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Why Did Airbus Make The A340 A Quad?  
User currently offlineBeauing From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Posted (9 years 3 months 1 week 6 days 10 hours ago) and read 11883 times:

Why did Airbus make the A340 a quad? I have read some other posts that say that was the state of technology when the aircraft was launched in 1987. But the Boeing 777 twin was launched just three years later in 1990. Was there some technological breakthrough in those three years that allowed Boeing (and the engine manufacturers) to a bigger plane with only two engines?

121 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineAerofan From United States of America, joined Aug 2004, 1517 posts, RR: 2
Reply 1, posted (9 years 3 months 1 week 6 days 10 hours ago) and read 11872 times:

Nope- They just wanted to sell planes to SRB  Smile

User currently offlineEI A330-200 From Sweden, joined Apr 2001, 409 posts, RR: 4
Reply 2, posted (9 years 3 months 1 week 6 days 10 hours ago) and read 11871 times:

I'm not an aircraft specialist or anything, but I believe that it was done for ultimate efficency. The smaller "hair-dryer" engines would allow the aircraft to fly similar distances with less fuel burn. I think sorta like the RJ-100/
Avro program. Could be wrong.



Long live Aer Lingus, the Flying Shamrock!
User currently offlineVivek0072 From India, joined Jun 2005, 284 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (9 years 3 months 1 week 6 days 10 hours ago) and read 11847 times:

4 engines 4 long haul, thats what i think, bigger a capacity plane with more range to do the trans pacific.


That life's most failures were people who did not realise how close they were to success when they gave up. - Edison.
User currently offlineBeauing From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 4, posted (9 years 3 months 1 week 6 days 10 hours ago) and read 11846 times:

Quoting Aerofan (Reply 1):
Nope- They just wanted to sell planes to SRB

I don't understand what that means.

Quoting EI A330-200 (Reply 2):
but I believe that it was done for ultimate efficency. The smaller "hair-dryer" engines would allow the aircraft to fly similar distances with less fuel burn.

I thought the 777 had better fuel efficency.


User currently offlineBuyantUkhaa From Mongolia, joined May 2004, 2900 posts, RR: 3
Reply 5, posted (9 years 3 months 1 week 6 days 10 hours ago) and read 11829 times:

ETOPS must have played a role; they did eventually bring out a twin version of the 340  Smile


I scratch my head, therefore I am.
User currently offlineBeauing From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 6, posted (9 years 3 months 1 week 6 days 10 hours ago) and read 11818 times:

Quoting Vivek0072 (Reply 3):
4 engines 4 long haul, thats what i think, bigger a capacity plane with more range to do the trans pacific

But the A340 is a smaller plane with less capacity than the 777, and the new 777LR will have more range, no?


User currently offlineGlom From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2005, 2818 posts, RR: 10
Reply 7, posted (9 years 3 months 1 week 6 days 9 hours ago) and read 11812 times:

Quoting EI A330-200 (Reply 2):
The smaller "hair-dryer" engines would allow the aircraft to fly similar distances with less fuel burn. I think sorta like the RJ-100/
Avro program.

There seems to be disagreements as to whether twins or quads are more efficient all things being equal. In this case, however, the twin wins, whether all things are equal or not.

Quoting Beauing (Thread starter):
Why did Airbus make the A340 a quad?

The engines weren't available when the A330/340 was being developed. The A340 is a derivative of the A330. Fitting honkin' cannons under the wings may not have worked. ETOPS wasn't as favourable.


User currently offlineBeauing From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 8, posted (9 years 3 months 1 week 6 days 9 hours ago) and read 11799 times:

Quoting BuyantUkhaa (Reply 5):
ETOPS must have played a role; they did eventually bring out a twin version of the 340

I think that's called the A350 and it won't be ready until 2010.


User currently offlineSNATH From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 3247 posts, RR: 22
Reply 9, posted (9 years 3 months 1 week 6 days 9 hours ago) and read 11769 times:

Quoting Glom (Reply 7):
The A340 is a derivative of the A330.

Is this right? I thought they were designed at the same time.

