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Why Constant Upgrades For 777 & None For A340?  
User currently offlineTriniA340 From Trinidad and Tobago, joined Nov 2005, 107 posts, RR: 0
Posted (6 years 1 month 3 days 10 hours ago) and read 6709 times:



Quote:
Qantas has been pressing Boeing for some time for improvements to the 777-300ER and, according to Emirates president Tim Clark, Boeing has a package in hand.

http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au...ory/0,25197,24256923-23349,00.html

It seems that Boeing is always realising improvements to its 777 line, esp the 777-300ER, such as decreased fuel burn soon after EIS and now this new upgrade, plus a couple smaller ones over the past years.
Yet it appears that Airbus has barely done anything to make the A340 more competitive, besides the High Gross Weight program. I know it may be because of the A350, but the -1000 will not be here till 2015.
Can't the A345/6 be improved until then? It seems B is always squeezing out further improvements to the 777. So doesn't the A340 have room for further improvements also?


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32 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineIkramerica From United States of America, joined May 2005, 21534 posts, RR: 59
Reply 1, posted (6 years 1 month 3 days 10 hours ago) and read 6705 times:

It would never be enough. They tried it with the HGW and E(?) and such, and it still didn't result in new sales, and in fact, didn't prevent further cancelations.

Look at the 748? Even though it's much improved over the 744, it hasn't lead to an influx of passenger sales either.



Of all the things to worry about... the Wookie has no pants.
User currently offlineDL767captain From United States of America, joined Mar 2007, 2539 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (6 years 1 month 3 days 10 hours ago) and read 6647 times:



Quoting Ikramerica (Reply 1):
Look at the 748? Even though it's much improved over the 744, it hasn't lead to an influx of passenger sales either.

Ya but the biggest problem hindering the 748 is that it fits in a very strange spot. Between the 77W and A380 isn't a good place to be right now. In reality i think boeing pretty much gave up on the 747 as a passenger version realizing that it is better used as a freighter now. But since the cost to develop the 748i wasn't much more, especially now that the 748f and 748i have the same fuselage, that they may as well offer it.

The strange thing is that Boeing seems to have traded places with airbus. Airbus will most likely replace the 777 range with the A350 while Boeing replaces the A330 range with the 787. Sort of a strange shift. If boeing were able to make a significant upgrade to the 777 and be able to have it out at the earliest by the A350 EIS then Boeing may have a chance. But it looks like the A350 is going to be the new 777 while the 787 will be the new A330.


User currently offlineStickShaker From Australia, joined Sep 2004, 757 posts, RR: 5
Reply 3, posted (6 years 1 month 2 days 21 hours ago) and read 6192 times:

Boeing have stated that Y3 wont be around until at least 2020 therefore they need to defend their market share by regularly updated and enhancing the 77W - particularly with the 350-1000 on the horizon.

Airbus, on the other hand have given up defending the 346 and are concentrating on its replacement (350-1000) along with the 359 and 358.

Quoting Ikramerica (Reply 1):
It would never be enough. They tried it with the HGW and E(?) and such, and it still didn't result in new sales, and in fact, didn't prevent further cancelations.

The 345/6 program was originally costed at around $3B - the HGW version cost more again. To continue the process of development would simply be pouring good money after bad into a deep hole. Given the size of the investment Airbus would not have given up easily but they essentially conceded defeat when they launched the 350XWB.

Regards,
StickShaker


User currently offlineJAL From Canada, joined Apr 2000, 5085 posts, RR: 8
Reply 4, posted (6 years 1 month 2 days 21 hours ago) and read 6152 times:

Good question, haven't seen that many improvements to the A340 by Airbus.


Work Hard But Play Harder
User currently offlineAstuteman From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2005, 10070 posts, RR: 97
Reply 5, posted (6 years 1 month 2 days 19 hours ago) and read 5923 times:
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Quoting JAL (Reply 4):
Good question, haven't seen that many improvements to the A340 by Airbus.

