beauing
Posts: 329
Joined: Sat May 21, 2005 1:59 pm

Why Did Airbus Make The A340 A Quad?

Wed Jun 22, 2005 4:11 am

Why did Airbus make the A340 a quad? I have read some other posts that say that was the state of technology when the aircraft was launched in 1987. But the Boeing 777 twin was launched just three years later in 1990. Was there some technological breakthrough in those three years that allowed Boeing (and the engine manufacturers) to a bigger plane with only two engines?
 
AEROFAN
Posts: 1406
Joined: Wed Aug 04, 2004 9:47 am

RE: Why Did Airbus Make The A340 A Quad?

Wed Jun 22, 2005 4:14 am

Nope- They just wanted to sell planes to SRB  Smile
 
ei a330-200
Posts: 336
Joined: Thu Apr 05, 2001 8:22 am

RE: Why Did Airbus Make The A340 A Quad?

Wed Jun 22, 2005 4:15 am

I'm not an aircraft specialist or anything, but I believe that it was done for ultimate efficency. The smaller "hair-dryer" engines would allow the aircraft to fly similar distances with less fuel burn. I think sorta like the RJ-100/
Avro program. Could be wrong.
 
vivek0072
Posts: 283
Joined: Tue Jun 07, 2005 5:43 am

RE: Why Did Airbus Make The A340 A Quad?

Wed Jun 22, 2005 4:17 am

4 engines 4 long haul, thats what i think, bigger a capacity plane with more range to do the trans pacific.
That life's most failures were people who did not realise how close they were to success when they gave up. - Edison.
 
beauing
Posts: 329
Joined: Sat May 21, 2005 1:59 pm

RE: Why Did Airbus Make The A340 A Quad?

Wed Jun 22, 2005 4:17 am

Quoting Aerofan (Reply 1):
Nope- They just wanted to sell planes to SRB

I don't understand what that means.

Quoting EI A330-200 (Reply 2):
but I believe that it was done for ultimate efficency. The smaller "hair-dryer" engines would allow the aircraft to fly similar distances with less fuel burn.

I thought the 777 had better fuel efficency.
 
User avatar
Buyantukhaa
Posts: 2289
Joined: Thu May 13, 2004 5:33 am

RE: Why Did Airbus Make The A340 A Quad?

Wed Jun 22, 2005 4:20 am

ETOPS must have played a role; they did eventually bring out a twin version of the 340  Smile
I scratch my head, therefore I am.
 
beauing
Posts: 329
Joined: Sat May 21, 2005 1:59 pm

RE: Why Did Airbus Make The A340 A Quad?

Wed Jun 22, 2005 4:21 am

Quoting Vivek0072 (Reply 3):
4 engines 4 long haul, thats what i think, bigger a capacity plane with more range to do the trans pacific

But the A340 is a smaller plane with less capacity than the 777, and the new 777LR will have more range, no?
 
Glom
Posts: 2051
Joined: Sat Apr 23, 2005 2:38 am

RE: Why Did Airbus Make The A340 A Quad?

Wed Jun 22, 2005 4:21 am

Quoting EI A330-200 (Reply 2):
The smaller "hair-dryer" engines would allow the aircraft to fly similar distances with less fuel burn. I think sorta like the RJ-100/
Avro program.

There seems to be disagreements as to whether twins or quads are more efficient all things being equal. In this case, however, the twin wins, whether all things are equal or not.

Quoting Beauing (Thread starter):
Why did Airbus make the A340 a quad?

The engines weren't available when the A330/340 was being developed. The A340 is a derivative of the A330. Fitting honkin' cannons under the wings may not have worked. ETOPS wasn't as favourable.
 
beauing
Posts: 329
Joined: Sat May 21, 2005 1:59 pm

RE: Why Did Airbus Make The A340 A Quad?

Wed Jun 22, 2005 4:23 am

Quoting BuyantUkhaa (Reply 5):
ETOPS must have played a role; they did eventually bring out a twin version of the 340

I think that's called the A350 and it won't be ready until 2010.
 
