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skippy777
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First Commercial Flight A340-600

Thu Aug 01, 2002 6:21 pm

VIRGIN ATLANTIC’S A340-600 – THE LONGEST PLANE IN THE WORLD –
TAKES ITS FIRST COMMERCIAL FLIGHT

Virgin Atlantic’s newest arrival, its A340-600, takes its first commercial flight at 18:30 today from Heathrow to New York’s JFK airport. The A340-600 is the longest in the world at 247ft (75.3m) - 16ft (4.8m) longer than any other commercial plane. The aircraft is the first of an order of 10 due to be delivered between now and 2006 – a deal worth $1.9 billion (£1.25 billion). Last week the aircraft was named ‘Claudia Nine’ by supermodel Claudia Schiffer in front of media and VIPs at Virgin Atlantic’s newly built hangar at Heathrow airport before the aircraft flew on to the Farnborough Airshow.

The inaugural flight will be commemorated in traditional airport style with the Heathrow Fire Brigade creating a water arch over the aircraft as it taxis to the runway. Passengers travelling on today’s flight will also be given cake, champagne, t-shirts and certificates to mark their journey on this historic flight.

The new aircraft offers passengers many new onboard features including a redesigned onboard bar and inflight beauty therapy area in Upper Class and new seats for both Premium Economy and Economy passengers. The aircraft also has the most advanced inflight entertainment system in the world which provides passengers with up to 300 hours of video on demand, 14 audio on demand channels, 15 computer games including multi-player games, and a quick find search facility.

The new seats also offer passengers the largest screen in business class at 10.4” and the largest screen in Economy at 9”. Passengers will also notice the new toilets with chrome fittings and mood lighting – and not just for passengers in Upper Class but for everybody throughout the plane.

Sir Richard Branson, Chairman of Virgin Atlantic, said:

“Today’s inaugural flight is the culmination of five years of hard work from both Virgin Atlantic and Airbus so I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone involved. The plane is great news for our passengers who will benefit from new products and services onboard including new seats and inflight entertainment.

“We also have one of the youngest fleets in world aviation and the introduction of this new plane brings the average fleet age down to 5 years and 3 months. Once we have got three more A340-600s at the end of this year the average fleet age will be 4 years and 10 months.



“The environmental advantages of this aircraft include 20% less fuel consumption than older generation aircraft and full compliance with the latest QC2 noise limits at Heathrow.



“As well as going farther and being quieter than previous generations the new plane is also longer than any other. That’s why we couldn’t resist writing “mine’s bigger than yours” on the side of the plane!”

Virgin Atlantic’s A340-600s will seat 311 passengers in total – 50 in Upper Class, 28 Premium Economy and 233 Economy. This represents a 25% increase in capacity per aircraft compared to the airline’s current A340-300 fleet, which will be replaced by the new aircraft. The aircraft will also have up to 40% additional cargo capacity. The wings for the aircraft are supplied by Airbus UK and the engines built by Rolls Royce.

The new aircraft has been granted the same pilot type rating as in-service A340-300’s, which reduces flight deck retraining and also provides the airline with increased revenue potential through higher capacity and reduced seat mile costs. The A340-600 has a range of 7,300nm/13,500 km and will be deployed on routes with growing passenger demand. This year the aircraft will fly between Heathrow and New York, Tokyo and Hong Kong.

THE FACTS:

Length - 75.3m (247ft)
Wing span - 63.4m
Range - 7200nm or 14 hours
Number of seats - 311 seats – 56 more than an A340-300
Crew - 15 cabin crew and between 2 and 4 pilots
Max Take off Weight - 368,000kg
Cargo capacity - 20,000kg
Engines - 4 Rolls Royce Trent engines


Source http://www.travelquality.com
 
bells
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RE: First Commercial Flight A340-600

Thu Aug 01, 2002 6:32 pm

Why do they keep saying its 4.8m (16ft) longer than any other plane? That's complete nonsense.

