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A330-500 / A330-600?

Wed May 29, 2002 3:45 pm

Apologies if this question has been asked before, but are Airbus planning an A330-500/600 programme?

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RE: A330-500 / A330-600?

Wed May 29, 2002 4:58 pm

I guess you have in mind a larger version of the A330 using the streched fuselage and the extended wing of the A340-500 and -600, respectively, with two bigger engines? Such a development of the A330 can certainly be imagined, however, is there a market for it? Another consideration is that such planes would come very close to the 777-200 and -300 without bringing obvious benefits over the 777 other than fleet commonality for companies equiped with Airbus fly-by-wire planes. I have never read anything suggesting that Airbus may be working on such derivatives, rather they have been considering for some time a lighter version of the A330-200, sometimes dubbed A330-100, as a replacement for A300 and A310.
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RE: A330-500 / A330-600?

Wed May 29, 2002 6:51 pm

Airbus's stated strategy is that very long haul routes should be the domain of 4-holers. As the A340-500 (and to a lesser extent the -600) are both designed for long hauls, I don't see Airbus developing two engined variants of them. Still, if airline were to show enough of an interest, anything is possible. But then again, look at the interest Boeing has generate with its equivalent 2-holers (the 777-200LR and the 777-300ER) - I doubt there would even be the market for it.

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RE: A330-500 / A330-600?

Wed May 29, 2002 7:10 pm

A possibility could be to offer an A330-xxx with more capacity, leaving the longer ranges to the A345/A346.

But I doubt, this would work. A longer A330 with the A346-wing would certainly need a new engine, which might get bigger, than the ones currently used. At firt impresion, the ground clearance (engine-ground) could be very low. The clearance of the Trent 553/556 used on the A345/A346 is already very small.

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RE: A330-500 / A330-600?

Wed May 29, 2002 7:45 pm

Airbus had planned to offer an A330-400 which was a stretched version of the -300 with its current wing. No airline showed much interest. More recently, Airbus had planned to offer an A330-500 which was a shrunken version of the -200 with its current wing. This time, they generated some interest, but not enough to launch the project.
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RE: A330-500 / A330-600?

Wed May 29, 2002 11:55 pm

The biggest problem with the A330-500 was that it would be a double-shrink. The A330 wing was designed for the -300, but could also be used on the -200. However, another shrink would make the wing to heavy compared to the length of the fuselage and the weight it has to carry. I know LH was interested, but they thought it would be to heavy, especially on the short hops within Europe.

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RE: A330-500 / A330-600?

Thu May 30, 2002 1:33 am

To follow up on Dynkrisolo: If I recall correctly the only carrier to show anything more than polite interest in the stretched 330-400 was CX, and when Airbus decided not to launch that product CX went for the 773 instead.

And to add to GOT: The 330-500 was pitched primarily at SQ and LH as A300/310 replacements. Airbus had a hard time with the model and they changed their minds several times with respect to weight, range, and other design options. SQ and LH both wanted medium range aircraft, but some other interested parties told Airbus they wanted something more "versatile" with respect to range. In the end it was just too heavy anyway. Same story with the 777-100

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