SNATH
Posts: 3049
Joined: Mon Mar 29, 2004 5:23 am

RE: Why Did Airbus Make The A340 A Quad?

Wed Jun 22, 2005 4:27 am

Quoting Glom (Reply 7):
The A340 is a derivative of the A330.

Is this right? I thought they were designed at the same time.

Tony
Nikon: we don't want more pixels, we want better pixels.
 
ei a330-200
Posts: 336
Joined: Thu Apr 05, 2001 8:22 am

RE: Why Did Airbus Make The A340 A Quad?

Wed Jun 22, 2005 4:34 am

Quoting SNATH (Reply 9):
Quoting Glom (Reply 7):
The A340 is a derivative of the A330.

Is this right? I thought they were designed at the same time.

Tony

Actually, I believe that the A330 is the derivative of the A340. Pretty sure that the A340 debuted before the A330. Again, could be wrong, though. As to my earlier comment, the A340 was far more efficient when it debuted than anything out there that could do the same distances.
 
Glom
Posts: 2051
Joined: Sat Apr 23, 2005 2:38 am

RE: Why Did Airbus Make The A340 A Quad?

Wed Jun 22, 2005 4:36 am

Quoting SNATH (Reply 9):
Is this right? I thought they were designed at the same time.

Yes. They're derivatives of each other. The A340 took to the air first. Language issue.
 
Scorpio
Posts: 4792
Joined: Thu Oct 04, 2001 3:48 am

RE: Why Did Airbus Make The A340 A Quad?

Wed Jun 22, 2005 4:36 am

Quoting SNATH (Reply 9):
Is this right? I thought they were designed at the same time.

You're right. Both were designed at the same time. The A340 even entered service almost a year before the A330.
 
MD11junkie
Posts: 2499
Joined: Tue May 10, 2005 4:59 am

RE: Why Did Airbus Make The A340 A Quad?

Wed Jun 22, 2005 4:40 am

Quoting Scorpio (Reply 12):
You're right. Both were designed at the same time. The A340 even entered service almost a year before the A330.

They were designed at the same, their EIS is almost the same, and they both share the same wing. Talk about commonality!  Wink
The A340's been for the last couple of years been the only planes cruising the Southern Pacific between Australia and South America, replacing the 747s. Though the 747s could come into service again with AR, anytime.

3 or 4 engines 4 long haul! Big grin

Cheers! wave 
Gastón - The MD-11 Junkie
There is no such thing as Boeing vs Airbus as the queen of the skies has three engines, winglets and the sweetest nose!
 
ikramerica
Posts: 13760
Joined: Mon May 23, 2005 9:33 am

RE: Why Did Airbus Make The A340 A Quad?

Wed Jun 22, 2005 4:47 am

Yes, and didn't the A340 EIS first?

The GE90 was not available in the late 80s. And the high thrust version wasn't available until the 772ER. Now, for the A350, the larger GEnx engine will produce the same thrust as the original GE90s at greater efficiency (it is hoped), which is why they can offer the A350, though I'm still not sure how they plan to fly 8000nm+ with that size plane with that rated engine.
Of all the things to worry about... the Wookie has no pants.
 
geoffm
Posts: 2082
Joined: Fri Feb 27, 2004 5:58 am

RE: Why Did Airbus Make The A340 A Quad?

Wed Jun 22, 2005 4:49 am

Quoting Beauing (Reply 4):
Quoting Aerofan (Reply 1):
Nope- They just wanted to sell planes to SRB

I don't understand what that means.

SRB - Sir Richard Branson, ie Virgin Atlantic. He had a slogan/saying/off-the-cuff-comment that 4 engines are best 4 long haul...

Geoff M.
 
David L
Posts: 8547
Joined: Tue May 18, 1999 2:26 am

RE: Why Did Airbus Make The A340 A Quad?

