images

No replacement yet

Earlier today, a SriLankan Airlines A320neo was damaged while at Malé International Airport, the main international gateway to the tourist destination of the Maldives. The four-year-old aircraft, registered as 4R-ANB, was unlucky enough to have an accidental altercation with a ground service vehicle while on its jaunt across the Indian Ocean.

The plane was operating flight UL1115, departing Colombo at 13:13 local time. It arrived in Malé after a flight time of one hour and nine minutes. The aircraft was scheduled to operate the return flight UL1116, departing at 15:05. However, the jet remains on the ground, and according to flight data, SriLankan has yet to dispatch a replacement aircraft and operate the flight.

While the exact nature of the incident is still unknown, photos following the run-in have emerged. From them, it would seem the airplane suffered damage to the left horizontal stabilizer and elevator.

Simple Flying has reached out to both SriLankan Airlines and Malé International Airport for further details on how the incident occurred but was yet to receive a response at the time of publication.

SriLankan A320neo
The aircraft in question is a four-year-old A320neo, one of only two in the airline’s fleet. Photo: Reman Abubakr via Wikmedia Commons

Skeleton fleet of narrowbodies

4R-ANB is one of two A320neos in SriLankan’s fleet. The other, 4R-ANA, is currently listed as parked. The airline’s five A320-200s are all also listed as inactive, as are its sole A321-200 and one out of four A321neos.

Advertisement:

With only three other narrowbodies currently in service, it is not strange that SriLankan is yet to deploy a replacement to operate the Malé to Colombo flight, despite the flight time between the two averaging somewhere close to one hour.

Male International Airport
SriLankan was the largest international operator at Malé in 2019, with three flights per day from Colombo. Photo: StromBer via Wikimedia Commons

Three flights per day during brighter times

Prior to the pandemic, SriLankan was the largest foreign carrier at Malé, operating 21 flights per week. Currently, it is operating the service six times a week as flights UL101 and UL102 with its fleet of Airbus A330 widebodies. The additional narrowbody flights of UL1115 and UL1116 are scheduled for once a week on Wednesdays.

Advertisement:

Sri Lanka has been hoping to initiate a travel bubble with India in order to revive the island’s ailing tourism industry. However, as India’s medical facilities are currently crippled by the country’s stampeding second wave of infections, it looks as if this could still be some way off.

On the other end, the Maldives is looking to attract more tourists with a ‘vaxcation'[ege_cards_related id=”0 scheme, offering the jab to travelers who may not yet be eligeble in their home countries.

What is the longest delay you have encountered as a result of a mechanical issue? Do you know what it was and how well was the airline communicating over the course of the delay? Tell us about your experience in the comment section. 

Coinsmart. Beste Bitcoin-Börse in Europa
Source: https://simpleflying.com/sri-lankan-a320neo-damaged-male/

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