atmx2000
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Carriers Consider Suing Airbus Over A346 CG Issues

Sat Apr 07, 2007 9:01 am

http://business.timesonline.co.uk/to...ors/engineering/article1624119.ece

Airlines are considering suing Airbus after the aircraft manufacturer warned them that the front-end of the A340-600 was dangerously overweight, The Times has learnt.

The problem is caused by heavier than expected first and business-class areas and airlines have been told to reduce the amount of cargo they carry to rebalance the aircraft.

The first and business class sections on some A340600s are so heavy that they are pushing the jet’s nose down during flight, which can play havoc with the aerodynamics and potentially endanger passengers and crew. Flying nose down also increases drag off the wings and forces the aircraft to burn more fuel.

Airbus has recommended that airlines carry about five tonnes less cargo in the front of the plane to compensate, a reduction of nearly 10 per cent in its total cargo capacity.


....

The A340-600, at 75 metres, is longer even than the A380, and typically seats 380. Doug McVitie, the director of Arran Aerospace, said: “The A340-600 is a piece of spaghetti with wings. Anything heavy at the front will therefore throw off the centre of gravity and that causes all sorts of problems.”

Interesting problem. Airbus is claiming that it is the airlines' faults, but the airlines seem to suggest Airbus has incorrectly stated permissable weights. I wonder which airlines are complaining, given the limited number of A346 operators. Potentially it could lead to further cancellations of A346s.

This is also something to ponder in regards to further stretches of the 777 and the A350-1000 or suggested 787-11.

[Edited 2007-04-07 02:02:55]
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zeke
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RE: Carriers Consider Suing Airbus Over A346 CG Issues

Sat Apr 07, 2007 9:15 am

Quoting Atmx2000 (Thread starter):
Interesting problem. Airbus is claiming that it is the airlines' faults, but the airlines seem to suggest Airbus has incorrectly stated permissable weights. I wonder which airlines are complaining, given the limited number of A346 operators. Potentially it could lead to further cancellations of A346s.

AFAIK the forward and aft CG range on the 346 has not changed since certification (just the increase in MTOW), all I can say is that in the years we have operated the 346, we have not had forward CG issues.
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Arniepie
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RE: Carriers Consider Suing Airbus Over A346 CG Issues

Sat Apr 07, 2007 9:20 am

If this is true than SAA comes to mind as the first candidate, didn't they have loading troubles up until recently (bad CG due to difficult load spreading aft vs forward) ?
If its true
[edit post]
 
teva
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RE: Carriers Consider Suing Airbus Over A346 CG Issues

Sat Apr 07, 2007 7:15 pm

From what I read above, only airlines are to blame for this.
Weight & balance is something very simple.
You must balance the front section with the weight you put in the rear section.
The maximum you can put in those sections is fixed.
So, if airlines decide to install heavier equipment on the main deck of their nose section, it automatically reduces by the same amount the weight you can put in the holds just under. This is just to keep the aircraft in balance with the rear section.
And it is the same for any aircraft, not only Airbus
This aircraft has been in operation for years. Airlines had the figures. So, if they have problems ith their new interiors, they are the only ones to blame, because they made the mis-calculations when choosing their new interiors.
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EI321
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RE: Carriers Consider Suing Airbus Over A346 CG Issues

Sat Apr 07, 2007 9:01 pm

Very interesting development. I would have thought that per SQm of floor space, first class is the lightest of all classes when passengers & luggage is taken into account.
 
baroque
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RE: Carriers Consider Suing Airbus Over A346 CG Issues

Sat Apr 07, 2007 9:32 pm

Quoting EI321 (Reply 7):
Very interesting development. I would have thought that per SQm of floor space, first class is the lightest of all classes when passengers & luggage is taken into account.

Not if the pax are allowed to bring on their egos as cabin baggage.  Smile  Big grin
 
idlewild
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RE: Carriers Consider Suing Airbus Over A346 CG Issues

Sat Apr 07, 2007 10:19 pm

Does the DC-8 60/70 series have these problems?
 
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zeke
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RE: Carriers Consider Suing Airbus Over A346 CG Issues

Sat Apr 07, 2007 10:28 pm

Quoting EI321 (Reply 7):
Very interesting development. I would have thought that per SQm of floor space, first class is the lightest of all classes when passengers & luggage is taken into account.

