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A340 - What Are It's Short-comings?  
User currently offlineCxsjr From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Posted (8 years 5 months 1 week 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 3123 times:

OK, before I start, apologies as I'm sure this topic has been covered many times before but in many different threads covering many different aspects.

Can someone summarise the precise problems with the A340-300/500/600/600IGW as experienced by the airlines. My question comes from the Emirates boss quote where he says they will not take the A340 in its current form. He's looking for a quad derivative of the A370.

No A -v- B please, unless of course it's a comparison on range/cost etc.

Thanks in advance folks.

11 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineWINGS From Portugal, joined May 2005, 2831 posts, RR: 68
Reply 1, posted (8 years 5 months 1 week 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 3116 times:

Quoting Cxsjr (Thread starter):
My question comes from the Emirates boss quote where he says they will not take the A340 in its current form. He's looking for a quad derivative of the A370.

Fuel consumption of the A346HGW vs the B773ER.

Regards,
Wings



Aviation Is A Passion.
User currently offlineRaffik From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2006, 1718 posts, RR: 4
Reply 2, posted (8 years 5 months 1 week 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 3054 times:

Quoting Cxsjr (Thread starter):
they will not take the A340 in its current form

Don't they already operate the A340 in it's current form- the A340-300 & A340-500 ??



Happy -go- lucky kinda guy!
User currently offlineDfwRevolution From United States of America, joined Jan 2010, 997 posts, RR: 51
Reply 3, posted (8 years 5 months 1 week 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 3033 times:

Quoting Raffik (Reply 2):
Don't they already operate the A340 in it's current form- the A340-300 & A340-500 ??

He's refering to EK's order for 20 A340-600/HGW which the airline would very much like not to take.

The A343 are a temporary fleet member and will not contribute to the long-term fleet planning. There are no plans to dispose of the A345, but EK's large 772LR order will soon make them redundant.

EK's long-term fleet will likely consist of:

787 (possibly A350, but it appears Boeing now has the edge)
777LR
A380

Quoting Cxsjr (Thread starter):
Can someone summarise the precise problems with the A340-300/500/600/600IGW as experienced by the airlines.

They are outperformed by the 777.

Considering the A340NG (-500/600) they are much heavier than their respective 777 models. They require more fuel, to move less passengers and cargo, a shorter distance, at a slower speed. Throw in lower dispatch reliability and early replacement of some Trent 500 engines for good measure.

Not a great combo...


User currently offlineCxsjr From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 4, posted (8 years 5 months 1 week 2 days 6 hours ago) and read 2928 times:

Quoting Raffik (Reply 2):
Don't they already operate the A340 in it's current form- the A340-300 & A340-500 ??

 checkmark  They do indeed.

Sorry, I should have made this clearer; I think he meant they wouldn't take any A340-600HGW.  smile 


User currently offlineCoa747 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 5, posted (8 years 5 months 1 week 2 days 5 hours ago) and read 2745 times:

A340-300 has many short comings. One of which is it is severely underpowered meaning when it is loaded to max takeoff weight it REALLY struggles to climb. I have seen first hand the difference in takeoff distance and climb profile for the 777 and A340-300 and it is staggering. Throw in a hot muggy summer day in Houston and the daily LH flight to Frankfurt is lucky to achieve 300 feet per minute. That is after departing with almost no cargo. It flies slower than the 777, so when you are talking about a trans-Pacific crossing it adds up and the traffic can stack up behind one. I have heard it has the nickname of garbage truck at Cathay Pacific because it is big and slow.

The A340-600 also operated by Cathay has so much play in the fuselage that it is known by many names my favorite is the hot dog. The movement of the rear fuselage can be so bad that mirrors in the back lavs have shattered due to the extreme flexing. It also suffers from fuel burn issues when compared to the faster and more fuel efficient 777-300ER.


User currently offlineZvezda From Lithuania, joined Aug 2004, 10511 posts, RR: 64
Reply 6, posted (8 years 5 months 1 week 2 days 5 hours ago) and read 2732 times:

Weight, fuel consumption, dispatch reliability and cruise speed (affects utilization) are all inferior vis-a-vis the B777.

User currently offlineBA787 From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2006, 2596 posts, RR: 7
Reply 7, posted (8 years 5 months 1 week 2 days 5 hours ago) and read 2705 times:

Quoting Raffik (Reply 2):
Don't they already operate the A340 in it's current form- the A340-300 & A340-500 ??