Wed Jun 22, 2005 4:50 am

Quoting Beauing (Reply 4):
Quoting Aerofan (Reply 1):
Nope- They just wanted to sell planes to SRB

I don't understand what that means.

Sir Richard Branson?
 
jetdeltamsy
Posts: 2688
Joined: Tue Nov 14, 2000 11:51 am

RE: Why Did Airbus Make The A340 A Quad?

Wed Jun 22, 2005 5:03 am

Passengers like having 4 engines, especially on long, overwater routes.

Airbus was able to make the 4 engine system very efficient.

I think that played into the decision to go with four.
Tired of airline bankruptcies....EA/PA/TW and finally DL.
 
SNATH
Posts: 3049
Joined: Mon Mar 29, 2004 5:23 am

RE: Why Did Airbus Make The A340 A Quad?

Wed Jun 22, 2005 5:05 am

Quoting Jetdeltamsy (Reply 17):
Airbus was able to make the 4 engine system very efficient.

I think that played into the decision to go with four.

And now they admitted that Boeing was right after all and are going with two... Well, cudos to them for admitting that they were wrong!

Tony
Nikon: we don't want more pixels, we want better pixels.
 
MD11junkie
Posts: 2499
Joined: Tue May 10, 2005 4:59 am

RE: Why Did Airbus Make The A340 A Quad?

Wed Jun 22, 2005 5:07 am

Quoting SNATH (Reply 18):
And now they admitted that Boeing was right after all and are going with two... Well, cudos to them for admitting that they were wrong!

Tony

Yeah, that's why the A380 is a twin  Wink

Cheers! wave 
Gastón - The MD-11 Junkie
There is no such thing as Boeing vs Airbus as the queen of the skies has three engines, winglets and the sweetest nose!
 
SNATH
Posts: 3049
Joined: Mon Mar 29, 2004 5:23 am

RE: Why Did Airbus Make The A340 A Quad?

Wed Jun 22, 2005 5:14 am

Quoting MD11junkie (Reply 19):
Yeah, that's why the A380 is a twin

It's definitely why the A350 will be a twin though!

Tony
Nikon: we don't want more pixels, we want better pixels.
 
flyAUA
Posts: 4287
Joined: Wed May 25, 2005 3:12 am

RE: Why Did Airbus Make The A340 A Quad?

Wed Jun 22, 2005 5:17 am

The main reason was ETOPS. Back when the A340 was made it was still an issue to do those routes with 2 engines. But along with that came the other advantages like range, and a much quieter cabin. The benefits were multiple. The B777 (also a technological breakthrough) proved popular in a time where ETOPS was not an issue anymore... hence the twin instead of quad  Wink
Not drinking, also isn't a solution!
 
antiuser
Posts: 646
Joined: Thu May 27, 2004 9:43 am

RE: Why Did Airbus Make The A340 A Quad?

Wed Jun 22, 2005 5:19 am

Quoting SNATH (Reply 20):
It's definitely why the A350 will be a twin though!

Who knows, maybe they'll come out with a quad version of the A350, with even longer range! Big grin
Azzurri Campioni del Mondo!
 
beauing
Posts: 329
Joined: Sat May 21, 2005 1:59 pm

RE: Why Did Airbus Make The A340 A Quad?

Wed Jun 22, 2005 5:32 am

Quoting FlyAUA (Reply 21):
The main reason was ETOPS. Back when the A340 was made it was still an issue to do those routes with 2 engines.

How did it get to NOT be an issue in three short years? Did Airbus just lack the imagination to envision a big twin? Did Boeing push the envelope on ETOPS or the engine manufacturers?
 
MD11junkie
Posts: 2499
Joined: Tue May 10, 2005 4:59 am

RE: Why Did Airbus Make The A340 A Quad?

Wed Jun 22, 2005 5:38 am

Quoting Beauing (Reply 23):
How did it get to NOT be an issue in three short years? Did Airbus just lack the imagination to envision a big twin? Did Boeing push the envelope on ETOPS or the engine manufacturers?

