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History of Airbus

Airbus SE is a multinational company established in 1970 and one of the world's largest manufactures of passenger and military airplanes and helicopters. The company started as a supranational consortium uniting the major European aerospace industries into an economic interest group (GIE). The initiative was driven by the governments of France, Germany and the United Kingdom and the formal establishment of Airbus was on 18th of December 1970. Very soon after, the consortium expanded with the leading aircraft companies of the Netherlands and Spain.

The first model designed and produced at the company was Airbus A300, which took off for its maiden flight on 28th of October 1972. By the end of the 1970s, the consortium had 256 orders of the A300 aircraft. More advanced airplane model, the Airbus A310 was launched in 1978 with several purchase orders in place. The first flight of A310 commenced on 3rd of April 1982. In the next years, Airbus successfully launched, what would become the world’s most popular family of aircraft, the A320 family. The maiden flight of the base model, Airbus A320 was on 22nd of February 1987. Several years latter, on 11th of March 1993, the second model in the family, the longer Airbus A321 flew for the first time. The customers interest in the products of Airbus spurred further development and on 25th of August 1995, the first “shrink” of A320, the Airbus A319 commenced the first flight. This was followed by even shorter aircraft, Airbus A318, which was designed in late 1998 and flew for the first time on 15th of January 2002.

The 1990s were marked by the appearance of two other families of aircraft, the A330 and A340 family. The larger variant, Airbus A340 was on its maiden flight on 25th of October 1991, while Airbus A330 was flew for the first time a year latter, on 2nd of November 1992. During the first decade of 21st century, Airbus became one of the largest producers of civil airplanes in the world. Around the turn of the millennium, several programs were launched to target lucrative markets, with designs of corporate jets and aircraft for military aviation.

Airbus A220, tail YL-AAV.

In 2010s Airbus continued to expand in the civil sector with the design and production of new models. The Airbus A350 flew for the first time on 14th of June 2015. There was a family of shorter aircraft, the A220, launched in 2008. The first flight of Airbus A220 was on 16th of September 2013. The 2010s was also the decade to introduce a major refresh of nearly all models of the company. The start of the neo (“new engine option”) program with re-engineered engines, better wingtip design and other improvements gave the aircraft lower maintenance cost, higher energy efficiency and longer range. Gradually the new models were re-branded as “neo” variants as contrast to the existing models, which were sold under the label “ceo” (“current engine option”).

Radiolocation of active aircraft

The active Airbus aircraft are spotted through an advanced radiolocation. Successful airframe locks and identification are plotted for each month in a table format.

2023: February  •  March  •  April  •  May  •  June  •  July  •  August  •  September  •  October  •  November  •  December
2024: January  •  February  •  March

Aircraft families

The following presents a list of Airbus families, the numbers build and some basic information of the aircraft:

FamilyTypeNumbers built
Airbus A220108–130 passenger twin-turbofan262
Airbus A300228–254 passenger twin-turbofan561
Airbus A310187 passenger twin-turbofan255
Airbus A320107–185 passenger twin-turbofan10,840
Airbus A330246–300 passenger twin-turbofan1,567
Airbus A340239–377 passenger quad-turbofan380
Airbus A350270–350 passenger twin-turbofan530
Airbus A380555 passenger quad-turbofan254