The Bae-146 does indeed have poor climb performance. But it can get airborne quickly and its initial pitch angle is very impressive indeed - when the pilot sets the right flaps and flies the right speeds. It is a good airplane for short runways with steep approaches and departures. At SWISS it is flown into Lugano occasionally.
But after a time the climb performance falls off considerably. I once flew jumpseat on a flight to Brussels from ZHR. We were full and climbed to FL310. At the end the climb rate was just 500 feet per minute. And the indicated airspeed was nothing spectacular. So they did not trade rate for speed. They had neither.
The wing is a fat wing made for lifting off on the short runways, but it is not a high speed, high altitude wing.
Regarding the A340, it will be interesting to see it in ZRH
. I remember Cathay had shallow take-offs when they used to come here.
But to all those who complain about the performance, it is calulated to perform within the limits of safety even if it loses an engine. So far the A340 has an excellent safety record, despite its perceived sluggish performance. Remember, this airplane was optimised for cost and efficiency and the accountants who run airlines don't really care about "kick in the ass" acceleration.
The 340 will represent significant fuel savings over the MD
-11 it is replacing. And this is what can make or break an airline.