Development of the Airbus A300
Thanks to the pandemic, I have plenty of time to indulge in my favourite addiction, YouTube.
Presenter Simon Whistler hosts several history themed YouTube channels including one called 'Megaprojects'. In a recent posting, he dives into the ambition of Airbus Industries to 'build a new titan' to challenge Boeing and the development of the A300, the first wide body twin engine jet designed for trans continental travel.
Whistler explains concisely (under 20 minutes) and with humour how Airbus brought together the skills of a group of European nations and developed many innovative manufacturing techniques to 'build a better airplane (mousetrap?)' than Boeing had under development at the time and, in doing so, changed aircraft manufacturing for the future.
The biggest challenge facing Airbus was to enter the American (competing with Boeing on their own turf) market and they came up with quite a daring solution; they gave four A300's to Eastern Airlines for a 'test drive'.
Eastern was so impressed with the 30% full saving and quality of the aircraft that they bought the four and ordered 23 more.
The now familiar fleet of 'Beluga' freighters evolved from the original A300 design as the A300-600ST series.
Click the image below to view the full video.