A look at the Airbus A320 plane that crashed in France

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The Airbus A320, the model of plane that crashed in France on Tuesday, is a workhorse of modern aviation.

Here are some key facts about it:

-Similar to the Boeing 737, the single-aisle, twin-engine jet is used to connect cities that are between one and five hours apart.

-The A320 family of planes has a good safety record, with just 0.14 fatal accidents per million takeoffs, according to a Boeing safety analysis.

- Before Tuesday, the last crash of an A320 was AirAsia Flight 8501, which fell into the Java sea off the coast of Indonesia on Dec. 28.

-There are about 3,600 A320s in operation worldwide, according to Airbus.

-Airbus, a European plane-making and aerospace group, also makes nearly identical versions of the A320: the smaller A318 and A319 and the stretched A321. An additional 2,500 of those jets are flying.

-The plane is certified to fly up to 39,000 feet, its maximum altitude before its rate of climb begins to erode. The plane has an absolute flight limit of 42,000 feet. But it can begin to experience problems as low as 37,000 feet, depending on temperature and weight, including fuel, cargo and passengers.

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