British Airways Airbus A321-231 Airliner SCO 7554

- Image ID: C61XD9
David Gowans / Alamy Stock Photo
Image ID: C61XD9
The Airbus A320 family is a family of short- to medium-range, narrow-body, commercial passenger jet airliners manufactured by Airbus Industrie. The family includes the A318, A319, A320 and A321, as well as the ACJ business jet. Final assembly of the family in Europe takes place in Toulouse, France and Hamburg, Germany; since 2009, a plant in Tianjin, People's Republic of China has also started producing aircraft for Chinese airlines. The aircraft family can accommodate up to 220 passengers and has a range of 3,100 to 12,000 km (1,700 to 6,500 nmi), depending on model. The first Airbus A320 was rolled out on 14 February 1987 amid dry ice and laser beams as part of a spectacular unveiling ceremony. A number of high-profile figures were present, including the Prince and Princess of Wales. The first flight came on 22 February, during which the aircraft flew for 3 hours 23 minutes. The flight marked the beginning of a flight test programme involving 1,200 airborne hours on 530 flights. European Joint Aviation Authorities (JAA) certification was received on 26 February 1988. The first A320 delivery was to Air France on 26 March 1988. On 26 June 1988, a chartered Air France Airbus A320-111 (F-GFKC) crashed into trees at the end of runway at Mulhouse-Habsheim Airport. Three out of 130 passengers were killed. Another A320, flown by Indian Airlines, crashed landed short of the airport runway in Bangalore. The ensuing fire contributed to the casualty count of ninety-two, out of 146 on board. The press and media later questioned the fly-by-wire flight control system. Subsequent investigations by commission of inquiry found "no malfunction of the aircraft or its equipment which could have contributed towards a reduction in safety or an increase in the crew's workload during the final flight phase...the response of the engines was normal and in compliance with certification requirement".
Location: London Heathrow Airport, Borough of Hillingdon, England. United Kingdom.