The Airbus story began in the mid to late 1960’s when Western European Aerospace Manufacturers along with their respective governments realized a different approach was needed in order to complete with the American Aerospace giants of Boeing, McDonnell Douglas and Lockheed. The first aircraft to be designed, marketed, and manufactured would be called the A300, which would be a widebody aircraft built to compete with the McDonnell Douglas DC-10 and the Lockheed L-1011 Tri-Star. Airbus Industrie GIE, would be formally established in December 1970 as a government initiative between the countries of France, Germany, and the United Kingdom. The prototype A300 would make its first flight in 1972 and would enter revenue service as the A300-B2 in 1974 with Air France. The A300 initially would see limited success, but ultimately opened the door to a bright and promising future. The A300 has been largely withdrawn from passenger service, but soldiers on as a Freighter.



Airbus would grow steadily since those early days and has enjoyed incredible success in not only the commercial aircraft arena, but also now in military aircraft and helicopter manufacturing, but commercial aircraft manufacturing is where they have exceled. The now named Airbus SE is now running neck and neck with rival Boeing when it comes to commercial aircraft orders. As of February 2022, Airbus has logged a total of 20,398 orders for the A220, A300, A310, A318, A319, A320, A321, A330, A340, A350 and A380 aircraft and has delivered 12,481 aircraft. The A220/A320 family of aircraft account for 16,755 aircraft ordered alone with 10,435 aircraft delivered. Airbus now offers a wide range of narrow body, wide body and freighter aircraft with several different engine options available. The largest passenger aircraft that Airbus manufactured was the double-decker A380, and recently delivered the 254th and final aircraft to Emirates Airlines in December of 2021. Airbus has come a long way since the early days when they only had 15 orders on their books for their A300 aircraft, Airbus will continue to have a place in the commercial aircraft industry.

The selection of recent photos highlight just a small portion of the airlines that operate Airbus aircraft today. Until next time “Blue Skies To All!”

Scott Jankowski

Scott Jankowski - Franklin, Wisconsin Like so many others my love of aviation started when I was young, very young. I was only three years old when my Parents took me to my first air show here in Milwaukee, the rest you could say is “history”. I would read aviation magazines instead of Comic Books. I would prefer my Dad take me to the airport to watch airplanes instead of throwing a Football around. I grew up watching Convair 580’s, DC9’s and 727’s from the terminal here in Milwaukee, no Stage Three noise compliance back then! I started to seriously take pictures in the Mid 1980’s , for my birthday that year I finally had my first decent camera. I would head down to the airport with my pockets full of Kodak Film and take pictures of anything and everything. It did not matter if it was a Air Wisconsin Dash-7 or a 128TH ARW KC-135E if it had an engine I took a picture of it. I would drop those rolls off to be developed and three days later tear into the envelopes to see the results, which to be honest were not that good but there were a few keepers every once and a while. Fast forwarding to today with much better equipment and skills I spend as much time as I can at both General Mitchell International and Chicago O’Hare which are my Hometown Airports. While times and aircraft have changed the excitement is still as great as it was back all of those years ago. It makes no difference if it is 737, P-51, F-16, or Lear 35 I will not pass on any photo opportunity as you may not get that chance again. Even though my primary focus is on Commercial Aviation I still frequent as many Air shows as I can in the short Summer Season. I am fortunate enough to have EAA Air Venture in my backyard only being only an Hour and Half from my home. I routinely attend Air shows here in Milwaukee, Rockford, Chicago, Ypsilanti and the Quad Cities. I am very fortunate to be part of the Photorecon.Net and PHX Spotters Team and am looking forward to bringing everyone some Air show and Airliner action from the Midwest Region!

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