TYPE: Wide-bodied airliner.

PROGRAMME: Launched 29 May 1969; initial variants were A300B1 (first flight 28 October 1972, service entry November 1974, A300B2 (first flight June 1973, service entry 30 May 1974) and A300B4 (first flight December 1974, service entry June 1975; 248 built. A300-600 go-ahead 16 December 1980; first flight (F-WZLR) 8 July 1983; certified (with JT9D-7R4H1 engines) 9 March 1984; first delivery (to Saudia) 26 March 1984.
Improved version with CF6-80C2 engines and other changes (see Current Versions) made first flight 20 March 1985; French certification Cat. IIIb take-offs and landings 26 March 1985; first delivery of improved version (to Thai Airways) 26 September 1985. Extended-range A300-600R (then known as -600ER) made first flight 9 December 1987, receiving European and FAA certification 10 and 28 March 1988 respectively, deliveries (to American Airlines) beginning 20 April 1988; A300-600 powered by GE CF6-80C2A5 with FADEC granted 180-minute ETOPS April 1994. CIS certification granted May 1996. Bulk of production backlog are A300F4-600R Freighters for United Parcel Service.

CURRENT VERSIONS: A300-600: Advanced version of A300B4-200; major A300 version since early 1984. Passenger and freight capacity increased by fitting rear fuselage of A310 with pressure bulkhead moved aft; wings have simple Fowler flaps and increased trailing-edge camber; forward-facing two-person flight deck with EFIS; new digital avionics; new braking control system; new APU; simplified systems; weight saving by use of composites for some secondary structural components; payload/range performance and fuel economy improved by comprehensive drag clean-up. Further improvements introduced in 1985 included CF6-80C2 or PW4000 as engine options, carbon brakes, wingtip fences and 'New World' flight deck; basic equipment of aircraft delivered from late 1991 further improved by incorporating standard options.
Cargo conversions of A300-600 and earlier A300B4 are offered.
Detailed description applies to current production A300-600/600R except where indicated.
A300-600R: Extended-range version of A300-600, differing mainly in having fuel trim tank in tailplane and higher maximum T-O weight.
A300-600 Convertible: Convertible passenger/cargo version, described separately.
A300-600 Freighter: Non-passenger version, described separately.
Airbus Super Transporter: A300-600R conversion as Super Guppy replacement.

CUSTOMERS: Total of 589 of all A300 versions ordered, of which 525 delivered, by 31 December 2003. There were six orders and eight deliveries in 2003. Outstanding contracts at 1 January 2003 comprised six for Air Hong Kong and 58 for United Parcel Service.

COSTS: US$109.9 million (2001).

DESIGN FEATURES: Mid-mounted wings with 10.5 per cent thickness/chord ratio, 28o sweepback at quarter-chord, and (since 1985) tip fences; circular-section pressurised fuselage; all-swept tail unit.

FLYING CONTROLS: Power-assisted. Each wing has three-segment, two-position (T-O/landing) leading-edge slats (no cutout over engine pylon), small Krueger flap at leading-edge wingroot, three cambered tabless flaps on trailing-edge, all-speed aileron between inboard flap and outer pair, and seven spoilers forward on flaps on each wing; flaps occupy 84 per cent of trailing-edge, increasing wing chord by 25 per cent when fully extended; ailerons deflect 9o 2' downward automatically when flaps are deployed; all 14 spoilers used as lift dumpers: outboard 10 for roll control and inboard 10 as airbrakes; variable incidence tailplane. Ailerons/elevators/rudder fully powered by hydraulic servos (three per surface), controlled mechanically; secondary surfaces (spoilers/flaps/slats) fully powered hydraulically with electrical control, tailplane by two independent hydraulic motors electrically controlled with additional mechanical input; preselection of spoiler/lift dump lever permits automatic extension of lift dumpers on touchdown; flaps and slats have similar drive mechanisms, each powered by twin motors driving ball screwjacks on each surface with built-in protection against asymmetric operation.

