Why Airbus Nearly Didn’t Happen: The A300 Story


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In 1974, Boeing vice president Jim Austin described the Airbus A300 as “a typical government airplane” of which “they’ll build a dozen or so and then go out of business.” He wasn't alone in his criticism. And he was almost right.

Airbus began a decade earlier as an ambitious effort to stop the Americans from completely taking over the global aviation industry. Boeing and McDonnell Douglas together were building over 80% of the world’s jetliners. And soon, they would be joined by Lockheed. All three manufacturers were introducing new state-of-the-art wide-body airliners that would revolutionize air travel in the 1970s by offering increased comfort and efficiency. Europe’s aircraft build stood little chance at competing. Unless they worked together.

By the mid-1960s plans were underway to build a truly European airliner. One that would involve the continent's leading manufacturers. It wasn't the first attempt at European cooperation (the French and British had already joined efforts to build Concorde), but nothing on this scale had ever attempted. The Europeans would build a new kind of airliner, a purpose-build, short to medium range ‘people mover’, which was increasingly being described as an ‘air bus’. The new plane would be highly optimized for efficiency by using the latest technologies and state of the art materials. It would feature just two turbofan engines, when the soon to be introduced American wide-bodies would have three or four. It meant Europe’s jet would offer increased fuel economy and lower maintenance. It would be called the A300.

France, Britain, West Germany, the Netherlands and Spain would each manufacturer portions of the plane for final assembly in Toulouse France. The logistics alone were a spectacular feat. But getting the new Airbus built would actually prove to be the easy part. Convincing the world to take a chance on a completely unproven manufacturer offering an unconventional twin-engine wide-body was another matter altogether. And to make matters worse, the new Airbus A300 debuted in the early 1970s, just in time for a global recession and oil crisis which put a near halt to airplane purchases by airlines.

But the A300 eventually caught on, thanks to perseverance and crafty deal-making by Airbus. By the end of the 1970’s the global economy had recovered, but fuel prices had not. The highly efficient twin-engine wide-body found its place in the market. But for Airbus, the A300 was just the beginning. With multinational partnerships in place and a sophisticated supply chain, the groundwork was set for the company’s truly meteoric rise.
#Airbus #A300 #Airliners

Select footage courtesy the AP Archive
AP Archive website: http://www.aparchive.com YouTube: http://www.youtubesmov.com/mov/ivomhsitirb/vid.html?etone

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Special thanks to Nick Arehart for helping clean up our audio:
https://twitter.com/airhrt_
Music (reproduced under license):

Intro Song: “Fast Dramatic Score” - https://audiojungle.net/item/fast-dramatic-score/23442728

Main Song 2: “Fashion Upbeat Soul R&B” - https://www.pond5.com/royalty-free-music/item/81816670-fashion-upbeat-soul-rb

Main Song 3: “Future Technology” - https://audiojungle.net/item/future-technology-corporate-pack/24053821

Main Song 4: “Hidden Beauty” - https://audiojungle.net/item/hidden-beauty/20383792?s_rank=14

Main Song 5: “Wildlife Sceneries” - https://audiojungle.net/item/wildlife-sceneries/23070785

Extro Song: “80s Synth Wave Retro Wave Cyberpunk Upbeat” - https://audiojungle.net/item/back-to-the-80s/22971645


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comment  Comments

Hey guys... looks like Mr. Mustard needs some new glasses. A couple spelling errors on the map slipped in. It's "Colombia" not "Columbia" and "Sao Paulo" not "Sao Paolo". Sorry my South American friends.

1 month ago

New vid?

3 days ago

Use CGBoost

1 week ago

mim não ligar, você estar perdoado.

2 weeks ago

Mustard please putt spanish subtitles our language it's very spoken in the world

2 weeks ago

I know it's just a suggestion but do a video about the spruce goose

2 weeks ago

"In an effort to impress airlines, Airbus sent its new jet to nearly all corners of the world....."

shows America

7 hours ago

What about bombardier

18 hours ago

A very good jet. And to think Europe's glories were finished after WW2. I was wrong. But still dislike EU.

23 hours ago

They’re still heavily subsidized by Euro governments and would fail if they were taken off the taxpayer trough

1 day ago

People: Free samples won't attract people to buy your product, it's a waste!
Airbus: hold my 3 free jets

1 day ago

Pilot patrick flies this old bird 😎😎

1 day ago

can you make the korean KTX stories?

2 days ago

Never i flew an other plane only airbus!

3 days ago

Great video as usual! Thanks Mustard! Just a note: The city name on the map is SÃO PAULO, not Sao Paolo... We speak Portuguese, not Spanish.

3 days ago

I wish they went bankrupt.

3 days ago

Finnthewastebin I’ve tried. Not that easy.

21 hours ago

Infinite Flight JPC death to you Edit:JK

3 days ago

Airbus are so quality inspired absolutely fantastic aircraft 👌

4 days ago

Bristol brabazon is best thicc airliner

4 days ago

Garuda Indonesia also operated A300. Even they are first operator of A300B4-200FF, the first wide body aircraft in the world operated without flight engineering, little bit earlier then Boeing 767. Perhaps this is the plane who would build the path of Airbus success story until now

4 days ago

Reliability haha....that’s compared to other jets of that time. The ones flying around now are barely legal to fly around.

4 days ago

Is the A300 superior to the 767-200?

4 days ago

Airbus is trashy

4 days ago

The "brilliant" 4 aircraft deal in 1977 was Eastern's idea, not Airbus's.

4 days ago

1:18 V1... Rotate!


wait what

5 days ago

May airbus one day crush boeing. They deserve it.

5 days ago

The airplane design looks like Janet's.

5 days ago

1.25x speed

5 days ago

Cloud7050 oh my gashshdhdhsgbshs

3 days ago

There are many people who made A300 a dreams come true, and including one person from Indonesia who passed away recently, his name is BJ Habibie. Without crack test that he learned based from DeHavilland Comet, the fate of A300 would be much worst than the Comet.

Rest in Peace, BJ Habibie. Thank you sir, we salute ! 🇮🇩🇮🇩🇮🇩😊😊

P.S. he also saved B747, queen of the skies

6 days ago

The concept A300 was design by mrs. Habibie and now hes dead😓

6 days ago

Bruh it's narrated by Sigourney Weaver? like alien-Sigourney Weaver?

6 days ago

Gosto muito dos documentários de vocês parabéns

6 days ago

1:10 Says Europe, shows USSR Flag.... Facepalm

1 week ago

@e30kitty Unsinn...

3 days ago

@e30kitty You are confusing the European Union with the European continent. Eurasia is is the landmass containing the continents Europe and Asia. There is also Afro-Eurasia, (also called Afroeurasia or Eurafrasia) the landmass containing the continents Europe, Asia and Africa.

6 days ago

@Jonny there is no european continent... its called "Eurasien" here in germany and the surounding countrys. Europe is a political thing, not a continent, sry

6 days ago

The large majority of the USSR population lived on the european continent.

6 days ago

Why European airlines not buy it first?

1 week ago

7:59
"The A300 was out biggest new investment..."
Was given A300s for free

That's American bunsiness in a nutshell.

1 week ago

Heseltine at 5:22

1 week ago