There's still no ETOPS rating or ETOPS capable plane for the southern pacific, certainly, there are parts of the world where ETOPS is STILL an issue.

Cheers! wave 
Gastón - The MD-11 Junkie
There is no such thing as Boeing vs Airbus as the queen of the skies has three engines, winglets and the sweetest nose!
 
gigneil
Posts: 14133
Joined: Fri Nov 08, 2002 10:25 am

RE: Why Did Airbus Make The A340 A Quad?

Wed Jun 22, 2005 5:40 am

We're missing a big part of why the A340 didn't live up to expectations, and its all IAE's fault.

The A340 was supposed to feature IAE SuperFans, an extremely advanced engine that would have given the A340 massively superior fuel burn and range. It would have been the earliest 10:1 bypass ratio engine, and even the 777 would have had a hard time competing with it.

IAE failed.

Rather than wait for IAE to fix it, they added a quick root plug and winglets and rushed the plane to market.

The A340, even early ones, far exceeded the range of the 777-200A. The idea was to have the long range plane on the market at the same time as the medium haul twin, which competed favorably against the 772A. As has been noted, a GE90 big enough to power the A340 wouldn't be available until almost 1997.

N
 
beauing
Posts: 329
Joined: Sat May 21, 2005 1:59 pm

RE: Why Did Airbus Make The A340 A Quad?

Wed Jun 22, 2005 5:41 am

Quoting MD11junkie (Reply 24):
There's still no ETOPS rating or ETOPS capable plane for the southern pacific, certainly, there are parts of the world where ETOPS is STILL an issue.

What are some of the routes that the 777 can't fly?
 
MD11junkie
Posts: 2499
Joined: Tue May 10, 2005 4:59 am

RE: Why Did Airbus Make The A340 A Quad?

Wed Jun 22, 2005 5:46 am

Quoting Gigneil (Reply 25):
We're missing a big part of why the A340 didn't live up to expectations, and its all IAE's fault.

The A340 was supposed to feature IAE SuperFans, an extremely advanced engine that would have given the A340 massively superior fuel burn and range. It would have been the earliest 10:1 bypass ratio engine, and even the 777 would have had a hard time competing with it.

IAE failed.

Rather than wait for IAE to fix it, they added a quick root plug and winglets and rushed the plane to market.

Thanks for the info!! I didn't know this! It's great to learn something new everyday!

Now isn't IAE = PW? I smell something weird here  stirthepot   taekwondo 

Cheers! wave 
Gastón - The MD-11 Junkie
There is no such thing as Boeing vs Airbus as the queen of the skies has three engines, winglets and the sweetest nose!
 
N1120A
Posts: 26467
Joined: Sun Dec 14, 2003 5:40 pm

RE: Why Did Airbus Make The A340 A Quad?

Wed Jun 22, 2005 5:46 am

Quoting Vivek0072 (Reply 3):
4 engines 4 long haul, thats what i think, bigger a capacity plane with more range to do the trans pacific.

Funny how airlines think quite differently from you and the A340 has neither more capacity nor more range than the 777

Quoting MD11junkie (Reply 13):
Talk about commonality!

Yet they still don't have a common pilot rating

Quoting Ikramerica (Reply 14):
The GE90 was not available in the late 80s.

The GE90 is not the only engine on the 777. The PW4000 did exist then, though not in as high a power form.

Quoting Ikramerica (Reply 14):
the larger GEnx engine will produce the same thrust as the original GE90s at greater efficiency (it is hoped),

Actually the GEnx will be smaller in size than the GE90 and produce a touch less thrust than the low thrust versions of the GE90. The efficiency advantage is real

Quoting Ikramerica (Reply 14):
which is why they can offer the A350, though I'm still not sure how they plan to fly 8000nm+ with that size plane with that rated engine.

Well, the thinking is, you take an A330, drop the weight, increase the performance slightly and use engines that burn a significant amount less fuel and you extend the range. It wont be as good as the 787, but the range should increase a good deal over the A330
Mangeons les French fries, mais surtout pratiquons avec fierte le French kiss
 
MD11junkie
Posts: 2499
Joined: Tue May 10, 2005 4:59 am

RE: Why Did Airbus Make The A340 A Quad?

