An Airbus A300 has been rolled out in Toulouse painted in the original orange and white Airbus house colours that the adorned the prototype of the world’s first widebody twinjet design on its maiden flight in October 1972 (pictured below).
© French Frogs AirSlides
Although the prototype A300B1 was long ago broken up, an apparently redundant A300B4 has now had the scheme applied, as well as the original registration “F-WUAB”.
Airbus built two A300B1s before adopting a slightly longer fuselage for the initial production version of the aircraft, the B2. The B4 has increased weights but is dimensionally identical to the B2, therefore longer than the original F-WUAB (pictured below).
According to Flight's fleet database the AirCraft Analytical System (ACAS), the aircraft chosen for the retro scheme is MSN 238, a 23 year old B4 that was originally laid down for Laker Airways as G-BIMH. However, the airline ceased operations before the aircraft was completed and so it spent several years in storage as a whitetail after its first flight in February 1983, before being delivered to Pan American Airways in April 1985.
The aircraft was acquired by Sempati Air in 1993, and by DHL in 1999 for operation as a freighter, but is now withdrawn from use at Airbus’s Toulouse Blagnac airport headquarters.
MAX KINGSLEY-JONES / LONDON