As others have said, Airbus have added 400Nm to the range of the A346 with the introduction of the HGW, but it still isn't good enough.
The money is better spent on the A350

Rgds


User currently offlineIkramerica From United States of America, joined May 2005, 21534 posts, RR: 59
Reply 6, posted (6 years 1 month 2 days 19 hours ago) and read 5824 times:



Quoting JAL (Reply 4):
Good question, haven't seen that many improvements to the A340 by Airbus.

There have been plenty of improvements on the A340 over time. From the original A340-300, there were A343 improvements as well as a stretch and range NG version, the A345/A346 family, which was again improved twice.

This is similar to the 777 development, from 777 to 777HGW, then 773 and finally 77L and 77W.

But you they could do it again and it still wouldn't make a lick of difference for the A340. It would be like building a 767NG instead of a 787. Customers wouldn't buy it.

And it's yet to be proven that a 777NG (10-15% SFC improvement over the current 77L/77W) will be popular or suffer the same fate as the A346/5HGW and 748I…



Of all the things to worry about... the Wookie has no pants.
User currently offlineAndaman From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 7, posted (6 years 1 month 2 days 19 hours ago) and read 5823 times:



Quoting TriniA340 (Thread starter):
So doesn't the A340 have room for further improvements also?

Finnair got four new A340-300E planes 2007-2008, the E standing for 'enhancement'. Sorry I couldn't find the source which the improvements were exactly, the cargo capacity was one thing if I remember right.


User currently offlineTeme82 From Finland, joined Mar 2007, 1535 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (6 years 1 month 2 days 19 hours ago) and read 5813 times:
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Quoting Andaman (Reply 7):
Finnair got four new A340-300E planes 2007-2008, the E standing for 'enhancement'. Sorry I couldn't find the source which the improvements were exactly, the cargo capacity was one thing if I remember right.

A bit better tweaked engines. LCD monitors in the cockpit etc..



Flying high and low
User currently offlineRevelation From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 12589 posts, RR: 25
Reply 9, posted (6 years 1 month 2 days 19 hours ago) and read 5813 times:



Quoting DL767captain (Reply 2):
The strange thing is that Boeing seems to have traded places with airbus. Airbus will most likely replace the 777 range with the A350 while Boeing replaces the A330 range with the 787.

Interesting thought, but I see some differences:
- These two things are happening around 5 years apart
- The A350 will not replace the entire 777 range (A350-1000 is not as capable as current or future 777-300ER)
- The 787 family is more capable than the A330 family

Quoting StickShaker (Reply 3):
Boeing have stated that Y3 wont be around until at least 2020

It'll be interesting to see what happens. Clearly 787 rollout will keep Boeing engineering busy till 2012 or so. CFM's next gen engine is projected for 2017 or so, and chances are the 737 follow-on will follow soon thereafter. Seems there is some scope for either doing Y3 early or heavily tweaking 777 in the 2012+ time frame. The linked article above is saying Y3 is projected for the 2020-2025 time frame so it could very well be a tweaked 777 we'll be seeing.



Inspiration, move me brightly!
User currently offlineAirNZ From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 10, posted (6 years 1 month 2 days 18 hours ago) and read 5765 times:



Quoting Revelation (Reply 9):
The 787 family is more capable than the A330 family

A very debatable point, and one which is not borne out by facts which clearly show on specific missions the 787 will not outclass the A330 at all. Yet you put forward your opinion as fact.


User currently offlineIkramerica From United States of America, joined May 2005, 21534 posts, RR: 59
Reply 11, posted (6 years 1 month 2 days 18 hours ago) and read 5724 times:

Quoting AirNZ (Reply 10):
A very debatable point, and one which is not borne out by facts which clearly show on specific missions the 787 will not outclass the A330 at all. Yet you put forward your opinion as fact.