Wed Jun 22, 2005 5:47 am

Quoting Beauing (Reply 26):
What are some of the routes that the 777 can't fly?

EZE-AKL
SCL-AKL

Cheers! wave 
Gastón - The MD-11 Junkie
There is no such thing as Boeing vs Airbus as the queen of the skies has three engines, winglets and the sweetest nose!
 
beauing
Posts: 329
Joined: Sat May 21, 2005 1:59 pm

RE: Why Did Airbus Make The A340 A Quad?

Wed Jun 22, 2005 5:56 am

Quoting MD11junkie (Reply 29):
Quoting Beauing (Reply 26):
What are some of the routes that the 777 can't fly?

EZE-AKL
SCL-AKL

Is that ALL?
 
ikramerica
Posts: 13760
Joined: Mon May 23, 2005 9:33 am

RE: Why Did Airbus Make The A340 A Quad?

Wed Jun 22, 2005 5:56 am

Quoting N1120A (Reply 28):
Well, the thinking is, you take an A330, drop the weight, increase the performance slightly and use engines that burn a significant amount less fuel and you extend the range. It wont be as good as the 787, but the range should increase a good deal over the A330

Boeing says the bleedless 787 engines it will use will contribute up to 8% of the new efficiency. Can't see how a bleed air version will contribute 15% greater efficiency, which is what another thread, in a lot of detail, determined the A350 would need to achieve it's stated goals.

Anyway, the short answer to the question is: it wasn't possible at the time, and going tri-jet didn't make sense up against the MD11, too similar.
Of all the things to worry about... the Wookie has no pants.
 
MD11junkie
Posts: 2499
Joined: Tue May 10, 2005 4:59 am

RE: Why Did Airbus Make The A340 A Quad?

Wed Jun 22, 2005 5:59 am

Quoting Beauing (Reply 30):
Is that ALL?

No, those are the only ones I know  Smile
Even though, if those were to be all - the ETOPS incapability prevents these airlines from buying the "efficient twin" because these two routings are rather vital for the airlines  Smile.

The complete routing for the EZE flight would be... GRU-EZE-AKL-SYD, this is 3x weekly

Cheers! wave 
Gastón - The MD-11 Junkie
There is no such thing as Boeing vs Airbus as the queen of the skies has three engines, winglets and the sweetest nose!
 
zvezda
Posts: 8891
Joined: Sat Aug 28, 2004 8:48 pm

RE: Why Did Airbus Make The A340 A Quad?

Wed Jun 22, 2005 6:01 am

Quoting Beauing (Reply 23):
Did Airbus just lack the imagination to envision a big twin? Did Boeing push the envelope on ETOPS or the engine manufacturers?

Boeing was impetus behind the push for ETOPS 180, though of course the engine manufacturers played an important role. At the time of the A330/A340 development, it was not clear that ETOPS 180 would ever be approved.

The theory (since disproven) behind the idea that quads should consume less fuel on long-haul flights than twins goes like this. Calculate the thrust needed to take off with one engine out. The quads must have (with all four engines operating) 133.3% of this thrust. A twin must have 200%. The lower total thrust should result in lower fuel consumption. It made sense to me at the time, but the B777 has shown otherwise.
 
Glom
Posts: 2051
Joined: Sat Apr 23, 2005 2:38 am

RE: Why Did Airbus Make The A340 A Quad?

Wed Jun 22, 2005 6:08 am

Quoting Zvezda (Reply 33):
The theory (since disproven) behind the idea that quads should consume less fuel on long-haul flights than twins goes like this. Calculate the thrust needed to take off with one engine out. The quads must have (with all four engines operating) 133.3% of this thrust. A twin must have 200%. The lower total thrust should result in lower fuel consumption. It made sense to me at the time, but the B777 has shown otherwise.

