Airbus A340-200 and A340-300 Wide-Bodied Four-Engine Airliners, Europe

The Airbus A340 family of wide-bodied four engine airliners is optimised for long range to ultra long range performance and is in service with dozens of airlines worldwide for non-stop long-haul services. The aircraft entered service in 1993 with Air France and Lufthansa. The A340-200 typically carries 239 passengers on flights of up to 14,800km. The A340-300 carries 295 passengers up to 13,500km. The first A340-300E enhanced version, with an upgraded engine, new liquid crystal (LCD) cockpit displays and a more spacious cabin interior design, was delivered in March 2004 to launch customer South African Airways, which has six in its fleet.

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Airbus A380 Superjumbo Twin-Deck, Twin-Aisle Airliner, Europe

Airbus has announced the development of an all new design Superjumbo, the Airbus A380, which is the world's first twin-deck, twin-aisle airliner. Advantages of the A380 include lower fuel burn per seat and lower operating costs per seat. The 555 seat Airbus A380-800, with a non-stop range of 8,000nm, was launched in December 2000. The aircraft entered production in January 2002. First flight (with the Rolls-Royce engines) took place from Blagnac Airport, Toulouse, in April 2005. Over 100 test flights have been completed. Five aircraft are taking part in the test programme. The second first flew in October and the third in November 2005.

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Boeing 747-400 Twin Aisle Jet Airliner, USA

Boeing originally designed the 747 in the 1960s for the US Air Force's large jet cargo transport programme. The contract went to Lockheed's C5-A Galaxy, so Boeing decided to pursue the commercial aviation market with their new "Jumbo" 747. The 747 commercial development programme was initiated in 1966 when Boeing received an order from Pan American World Airways for 25 747s. The specification laid down was for a cost-effective intercontinental airliner, capable of carrying high volume passenger traffic whilst retaining a superior level of fuel economy. On 9 February 1969, the chief test pilot Jack Wadell and crew took the first 747 (registration N7470) into the air. The first model (747-100) entered commercial service with Pan Am in 1970 and took its maiden flight from New York to London. The 747 brought striking reductions in air travel costs through its still unsurpassed combination of speed, range and capacity. 1,341 Boeing 747 aircraft have been delivered.

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Boeing 757 Single Aisle Twin Jet Airliner, USA

The Boeing 757 family consists of the 757-200, the 757-200 freighter, and the larger 757-300. Over 1,000 757 aircraft have been delivered. The 757-200 aircraft was announced in 1978 and first flew in 1982. The 757-300, the newest member of the family of medium-sized airliners, is the largest single-aisle twinjet ever made. It took its maiden flight in 1998 and entered service with Condor Flugdienst (now Thomas Cook Airlines, Germany) in 1999. The 757-300 is a stretched version of the 757-200, measuring 23ft 4in (7.1m) longer. The extra length allows it to carry 20% more passengers and increases the available cargo volume by nearly 50%. 62 were built. The 757-200 freighter is designed to accept up to 15 cargo containers on its main deck.

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Boeing 767 Widebody Jet Airliner, USA

The Boeing 767 is a family of wide-bodied twin aisle, twin engine airliners. The aircraft is the most widely used aircraft on cross Atlantic routes. The 767 first entered service in 1982 with United Air Lines. Boeing has delivered more than 900 767s that are flown by more than 80 operators around the world. The 767 has accumulated more than nine million flights.

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Boeing team to develop post-737 jet

Only a couple weeks after rolling out the 5,000th 737, Boeing formally named an initial planning team to lead development of a replacement for the Renton-built jet. On Boeing's internal Web site Tuesday, the company announced that Mike Cave, vice president for airplane programs, will direct the work.

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