As do you. It's only a.net back of the page calculations that have come to the "A330 is superior to 787" conclusion for various missions. Strong sales of the A330 are do mostly to current availability and much lower price. Taken OVERALL, that makes the A330 competitive and valuable.
Edit: anyway, he said more capable, not outclass, and the 787 is more capable. It flies more people further. That's more capable.  Wink

[Edited 2008-08-30 08:51:14]


Of all the things to worry about... the Wookie has no pants.
User currently offlineTriniA340 From Trinidad and Tobago, joined Nov 2005, 107 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (6 years 1 month 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 5430 times:

Oh, and I thought my thread was dead after only a couple hours, not realising it was moved to Tech/Ops!!

Quoting Andaman (Reply 7):
Finnair got four new A340-300E planes 2007-2008, the E standing for 'enhancement'.

I do know about all this, with the LCD replacing CRT screens, and upgraded engines etc, but I was really asking about the A345 & A346. Thanks for elaborating though, everybody.

Well, I think my question has been answered in that A is now focusing on the A350, instead of bothering too much with the A340, and has effectively given up on this market for the next few years, until the A350XWB comes online.



· longer · larger · farther · faster · higher · quieter · smoother ·
User currently offlineJetlagged From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2005, 2556 posts, RR: 24
Reply 13, posted (6 years 1 month 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 5300 times:

Boeing have a habit of building growth into their designs. So the early model is not as competitive as it might be, but can be stretched or have weight increases with more powerful engines. Airbus produced a more highly optimised aircraft in the A340-300. Good performance from day one, but less room for growth.


The glass isn't half empty, or half full, it's twice as big as it needs to be.
User currently offlineParapente From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2006, 1592 posts, RR: 10
Reply 14, posted (6 years 4 weeks 1 day 21 hours ago) and read 5004 times:

The "What is" debate on the 777-ERX is an interesting one.Primarily due to how close Boeing is keeping its cards to its chest. Why 'cos they don't exactly know what the 350-1000 is! It is of course "paper" and can therefore be manipulated far easier than a metal plane!

However there fave been some leaks and indeed by watching Airbus activity can give us a clue. So what might it be?

Engines. GE have stated that there will be GeneX learnings.I would suggest a slightly hotter, higher pressure core and better,cleaner burn at the back. Say 2-3% improvement? What they will not do is a new counterrotating core or new fan -too expensive.

Wings. As with the 748 replace existing wing extensions with the new blended design from the 787.Good for marketing purposes and probably worth an extra 1%

Nose.Replace the 767 nose (for that is whar it is)Graft the Carbon 787 nose on with a new carbon joining frame. Obvious weight saving and a state of the art cockpit and far greater comonality for those who have bought 7876's (everybody!) (Note Quantas and BA interest here.

Fuselage. Ribflattening to gain a couple of Ins either side. This technique saw the ligh of day with the NG330 Mk2.To make it 9 across. The 777 is far closer to 10 across at present. Add the extra width and there you have 10 abreast at 747 seat (Y class) comfort levels.
Are they suggesting this -you bet they are! Who noted a very strange 10 across mock up recently of the A350. It actually did more to proove it could'nt be done than could -so why do it?
'Cos Boeing just did!

Last 3. They could go AlLi on the fuselage -after all it was origonally designed for AlLi (Micro fracturing issues stopped it at the development stage. View -Only if they have to.

Carbon spars/Box section.Very expensive.

Small stretch.Possible -Boeingstated a 400 was possible 10 years ago. ut unlikley IMHO. Would impinge on range too much and certainly kill the 748i.

Result. A plane with a capacity of 25 seats greater than the 1000 and generally more space. More range than the 1000 and high comonality with the 787.

Oh and a great looking plane to boot!

Could all those changes make up for the fuel cosumption differental of a 95,000 lbs thrust engine Vs a 115lbs engine. Dunno but it would have to!

PS. Incorporate these changes to the 777-200LRX (mainly Biz class) and you will have your Lon-Syd non stop both ways right there IMHO.Again -The reason for Quantas/BA interest??


User currently offlineBaroque From Australia, joined Apr 2006, 15380 posts, RR: 59
Reply 15, posted (6 years 4 weeks 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 4968 times:

Are we looking in the wrong direction? The 330 is being improved considerably. Aside from the engines, I would have thought that most of these improvements would be easier to incorporate in the 340 than not to include??? Maybe a proportion of the 330 improvements will "drag" the 340 along willy nilly.

