The Airbus A300-B4F 200F is a wide-body twin-engine medium-to-long range cargo aircraft capable of transporting 37,580 kg via an internal pallet system.
Cargo pallets require a high-loader to access its main deck so therefore it is not suitable for airports where there is no suitable equipment for offloading.
There are several variants of this aircraft, which is similar in capacity to the 767.
The A300 has the distinction of being the first twin engine wide body aircraft.
Development of the A300 began during the 1960s as a European collaborative project between various aircraft manufacturers in the United Kingdom, France, and West Germany. In September 1967, the participating nations signed a Memorandum of Understanding to manufacture the aircraft. The British withdrew from the project on 10 April 1969. A new agreement was reached between Germany and France on 29 May 1969, and Airbus Industrie was formally created on 18 December 1970 to develop and produce the A300. The type first flew on 28 October 1972.
By the 1990’s, the A300 was heavily promoted as a freighter, and many US cargo airlines are the biggest operators of these aircraft.
The A300 has enjoyed renewed interest in the second hand market for conversion to freighters. Large numbers were being converted during the late 1990’s. The freighter versions account for most of the worlds freighter fleet after the Boeing 747 freighter.
The major production version features a centre fuel tank for increased fuel capacity (47,500 kg). Production of the B2 and B4 versions totalled 248. The first A300B4 (the 9th A300) flew on 25 December 1974 and was certified on 26 March 1975. The first delivery was made to Bavaria Germanair (which later merged into Hapag Lloyd) on 23 May 1975.
A300B4-200FF: An A300 with a “forward-facing” crew compartment. The world’s first two-crew widebody airliner. Includes some of the A310’s and A300-600’s digital avionics. First saw service in Indonesia in 1982.
Aircraft with similar capabilities are: Boeing767, Ilyushin Il-86, Lockheed L-1011 “Tristar”, McDonnell Douglas DC-10.