Airbus is a trusted name in the aerospace manufacturing industry. It produces a wide variety of civilian and commercial airplanes, some of which include the A220, A300, A310, A318, A319, A320, A321, A330, A340, A350 and A380. While you may have heard of Airbus, though, there are probably some things you don’t know about it. Below are several fun facts about Airbus.
#1) World’s Largest Aerospace Manufacturing Company
Airbus holds the title of being the world’s largest aerospace manufacturing company. It manufactures and delivers more airplanes per year than all other companies, including Boeing. In 2019, Airbus delivered over 800 airplanes, which was 8% more deliveries than it had in 2018.
#2) Developing Liquid Hydrogen Airplanes
While most of its airplanes use combustion jet engines, Airbus is currently developing a series of liquid hydrogen airplanes. In September 2020, the aerospace manufacturing company unveiled concepts for three airplanes that are powered by liquid hydrogen. Collectively known as “ZEROe,” Airbus says they will become the world’s first zero-emission commercial airplanes.
#3) Proprietary Numbering System
Airbus has developed a proprietary numbering system for its airplanes. Each airplane is given an alphanumeric string for its model number, which is followed by a dash and then a three-number code. Other aerospace manufacturing companies use a different numbering system. Nonetheless, Airbus’s numbering system makes it easy for airplanes, as well as other organizations and individuals, to identify its airplanes.
#4) Over a Dozen Subsidiaries
As the world’s largest aerospace manufacturing company, it shouldn’t come as a surprise to learn that Airbus has over a dozen subsidiaries. These are companies that are owned — either partially or wholly — by Airbus. Some of its subsidiaries include Airbus APWorks, CRISA, Dornier Consulting, Satair, Stelia Aerospace, Airbus Academy and Airbus Transport International.
#5) The A320 Was the First Fly-By-Wire Commercial Airplane
Airbus’s A320 was the first commercial airplane to feature a fly-by-wire control system. Fly-by-wire, of course, means that the cockpit has an electronic control system rather than a manual or mechanical control system. When Airbus designed the A320, it wanted to pioneer a new and more effective control system. As a result, it developed a fly-by-wire control system. Similar fly-by-wire control systems have since made their way into the cockpits of other commercial airplanes.
#6) Develops Airplanes for the Military
In addition to manufacturing airplanes for civilians and commercial airlines, Airbus manufactures airplanes for the military. It’s one of the leading suppliers of military airplanes. Airbus has contracts in place with several militaries, including the U.S. military, to supply jets, helicopters and other aerospace vehicles.