Airbus 300 American Airlines airplane model. On May 28, 1969, France and West Germany decided to go ahead with the development of the European Airbus, as it had become. Constructions of the A300 began in September of 1969, and in December 1970 Airbus Industrie was established to oversee the project. The first aircraft made its inaugural flight on October 28, 1972. The A300-600 first flew on July 8, 1983, and has been the major production version. It has a maximum cruising speed at 25,000 ft. of 553 mph, long-range cruising speed at 31,000 ft. of 543 mph, and a range with 267 passengers and baggage of 4,330 miles.