- Fascinating figures about the A380
- Your most frequent questions on the A380
- Flights that made Airbus’ history
28th October 1972
The A300, the first Airbus aircraft and first widebody twin engine jetliner, made its maiden flight on 28th October. The aircraft took off at 10:30 local time from the Toulouse airport for a mission lasting for one hour and 23 minutes. The flight crew comprised Max Fischl as captain, Bernard Ziegler, Günther Scherer, Pierre Caneill, and Roméo Zinzoni.
3rd April 1982
The A310 performed its maiden flight on 3rd April. the mission lasted for three hours and 15 minutes. The aircraft was piloted by Bernard Ziegler and Pierre Baud with flight test engineers Gérard Guyot, Günter Scherer and Jean-Pierre Flamant.
22nd February 1987
The A320 performed a maiden flight of three hours and 23 minutes on 22 February, from Toulouse, France, becoming the first airliner to fly with digital computer-driven fly-by-wire controls and side-stick controllers.
The flight was captained by Pierre Baud, vice president flight division and chief test pilot, co-piloted by Bernard Ziegler, senior vice president engineering, with the participation of Gérard Guyot, director of test and development, engineering test pilot Gordon Corps as pilot observer, Jean-Marie Mathios as system flight test engineer and Juergen Hammer as flight test engineer.
25 October 1991
The A340, the world’s longest range airliner, took off from Toulouse, France, for its maiden flight on 25th October, in a highly successful mission lasting four hours and 47 minutes. The A340 is Airbus’ largest aircraft and its first with four engines.
Pierre Baud, vice president flight division and chief test pilot said: "Despite its large size, the A340 manoeuvres as well as and feels just like the A320 thanks to the cockpit commonality and fly-by-wire controls. In short the A340 combines the latent power of a thoroughbred racehorse with the graceful behaviour of an elegant lady."
In addition to Pierre Baud, the crew comprised engineering test pilot Nick Warner, Test and Development Director Gérard Guyot, and flight test engineers Jean-Marie Mathios and Juergen Hammer.
1st April 1992
The A340-200, the longer range, shorter fuselage version of the A340, flew for the first time on 1st April in a successful mission lasting five hours and 15 minutes.
The flight was captained by Bernard Ziegler, senior vice president engineering, with engineering test pilot Karl Nagel as co-pilot and Jean-Pierre Petit, Fernando Alonso and Bernard Kamps as flight test engineers.
2nd November 1992
The A330, the world’s largest twin-engine widebody, flew for the first time on 2nd November in a highly successful mission lasting five hours and 15 minutes (block time). The aircraft took off at 9:51 French time (8:51 GMT) from Toulouse, returning at 14:55 (13:55 GMT).
The A330 was flown by engineering test pilots Etienne Tarnowski and Udo Günzel. Also on board were flight test engineers Jacky Joye and Gilles Robert, and flight engineer Alfred Pasenau.
11th March 1993
The 186-seat A321, the stretched version of the A320, flew for the first time from Hamburg, Germany in a highly successful mission lasting four hours and 40 minutes on 11th March. The aircraft took off at 12:05 local time (11:05 GMT), returning at 16:45 (15:45 GMT).
Engineering test pilot Karl Nagel captained the flight. The crew also comprised vice president flight division and chief test pilot Pierre Baud, flight test engineers Armand Jacob and Manfred Birnfeld and engineer observer Bernard Kamps.
25th August 1995
The A319 took off from Hamburg-Finkenwerder for its maiden flight on 25th August at 1:33 pm local time. This first mission lasted three hours and 50 minutes.
The crew comprised Udo Günzel, test pilot and chief pilot of the Hamburg facility, who captained the flight, vice president flight division Claude Lelaie, flight test engineers Fernando Alonso and Manfred Birnfeld as well as flight engineer Gérard Desbois.
13th August 1997
The 253-seat A330-200 flew for the first time on 13th August in a highly successful mission lasting four hours and 10 minutes (actual flying time).
Powered by CF6-80E1 engines from General Electric, the aircraft took off at 11:30 local time (9:30 GMT), returning at 15:40 (13:40 GMT).
The flight was captained by William Wainwright, chief test pilot, with test pilot Bernd Schäfer. Also on board were flight test engineers Jacky Joye, Robert Lignée and Jean-Marie Mathios.
23rd April 2001
The A340-600, the first new large jetliner of the 21st century, made its first flight on 23rd April, completing a successful mission, which lasted five hours and 22 minutes. The first A340-600 took off from Blagnac international airport in Toulouse at 10:34 local time (8:34 GMT) and returned at 15:56 hours local time (13:56 GMT).
The maiden flight was captained by Claude Lelaie, vice president flight division, and co-piloted by test pilot Ed Strongman with Gilles Robert, the division’s test and development director, Jacky Joye and Gérard Desbois as flight test engineers.
15th January 2002
The A318, Airbus’ latest member of the best-selling A320 Family, flew for the first time on 15 January, completing a successful mission which lasted three hours and 44 minutes. The first A318 took off from the Finkenwerder airfield at Airbus’ Hamburg plant in Germany at 10:11 hours local time (9:11 GMT) and returned at 13:55 local time (12:55 GMT).
The flight was captained by Bernd Schaefer, chief pilot Hamburg, with Jacques Rosay, Airbus chief test pilot as first officer, Manfred Birnfeld and Hermann Schmoeckel as flight test engineers and Bernard Kamps as test flight engineer.
11th February 2002
The ultra-long range A340-500, Airbus’ longest-range airliner to date, took off on its maiden flight at 10:25 hours local time (9:25 GMT) from the Blagnac international airport in Toulouse, France.
The maiden flight was captained by Airbus chief pilot Jacques Rosay and co-piloted by experimental test pilot Richard Monnoyer. The crew was comprised of flight test engineers Didier Ronceray and Sylvie Loisel-Labaste, the first woman crew member for a maiden flight at Airbus - and test flight engineer Bruno Bigand.