They're comparing it with the 747-400, but the A340-600 is only about 4ft or 1m longer than the 777-300.

The 777-300 is, of course, about 3m longer than the 747.

It would have been nice if Virgin checked out their facts first.

Bells
 
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skippy777
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RE: First Commercial Flight A340-600

Thu Aug 01, 2002 6:34 pm

Yeh you are wright, I should have been on this flight, but I broke my leg, so that is what we call bad luck.
 
bells
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RE: First Commercial Flight A340-600

Thu Aug 01, 2002 6:39 pm

Interestingly enough, I just broke my leg too. I couldn't go to the Farnborough Air Show!
 
BA777
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RE: First Commercial Flight A340-600

Thu Aug 01, 2002 8:09 pm

Have they published a seat map?

BA777
 
Ryanair!!!
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RE: First Commercial Flight A340-600

Thu Aug 01, 2002 8:30 pm

Hmm, 10.7" screen in Business Class largest in the world? How big is SQ's installed with the Spacebed?

MAS' screen is also 10.7"...
Welcome to my starry one world alliance, a team in the sky!
 
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skippy777
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RE: First Commercial Flight A340-600

Thu Aug 01, 2002 11:20 pm

SQ's monitor is also 10.7 I believe.
 
eugdog
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RE: First Commercial Flight A340-600

Fri Aug 02, 2002 12:35 am

Which plane has more potential seat capacity - the 777-300 or the A340-600 - because although the A340-600 is longer (aesthetically too long in my view) it is thinner then the 777-300
 
f.pier
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RE: First Commercial Flight A340-600

Fri Aug 02, 2002 1:11 am

If I were in London I wouldn't lose the show!!!
I'd go to Heathrow NOW!!!!
 
Joni
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RE: First Commercial Flight A340-600

Fri Aug 02, 2002 1:47 am


Eugdog,

The maximun seating capacity of 346 depends on whether or not the lavatories and galleys are on the lower deck. Moving them there releases space for 30 (IIRC) seats on the main deck.

 
mirrodie
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RE: First Commercial Flight A340-600

Fri Aug 02, 2002 1:48 am

when does it arrive @ JFK?
Forum moderator 2001-2010; He's a pedantic, pontificating, pretentious bastard, a belligerent old fart, a worthless st
 
lmml 14/32
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RE: First Commercial Flight A340-600

Fri Aug 02, 2002 2:13 am

Judging by this picture, I don't think the lavs are below pax deck. There are some blank windows overwing which suggest that there are lavatories in mid cabin. I would hardly think that it is viable for a scheduled airline like VS to waste valuable belly space which can otherwise be utilised for fuel or freight. VS intends to fly the -600 on the LHR-HKG route which will require all the fuel the bird can hold to maximise on payload.


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NWA742
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RE: First Commercial Flight A340-600

Fri Aug 02, 2002 2:23 am

It's certainly not the longest plane in the world, the An-225 beat's it and the 773 by a long shot.



-NWA742
Some people are like slinkies - not good for anything, but they bring a smile to your face when pushed down the stairs
 
jhooper
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RE: First Commercial Flight A340-600

Fri Aug 02, 2002 2:44 am

The An-225 is 84.04 meters long (8.74 meters longer than the A340-600). The A340-600 is the same length as the C-5.
Last year 1,944 New Yorkers saw something and said something.
 
EastCoast
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RE: First Commercial Flight A340-600

Fri Aug 02, 2002 2:45 am

Scheduled to arrive at KJFK at 9:10pm
 
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skippy777
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RE: First Commercial Flight A340-600

Fri Aug 02, 2002 3:32 am

Well I voted for Virgin Atlantic on http://www.travelquality.com/flights.htm
I sure hope that I can fly the A340-600 next month when my leg is better.