Tony



Nikon: we don't want more pixels, we want better pixels.
User currently offlineEI A330-200 From Sweden, joined Apr 2001, 409 posts, RR: 4
Reply 10, posted (9 years 3 months 1 week 6 days 9 hours ago) and read 11734 times:

Quoting SNATH (Reply 9):
Quoting Glom (Reply 7):
The A340 is a derivative of the A330.

Is this right? I thought they were designed at the same time.

Tony

Actually, I believe that the A330 is the derivative of the A340. Pretty sure that the A340 debuted before the A330. Again, could be wrong, though. As to my earlier comment, the A340 was far more efficient when it debuted than anything out there that could do the same distances.



Long live Aer Lingus, the Flying Shamrock!
User currently offlineGlom From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2005, 2818 posts, RR: 10
Reply 11, posted (9 years 3 months 1 week 6 days 9 hours ago) and read 11725 times:

Quoting SNATH (Reply 9):
Is this right? I thought they were designed at the same time.

Yes. They're derivatives of each other. The A340 took to the air first. Language issue.


User currently offlineScorpio From Belgium, joined Oct 2001, 5032 posts, RR: 44
Reply 12, posted (9 years 3 months 1 week 6 days 9 hours ago) and read 11723 times:

Quoting SNATH (Reply 9):
Is this right? I thought they were designed at the same time.

You're right. Both were designed at the same time. The A340 even entered service almost a year before the A330.


User currently offlineMD11junkie From Argentina, joined May 2005, 3148 posts, RR: 57
Reply 13, posted (9 years 3 months 1 week 6 days 9 hours ago) and read 11710 times:

Quoting Scorpio (Reply 12):
You're right. Both were designed at the same time. The A340 even entered service almost a year before the A330.

They were designed at the same, their EIS is almost the same, and they both share the same wing. Talk about commonality!  Wink
The A340's been for the last couple of years been the only planes cruising the Southern Pacific between Australia and South America, replacing the 747s. Though the 747s could come into service again with AR, anytime.

3 or 4 engines 4 long haul! Big grin

Cheers! wave 
Gastón - The MD-11 Junkie



There is no such thing as Boeing vs Airbus as the queen of the skies has three engines, winglets and the sweetest nose!
User currently offlineIkramerica From United States of America, joined May 2005, 21534 posts, RR: 59
Reply 14, posted (9 years 3 months 1 week 6 days 9 hours ago) and read 11655 times:

Yes, and didn't the A340 EIS first?

The GE90 was not available in the late 80s. And the high thrust version wasn't available until the 772ER. Now, for the A350, the larger GEnx engine will produce the same thrust as the original GE90s at greater efficiency (it is hoped), which is why they can offer the A350, though I'm still not sure how they plan to fly 8000nm+ with that size plane with that rated engine.



Of all the things to worry about... the Wookie has no pants.
User currently offlineGeoffm From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2004, 2111 posts, RR: 6
Reply 15, posted (9 years 3 months 1 week 6 days 9 hours ago) and read 11643 times:

Quoting Beauing (Reply 4):
Quoting Aerofan (Reply 1):
Nope- They just wanted to sell planes to SRB

I don't understand what that means.

SRB - Sir Richard Branson, ie Virgin Atlantic. He had a slogan/saying/off-the-cuff-comment that 4 engines are best 4 long haul...

Geoff M.


User currently offlineDavid L From United Kingdom, joined May 1999, 9524 posts, RR: 42
Reply 16, posted (9 years 3 months 1 week 6 days 9 hours ago) and read 11639 times:

Quoting Beauing (Reply 4):
Quoting Aerofan (Reply 1):
Nope- They just wanted to sell planes to SRB

I don't understand what that means.

Sir Richard Branson?


User currently offlineJetdeltamsy From United States of America, joined Nov 2000, 2987 posts, RR: 8
Reply 17, posted (9 years 3 months 1 week 6 days 9 hours ago) and read 11574 times:

Passengers like having 4 engines, especially on long, overwater routes.

Airbus was able to make the 4 engine system very efficient.

I think that played into the decision to go with four.



Tired of airline bankruptcies....EA/PA/TW and finally DL.
User currently offlineSNATH From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 3247 posts, RR: 22
Reply 18, posted (9 years 3 months 1 week 6 days 9 hours ago) and read 11563 times:

Quoting Jetdeltamsy (Reply 17):
Airbus was able to make the 4 engine system very efficient.

