IslandHopperCO
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Are There Any A320/330/340 "New Generation" Plans?

Thu Aug 19, 2004 6:14 am

Does Airbus have any plans to update it's older plane designs to a "New Generation" in the near future? The original A340 and A330 date back to the early 90s and the A320 back to 1988! A lot has changed in technology since then.

Is the first A320 that came off the line way back in 1988 basically the same (avionics package, engines, etc) as an A320 coming off the line today? Maybe Airbus makes gradual improvements rather than trumpeting a "New Generation" like Boeing did with the 737NG. Or are they just cranking out 10-15 year old designs (with various stretches and shrinks) and throwing all of their R&D money into the A380?
 
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Starlionblue
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RE: Are There Any A320/330/340 "New Generation" Plans?

Thu Aug 19, 2004 6:19 am

The A340 just got a new generation a couple of years ago. It's called the A340-500/600.

The A320 is still selling very well, but small improvements keep getting made. There doesn't seem to be a need to plan for a replacement just yet.

As you suspect, the A380 is keeping Airbus very busy, but the development effort is winding down. the €10 000 000 000 question now is what Airbus will do next. There has been a lot of talk about a 300/310 replacement to compete with the 7E7. This has positives and negatives. On the one has Airbus has no exact competitor to the 7E7 but on the other hand you should attack where the enemy is weak.

[Edited 2004-08-18 23:26:31]
"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots." - John Ringo
 
DfwRevolution
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RE: Are There Any A320/330/340 "New Generation" Pl

Thu Aug 19, 2004 6:31 am

There are rumors of an A330NG to compete with the 7E7. Airbus could possibly re-engine the current varaints with the new GENEX and Trent 1000 engines, but this would require extensive redesign and might not be justified my the prohibitive cost. Other options include aerodyamic tweaks and use of additional composites.

It all remains to be seen, but Airbus will definitly need an answer to the 7E7-3 where they currently have nothing to offer. Airbus could find many loyal customers going to the 7E7-3 if the A330-200L goes the way of the 747-500/600.

Just an add-on-

Is the first A320 that came off the line way back in 1988 basically the same (avionics package, engines, etc) as an A320 coming off the line today?

Avionics of all aircraft typically recieve on-the-line enhancements from time to time. The most recent for the A32x was when the A318 entered service if I recall. I don't see why the A32x cross-section couldn't live onto another generation.

GE and CFMI have stated that they are beginning to work on a new generation of engines in the A320/737NG class that could enter service in 2010-2015, however, they also stated they will not be compatible with existing aircraft. With a new wing, the new generation of engines... might not be a bad idea.

[Edited 2004-08-18 23:37:14]
 
SimProgrammer
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RE: Are There Any A320/330/340 "New Generation" Plans?

Thu Aug 19, 2004 6:33 am

Not in the immediate future as Airbus have only just recently paid off the UK government for its R&D costs.

The A380 has taken a lot of financial resources and this makes it unlikely that a new Generation A32X family be announced.

But they are flirting with supersonics again...
http://www.concordesst.com/latestnews.html but couldnt find further sources for this in their ezine.

Would like to hear from anyone who has more on A's SST plans... Theyre (the french side) saying very little and the Brits havnt got the cash - so they claim.


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IslandHopperCO
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RE: Are There Any A320/330/340 "New Generation" Plans?

Thu Aug 19, 2004 2:59 pm

One thing I forgot...Airbus added winglets to the design after the first few frames were built. I've peeked into an A320 of JetBlue's and the cockpit had a lot of LCDs. They didn't have good LCDs back in 1988, so did the early ones have CRTs?
 
AvObserver
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RE: Are There Any A320/330/340 "New Generation" Plans?

Thu Aug 19, 2004 3:30 pm

Though the A320 family sells extremely well, I wouldn't be surprised to see a rewinged (bigger wing ala 737NG) model come out in a number of years, unless Boeing replaces the 737 with a new design and forces Airbus to do, likewise.
 
IndianGuy
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RE: Are There Any A320/330/340 "New Generation" Plans?

Thu Aug 19, 2004 4:21 pm

I think the newer Airbuses have ONLY LCDs instead of the older CRT's?

