Airbus A320 family

The Airbus A320 family consists of short- to medium-range, narrow-body, commercial passenger twin-engine jet airliners manufactured by Airbus. The family includes the A318, A319, A320 and A321, as well as the ACJ business jet. The A320s are also named A320ceo (current engine option) after the introduction of the A320neo. Final assembly of the family in Europe takes place in Toulouse, France, and Hamburg, Germany. Starting in 2009, a plant in Tianjin, China, has also been producing aircraft for Chinese airlines. In April 2013, Airbus started construction of a new production facility for the A319, A320, and A321 variants in Mobile, Alabama. 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 member of the A320 family—the A320—was launched in March 1984, first flew on 22 February 1987, and was first delivered in March 1988. The family was soon extended to include the A321 (first delivered 1994), the A319 (1996), and the A318 (2003). The A320 family pioneered the use of digital fly-by-wire flight control systems, as well as side-stick controls, in commercial aircraft. There has been a continuous improvement process since introduction.

In December 2010, Airbus announced a new generation of the A320 family, the A320neo "New Engine Option". The A320neo offers a choice of CFM International LEAP-X or Pratt & Whitney PW1000G engines, combined with airframe improvements and the addition of winglets, named Sharklets by Airbus. The aircraft will deliver fuel savings of up to 15%. In May 2015, a total of 3,600 A320neo family aircraft had been ordered by 70 airlines, making it the fastest ever selling commercial aircraft. The first A320neo will enter service with Qatar Airways in Q4 2015.

As of 31 March 2015, a total of 6,494 Airbus A320 family aircraft have been delivered, of which 6,231 are in service. In addition, another 5,088 airliners are on firm order. It ranked as the world's fastest-selling jet airliner family according to records from 2005 to 2007, and as the best-selling single-generation aircraft programme. The A320 family has proved popular with airlines including low-cost carriers such as EasyJet which purchased A319s, and A320s, to replace its Boeing 737 fleet. The aircraft family competes directly with the Boeing 737 and has competed with the 717, 757, and the McDonnell Douglas MD-80/MD-90.

Airbus A320 family
Class Aircraft
Type Transport
Manufacturer Airbus
Origin France
Country Name Origin Year
France 1987
Country Name Operational Year Retirement Year
China View
France 1988 View
United States of America View
ManufacturerName Production From Production To Quantity
Airbus 1986 6544 View

The Airbus A320 family are narrow-body (single-aisle) aircraft with a retractable tricycle landing gear and are powered by two wing pylon-mounted turbofan engines.


The Airbus A320 family are low-wing cantilever monoplanes with a conventional tail unit with a single vertical stabilizer and rudder. Wing swept back at 25 degrees, optimised for maximum operating Mach number 0.82. Compared to other airliners of the same class, the A320 features a wider single-aisle cabin of 3.95 metres (156 in) outside diameter, compared to 148 inches (3.8 m) of the Boeing 737 and 131.6 inches (3.34 m) of the Boeing 717, and larger overhead bins. In addition, the aircraft has a cargo hold equipped with large doors to assist in expedient loading and unloading of goods.

The Airbus A320 is the first narrow body airliner to use a significant amount of the structure made from composite material. Its tail assembly made almost entirely of such material by CASA, who also builds the elevators, main landing gear doors, and rear fuselage parts.

Flight deck and avionics

The Airbus A320 family was the first commercial airliner to feature a full glass cockpit and digital fly-by-wire flight control system. The only analogue instruments are the RMI (backup ADI on earlier models, replaced by digital ISIS on later models) and brake pressure indicator.

The A320 was the first civil airliner to include a full digital fly-by-wire flight control system. Its design also included a full glass cockpit rather than the hybrid versions found in previous airliners. Digital head-up displays are available.

The A320's flight deck is equipped with Electronic Flight Instrument System (EFIS) with side-stick controllers. At the time of the aircraft's introduction, the behaviour of the fly-by-wire system (equipped with full flight envelope protection) was a new experience for many pilots. The A320 features an Electronic Centralised Aircraft Monitor (ECAM) which gives the flight crew information about all the systems of the aircraft. With the exception of the very earliest A320s, most can be upgraded to the latest avionics standards, keeping the aircraft advanced even after two decades in service.

Early A320 planes used the Intel 80186 and Motorola 68010,[106] in 1988 Intel 80286 family CPUs. The flight management computer contained six CPUs, running in three logical pairs, with 2.5 megabytes of memory.

Newer Airbus feature LCD (liquid crystal display) units in the flight deck of its A318, A319, A320, and A321 flight decks instead of the original CRT (cathode ray tube) displays. These include the main displays and the backup artificial horizon, which was an analog display prior to this.


Three suppliers provide turbofan engines for the A320 series: CFM International with its CFM56, International Aero Engines, offering the V2500 and Pratt & Whitney whose PW6000 engines are only available for the A318 variant.


  • A320
  • A321 
  • A319
  • A319CJ 
  • A318
  • Freighter

The Joint Aviation Authorities (JAA) issued the type certificate for the A320 on 26 February 1988. After entering the market in March 1988 with Air France and Ansett, the former Australian domestic airline, Airbus then expanded the A320 family rapidly, launching the 185-seat A321 in 1989 and first delivered it in 1994; launching the 124-seat A319 in 1993 and delivering it in 1996; and launching the 107-seat A318 in 1999 with first deliveries in 2003.