1 F class seat has a mass of about 10 Y class seats, catering mass is of a similar proportion.
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JAL
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RE: Carriers Consider Suing Airbus Over A346 CG Issues

Sat Apr 07, 2007 10:37 pm

I didn't know there was a weight problem with the A340-600.
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EI321
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RE: Carriers Consider Suing Airbus Over A346 CG Issues

Sat Apr 07, 2007 10:46 pm

Quoting Zeke (Reply 10):
Quoting EI321 (Reply 7):
Very interesting development. I would have thought that per SQm of floor space, first class is the lightest of all classes when passengers & luggage is taken into account.

1 F class seat has a mass of about 10 Y class seats, catering mass is of a similar proportion.

Even with passengers sitting in them & luggage in the hold?
 
atmx2000
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RE: Carriers Consider Suing Airbus Over A346 CG Issues

Sat Apr 07, 2007 11:26 pm

Quoting EI321 (Reply 7):
I would have thought that per SQm of floor space, first class is the lightest of all classes when passengers & luggage is taken into account.

It perhaps doesn't have to be heavier, just heavier than expected. And remember it is closest to the front of a very long plane, so weight differences will result in greater torque.
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777fan
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RE: Carriers Consider Suing Airbus Over A346 CG Issues

Sun Apr 08, 2007 12:25 am

I would surmise that Airbus is at fault since they presumably installed the F and C class seats; they had to know what they were going to weigh, should have done the calculations and in turn, told the respective carriers "yes, that's okay", or "no, you can't put that there". Either way, sucks to be the affected carriers.


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Dougloid
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RE: Carriers Consider Suing Airbus Over A346 CG Issues

Sun Apr 08, 2007 12:35 am

Quoting Teva (Reply 4):
From what I read above, only airlines are to blame for this.
Weight & balance is something very simple.
You must balance the front section with the weight you put in the rear section.
The maximum you can put in those sections is fixed.
So, if airlines decide to install heavier equipment on the main deck of their nose section, it automatically reduces by the same amount the weight you can put in the holds just under. This is just to keep the aircraft in balance with the rear section.
And it is the same for any aircraft, not only Airbus
This aircraft has been in operation for years. Airlines had the figures. So, if they have problems ith their new interiors, they are the only ones to blame, because they made the mis-calculations when choosing their new interiors.
Teva

You're oversimplifying the subject and in so doing are being somewhat misleading. You are confusing overloading with loading outside of the CG range. I believe what's being said here is that because a certain amount of excess weight had been added in the forward half of the aircraft, that has reduced the amount of cargo that can be loaded forward without exceeding the CG limit. In some aircraft this would not be a problem, so it's not *the same for any aircraft*.
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widebodyphotog
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RE: Carriers Consider Suing Airbus Over A346 CG Issues

Sun Apr 08, 2007 12:38 am

Interestingly enough it was LH who was out front on this issue some time ago. Performance at medium/long ranges with forward CG caused noticeably more fuel burn than predicted by Airbus. The crux of the problem is that many in service A340-600's have lower deck crew, catering, and passenger amenities that are fixed and can not be changed. The aft cargo hold space is dramatically reduced and you can not use cargo ULD to adequately offset loads carried in the forward hold especially when high center tank loads are carried. When the aircraft with the smaller aft holds are carrying a full revenue payload weight and balance is very tricky very similar to the 777-200ER with lower deck crew rests but a magnitude, greater because the forward hold of the A340-600 is very long and even light ULD in the forward positions are multiplied by very long "arm" and effect CG significantly.

A340-600 airplanes that do not have the lower deck amenities or don't have the full compliment, the problem is greatly reduced because there are many positions available to offset weight in the nose. But it's quite interesting on the A340-600 compared to the 777-300/ER the moment arms are shorter for the aft hold positions thus having lesser effect on CG and therefore trim settings. The point being that on the A340-600 when all aft ULD positions are loadable the weight aft has less of an effect on CG than an airplane of similar length.

I'm quite surprised that this issue has not come to light earlier as there are a hand full of carriers that have been significantly impacted by CG issues on the A340-600. Basically there is no real fix to it except for flying short range flights in order to use the full payload capabilities of the airplane.



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airfrnt
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RE: Carriers Consider Suing Airbus Over A346 CG Issues

Sun Apr 08, 2007 12:42 am

Maybe this will put a end to the persistant rumour that carriers are happy with the 346's they ordered.
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hiflyer
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RE: Carriers Consider Suing Airbus Over A346 CG Issues

Sun Apr 08, 2007 12:46 am

It appears that the problem is not as much original aircraft design as it is new premium cabin upgrades that are the rage and all the weight that is going with them. A too simplistic view is that the aircraft was designed at a certain f c y config and therefore should not be an issue....it apparently is an issue when the newer f and c seats are now coming in far heavier than airbus set the original specifications for while newer y seats are using more lightweight materials than originally planned during design. A normal counterbalance for this, aside from cargo loading, is fuel. However aircraft that have large center tanks are prone to be more nose heavy which may also be an issue here especially if the cg problem is more acute at high fuel loads/long flights.
 