I hope for a flight to Hong Kong
 
aamd11
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RE: First Commercial Flight A340-600

Fri Aug 02, 2002 3:49 am

When they say longest, they mean longer than any other commercial plane

Not longest ever aircraft, because obviously its the An225 or whatever.

I would like to get the chance to fly on that thing, im not a bit gan of the A340 in its current form, but i do like the new -500 and -600 [partly because they have RR engines on them  Smile/happy/getting dizzy

A^A MD-11
 
EastCoast
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RE: First Commercial Flight A340-600

Fri Aug 02, 2002 5:18 am

Well "Claudia Nine" is on her way to KJFK. I called by buddy at JFK Tower and he notified me that the tower was notified of her expected arrival time of 21:10. There are quite a few taxiways that are prohibited to this aircraft, do to the turning ratio of the A340-600.

Well, he offered me to stop by the tower to see for myself, how can one refuse.

Later!
 
qatarairways
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RE: First Commercial Flight A340-600

Fri Aug 02, 2002 5:31 am

Skippy,

I have a suggestion for your voting system on Travel Quality. You can only vote for certain airlines on your website. For example I wanted to vote First Class for QR who have an excellent F Product exceeding many of the airlines on your list but can't. I think you should adopt a system like Skytrax where if the airline is not listed you can just type in the name.
 
donder10
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RE: First Commercial Flight A340-600

Fri Aug 02, 2002 7:54 am

Well,she left LHR at 1930 instead of 1830 so 2110 would be impressive to make so might land at closer to 2140.Nice plane!
 
ROSWELL41
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RE: First Commercial Flight A340-600

Fri Aug 02, 2002 10:30 am

She's here!!! Listening to the scanner and Claudia Nine (VS9) touched down on runway 13R this evening at 21:20 local time.
 
ren41
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RE: First Commercial Flight A340-600

Fri Aug 02, 2002 10:38 am

Airline Virgin Atlantic Airways
Flight Number 9
Departure City (Airport) London, England, Great Britain (EGLL)
Departure Time 08/01/2002 06:57 PM
Arrival City (Airport) New York, NY (JFK)
Arrival Time 08/01/2002 09:02 PM
Remaining Flight Time 00:00
Aircraft Type A346
Current Altitude 0 feet
Current Groundspeed 0 mph
Flight Status Arrived
(flytecomm)

 
EastCoast
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RE: First Commercial Flight A340-600

Fri Aug 02, 2002 10:46 am

Yes, she is here as I view here form JFK Tower.

What a site to see....... wish it was daylight.
 
Dazed767
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RE: First Commercial Flight A340-600

Fri Aug 02, 2002 10:58 am

I would have loved to be on that first flight...I'm sure Branson threw a bad little party for it.
 
SailorOrion
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RE: First Commercial Flight A340-600

Fri Aug 02, 2002 3:37 pm

Welcome to the skies, A340-600

SailorOrion
 
gordonroxburgh
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RE: First Commercial Flight A340-600

Fri Aug 02, 2002 9:14 pm

So when is she due back from JFK to LHR
 
Joni
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RE: First Commercial Flight A340-600

Fri Aug 02, 2002 9:18 pm


LMML,

A commercial airline makes more money flying passengers, than by flying freight or fuel on that same space. If they need the capacity, they can place the lavs belowdeck. Now this is the first delivered 346 so it probably doesn't have all the options installed yet, and it's also possible that Virgin doesn't need the extra capacity.



 
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skippy777
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RE: First Commercial Flight A340-600

Fri Aug 02, 2002 10:41 pm

Skippy,

I have a suggestion for your voting system on Travel Quality. You can only vote for certain airlines on your website. For example I wanted to vote First Class for QR who have an excellent F Product exceeding many of the airlines on your list but can't. I think you should adopt a system like Skytrax where if the airline is not listed you can just type in the name.

Qatar Airways:

I know but that is a difficult system and does not work like you want.
The best is to add this suggestion in the forum and we will look into it.


