The A310 first began life as the A300B10, one of a number of projected developments and derivatives of Airbus├»┬┐┬Ż original A300B airliner.
While based on the larger A300, the A310 introduced a number of major changes. The fuselage was shortened by 13 frames compared to the A300B, reducing seating to around 200 to 230 passengers and a new higher aspect ratio wing of smaller span and area was developed. New and smaller horizontal tail surfaces, fly-by-wire outboard spoilers and a two crew EFIS flightdeck were incorporated, while the engine pylons were common to suit both engine options.
The first flight of the A310 occurred on April 3 1982, after the program was launched in July 1978. Service entry was with Lufthansa in April 1983. Early production A310s did not have the small winglets that became a feature of later build A310-200s and the A310-300. The A310-300 is a longer range development of the base A310-200, and has been in production since 1985. This version can carry a further 7000kg (15,430lb) of fuel in the tailplane.
The A310-200F freighter is available new build or as a conversion of existing aircraft (13 A310s were converted to freighters for Federal Express by Airbus partner Daimler Benz [now DaimlerChrysler] Aerospace Airbus). The A310-200C convertible passenger/freighter first entered service with Dutch operator Martinair in 1984.
The first A310, the 162nd Airbus off the production line, made its maiden flight in April 1982 powered by Pratt & Whitney JT9D engines. The -200 entered service with Swissair and Lufthansa a year later. Also the late series -200 also featured winglets just like the -300.
A convertible version, the seats can be removed and cargo placed on the main deck.
First flown in July 1985, the -300 has an increased MTOW and an increase in range, provided by additional centre and horizontal stabilizer (trim-tank) fuel tanks. This model also introduced wingtip fences to improve aerodynamic efficiency, a feature that has since been retrofitted to some -200s. The aircraft entered service in 1986, again with Swissair. No production freighters of the A310 were produced. Operators such as FedEx instead adapt ex-airline A310s into freighters. Most have been the -300 version.
A convertible passenger/cargo version, the seats can be removed and cargo placed on the main deck.
A310 MRTT of the German Luftwaffe A310 MRTT:The A310 has been operated by many of the world├»┬┐┬Żs airforces as a pure transport, however some are now being converted to the ├»┬┐┬ŻMulti Role Tanker Transport├»┬┐┬Ż configuration by EADS, providing an aerial refueling capability. Six have been ordered; four by the German Luftwaffe and two by the Canadian Forces. Deliveries began in 2004. Three are being converted at EADS├»┬┐┬Ż Elbe Flugzeugwerke (EFW) in Dresden, Germany; the other three at Lufthansa Technik in Hamburg, Germany. The Chilean Air Force has recently purchased two second-hand A310s to replace its ageing 707-320 ├»┬┐┬ŻAguila├»┬┐┬Ż tanker and transports. The first was received in October 2007.
The A310 has been used by the armed forces of the following countries:
Belgium - Belgian Air Component
Canada - Canadian Forces Air Command - designated CC-150 Polaris
France - French Air Force
Germany - German Air Force
Spain - Spanish Air Force
Thailand - Royal Thai Air Force
Pakistan - Pakistan Air Force
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