I think that played into the decision to go with four.

And now they admitted that Boeing was right after all and are going with two... Well, cudos to them for admitting that they were wrong!

Tony



Nikon: we don't want more pixels, we want better pixels.
User currently offlineMD11junkie From Argentina, joined May 2005, 3148 posts, RR: 57
Reply 19, posted (9 years 3 months 1 week 6 days 9 hours ago) and read 11539 times:

Quoting SNATH (Reply 18):
And now they admitted that Boeing was right after all and are going with two... Well, cudos to them for admitting that they were wrong!

Tony

Yeah, that's why the A380 is a twin  Wink

Cheers! wave 
Gastón - The MD-11 Junkie



There is no such thing as Boeing vs Airbus as the queen of the skies has three engines, winglets and the sweetest nose!
User currently offlineSNATH From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 3247 posts, RR: 22
Reply 20, posted (9 years 3 months 1 week 6 days 9 hours ago) and read 11511 times:

Quoting MD11junkie (Reply 19):
Yeah, that's why the A380 is a twin

It's definitely why the A350 will be a twin though!

Tony



Nikon: we don't want more pixels, we want better pixels.
User currently offlineFlyAUA From Austria, joined May 2005, 4604 posts, RR: 56
Reply 21, posted (9 years 3 months 1 week 6 days 9 hours ago) and read 11483 times:

The main reason was ETOPS. Back when the A340 was made it was still an issue to do those routes with 2 engines. But along with that came the other advantages like range, and a much quieter cabin. The benefits were multiple. The B777 (also a technological breakthrough) proved popular in a time where ETOPS was not an issue anymore... hence the twin instead of quad  Wink


Not drinking, also isn't a solution!
User currently offlineAntiuser From Italy, joined May 2004, 657 posts, RR: 1
Reply 22, posted (9 years 3 months 1 week 6 days 9 hours ago) and read 11468 times:

Quoting SNATH (Reply 20):
It's definitely why the A350 will be a twin though!

Who knows, maybe they'll come out with a quad version of the A350, with even longer range! Big grin



Azzurri Campioni del Mondo!
User currently offlineBeauing From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 23, posted (9 years 3 months 1 week 6 days 8 hours ago) and read 11404 times:

Quoting FlyAUA (Reply 21):
The main reason was ETOPS. Back when the A340 was made it was still an issue to do those routes with 2 engines.

How did it get to NOT be an issue in three short years? Did Airbus just lack the imagination to envision a big twin? Did Boeing push the envelope on ETOPS or the engine manufacturers?


User currently offlineMD11junkie From Argentina, joined May 2005, 3148 posts, RR: 57
Reply 24, posted (9 years 3 months 1 week 6 days 8 hours ago) and read 11368 times:

Quoting Beauing (Reply 23):
How did it get to NOT be an issue in three short years? Did Airbus just lack the imagination to envision a big twin? Did Boeing push the envelope on ETOPS or the engine manufacturers?

There's still no ETOPS rating or ETOPS capable plane for the southern pacific, certainly, there are parts of the world where ETOPS is STILL an issue.