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RE: Carriers Consider Suing Airbus Over A346 CG Issues

Sun Apr 08, 2007 12:56 am

Quoting AirFrnt (Reply 17):
Maybe this will put a end to the persistant rumour that carriers are happy with the 346's they ordered.

And YES the vast majority of A340-600 users ARE happy with them, regretfully for the too many A340-600 bashers around !!!
 
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RE: Carriers Consider Suing Airbus Over A346 CG Issues

Sun Apr 08, 2007 1:00 am

Quoting Teva (Reply 4):
From what I read above, only airlines are to blame for this.
Weight & balance is something very simple.

Honey, it's not true at all time. I work this part for nearly all aircraft type in this wworld.
Some of the flights has crazy weight and balance problems which sometimes made us think again and again for the optimum usage of aircrafts.

At least 2 biggest 340-600 operators are talking to sue Airbus  Wink

Well, you've got to sue when the a/c your are buying reduce your payload over 5 tons (that's lots of money) only because someone miscalculated !!  Wink
Let's just blame it on yields.
 
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Stitch
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RE: Carriers Consider Suing Airbus Over A346 CG Is

Sun Apr 08, 2007 1:01 am

Quoting Widebodyphotog (Reply 16):
Interestingly enough it was LH who was out front on this issue some time ago. Performance at medium/long ranges with forward CG caused noticeably more fuel burn than predicted by Airbus. The crux of the problem is that many in service A340-600's have lower deck crew, catering, and passenger amenities that are fixed and can not be changed.

LH uses underfloor crew rest and lavs on their A346's, do they not?

Are CG issues one of the reasons LH does not offer First Class on their A346 fleet? (That I can find from seatguru.com and seatexpert.com.)
 
JAAlbert
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RE: Carriers Consider Suing Airbus Over A346 CG Issues

Sun Apr 08, 2007 1:27 am

I have been wondering just how heavy those first class suites are. In an age where airlines are looking to strip any unnecessary weight from an aircraft, it is interesting that they are clamoring to install these large, bulky -- and apparently very heavy -- units.

I can't imagine the airlines would consider sueing unless they had some evidence showing that Airbus had said at the time of purchase, the airlines could put that much weight up front.

What is a bit scary is that the extra weight is "causing havoc" with the aerodynamic aspects of the plane which could be a safety issue. Describing the 340-600 as spaghetti w/ wings doesn't provide much reassurance (is this pre or post cooked spaghetti??)

I hope they solve the issue, as I would love to fly in one someday!
 
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RE: Carriers Consider Suing Airbus Over A346 CG Issues

Sun Apr 08, 2007 1:27 am

Quoting Zeke (Reply 1):
all I can say is that in the years we have operated the 346, we have not had forward CG issues.



Quoting Stitch (Reply 3):
You work for CX, correct? Are there plans to update the current F and J seats with the new (and presumably heavier) suite and seat product?

Sparklehorse12 wondered if this was a "Boeing spook story."

Actually, if this is a problem, it sounds to me that this is not an Airbus-specific problem, but rather an issue that would come up for any existing, ultra-long fuselage when upgrades of heavy first and business class seats that were not originally envisioned for the type are installed.

IF Airbus is at fault, it could be because they did not worn airlines intending to upgrade existing A/C with all that additional forward weight, that it would cause weight and balance issues and lead to the reduction of freight carrying capability. The question would be, has Airbus encouraged such seating upgrades to keep the -600 current and selling, and kept mum about resulting freight penalties?

And yet, the operators are not stupid; wouldn't they realize that adding a lot of weight, and so far from the center of gravity at that, is going to have it's consequences?

Quoting Atmx2000 (Thread starter):
This is also something to ponder in regards to further stretches of the 777 and the A350-1000 or suggested 787-11.

I would assume that yet-to-be-built A/C will already include state-of-the-art first and business class seats as part of the equation as they calculate empty take off weight, where the center of gravity will/should be, and therefore (in the case of the 777 stretch) how long the fuselage extensions forward and AFT of the wing would be, am I right? The extra weight of those seats would be taken into consideration in the overall design.
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atmx2000
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RE: Carriers Consider Suing Airbus Over A346 CG Issues

Sun Apr 08, 2007 1:34 am

Quoting SSTsomeday (Reply 23):
Actually, if this is a problem, it sounds to me that this is not an Airbus-specific problem, but rather an issue that would come up for any existing, ultra-long fuselage when upgrades of heavy first and business class seats that were not originally envisioned for the type are installed.

