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Entry level widebody

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Entry level widebody

Old 15th Dec 2020, 23:54
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Entry level widebody

Read something interesting on the Internet: "The A310 has been commonly marketed as an introduction to wide-body operations for airlines based in developing countries." Why was that? What was so "simple" about A310? And what would be today's "entry-level" widebody airplane?
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Old 16th Dec 2020, 10:45
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I think you will find that it was the smallest wide body airliner, so if moving from a Boeing 707 or 727. with about 150 to 180 seats. then the A310 is the next size up with 200 to 250 seats. It can also operate from the same airports, just need some taller steps.
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Old 16th Dec 2020, 12:19
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I know almost nothing about the tech of the A300/310 but I believe that it is a conventional aircraft, except for one FBW spoiler on each wing? And it has conventional linked yoke controls.

So I guess that training for pilots coming from Boeing 737 type aircraft would be fairly straight forward, and they would have no difficulty learning to fly it?
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Old 16th Dec 2020, 16:47
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A300 B2/B4 were conventional medium range wide body 240 seat nonglass cockpit aircraft. A310 was glass cockpit with FMS, came as PERF1 with only lateral navigation. Then came FMS PERF2 which had vertical performance. A300 600 had the body of A300B4 but glass cockpit was bigger A310.
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Old 16th Dec 2020, 17:20
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All of the spoilers on the A306 were fbw. The A310 and A306 were a good test bed for Airbus to prove the EFIS, Ecam and a fuel cg system which was carried through to the later generations of their product but Airbus lost interest in the A306 when the A330 came along.
Airbus did look at a short body version of the A330 to replace the A306 but it never was more than a study I believe.
The aircraft was conventional to fly but was technically complex and could be a nightmare in the sim.
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Old 17th Dec 2020, 01:10
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Was the Boeing 767-200 not a “Entry Level Widebody” ?
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Old 2nd Jan 2021, 16:22
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Originally Posted by tubby linton View Post
The aircraft was conventional to fly but was technically complex and could be a nightmare in the sim.
Would you be able to elaborate a bit on that? (My A310 experience is limited to a few jumpseat rides.)
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Old 2nd Jan 2021, 17:50
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IMHO A306/310 are technically complex indeed, but this is also true for A320/340 (A350/380 as well I assume, but didn't have the joy to fly). The main difference is the ECAM. It's very basic. So for many abnormals you have to revert to paper checklists, QRH. In addition the manuals were kind of confusing. Mainly a translation problem. From French to German and then to English. Anyhow, I loved it.
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Old 2nd Jan 2021, 20:49
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Originally Posted by gearlever View Post
In addition the manuals were kind of confusing. Mainly a translation problem. From French to German and then to English. Anyhow, I loved it.

The OP was asking about the A300/310, not the A320.

Oh wait. Never mind
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Old 2nd Jan 2021, 21:23
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I had to read it twice, got it now.
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Old 2nd Jan 2021, 21:40
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Originally Posted by Alpine Flyer View Post
Would you be able to elaborate a bit on that? (My A310 experience is limited to a few jumpseat rides.)
It was a three man aircraft but the FE had been made redundant and replaced with ecam. The problem with the ecam was that the only way to update it was to replace the memory chips rather than update the software.This never happened and the QRH ended up a a very large document. Electrical failures would start off on ecam and then the bus would fail and you then had to try and find where you had got to in the QRH. Some failures required the use of the bus isolation switches but if action on them didn’t stop the failure there was nothing to tell you to reverse the action and try the other one. The usual result was a very dark cockpit.
Avionics smoke warnings required the FO to sniff the exhaust air from the Avionics bay. Airbus had not considered the long term health effects of sniffing modern plastics. Whilst the PM was trying to work out what had gone wrong the PF had to deal with an aircraft that had a huge amount of performance at low level and was very basic when it came to flying non-precision approaches. The R version had a number of system changes to allow it to fly etops but as they were bolt on they didn’t integrate with the systems very well.
The aircraft was incontinent and would leak hydraulic fluid often resulting in the loss of a system. Other regular failures included flaps and a fuel quantity system that was only an approximation at best. It was not unknown for a ton of fuel to disappear enroute in the plumbing, and it often never came back. All of the electronics was early 1980s vintage(think red led on displays) and wasn’t overly reliable especially after power changes.Every system seemed to have a manual back up in case the new kit gave up. This was very useful when you were nursing an abused twenty year old airframe around the world.
The manuals were as described above-French translated into English by a German. They were very comprehensive when first issued in the late 1980s , almost a how to build an A300 guide.
It was lovely aircraft to handfly though and would outclimb virtually anything.
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