Cheers! wave 
Gastón - The MD-11 Junkie



There is no such thing as Boeing vs Airbus as the queen of the skies has three engines, winglets and the sweetest nose!
25 Gigneil : We're missing a big part of why the A340 didn't live up to expectations, and its all IAE's fault. The A340 was supposed to feature IAE SuperFans, an e
26 Beauing : What are some of the routes that the 777 can't fly?
27 Post contains images MD11junkie : Thanks for the info!! I didn't know this! It's great to learn something new everyday! Now isn't IAE = PW? I smell something weird here Cheers! Gastó
28 N1120A : Funny how airlines think quite differently from you and the A340 has neither more capacity nor more range than the 777 Yet they still don't have a co
29 Post contains images MD11junkie : EZE-AKL SCL-AKL Cheers! Gastón - The MD-11 Junkie
30 Beauing : Is that ALL?
31 Ikramerica : Boeing says the bleedless 787 engines it will use will contribute up to 8% of the new efficiency. Can't see how a bleed air version will contribute 1
32 Post contains images MD11junkie : No, those are the only ones I know Even though, if those were to be all - the ETOPS incapability prevents these airlines from buying the "efficient t
33 Zvezda : Boeing was impetus behind the push for ETOPS 180, though of course the engine manufacturers played an important role. At the time of the A330/A340 de
34 Glom : But if the engines on a twin must be rated to a much higher thrust level for the engine out scenario, then presumably, during normal flight, they'll
35 Gigneil : It doesn't prove anything except that the 777 burns less fuel than an A340. It doesn't really prove or disprove the axiom. N
36 Zvezda : It doesn't prove that twins are always more efficient, but it proves that twins can be more efficient. Sorry for not being more clear in my earlier p
37 Post contains images Wukka : Yes, but you're still fighting the same physics that make the perpetual motion machine a pipe dream (for now, anyhow). Just starting one of those add
38 FlyAUA : Get your facts straight buddy! The issue was not resolved when Airbus certified their A340 in 1992. When Boeing rolled out their B777 in 1995 the iss
39 Beauing : Who said I didn't want to accept this? All I did was ask a question.
40 Post contains images FlyAUA : In that case, accept my apologies I thought that by highlighting the "not" you were making a point contrary to what I said.
41 Grimey : When the B777 was released the transatlantic laws were changed to allow for a twin engined jet to cross the Atlantic if they could get to a safe landi
42 BlueSky1976 : It's not the "three short years" we're talking about here. The first concept for what became A340 was drawn initially as early as 1982. Older members
43 Post contains images Mariner : And they think quite differently from me. I will go out of my way to avoid twins on trans-ocean flights. Four for long haul gets my dime every time.
44 StealthZ : Kind of curious about that.. I flew Transatlantic in 1989 on a Canadien 767 from Toronto to Amsterdam, I am sure they were breaking no laws then and
45 Gigneil : That isn't the case. The 767 and A300 and A310 had all been flying ETOPS within 138 minutes and later 180. The 777 was certificated for 180 minutes,
46 Kaneporta1 : I just want to complement the A330/340 development story here. Indeed the initial idea, sometime in the mid 80s was to develop the ultimate twin using
47 TGV : Well if we consider this, excerpt from the database from Airliners.net: 1)Two prototype A300B1s were built, the first of these flying from Toulouse,
48 LTBEWR : As to 757's, 767's, and A-300's and ETOPS over the Northern Atlantic Ocean in the 1980's-early 1990's, they had to take a slightly different route to
49 Starlionblue : No, the 330 and 340 are in most respects the same plane. Nope, the 346 and 773 are pretty equivalent. No again. as has been said, the 340 and 330 are
50 Zvezda : I won't go out of my way to avoid a quad (I'm writing this from LH458 -- an A340-600) but -- all else being equal -- I'll take the twin because of th
51 Timz : ETOPS across the Atlantic started around 1984; probably the decision to make the A340 a 4-eng was made somewhere around the same time? Twenty years of
52 OldAeroGuy : The 777 was never a tri-jet. You're thinking of the 7X7 which was precursor of the 767.
53 Gigneil : It was conceived as a trijet for about 30 minutes, but Boeing did abandon the plan. The idea even included a thrusting APU at one point. N
54 Hawker : On the general question of 2 vs 4 engines, and apart from the fuel consumption and ETOPS issues, I would have thought that 4 engines means twice the i
55 Gigneil : 1 GE90-115B1 is significantly more expensive to purchase, maintain, and spare than 2 CFM56-5Cs. N