But if the engines on a twin must be rated to a much higher thrust level for the engine out scenario, then presumably, during normal flight, they'll be operating at much less than maximum thrust and hence much less than maximum fuel flow will occur.
 
gigneil
Posts: 14133
Joined: Fri Nov 08, 2002 10:25 am

RE: Why Did Airbus Make The A340 A Quad?

Wed Jun 22, 2005 6:10 am

Quoting Zvezda (Reply 33):
It made sense to me at the time, but the B777 has shown otherwise.

It doesn't prove anything except that the 777 burns less fuel than an A340.

It doesn't really prove or disprove the axiom.

N
 
zvezda
Posts: 8891
Joined: Sat Aug 28, 2004 8:48 pm

RE: Why Did Airbus Make The A340 A Quad?

Wed Jun 22, 2005 6:16 am

Quoting Gigneil (Reply 35):

It doesn't prove anything except that the 777 burns less fuel than an A340.

It doesn't really prove or disprove the axiom.

It doesn't prove that twins are always more efficient, but it proves that twins can be more efficient. Sorry for not being more clear in my earlier post.
 
wukka
Posts: 884
Joined: Wed Jan 26, 2005 1:08 pm

RE: Why Did Airbus Make The A340 A Quad?

Wed Jun 22, 2005 6:19 am

Quoting Zvezda (Reply 33):
The lower total thrust should result in lower fuel consumption.

Yes, but you're still fighting the same physics that make the perpetual motion machine a pipe dream (for now, anyhow).  Smile

Just starting one of those additional engines isn't cheap!
We can agree to disagree.
 
flyAUA
Posts: 4287
Joined: Wed May 25, 2005 3:12 am

RE: Why Did Airbus Make The A340 A Quad?

Wed Jun 22, 2005 6:39 am

Quoting Beauing (Reply 23):
How did it get to NOT be an issue in three short years?

Get your facts straight buddy! The issue was not resolved when Airbus certified their A340 in 1992. When Boeing rolled out their B777 in 1995 the issue was resolved. Whether you want to accept this or not is your own problem. It was not until later in 1993 that Airbus got their A330 certified, an aircraft almost identical to the A340 but with half the engines.
Not drinking, also isn't a solution!
 
beauing
Posts: 329
Joined: Sat May 21, 2005 1:59 pm

RE: Why Did Airbus Make The A340 A Quad?

Wed Jun 22, 2005 6:56 am

Quoting FlyAUA (Reply 38):
Get your facts straight buddy! The issue was not resolved when Airbus certified their A340 in 1992. When Boeing rolled out their B777 in 1995 the issue was resolved. Whether you want to accept this or not is your own problem.

Who said I didn't want to accept this? All I did was ask a question.
 
flyAUA
Posts: 4287
Joined: Wed May 25, 2005 3:12 am

RE: Why Did Airbus Make The A340 A Quad?

Wed Jun 22, 2005 7:06 am

Quoting Beauing (Reply 39):
Who said I didn't want to accept this? All I did was ask a question.

In that case, accept my apologies  Smile

I thought that by highlighting the "not" you were making a point contrary to what I said.
Not drinking, also isn't a solution!
 
grimey
Posts: 309
Joined: Tue Jun 07, 2005 2:48 am

RE: Why Did Airbus Make The A340 A Quad?

Wed Jun 22, 2005 7:09 am

When the B777 was released the transatlantic laws were changed to allow for a twin engined jet to cross the Atlantic if they could get to a safe landing area within one hour of an emergency instead of 3 hours therefore a few years before; Airbus put four engines on the A340 in order to obey those laws and may explain why the A330 was released after the A340.

I'll try to dig out more info on this but I'm sure I seen that explained on Discovery Wings a while back.

Grimey
 
BlueSky1976
Posts: 1605
Joined: Tue Jul 20, 2004 9:18 am

RE: Why Did Airbus Make The A340 A Quad?