 
Leezyjet
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RE: First Commercial Flight A340-600

Sat Aug 03, 2002 1:03 am

"A commercial airline makes more money flying passengers, than by flying freight or fuel on that same space"

Not necessairily, an airline can make just as much money, if not more per KG of freight than they do per pax, also make more if it is classed as DGR (Dangerous Goods Regulations) which require special packaging/handling.

Gordonroxburgh,

She arrived back about 11:40 this morning. Been parked on M32 since, get a good view from entrance to Pink Elephant with a good camera/bino's

G-VSHY is also going back to JFK 2nite again on the VS009. It was swapped this AM from the B744.

Njoy  Smile
.
"She Rolls, 45 knots, 90, 135, nose comes up to 20 degrees, she's airborne - She flies, Concorde Flies"
 
lmml 14/32
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RE: First Commercial Flight A340-600

Sat Aug 03, 2002 2:03 am

"A commercial airline makes more money flying passengers, than by flying freight or fuel on that same space"

I checked VS web site and some fares:

LHR-JFK economy return = £410
LHR-JFK Premium Economy return = (unavailable but assumed at double the Y fare) £820.

Normal IATA freight rates are 1% of Business class fare per KG.

So an Economy Pap travelling return would pay £410 while the same weight (assumed at 120KG) in freight ONE WAY would pay £984 !!

It is in Freight, Business and First class that airlines make money from. The rest just contribute to the costs. Remember when BA's Lord King (?) said he does not need the Economy class pax and when Branson himself called the Y class "Riff Raff"? Of course they both swallowed their words back. But that's the reality.


 
Joni
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RE: First Commercial Flight A340-600

Sat Aug 03, 2002 2:19 am


LMML,

I've also earlier heard that freight would be more lucrative than passengers and at one point I inquired from Finnair if this was the case. They said that they always try and get as many passengers as possible, and then fill the rest with freight.

However, the issue that freight is an important source of revenue is appreciated.

Note that the space freed by moving lavatories below deck can also be used to increase business class space, not only economy class.
 
lmml 14/32
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RE: First Commercial Flight A340-600

Sat Aug 03, 2002 2:38 am

Note that the space freed by moving lavatories below deck can also be used to increase business class space, not only economy class.

True. But there are only so many Business Class seats that are sold on the routes. If the demand is not there you cannot force people to buy C seats just because the airline makes more money. The normal config for C class on wide bodies (except 747) rarely exceeds 32.
 
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skippy777
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RE: First Commercial Flight A340-600

Sun Aug 04, 2002 12:55 am

Are there any pictures of the arrival in JFK uploaded ?

First landing and take of should be nice ( as the commercial flight concerns )
 
EastCoast
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RE: First Commercial Flight A340-600

Sun Aug 04, 2002 1:04 am

Problem is the plane arrives at 9:10pm and leaves at 11:30pm.

 
Leezyjet
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RE: First Commercial Flight A340-600

Sun Aug 04, 2002 1:14 am

Eastcoast,

How's your model coming on ? Which name are you going with ?.

 Smile
"She Rolls, 45 knots, 90, 135, nose comes up to 20 degrees, she's airborne - She flies, Concorde Flies"
 
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skippy777
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RE: First Commercial Flight A340-600

Tue Aug 06, 2002 3:43 am

I am suppose to fly back from Hong kong on the 16 of Oktober and it says 346 flying back.

So that will be my survey flight.
Keep you informed

 
EastCoast
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RE: First Commercial Flight A340-600

Tue Aug 06, 2002 11:40 am

Leezyjet -

I told Bader to use the "Claudia Nine", just like the photo except no tape.


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He said is almost complete.... week 7.

 
EastCoast
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RE: First Commercial Flight A340-600

Tue Aug 06, 2002 11:41 am

Also, I have seen the plane 4 out of the 5 days it has flown to JFK.

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