Friday, December 26, 2008

smallest Airbus airplane a318

The A318, also known as the "Mini-Airbus" or "baby bus", is the smallest member of the A320 family, and the smallest Airbus of any kind
The aircraft is six metres shorter and 14 tonnes lighter than the A320
The A318 has a passenger capacity of 109 in a two-class configuration. It is intended to replace early Boeing 737 and Douglas DC-9 models, though it is also a rival to the 737-600. Boeing also offered their 717 aircraft as a competitor, although it was suitable primarily for regional routes and did not have the A318's range capabilities
While designing the A318, Airbus included a number of technology upgrades, many of which have been integrated into the rest of the A320 family. Some are also finding their way to the A380 jumbo aircraft. These upgrades include:

A new touchscreen LCD panel at the flight attendants' stations in the cabin, to simplify access to environmental and communications controls
New cabin lighting based on LED light sources, instead of halogen and fluorescent bulbs
Electrically powered backup braking systems, improving upon the older design using reserve hydraulic pressure
The use of laser beam welding during construction, used to fasten floor stringers to the lower fuselage shell. Laser welding eliminates the need for rivets to secure the joint, which saves weight, and is faster, saving on assembly time.
Orders for the A318 have been quite slow, but about 50% better than for its direct competitor the B737-600. Airbus had received 100 orders (14 May 2007) for this model compared to 69 for the B737-600. The sales pace has been influenced by the strong sales of the Bombardier CRJ900 and Embraer E-Jets series. Notable A318 customers were Air France, 18; Frontier Airlines, 10 (+ 1 order); LAN Chile, 20 orders; and Mexicana, 10 orders. In October 2006 an A318 was successfully tested at London City Airport for steep approach compatibility, which will allow operators to serve airports constrained by noise restrictions, tall buildings or difficult terrain.[26]. British Airways has ordered two A318 aircraft to operate from London City Airport to New York Kennedy Airport. They will be configured in all business class seating.

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