Wed Jun 22, 2005 7:39 am

Quoting Beauing (Reply 23):
How did it get to NOT be an issue in three short years? Did Airbus just lack the imagination to envision a big twin? Did Boeing push the envelope on ETOPS or the engine manufacturers?

It's not the "three short years" we're talking about here. The first concept for what became A340 was drawn initially as early as 1982. Older members of this forum may remember, that the plane that would become the Ultimate Twin - the 777 - was then conceived as... a tri-jet! It wasn't until the advent of 767-200ER that Boeing became confident in the twin-engine long haul layout.
POLAND IS UNDER DICTATORSHIP. PLEASE SUPPORT COMMITTEE FOR DEFENSE OF DEMOCRACY, K.O.D.
 
User avatar
mariner
Posts: 18176
Joined: Fri Nov 23, 2001 7:29 am

RE: Why Did Airbus Make The A340 A Quad?

Wed Jun 22, 2005 7:51 am

Quoting N1120A (Reply 28):
Funny how airlines think quite differently from you

And they think quite differently from me. I will go out of my way to avoid twins on trans-ocean flights. Four for long haul gets my dime every time.

I understand that eventually I may run out of options, but maybe I'll be dead by then and it won't matter.

 Smile

cheers

mariner
aeternum nauta
 
Stealthz
Posts: 5546
Joined: Wed Feb 02, 2005 11:43 am

RE: Why Did Airbus Make The A340 A Quad?

Wed Jun 22, 2005 8:03 am

Quote:
When the B777 was released the transatlantic laws were changed to allow for a twin engined jet to cross the Atlantic if they could get to a safe landing area within one hour of an emergency instead of 3 hours therefore a few years before

Kind of curious about that.. I flew Transatlantic in 1989 on a Canadien 767 from Toronto to Amsterdam, I am sure they were breaking no laws then and were not alone.

And that law change you speak of appears a backward stepp is tightenng the rules rather than freeing them up

Chris
If your camera sends text messages, that could explain why your photos are rubbish!
 
gigneil
Posts: 14133
Joined: Fri Nov 08, 2002 10:25 am

RE: Why Did Airbus Make The A340 A Quad?

Wed Jun 22, 2005 8:06 am

Quoting Grimey (Reply 41):
When the B777 was released the transatlantic laws were changed to allow for a twin engined jet to cross the Atlantic if they could get to a safe landing area within one hour of an emergency instead of 3 hours therefore a few years before

That isn't the case. The 767 and A300 and A310 had all been flying ETOPS within 138 minutes and later 180.

The 777 was certificated for 180 minutes, three hours from a suitable alternate.

N
 
kaneporta1
Posts: 710
Joined: Wed Jun 01, 2005 12:22 am

RE: Why Did Airbus Make The A340 A Quad?

Wed Jun 22, 2005 8:37 am

I just want to complement the A330/340 development story here. Indeed the initial idea, sometime in the mid 80s was to develop the ultimate twin using the IAE superfan. When IAE cancelled that project it was decided to go ahead with two aircraft, a quad for the thin longhaul routes and a twin for the short/medium high demand routes. That's why the -200 was the first A340 to be developed and certified while the -300 was the first of the A330 series. The idea was that the A342 would fly routes that required DC-10/Tristar/767 capacity and 747 range. The A342 would fly these routes a lot more economically than a 747. On the other hand the A333 was designed as a bigger more efficient A300 with no trans-oceanic operations in mind. The ETOPS regulations changed that, and it finally turned out that what the airlines needed was a smaller A330 and a bigger A340.
I'd rather die peacefully in my sleep, like my grandfather, not terrified and screaming, like his passengers
 
TGV
Posts: 716
Joined: Wed Dec 29, 2004 1:37 pm

RE: Why Did Airbus Make The A340 A Quad?

Wed Jun 22, 2005 8:44 am

Quoting Beauing (Reply 23):
Did Airbus just lack the imagination to envision a big twin?

Well if we consider this, excerpt from the database from Airliners.net:

1)Two prototype A300B1s were built, the first of these flying from Toulouse, France on October 28 1972, the second on February 5 the next year.