User currently offlineFlipdewaf From United Kingdom, joined Jul 2006, 1574 posts, RR: 1
Reply 16, posted (6 years 4 weeks 1 day 16 hours ago) and read 4899 times:
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Quoting Parapente (Reply 14):
Nose.Replace the 767 nose (for that is whar it is)Graft the Carbon 787 nose on with a new carbon joining frame. Obvious weight saving and a state of the art cockpit and far greater comonality for those who have bought 7876's (everybody!) (Note Quantas and BA interest here.

So no issues with having maybe +50C in dubai and perhaps -70C at altitude with this?

Quoting Parapente (Reply 14):
Fuselage. Ribflattening to gain a couple of Ins either side. This technique saw the ligh of day with the NG330 Mk2.To make it 9 across. The 777 is far closer to 10 across at present. Add the extra width and there you have 10 abreast at 747 seat (Y class) comfort levels.
Are they suggesting this -you bet they are! Who noted a very strange 10 across mock up recently of the A350. It actually did more to proove it could'nt be done than could -so why do it?
'Cos Boeing just did!



Quoting Parapente (Reply 14):
Small stretch.Possible -Boeingstated a 400 was possible 10 years ago. ut unlikley IMHO. Would impinge on range too much and certainly kill the 748i.

Can't do both, I think it would become too heavy.

I am a huge fan of the T7 but I dont think you can stick it in the microwave for 20secs and think its going to be up there with an all new design. I personally think boeing should do the stretch to the 400 with a reduced range and have the CASM go right down where the A333 is currently the king. 400 seat T7s on the north atlantic could make a killing.

Fred


User currently offlineSeaBosDca From United States of America, joined Sep 2007, 5518 posts, RR: 6
Reply 17, posted (6 years 4 weeks 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 4830 times:



Quoting AirNZ (Reply 10):
A very debatable point

I think it depends how you define "capable."

Can the 787 carry more, further, than the A330? Yes. Can it carry more on short haul? No. Is it more efficient? It depends on the mission.

But many people see the word "capable" as referring to payload/range. From that perspective, the 787 is more capable than the A330.


User currently offlineLightsaber From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 13153 posts, RR: 100
Reply 18, posted (6 years 4 weeks 11 hours ago) and read 4707 times:
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One point:

It generally takes 400+ of an airframe in service to justify the engineering costs behind the engineering improvements. That is one reason while successful airframes tend to be successful for a long time; improvement packages pay for themselves in the after market as well as by stimulating new sales (they might even generate a profit). The A345/A346 has received a fair number of upgrades (as already noted with the HGW and "E".) But since that didn't spike the sales koolaid... Its time for Airbus to spend the engineering budget on the replacement.

Quoting Baroque (Reply 15):
Maybe a proportion of the 330 improvements will "drag" the 340 along willy nilly.

Only if it spikes new sales. The fuel consumption gap is a wee bit too large.

Lightsaber



Societies that achieve a critical mass of ideas achieve self sustaining growth; others stagnate.
User currently offlineBaroque From Australia, joined Apr 2006, 15380 posts, RR: 59
Reply 19, posted (6 years 4 weeks 3 hours ago) and read 4655 times:



Quoting Lightsaber (Reply 18):

Quoting Baroque (Reply 15):
Maybe a proportion of the 330 improvements will "drag" the 340 along willy nilly.

Only if it spikes new sales. The fuel consumption gap is a wee bit too large.

I was assuming that many of the minor aero tweaks to the 330 would be easier to incorporate with the near identical 340s rather than run the 340 in the original rather than the improved version. They are on the one line and were designed to be as close to 100% compatible as possible (barring the minor difference of the number of engines!!).

Also if weight is being "lost" from the 330, most likely that too will feed to the 340.

That is, that the 340 would receive frame improvements as a sort of default mode. Even changes to the wings might be easier to run through rather than not if they did not relate to the nacelles.