Role Narrow-body jet airliner
National origin Multi-national
Manufacturer Airbus
First flight 22 February 1987
Introduction 18 April 1988 with Air France
Status In service
Primary users American Airlines
China Southern Airlines
China Eastern Airlines
Produced 1986–present
Number built 6,544 as of 30 April 2015
Unit cost 2015 prices:[4]
A318: US$74.3 (€70.5) million
A319: US$88.6 (€84.0) million
A320: US$97.0 (€92.0) million
A321: US$113.7 (€107.8) million
Variants Airbus A318
Developed into Airbus A320neo family


A318-100 A319-100 / A319LR / A319CJ A320-200 A321-200
Cockpit crew Two
Seating capacity[145][146] 132[147][a] (1-class, maximum)
117 (1-class, typical)
107 (2-class, typical)
156[148][b] (1-class, maximum)
134 (1-class, typical)
124 (2-class, typical)
180[149][c](1-class, maximum)
164 (1-class, typical)
150 (2-class, typical)
220 (1-class, maximum)
199 (1-class, typical)
185 (2-class, typical)
Seat Pitch 29 in (74 cm) & 30 in (76 cm) (1-class, maximum)
32 in (81 cm) (1-class, typical)
38 in (97 cm) & 32 in (81 cm) (2-class, typical)
28 in (71 cm) & 30 in (76 cm) (1-class, maximum)
32 in (81 cm) (1-class, typical)
36 in (91 cm) & 32 in (81 cm) (2-class, typical)
28 in (71 cm) & 29 in (74 cm) (1-class, maximum)
32 in (81 cm) (1-class, typical)
36 in (91 cm) & 32 in (81 cm) (2-class, typical)
Cargo capacity 21.21 m3 (749 cu ft) 27.62 m3 (975 cu ft)
4× LD3-46
37.41 m3 (1,321 cu ft)
7× LD3-46
51.73 m3 (1,827 cu ft)
10× LD3-46
Length 31.44 m (103 ft 2 in) 33.84 m (111 ft 0 in) 37.57 m (123 ft 3 in) 44.51 m (146 ft 0 in)
Wingspan 34.10 m (111 ft 11 in) (35.8 m (117 ft 5 in) with Sharklets)
Wing area 122.6 m2 (1,320 sq ft)
Wing sweepback 25 degrees
Tail height 12.51 m (41 ft 1 in) 11.76 m (38 ft 7 in)
Cabin width 3.70 m (12 ft 2 in)
Fuselage width 3.95 m (13 ft 0 in)
Fuselage height 4.14 m (13 ft 7 in)
Operating empty weight(OEW) 39,500 kg (87,100 lb) 40,800 kg (89,900 lb) 42,600 kg (93,900 lb) 48,500 kg (106,900 lb)
Maximum zero-fuel weight (MZFW) 54,500 kg (120,200 lb) 58,500 kg (129,000 lb) 62,500 kg (137,800 lb) 73,800 kg (162,700 lb)
Maximum landing weight(MLW) 57.5 t (127,000 lb) 62.5 t (138,000 lb) 66 t (146,000 lb) 77.8 t (172,000 lb)
Maximum takeoff weight(MTOW) 68 t (150,000 lb) 75.5 t (166,000 lb) 78 t (172,000 lb) 93.5 t (206,000 lb)
Cruising speed Mach 0.78 (828 km/h/511 mph at 11,000 m/36,000 ft)
Maximum speed Mach 0.82 (871 km/h/537 mph at 11,000 m/36,000 ft)
Maximum range, fully loaded 3,100 nmi (5,700 km; 3,600 mi),
3,200 nmi (5,900 km; 3,700 mi) with Sharklets
3,600 nmi (6,700 km; 4,100 mi),
3,700 nmi (6,900 km; 4,300 mi) with Sharklets
LR: 5,600 nmi (10,400 km; 6,400 mi)
CJ: 6,500 nmi (12,000 km; 7,500 mi)
3,100 nmi (5,700 km; 3,600 mi),
3,300 nmi (6,100 km; 3,800 mi) with Sharklets
3,000 nmi (5,600 km; 3,500 mi),
3,200 nmi (5,900 km; 3,700 mi) with Sharklets
Takeoff distance at MTOW
(sea level, ISA)
1,828 m (5,997 ft) 2,164 m (7,100 ft) 2,090 m (6,860 ft) 2,560 m (8,400 ft)
Maximum fuel capacity 24,210 L (5,330 imp gal; 6,400 US gal) 24,210 L (5,330 imp gal; 6,400 US gal) standard
30,190 L (6,640 imp gal; 7,980 US gal) optional
24,050 L (5,290 imp gal; 6,350 US gal) standard
30,030 L (6,610 imp gal; 7,930 US gal) optional
Service ceiling 12,000 m (39,000 ft)
A319 CJ and A321: 12,500 m (41,000 ft)
Engines (×2) CFM International CFM56-5 series
Pratt & Whitney PW6000 series IAE V2500 series
Thrust (×2) 96–106 kN (22,000–24,000 lbf) 98–120 kN (22,000–27,000 lbf) 111–120 kN (25,000–27,000 lbf) 133–147 kN (30,000–33,000 lbf)

End notes