Here are the first shots of the Airbus A320 taking off for the very first time from Toulouse-Blagnac airport (south western France) on 22nd February 1987. A year later, the single aisle, 150-seat jet began service with Air France. Equipped with fly-by-wire controls, side-sticks for piloting the aircraft and a full screen cockpit, the A320 served as a reference for all Airbus models developed later.
The A320 also gave birth to a family carrying its name, made up of two shorter versions, the A318 and A319, and a stretched A321 version. The aircraft, all models combined, has clocked up a total of over 13,000 orders for Airbus. In doing so, the Airbus A320 has become the world’s second most popular commercial aircraft, only beaten by its competitor, the Boeing 737.
The success story continues for Airbus today with its re-engined version - the A320neo.