STRUCTURE: Two-spar main wing box, integral with fuselage and incorporating fail-safe principles; third spar across inboard sections; semi-monocoque fuselage (frames and open Z-section stringers), with integrally machined skin panels in high-stress areas; primary structure is of high-strength, damage-tolerant aluminium alloy, with steel or titanium for some critical fuselage components, honeycomb panels or selected glass fibre laminates for secondary structures; metal slats, flaps and ailerons. CFRP fins replaced aluminium alloy unit from 1988; secondary structure composites include AFRP for flap track fairings, rear wing/body fairings, cooling air inlet fairings and radome; GFRP for wing upper surface panels above mainwheel bays, fin leading/trailing-edges, fintip, fin/fuselage fairings, tailplane trailing-edges, elevator leading-edges, tailplane and elevator tips and elevator actuator access panel; carbon-reinforced GFRP for elevators and rudder; CFRP for spoilers, outer flap deflector doors and fin box; all CFRP moving surfaces have aluminium or titanium trailing-edges. Nosewheel doors and mainwheel leg fairing doors also of CFRP. Nose gear is structurally identical to that of B2/B4/A310; main gear is generally reinforced, with a new hinge arm and a new pitch damper hydraulic and electrical installation. Nacelles have CFRP cowling panels and are subcontracted to Rohr (California); pylon fairings are of AFRP.
Airbus France builds nose (including flight deck), lower centre-fuselage, four inboard spoilers, wing/body fairings and engine pylons; Airbus Deutschland builds forward fuselage (flight deck to wing box), upper centre-fuselage, rear fuselage (including tailcone), vertical tail, 10 outboard spoilers and some cabin doors; it also equips wings and installs interiors and seats; Airbus UK (formerly BAe) designed wings and builds wing box; Airbus Espana manufactures horizontal tail, port and starboard forward passenger doors and mainwheel/nosewheel doors; Stork Aerospace produces wingtips, ailerons, flaps, slats and main gear leg fairings. Large, fully equipped and inspected airframe sections airlifted by Beluga to Airbus France at Toulouse for assembly and painting, aircraft then being flown to Hamburg for outfitting and returned to Toulouse for customer acceptance.

LANDING GEAR: Hydraulically retractable tricycle type, of Messier-Bugatti design, with Messier-Bugatti/Liebherr/Dowty shock-absorbers and wheels standard; twin-wheel nose unit retracts forward, main units inward into fuselage; free-fall extension; has four-wheel main bogies interchangeable left with right. Standard bogie size is 927 x 1,397 mm (36½ x 55 in); wider bogie of 978 x 1,524 mm (38½ x 60 in) is optional. Mainwheel tyres size 49x17-20 or 49x17.0R20 (30 ply) (standard) or 49x19-20 (30 ply) (wide bogie), with respective pressures of 12.41 and 11.10 bar (180 and 161 lb/sq in). Nosewheel tyres size 40x14 or 40x14.0R16 (22 ply), pressure 9.38 bar (136 lb/sq in). Steering angles 65o/95o. Messier-Bugatti/Liebherr/Dowty hydraulic disc brakes standard on all mainwheels. Normal braking powered by 'green' hydraulic system, controlled electrically through two master valves and monitored by a brake system control box to provide anti-skid protection. Standby braking (powered automatically by 'yellow' hydraulic system if normal 'green' system supply fails) controlled through a dual metering valve; anti-skid protection is ensured through same box as normal system, with emergency pressure supplied to brakes by accumulators charged from 'yellow' system. Automatic braking system optional. Bendix or Goodrich wheels and brakes available optionally. Minimum ground turning radius (effective, aft CG) 22.00 m (72 ft 2¼ in) about nosewheel, 34.75 m (114 ft 0 in) about wingtips.