The big difference is that with RR there is more pressure/benefit to improve the T700 than the T500. And of course the gap for the T500 with its competitor is greater just to make it more difficult. And with the CFM engines, again not much direct pressure although there might be some flow through changes even there.


User currently offlineJohnClipper From Hong Kong, joined Aug 2005, 845 posts, RR: 0
Reply 20, posted (5 years 11 months 3 weeks 3 days 18 hours ago) and read 3924 times:

What did the original "E" upgrade (since renamed the "X" upgrade) do?

User currently offlineDocLightning From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 19786 posts, RR: 59
Reply 21, posted (5 years 11 months 3 weeks 3 days 17 hours ago) and read 3902 times:



Quoting Baroque (Reply 15):
Are we looking in the wrong direction? The 330 is being improved considerably.

The 330 has the range to pull off the vast majority of routes. There are very few flights that are more long-haul than an A330 can do. It's no 77L, but it can do LHR-LAX.

Originally, it was made as a smaller, more efficient adjunct to an A340 fleet. And then some airlines did something that nobody was quite expecting; they bought only A330's and decided that they didn't actually have any flights necessitating an A340.

The A340 was the shocking disappointment, and the A330 has been the shocking success. Why? Because it's a great plane! And if A is smart, they will upgrade it. A350 or not.


User currently offlineA342 From Germany, joined Jul 2005, 4683 posts, RR: 3
Reply 22, posted (5 years 11 months 3 weeks 3 days 17 hours ago) and read 3896 times:



Quoting JohnClipper (Reply 20):
What did the original "E" upgrade (since renamed the "X" upgrade) do?

Actually these are two different upgrades. The X upgrade mainly increased the MTOW of the A333 and A342/343, while the E upgrade brought about the changes described above - LCD screens, changes to the trim system etc.



Exceptions confirm the rule.
User currently offlineR2rho From Germany, joined Feb 2007, 2642 posts, RR: 1
Reply 23, posted (5 years 11 months 3 weeks 3 days 14 hours ago) and read 3855 times:

Airbus had two programs going on in back in the days of A350 version 1.0: A340E+ and A340E++. The first with 6-7% improvement in overall efficiency, the second with low double-digit improvement (with respect to the standard A340). Ambitious weight reduction program, structural enhancements, a handful more seats, engine upgrades, ... The goal was to at least keep the A340 competitive against the 777 while the A350 version 1.0 took on the 787. With the decision to build the all-new A350XWB, these programs did not justify their large investment anymore, so they were cancelled and never saw the light of day. With the A350XWB, Airbus has effectively given up on the A340, and there is no sense in developing expensive upgrades anymore.

User currently offlineBaroque From Australia, joined Apr 2006, 15380 posts, RR: 59
Reply 24, posted (5 years 11 months 3 weeks 3 days 7 hours ago) and read 3755 times:



Quoting R2rho (Reply 23):
With the A350XWB, Airbus has effectively given up on the A340, and there is no sense in developing expensive upgrades anymore.

I am sure you are right R2rho, but what about the ongoing 330 improvements and their inclusion in the 340s almost by default as it must be easier to include them than to maintain the original specs?


25 ConcordeBoy : No, actually, JohnClipper is correct. The A340-313X was originally marketed as -313E, around the time the Celestars were first ordered. This was swap
26 A342 : Really? I didn't know this. But IMO that still makes them two different upgrades.
27 Flighty : Yeah exact same reaction here. It was Airbus realizing with dread that their A350 won't necessarily outclass the 777 after all. Oops. So let's act li
28 ConcordeBoy : Well, yeah, they are two separate upgrades........ just that both of them, at one time, were referred to by the nomenclature "A340-313E"
29 A342 : Was today's E version even in the plans when the first X aircraft were delivered?
30 Parapente : Unlees the recession puts it back I guess we will see the answer (for the 777) regarding any improvements with the final part of the BA 747 replacemen
31 DocLightning : Flipdewaf raises a good point that I hadn't considered. You'd need some serious expansion joints there, which leads to a lot of expense and possibly
32 ConcordeBoy : Not publicly, if at all
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