2) The 767 first flew on September 26 1981, and entered service (with United) on September 26 1982 (certification with P&W engines was awarded on July 30 1982).

we can see that the first widebody twin from Airbus the A300 (also the first in the world if I am not mistaken) has flown 9 years before the same design from Boeing.

So I guess it is not imagination that was lacking in Airbus, but more a consequence of the rules and engines existing at the time.
Avoid 777 with 3-4-3 config in Y ! They are real sardine cans. (AF/KL for example)
 
ltbewr
Posts: 12388
Joined: Thu Jan 29, 2004 1:24 pm

RE: Why Did Airbus Make The A340 A Quad?

Wed Jun 22, 2005 8:52 am

As to 757's, 767's, and A-300's and ETOPS over the Northern Atlantic Ocean in the 1980's-early 1990's, they had to take a slightly different route to be within the range of an emergency airport, mainly Iceland. Later versions of those a/c with newer engines as well as the 777 had longer ETOPS ranges, thus could use the same routes of 4 engine a/c's.
Clearly at the initial time of development of the A340 series, ETOPS range was still considerably shorter than when it came out. There are still some routes -like polar, over Russia, China, South Pacific and South Atlantic - where current ETOPS ranges do not meet needs or only with longer, less efficient route to be within ETOPS ranges. There are also issues like weather, wind currents, available diversion airports with the proper equipment in isolated areas as well as political considerations that cause a demand for large capacity 4 engine a/c like the B747 & A340.
 
User avatar
Starlionblue
Posts: 17080
Joined: Fri Feb 27, 2004 9:54 pm

RE: Why Did Airbus Make The A340 A Quad?

Wed Jun 22, 2005 9:18 am

Quoting BuyantUkhaa (Reply 5):
ETOPS must have played a role; they did eventually bring out a twin version of the 340

No, the 330 and 340 are in most respects the same plane.

Quoting Beauing (Reply 6):
But the A340 is a smaller plane with less capacity than the 777

Nope, the 346 and 773 are pretty equivalent.

Quoting Glom (Reply 7):
The A340 is a derivative of the A330.

No again. as has been said, the 340 and 330 are essentially the same plane.

Quoting EI A330-200 (Reply 10):
Actually, I believe that the A330 is the derivative of the A340. Pretty sure that the A340 debuted before the A330. Again, could be wrong, though. As to my earlier comment, the A340 was far more efficient when it debuted than anything out there that could do the same distances.

Well, you are wrong. They essentially the same plane.
Trivia: Since the quad was coming out first, it was supposed to be "330", with the twin named "340". But they came to their senses.

Quoting Jetdeltamsy (Reply 17):
Passengers like having 4 engines, especially on long, overwater routes.

In general, passengers don't even know what the plane is called, let alone the number of engines.

Quoting Beauing (Reply 23):
Quoting FlyAUA (Reply 21):
The main reason was ETOPS. Back when the A340 was made it was still an issue to do those routes with 2 engines.

How did it get to NOT be an issue in three short years? Did Airbus just lack the imagination to envision a big twin? Did Boeing push the envelope on ETOPS or the engine manufacturers?

Yes they did. But it was a combination of factors, the most important one of which was that customers in the main growth area (Asia) preferred a quad.

Quoting MD11junkie (Reply 24):

There's still no ETOPS rating or ETOPS capable plane for the southern pacific, certainly, there are parts of the world where ETOPS is STILL an issue.

Moot point since so few routes are affected.



Why did they make the 340 a quad?
- Market pressure. European customers were split, North Americans wanted a twin, Asians a quad. Airbus chose it's market and went with it.
- No availability of really powerful engines yet. And it was more than three years to the 777 as someone said. I think more like five-seven years between the 340 and the 777.
- ETOPS still "not there" for the big twins to go really far without diversion airports.

If Airbus had built the 330/340 even four or five years later, they might well have made the plane a twin only.
"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots." - John Ringo