POWER PLANT: Two turbofans in underwing pods. A300-600 was launched with 249 kN (56,000 lb st) Pratt & Whitney JT9D-7R4H1 and currently available with 249 kN (56,000 lb st) Pratt & Whitney PW4156 or 262 kN (59,000 lb st) General Electric CF6-80C2A1. A300-600R is offered with 274 kN (61,500 lb st) CF6-80C2A5 or 258 kN (58,000 lb st) PW4158. CF6-80C2A5 and PW4158 also available as options on A300-600.
Fuel in two integral tanks in each wing, and fifth integral tank in wing centre-section, giving standard usable capacity of 62,000 litres (16,379 US gallons; 13,638 Imp gallons). Additional 6,150 litre (1,625 US gallon; 1,353 Imp gallon) fuel/trim tank in tailplane (-600R only) increases this total to 68,150 litres (18,004 US gallons; 14,991 Imp gallons). Optional extra fuel cell in aft cargo hold can increase total to 73,000 litres (19,285 US gallons; 16,058 Imp gallons) in -600R. Two standard refuelling points beneath starboard wing; similar pair optional under port wing.

ACCOMMODATION: Crew of two on flight deck, plus two observers' seats. Passenger seating in main cabin in six-, seven-, eight- or nine-abreast layout with two aisles; typical mixed class layout has 266 seats (26 first clas and 240 economy), six/eight-abreast at 96/86 cm (40/32 in) seat pitch with two galleys and one lavatory forward, one galley and two lavatories at Door 2 position, and one galley and four lavatories at rear; typical economy class layout for 285 passengers eight-abreast at 86 cm (34 in) pitch. Maximum capacity (subject to certification) 361 passengers. Closed overhead baggage lockers on each side (total capacity 10.5 m3; 370 cu ft) and in double-sided central 'super-bin' installation (total capacity 14.5 m3; 512 cu ft), giving 0.03 to 0.09 m3 (1.2 to 3.2 cu ft) per passenger in typical economy layout.
Two outward parallel-opening Type A plug-type passenger doors ahead of wing on each side, and one on each side at rear. Type I emergency exit on each side aft of wing. Underfloor baggage/cargo holds fore and aft of wings, with doors on starboard side; forward hold can accommodate 12 LD3 containers, or four 2.24 x 3.17 m (88 x 125 in) pallets or, optionally, 2.43 x 3.17 m (96 x 125 in) pallets, or engine modules; rear hold can accommodate 10 LD3 containers; additional bulk loading of freight provided for in an extreme rear compartment with usable volume of 17.3 m3 (611 cu ft); alternatively, rear hold can carry 11 LD3 containers, with bulk cargo capacity reduced to 9.0 m3 (318 cu ft); bulk cargo compartment can be used to transport livestock. Entire accommodation is pressurised, including freight, baggage and avionics compartments.