They do indeed. They operate the A345's from Dubai to North America, primarily JFK I think

Tom


User currently offlineKaran69 From India, joined Oct 2004, 2893 posts, RR: 18
Reply 8, posted (8 years 5 months 1 week 2 days 5 hours ago) and read 2657 times:

Quoting DfwRevolution (Reply 3):
EK's long-term fleet will likely consist of:

787 (possibly A350, but it appears Boeing now has the edge)
777LR
A380

Mate, i think the 50 odd 777-300ERs should also have some place in their future.

As far as the 343 goes altough it is not the best performer, Airbus did initially make it as a competitor to the 747-200, and it was sure a better performer than that aircraft.
When Boeing released the 772, the aircraft dynamics and performance were revoloutionary and unheard of at the era, no wonder it won the war against the 343 which altough being elegance was nothing compared in performance to the 772ER

Karan


User currently offlineTom_EDDF From Germany, joined Apr 2000, 452 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (8 years 5 months 1 week 2 days 4 hours ago) and read 2573 times:

Quoting Coa747 (Reply 5):
Throw in a hot muggy summer day in Houston and the daily LH flight to Frankfurt is lucky to achieve 300 feet per minute. That is after departing with almost no cargo. It flies slower than the 777, so when you are talking about a trans-Pacific crossing it adds up and the traffic can stack up behind one. I have heard it has the nickname of garbage truck at Cathay Pacific because it is big and slow.

Not heard about that particular nick name talking to my friends in CX so far. May I ask if you were flying that Lufthansa A340 out of IAH or are you an air traffic controler, or how come you know that well about its cargo load and its initial climb rate?

To my knowledge, the A340-300 has its shortcomings, largely in terms of efficiency due to the higher consumption and maintenance cost of the 4 engines and cruise speed can be an issue on very long segments relative to the 777/747. It also has a more narrow fuselage than the B competitor, which makes it more difficult to make best use of the available floor space, may it be 9 abreast seating in Y or fitting in the latest first class products, but...

... climb and take off performance "problems" are largely overstated for reasons that have been discussed here many times, including the differences between quads and twins in case of an engine failure past V1. The A340 also has a climb gradient thats slow in the initial phase, but comparably good at higher altitudes. Runway requirements are also not limiting its operations compared to other aircraft in this class, rather on the contrary (again, think engine out). People here often assume the A340 being a very poor climber due to its slow inital climb which seems to make it do sightseeing departures on hot summer days. But, the 747-400 shows a similar characteristics under such conditions, and, as on other aircraft, the A340 is often times "flexed" on TO.

... the airway congestion issue also seems to be overstated as most airlines operate the A340-300 at M.82 which is more than the speed an A310, 757 or 767 are operated at (m.80) flying the most congested routes on this planet (transatlantic). The A330 is also typically operated at M.82 by most carriers on most routes. There was a range issue with the 257t/-5C2 powered variant (the -311/-211) which forced them to operate at LRC which could drop to M.78 or so. That has been solved with the -313X/E.

Actually there are airlines which are quite happy with the aircraft, including lufthansa, that also benefit from commonality effect between large airbus fleets offsetting some portion of the efficiency shortcoming that was increased with the latest fuel price crisis.

Looking back, airbus would have most likely been better off with designing the A330/A340 family as a family of twins available with 2 classes of engines to cover a wider range of MTOWs than the A330 can support. Unfortunately, the engines providing the required growth like the Trent 800 and GE90 were not available back then...

Cheers
T


User currently offlineScottB From United States of America, joined Jul 2000, 6808 posts, RR: 32
Reply 10, posted (8 years 5 months 1 week 2 days 4 hours ago) and read 2415 times:

Quoting Zvezda (Reply 6):
Weight, fuel consumption, dispatch reliability and cruise speed (affects utilization) are all inferior vis-a-vis the B777

Not to mention that four engines will almost always cost more to maintain in the long run than two.


User currently offlineRaggi From Norway, joined Oct 2000, 1002 posts, RR: 1
Reply 11, posted (8 years 5 months 1 week 2 days 3 hours ago) and read 2283 times:

Quoting Karan69 (Reply 8):
Quoting DfwRevolution (Reply 3):
EK's long-term fleet will likely consist of:

787 (possibly A350, but it appears Boeing now has the edge)
777LR
A380

Mate, i think the 50 odd 777-300ERs should also have some place in their future.

777LR is a common designator for the Longer Range 777s, namely the -200LR and the -300ER.


raggi



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