CX747
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CX--Problems With The A340-600

Fri Feb 07, 2003 12:58 pm

First off, please don't kill the messenger. Over the past few weeks, it has been reported in the media and on other forums that Cathay Pacific is not happy with the A340-600 and seems distressed enough to voice these opinions.

It seems that RR and Airbus made promises to Cathay and other customers including a guaranteed dispatch rate of 99% and the aircraft has a 98.5% dispatch reliability rate. It also seems that it has a not so health fuel consumption that is above the promised amount. Does anyone on this forum have any information regarding this situation?

It seems to me that Cathay is a little soon in criticizing a new product as the aircraft has only been "Online" for less than a month. It can take quiet some time to work an aircraft into a fleet. The 747-400 had it's own problems when it entered service, but they currently form the backbone of the CX long haul fleet without a hiccup.
"History does not long entrust the care of freedom to the weak or timid." D. Eisenhower
 
ConcordeBoy
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RE: CX--Problems With The A340-600

Fri Feb 07, 2003 1:06 pm

and seems distressed enough to voice these opinions

to whom?

I'm no fan of the A340 whatsoever, but I'd find any report of an airline talking this way to the media to be somewhat difficult to believe. If not the media, then where else?
Faire du ciel le plus bel endroit de la terre c'est impossible sans Concorde!
 
CX747
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RE: CX--Problems With The A340-600

Fri Feb 07, 2003 1:17 pm

I can understand your frustration with my lack of overall knowledge on the subject. I have no "smoking gun" or press release for you. If this post hurts my "credibility" rating then so be it!

What I can say is that from those in the "know" and within the business, CX is having difficulties with the A340-600. Airbus made contractual promises that have not been met and therefore are paying the penality as the contract states it must. The aircraft has not met it's Entry Into Service dispatch reliability rate and as stated earlier is not performing up to the standards that Airbus stated it would. While these aircraft are early production frames, it would seem to me that things are not joyful at Chek Lap Kok.
"History does not long entrust the care of freedom to the weak or timid." D. Eisenhower
 
teahan
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RE: CX--Problems With The A340-600

Fri Feb 07, 2003 1:24 pm

I presume the source of these rumours is the usually reliable http://www.groups.yahoo.com/group/orders?

How many of them do CX have so far? Only 1? I am not particularly concerned now but if in 6 months time, the problem still persits I guess it would be worrying.

I am aware that Virgin had some initial problems but that things are going quite okay now.

Jeremiah
Goodbye SR-LX MD-11 / 6th of March 1991 to the 31st of October 2004
 
TK
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RE: CX--Problems With The A340-600

Fri Feb 07, 2003 1:28 pm

I think you are overemphasizing this. Although I have not heard anything about CX A346 reliability problems, I would not be at all surprised to hear about this. New airliners commonly have teething problems during the initial stages of introduction into service. UA, for example, had similar problems with the 777 when it was first introduced. I'm confident it will rise back up to the 99% level once the aircraft matures. Airbus has always stressed the A345/6 program's maturity as a whole as a result of the very successful and relatively trouble-free testing and certification process.

TK
 
CX747
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RE: CX--Problems With The A340-600

Fri Feb 07, 2003 1:35 pm

Hmm that could of been the source  Wink/being sarcastic I agree that it is very early for an airline to be voiceing concern about how an aircraft is operating. That being said, it didn't meet it's promised dispatch ratings and is not meeting the performance specifications or bottom line numbers either.

Meanwhile a CX 747-400 just winks and says don't worry after a million flights and journeys all over the world it just becomes second nature kid.
"History does not long entrust the care of freedom to the weak or timid." D. Eisenhower
 
TK
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RE: CX--Problems With The A340-600

Fri Feb 07, 2003 1:40 pm

If CX did indeed give voice to their dissatisfaction with the A346, they would not be saying this because they are "distressed enough," they are reporting it because as one of the launch customers, it's their job to report how the aircraft is performing.

[Edited 2003-02-07 05:51:03]
 
ConcordeBoy
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RE: CX--Problems With The A340-600

Fri Feb 07, 2003 2:03 pm

But then again, the aircraft could very well turn out to be another MD11.... one big lemon with wings  Big grin
Faire du ciel le plus bel endroit de la terre c'est impossible sans Concorde!
 
gigneil
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RE: CX--Problems With The A340-600

Fri Feb 07, 2003 3:08 pm

UA was _very_ dissatisfied with the 777 when it first flew. I don't know if that was Boeing's fault, or if it was Pratt and Whitney's.

Virgin however reported early on that they were quite pleased with the performance of their aircraft.

There is, of course, the center main gear issue, but Airbus should have that resolved by now.

Previous reports also indicated that the A346 was performing _better_ than anticipated, not worse. That's in terms of fuel efficiency.

It'll likely come out one way or the other after SAA begins flying them to HKG every day. There just needs to be more aircraft flying before a determination can be made.

CX has 2 of the aircraft now, for whoever asked.

N
 
gerardo
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RE: CX--Problems With The A340-600

Fri Feb 07, 2003 4:14 pm

Don't forget, that Airbus modified some few things on the A346, but the first A346 to be delivered with these modifications will be Nr. 20 or 21, or something along the line.

Gerardo
dominguez(dash)online(dot)ch ... Pushing the limits of my equipment
 
qatarairways
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RE: CX--Problems With The A340-600

Fri Feb 07, 2003 8:44 pm

"Previous reports also indicated that the A346 was performing _better_ than anticipated, not worse. That's in terms of fuel efficiency"

That is what I read too, IIRC range also turned out better than predicted as a result of this.
 
