Airbus A310

TYPE: VIP/strategic transport

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: European consortium

POWERPLANTS: Initially either two 213.5kN (48,000lb) Pratt & WhitneyJT9D-7R4D1 or two 222.4kN (50,000lb) General Electric CF6-80A3turbofans. Current choices of 238kN or 262kN (53,500lb or 59,000lb)GE CF6-80C2A2S or -80C2A8S, or 231 kN or 249kN (52,000lb or56,000lb) P&W PW4152 or PW4156 turbofans.

PERFORMANCE: A310-200 - Max cruising speed 897kmh (484kt), longrange cruising speed 850kmh (459kt). Range at typical airliner operatingweight with reserves 6800km (3670nm). A310-300 (with CF680C2A2s)- Speeds same. Typical airliner range with reserves 7980km(431 Onm), or up to 9580km (5170nm) for high gross weight version.

WEIGHTS: A310-200 with CF6-80C2A2s - Operating empty 80,142kg(176,683lb), max takeoff 142,000kg (313,055lb). A310-300 with CF6-80C2A8S - Operating empty 80,330kg (177,095lb), max takeoffup to 164,000kg (361,560lb).

DIMENSIONS: Wing span 43.89m (144ft Oin), length 46.66m (153ft1in), height 15.80m (51ft 10in). Wing area 219.0m2 (2357.3sq ft).

ACCOMMODATION: Flightcrew of two. Max passenger capacity at nineabreast 280, max payload approx 30,000kg (66,080lb). Canadian andFrench A310s used as freighters, Germany's and Thailand's aircraftfeature custom VIP layouts.

ARMAMENT: None

OPERATORS: Canada, France, Germany, Thailand.

HISTORY: The A310, a shortened development of Airbus' original A300widebody airliner, is now in limited military service as a transport.

While based on the larger A300 airliner, the A310 features anumber of major differences including a shortened fuselage, a newhigher aspect ratio wing of smaller span and greater area, new andsmaller horizontal tail surfaces and a two crew flightdeck.

The first flight of an A310 occurred on April 3 1982, after theprogram was launched in July 1978. The basic passenger aircraft isthe A310-200, while the A310-300 is a longer range development andhas been in production since 1985.

The A310-200F freighter and A310-200C convertible are availableas new build aircraft or as conversions of existing A310s. The A310-200Fin particular could form the basis of a dedicated new build militaryfreighter, possibly fitted with air-to-air refuelling pods. Airbus hasestablished a division to study military derivatives of its commercialairliners, but it has yet to find a customer.

Military A310s currently in service operate in a variety of transportfunctions. Thailand became the first military A310 operator when itssole A310 was delivered in 1991. Germany inherited its A310s fromthe former East Germany's flag carrier Interflug, while France's havereplaced DC-8s.

Canada was the largest operator of military A310s, with three, plusoptions on a further two ex Canadian Airlines aircraft to replace 707s.Designated CC-150 Polaris, two were converted for transport whilethe third was fitted with a VIP interior. The VIP A310 was subsequentlysold off and the options on the other two aircraft were droppedbecause of defence budget cuts.

 

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