In 1969, European aerospace was in the doldrums. The sector's once-illustrious names had faded and, competing against each other, lagged far behind the Americans, who commanded more than 80% of the market for commercial aircraft. Against this backdrop, on 29th  May 1969, ministers from Germany and France agreed a new approach: a partnership between European nations, later joined by Spain and the UK, to develop the first Airbus aircraft, the twin-aisle A300.  Frankly, few people gave this…

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