How about winglets instead of fences? Would that help improve efficiency?

-Roy
 
SimProgrammer
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RE: Are There Any A320/330/340 "New Generation" Plans?

Fri Aug 20, 2004 4:35 am

How about winglets instead of fences? Would that help improve efficiency?

No it wouldn't.

Winglets are heavier but are good at reducing drag over a long flight, so the extra weight versus reduced drag only makes them work well on long haulers.

Wing fences are lighter but their physics is different to winglets and work well with shorter distance flights, and by design can provide additional thrust.

Historically, winglets were first used on passenger long haulers in 1986 (but the design wasn’t new) by Airbus for its A330/A340 development project and adopted by Boeing for the 747 400 in 1989.

Airbus learned its lesson and staked all copyright on all its wing fence development projects and so far the familiar A320 style is only seen on A320 family.

The A300 version is a completely different design of wing fence having straight leading edges on both above the wing and below. The A320 fence has a straight leading edge above the wing and a concave leading edge below the wing.

Drive a bus, an Airbus, easier than a London bus!
 
DfwRevolution
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RE: Are There Any A320/330/340 "New Generation" Pl

Fri Aug 20, 2004 4:56 am

Historically, winglets were first used on passenger long haulers in 1986 (but the design wasn’t new) by Airbus for its A330/A340 development project and adopted by Boeing for the 747 400 in 1989.

Not quite so sure about that... the 747-400 was launched three years before the A340/A330 were, and the 744 entered passenger service years before the A340/A330.

Also, the A340 were not intended to have winglets. But after the IAE SuperFan fiasco, Airbus realized that the CFM56 would not have quite the performance as originally planned. The winglets were added late in the development to mitigate this issue.

Airbus learned its lesson and staked all copyright on all its wing fence development projects and so far the familiar A320 style is only seen on A320 family.

The A380 features this design as well

No it wouldn't. Winglets are heavier but are good at reducing drag over a long flight, so the extra weight versus reduced drag only makes them work well on long haulers.

Not necessarily true, the Aviation Partners winglets on the 737NG begin to improve fuel burn on any sectors longer than 48 minutes. And on long hauls, blended wingtips offer better fuel burn reductions and structural efficency than winglets.
 
Craigy
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RE: Are There Any A320/330/340 "New Generation" Plans?

Fri Aug 20, 2004 5:39 am

They do not need an NG yet.

The Boeing 737NG programme added a glass cockpit and optional winglets - things that the A320, A330, A340 series already has.

Regards,
Craig.
 
gigneil
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RE: Are There Any A320/330/340 "New Generation" Plans?

Fri Aug 20, 2004 5:46 am

I've peeked into an A320 of JetBlue's and the cockpit had a lot of LCDs. They didn't have good LCDs back in 1988, so did the early ones have CRTs?

They used to have CRTs, as did the A330/340.

All new planes on the 330/340 line since the A340-600 began production are LCD, and all new planes on the 320 line since the 318 began production are LCD.

N
 
ConcordeBoy
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RE: Are There Any A320/330/340 "New Generation" Plans?

Fri Aug 20, 2004 5:46 am

The 737NG program and winglets were independent programs from inception (per se).
Faire du ciel le plus bel endroit de la terre c'est impossible sans Concorde!
 
whitehatter
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RE: Are There Any A320/330/340 "New Generation" Plans?

Fri Aug 20, 2004 6:03 am

The A320 winglets first appeared in that form on the A310. The A300 has a different design of fence on later models (-600 variants)
Lead me not into temptation, I can find my own way there...
 
boo25
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RE: Are There Any A320/330/340 "New Generation" Plans?

Fri Aug 20, 2004 10:52 am

Well the A320 already has 4 derivatives - 318 319 320 & 321 - i can't see anymore room for development there ! Apart from NG versions.
The cabins are already very modern, tho could do with a redesign soon.

The 340 as mentioned has already had 2 major recent developments with the 500 & 600.
I believe the current 300 is a NG version already.

The 330 is still very modern,2 good versions,and perhaps the natural path would be an NG version to compete with the 7E7, though of course it is bigger.

I think their current lineup is good to say the least.......

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