56 Post contains images DfwRevolution : >> 1 GE90-115B1 is significantly more expensive to purchase, maintain, and spare than 2 CFM56-5Cs. How does a single Ge90-115 compare to 2 Rolls Royc
57 Starlionblue : There's ETOPS and ETOPS. ETOPS across the Atlantic is no biggie. The higher ETOPS ratings were not available. So a quad was needed for the Pacific an
58 OldAeroGuy : Never. The success of the 767 on the North Atlantic told Boeing a Twin could also succeed on the North Pacific. The thrusting APU idea came much late
59 Patrickj : The reason for four engines on the A340 has nothing to do with ETOPS but rather has to do with range, specifically with the fuel load needed to achiev
60 Beauing : So you need larger engines for Extended Range and Long Range? Not more fuel? Airbus achieves this 'parity' by cramming more people into coach and has
61 Dimsum : Nono, you are quite right, it obviously does require more fuel. But I believe bigger engines and more thrust is necessary to get a long range a/c off
62 Theredbaron : Thats the whole story of the 4 engine deal..great post you beat me to it !!! To add Info GE made the 777 not the other way around, the technology on
63 Beauing : Way too technical for me to understand. Could you dumb it down a bit? Theredbaron, you could give it a shot too.
64 Brons2 : The PW4000 with 112" fan was the launch engine for the 777.
65 Monteycarlos : Yes but those are new jets, only recently developed. If you take the early 777's and early A340s you'll find that until the ER came out, the 777 lack
66 PM : You make it sound like only GE were able to provide what the 777 needed. That's completely wrong. All three manufacturers were on the 777 from the st
67 BuyantUkhaa : I don't think we disagree, maybe I should have expressed myself better. I perfectly understand that having 4 engines instead of 2 reduces the wing be
68 Olympicbis : The only ones who decide to "cram" or not to "cram" are the customer airlines when they chose their cabin configuration. Airbus has nothing to do wit
69 BlueSky1976 : Nope, 777 WAS a trijet as a concept in the late 1970s. I used to have an old Polish aviation magazine with the pictures of the then-proposed 7N7 (whi
70 TheRedBaron : I agree not only because GE, maybe I did not explain myself properly... The 777 exists as a twin because of 2 factors, first was the avaliability of n
71 OldAeroGuy : The design study you're quoting has nothing to do with the current 777 airplane. In the mid '70s, there was a Trijet design that was part of the prop
72 Patrickj : It does not create more fuel capacity but allows the same wing to carry more fuel by volume (hence weight) thus increasing range significantly. The A
73 YULWinterSkies : Yes, and even though North American wanted a twin, they got orders from CO and NW, that were cancelled later for financial reasons. And AC is North A
74 FlyAUA : I am not questioning what you said or anything. Maybe it's just me after a long, busy day at work. But how does adding more weight (i.e. engines) fur
75 Starlionblue : The wing needs less internal structure, giving more room for fuel. Assuming you don't make it thinner that is. 1. Think of holding a ruler with one e
76 TJCAB : Let's not forget that it was airbus that introduced the widebody twin (A-300). Also, the A-310 was a medium-long range aircraft (at the time)
77 Patrickj : It can be confusing at first. What happens is that as mass is moved outboard the tendency to counter that mass must move inboard to keep forces in ba
78 Beauing : While it true that airlines are the ones who configure their planes, both Boeing and Airbus give 'typical' capacity figures based on a two or three c
79 BuyantUkhaa : Please pardon my ignorance, but isn't lift distribution determined solely by the aerodynamic shape of the wing? Assuming, for example, that the wing o
80 Post contains images Starlionblue : They bend very differently given the weight distribution along the span, and this significantly impacts lift. Thx Patrickj. I still need to think abo
81 BuyantUkhaa : Thanks, I didn't know it was that significant. I second that!
82 Iberiadc852 : I wonder what would have been your question if Airbus had named, for instance: instead of A330 --> A340A instead of A340 --> A340B Anyway, I think th
83 MarcoT : I'm quite ignorant about aerodynamics but I want to chime in the same. So excuse any beatiality that I will utter. The wings bend differently sure, b
84 Post contains images Beauing : It would have been, "Why Did Airbus Make the A340B a Quad?
85 Post contains images B2707SST : In theory, twins should be significantly more overpowered than quads, but it's interesting to compare the actual thrust-weight ratios for current air
86 BuyantUkhaa : Thinking about it again, how much would it differ? The first thing coming to my mind is that the difference would be only the cosine of the bending a