VH-BZF
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RE: CX--Problems With The A340-600

Fri Feb 07, 2003 11:42 pm

Where are CX flying the A340-600 to?

A magazine in Australia said that CX would use it initially on route proving flights in Asia & probably to Australia as well (presume Sydney & Melbourne?). Is this correct?

Cheers - BZF
Ansett Australia - (was) One of the worlds great airlines!
 
boeingnut
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RE: CX--Problems With The A340-600

Fri Feb 07, 2003 11:47 pm

They were coming to LAX as one of the two daily flights. Not sure if it is still on that route or not though
Excuse me, but what does God need with a starship?
 
mandala499
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RE: CX--Problems With The A340-600

Sat Feb 08, 2003 2:15 am

Apart from the new type problems that comes in with almost any type...
It's a few tonnes overweight...

And yes, various sources within CX indicate that they are disappointed with A346 and it's failure to meet Airbus promises... (disappointed... not unhappy)...

The other 2 due for delivery is being modified... causing delivery delay...

Mandala499
When losing situational awareness, pray Cumulus Granitus isn't nearby !
 
racko
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RE: CX--Problems With The A340-600

Sat Feb 08, 2003 2:47 am

I've read on another forum that VS is very satisfied with the A340-600 and that it performs around 4-5% better than Airbus had promised.

What kind of problems did Virgin have with the gear of its A346s ?
 
Klaus
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Racko

Sat Feb 08, 2003 3:10 am

Racko: What kind of problems did Virgin have with the gear of its A346s ?

There have been reports of cracks in the center MLG. Reportedly, Airbus is working out a replacement program with modified struts.
 
bobnwa
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RE: CX--Problems With The A340-600

Sat Feb 08, 2003 3:27 am

CX747,
"What I can say is that from those in the "know" and within the business CX is having difficulties with the A340-600"

Who are these sources and what are their positions with CX or in the industry, or is this this another case of quoting opinions on another forum as fact.
 
Hamlet69
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RE: CX--Problems With The A340-600

Sat Feb 08, 2003 3:45 am

I agree with most everyone here, that it is much too soon to talk about the overall status of the project based of the first few months of operations.

That said, these rumors are persistant, and I know of some truth to them:

"Virgin however reported early on that they were quite pleased with the performance of their aircraft."

'Performance' perhaps, but not reliability. As previously mentioned, Airbus made garauntees that the aircraft would be 99+% dispatch reliable. This was probably in part to match the 777's reliability and disprove the ascertion that twins are more reliable that quads. So far, I've heard 97-98% figures.


" IIRC range also turned out better than predicted as a result of this."

I've heard just the opposite. I have heard the aircraft performs better than expected, however, that only makes up for the fact it is overweight. Owing to either the weight issue or an engine issue, range is below advertised.

I think its important to remeber what Gerardo stated: that Airbus is incorporating a more light-weight wing on the aircraft, which would hopefully clear up these issues.

". . .or is this this another case of quoting opinions on another forum as fact."

I know I'm probably going to piss off just about everyone here, but if you are referring to the Orders forum, I would take their "opinion" over this forum's "facts" anyday. Sorry, that's just how I feel.


Regards,

Hamlet69
Honor the warriors, not the war.
 
CX747
Topic Author
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RE: CX--Problems With The A340-600

Sat Feb 08, 2003 12:32 pm

I'm quite happy that this conversation has held it's own and not gone into mud slinging form! I agree with Hamlet's comment on the orders forum.
"History does not long entrust the care of freedom to the weak or timid." D. Eisenhower
 
gigneil
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RE: CX--Problems With The A340-600

Sat Feb 08, 2003 4:20 pm

I think its very ambitious of Airbus to completely replace the wing on the 345 and 346. If it works, I'll be amazed.

They could easily improve the overall performance of both aircraft substantially, and provide for the A346ER that Emirates requested.

What, if any, recertification will be necessary as a result of this?

N
 
Hamlet69
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RE: CX--Problems With The A340-600

Sun Feb 09, 2003 11:53 am

Gigneil,

They're not 'replacing' the wing, just making it more light-weight. Exactly how they are doing this, I'm not certain. Hopefully someone more familiar with Airbus or BAE Systems can shed some light here. Gerardo, any insights?

"They could easily improve the overall performance of both aircraft substantially, and provide for the A346ER that Emirates requested."

This 'lite' wing is only intended to get back to their original weight targets (we're talking OEW, here). From everything I've read and heard, the A340NG's are virtually maxed out on MTOW, with only marginal improvements available. Therefore, I have my personal doubts that they will ever be able to make a '-600ER' an even marginal product.

Regards,

Hamlet69
Honor the warriors, not the war.
 
Bogi
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RE: CX--Problems With The A340-600

Sun Feb 09, 2003 5:10 pm

Look like they Rebuild the Wing a bit

"The new wing design,with wing area 439.4m², accommodates larger fuel tanks and provides increased lift. The wing is 20% larger in wing area than that of the A340-300. The enlarged wing allows the aircraft to cruise economically at speeds in excess of Mach 0.83."

sources: http://www.aerospace-technology.com/projects/a340-600/


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Michael Bogensperger
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Airbus_A340
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RE: CX--Problems With The A340-600

Mon Feb 10, 2003 4:02 am

Michael, they had to build a new wing for the -500/600 anyway, the statement you brought up is about the wing in relation to the -300, not the plans for a modified improved wing for the existing A340-500/600 wing.

Hopefully there will be some source of infomation for the new wing sometime soon.

Airbus_A340
People. They make an airline. www.cathaypacific.com