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AIRBUS 50: How the cockpits have changed since 1972

The Airbus ‘front office’ has undergone evolutionary and revolutionary changes since the original A300B1 cockpit of 1972. Here, we trace the flightdeck development story

A350

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A350: Airbus’s latest and greatest flightdeck arrived with the XWB in 2013. General layout remains faithful to original fly-bywire cockpit from 1987

Max Kingsley-Jones/FlightGlobal

A300B

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A300B: The original Airbus cockpit was one of the last “clockwork” designs and configured for three flightcrew. A later “Forward Facing” (FF) version of this layout was designed for two-pilot operation

Airbus

A310

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A310: Airbus’s first “glass” cockpit debuted on the A310 in 1982, evolving from the A300FF two-crew version. The A310 flightdeck was adopted for the improved A300-600 series

Airbus

A320

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A320: Airbus’s epoch-making fly-by-wire (FBW) cockpit changed the game in the 1980s with its clean six-screen configuration and sidesticks. The design has proven to be incredibly resilient, continuing largely unchanged on latest A320 and A330 models

Airbus

A330/A340

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The FBW cockpit was adopted for Airbus’s new widebody family in the early 1990s and continues on the latest A330neo (above) with new capabilities incorporated

Max Kingsley-Jones/FlightGlobal

A380

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A380: The ultra-large airliner brought the first major update to Airbus’s FBW cockpit. Introduced into service in 2008, this layout was basis for the A350 flightdeck

Airbus

A220

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A220: Airbus’s cockpit with a difference – the A220 began life as the Bombardier CSeries, joining the line-up when the programme was acquired in 2018. Like its Airbus siblings, FBW and sidesticks are the order of the day

Max Kingsley-Jones/FlightGlobal

Read every story celebrating the 50th anniversary of Airbus here

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