87 Starlionblue : Because the technology, and more importantly the market target, wasn't there at the time. I think I will revise my answer about bending, although I s
88 Beauing : Which make it all the more puzzeling that Airbus would make the A340 a quad instead of a twin.[Edited 2005-06-22 21:08:50]
89 Post contains images TPASXM787 : Ah, like a GE-115B?
90 Post contains images Iberiadc852 : Ok. I'm glad to hear that question. "Because for the twin we had already decided to name it the A340A. But actually, nothing important would have cha
91 Beauing : Something got lost in translation. What relevance does the name they chose have to the discussion? Airbus made their long range A340 a quad, three ye
92 Glom : This made me have a thought. First time, I know. We all take it for granted that Airbus are the real competition to Boeing in this game, but when the
93 Beauing : I think you might be on to something, although I think it was a rather expensive way to make a statement. I disagree that Boeing would have done a qu
94 David L : I.e. they'd have slapped that on to their 747s?
95 Glom : I'm not saying they would have sabotaged the quality of the product just for the sake of making it a quad. But, they may have been biased towards the
96 Airbazar : I'd say these 3 are off limits to the 777. JNB-GRU JNB-PER SYD-JNB
97 DAYflyer : When you power an aircraft with blowdryers instead of GE 90's, you get to hang 4 of them on the aircraft.
98 Post contains images Starlionblue : True, but that isn't why it became a quad It's a complicated story but it's my firm belief that customer pressure at that time was for a quad. And yo
99 Iberiadc852 : If you are really not giving such relevance to the names, what do you mean by a A340 quad (and a A340 twin)? Would not be the A330 the same as the su
100 United787 : What is IAE?
101 Post contains links Grimey : On May 30, 1995, the 777 became the first airplane in aviation history to earn U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) approval to fly extended-ran
102 Beauing : No, the A340 has a greater range and carries more pax than the A330, if they were the same what would be theh point of building the A340 at all?
103 Beauing : International Aero Engines
104 SWISSER : Thats why they sell the A345 and A346 now?
105 SWISSER : Airbus was still a small player with only 10% of the market share when the A340 came out! More a lack of cash I think!
106 DAYflyer : Another interesting find is how horribly low the A-380-800 is on this chart; even frther down than the A-340 series. Does this mean that Airbus has f
107 Gigneil : The A380-800 passenger version has a HUUUUUUUUUUGE wing with extremely, extremely low loading. It probably could take off with a couple of hamsters d
108 Avalon : There are various flights from Australia that either need or benefit from quads. Think of East coast Australia to the USA, particularly from Mel. You
109 Patrickj : Its not an ignorant question at all but rather a very valid one. The force affecting the wings capability to carry fuel is not related to the distrib
110 Zvezda : Have you ever tried to run a hampster on kerosene? I haven't, but my guess is that a new fuel would need to be adapted for aviation use.
111 Iberiadc852 : Ok. I understand now that you are talking about the 340-500/600. In that case, it all makes sense to me. Sorry, because I always thought you were tal
112 OldAeroGuy : If you think this is a concern, you need to do more research on how ETOPS operations are planned, scheduled and operated. The situation you've descri
113 Beauing : What's LROPS? All airliners?
114 Post contains links and images MD11junkie : LROPS - Long Range Operations http://encycl.opentopia.com/term/ETOPS/LROPS Cheers! Gastón - The MD-11 Junkie
115 BuyantUkhaa : Ah, I think I see what you mean now. You do not merely consider the lift as such, but consider the "net" lift after deducting fuel weight. Obviously
116 Morvious : They did build the A330 series with 2 engines right?? And the A350 will bring some nice competition to the 777 market. It is not admitting wrong or r
117 BuyantUkhaa : The solution to the end of fossil fuel! Hamsters. Seriously though, if we can think of something that will fuel planes when kerosene runs out, that w
118 Post contains links Starlionblue : " target=_blank>http://encycl.opentopia.com/term/ETO...LROPS Funny how that encyclopedia gets it wrong. ETOPS stands for Extended-range Twin-engine Op
119 Post contains images MD11junkie : Really? Well.. that prevents airlines like SA, QF, AR, LA from having the "almighty" 777 since they fly those routes a lot. A340s and 747s - 4 engine
120 DAYflyer : Good point.
121 Starlionblue : So THAT'S what happened to the SuperFan! My point stands. Those markets are tiny compared to the sum of flights between SE Asia, North America and Eu
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