SYSTEMS: Air supply for air conditioning system taken from engine bleed and/or APU via two high-pressure points; conditioned air can also be supplied direct to cabin by two low-pressure ground connections; ram air inlet for fresh air ventilation when packs not in use. Pressure control system (maximum differential 0.574 bar; 8.32 lb/sq in) consists of two identical, independent, automatic systems (one active, one standby); automatic switchover from one to other after each flight and in case of active system failure; in each system, pressure controlled by two electric outflow valves, function depending on preprogrammed cabin pressure altitude and rate of change of cabin pressure, aircraft altitude, and preselected landing airfield elevation. Automatic prepressurisation of cabin before take-off, to prevent noticeable pressure fluctuation during take-off. Modular box system provides passenger oxygen to all installation areas.
Hydraulic system comprises three fully independent circuits, operating simultaneously; each system includes reservoir of direct air/fluid contract type, pressurised at 3.52 bar (51 lb/sq in); fire-resistant phosphate ester-type fluid; nominal output flow 136 litres (35.9 US gallons; 30 Imp gallons)/min delivered at 207 bar (3,000 lb/sq in) pressure; 'blue' and 'yellow' systems have one pump each. 'green' system has two pumps. The three circuits provide triplex power for primary flying controls; if any circuit fails, full control of aircraft is retained without any necessity for action by crew. All three circuits supply ailerons, rudder and elevators; 'blue' circuit additionally supplies spoiler 7, spoiler/airbrake 4, airbrake 1, yaw damper and slats; 'green' circuit additionally supplies spoiler 6, flaps, Krueger flaps, slats, landing gear, wheel brakes, steering, tailplane trim, artificial feel, and roll/pitch/yaw autopilot; 'yellow' circuit additionally supplies spoiler 5, spoiler/airbrake 3, airbrake 2, flaps, wheel brakes, cargo doors, artificial feel, yaw damper, tailplane trim, and roll/pitch/yaw autopilot. Ram air turbine pump provides standby hydraulic power should both engines become inoperative.
Main electrical power supplied under normal flight conditions by two integrated drive generators, one on each engine; third (auxiliary) generator, driven by APU, can replace either of main generators, having same electromagnetic components but not constant-speed drive; each generator rated at 90 kVA, with overload ratings of 112.5 kVA for 5 minutes and 150 kVA for 5 seconds; APU generator driven at constant speed through gearbox. Three unregulated transformer-rectifier units (TRUs) supply 28 V DC power. Three 25 Ah Ni/Cd batteries used for emergency supply and APU starting; emergency electrical power taken from main aircraft batteries and emergency static inverter, providing single-phase 115 V 400 Hz output for flight instruments, navigation, communications and lighting when power not available from normal sources.
Hot air anti-icing of engines. engine air intakes, and outer segments of leading-edge slats; electrical heating for anti-icing flight deck front windscreens, demisting flight deck side windows, and for sensors, pitot probes and static ports, and waste water drain masts.
Honeywell 331-250F APU in tailcone, exhausting upward; installation incorporates APU noise attenuation. Self-contained fire protection system, and firewall panels protect main structure from an APU fire. APU provides bleed air to pneumatic system, and drives auxiliary AC generator during ground and in-flight operation; APU drives 90 kVA oilspray-cooled generator, and supplies bleed air for main engine start or air conditioning system. For current deliveries of A300-600, APU has improved relight capability, and can be started throughout flight envelope.
For new A300-600s and -600Rs, two optional modifications offered for compliance with full extended-range twin-engined operations (ETOPS) requirements; hydraulically driven fourth generator and increased cargo hold fire suppression capability. ETOPS kit qualified for aircraft with CF-80C2 and JT9D-7R series engines and, since mid-1988, for those with PW4000 series.

AVIONICS: Comms: Standard communications radios include two VHF, with provision for a third, two HF, two transponders, one Selcal, interphone and passenger address systems, ground crew call system and cockpit voice recorder. Provision for Mode S transponders.
Radar: Weather radar standard, with provision for second.
Flight: Radio navigation avionics include two VOR, two ILS, two DME, one ADF, two marker beacon receivers and two radio altimeters; TCAS and GPWS. Most other avionics are to customer requirements, only those relating to the instrument landing system (Honeywell or Rockwell Collins ILS and Rockwell Collins or TRT radio altimeter) being selected and supplied by the manufacturer. Two Honeywell digital air data computers standard; basic digital AFCS has dual flight control computers (FCCs) for flight director and autopilot functions (for Cat. III automatic landings), single thrust control computer (TCC) for speed and thrust control, and two flight augmentation computers (FACs) to provide yaw damping, electric pitch trim, and flight envelope monitoring and protection. Options include second FCC (for Cat. III automatic landing); second TCC; two flight management computers (FMCs) and two control display units for full flight management system. Basic aircraft also fitted with ARINC 717 data recording system with digital flight data acquisition unit, digital flight data recorder and three-axis linear accelerometer; optional additional level of windshear protection is available. Honeywell Enhanced GPWS available from March 1997.
Instrumentation: Six identical and interchangeable CRT electronic displays (four electronic flight instrument system and two electronic centralised aircraft monitor), plus digitised electromechanical instruments with liquid crystal displays.