From what widebodyphotog is saying, it sounds like it the lower crew rest holds in the rear are making it difficult to balance out heavy loads in the front. This would make it a configuration specific issue. I wonder if this has had any impact on Airbus's thinking with regards to crew rests and other cargo deck facilities in the A350XWB.
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OldAeroGuy
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RE: Carriers Consider Suing Airbus Over A346 CG Issues

Sun Apr 08, 2007 1:36 am

An additional factor could be the CG position for the "as manufactured" airplane. If the CG with no interior furnishings is further forward than the Airbus prediction at time of sale, the airlines could have a valid reason for compliant. They would have based their interior arrangements on an empty weight CG that would have allowed the TOW CG to remain within the forward CG limit. If the actual empty weight CG is further forward than predicted, then forebody payload and/or center tank fuel would need to be reduced so the TOW CG was within the forward limit.

I don't know if this is the actual case, but the body strengthening and additional weight that has been said to be required to reduce "excess" flexibility in the A346 fuselage could be a probable cause for a more forward empty CG.
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widebodyphotog
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RE: Carriers Consider Suing Airbus Over A346 CG Issues

Sun Apr 08, 2007 1:43 am

Quoting Teva (Reply 4):
From what I read above, only airlines are to blame for this.

Yes, and no. When adding various BFE (Buyer furnished equipment) to the generic airplane each component comprimises something to some degree. Airbus is responsible for working with the operators to understand how the variables add up when installing optional equipent that they offer. What has happened is that firstly the compliment of BFE that some carriers has drastically reduces the operating limits of the airplane. This may be the operators fault for going overboard with BFE, but on the other hand the those limits were narrow by design of the aircraft which is the fault of the designer...



Quoting Stitch (Reply 21):
LH uses underfloor crew rest and lavs on their A346's, do they not?

And/or galleys as well...The aft hold is very small. When the lower holds have full revenue load, depending on the weight of cargo, they have to either offload some to keep the aircraft in trim, or burn additional fuel over the the flight due to forward CG. I have to qualify all this by saying LH has the most extreme lower deck of all the A340-600 operators. Honestly their arrangement would not be a good idea on any large airplane because of the potential detriment to performance. However, they never throughly considered the 777-300ER which can be configured with overhead crew rests and galleys, leaving the aft cargo hold fully useable. In my world if you must have galley and crew facilities that do not sacrifice revenue load then there was/is only one choice...



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DfwRevolution
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RE: Carriers Consider Suing Airbus Over A346 CG Issues

Sun Apr 08, 2007 1:45 am

Glancing at the replies, has anyone considered just moving the premium cabin to the center of the aircraft? It would weird to have an economy cabin, followed by premium seats, followed by economy seats, but it should solve the problem, no?

Quoting Jetfan727 (Reply 19):
And YES the vast majority of A340-600 users ARE happy with them, regretfully for the too many A340-600 bashers around !!!

Of the twelve airlines who have ordered the A340-600, five have "defected" to the 773ER. Do you really consider 7 out of 12 a demonstration of satisfaction amongst the "vast majority" of the A340-600 customers? That isn't even 60%
 
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RE: Carriers Consider Suing Airbus Over A346 CG Issues

Sun Apr 08, 2007 1:55 am

Quoting Atmx2000 (Reply 24):
I wonder if this has had any impact on Airbus's thinking with regards to crew rests and other cargo deck facilities in the A350XWB.

This is interesting. I have seen pictures of large rest room facilities down a flight of stairs at the back of 340's as well. I suppose this creates more space for low-yield, revenue seating, however it takes up cargo capacity, one would imagine.

There seems to be a propensity for 340 operators to find various usages below decks (crew rest, rest rooms) that take up cargo space.

Does the 340 not have the capability to offer crew rest areas above the main cabin, as is the case with the 777?
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DfwRevolution
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RE: Carriers Consider Suing Airbus Over A346 CG Issues

Sun Apr 08, 2007 1:58 am

Quoting SSTsomeday (Reply 28):
Does the 340 not have the capability to offer crew rest areas above the main cabin, as is the case with the 777?

No, the fuselage is too narrow. There isn't enough room above the cabin trim for a crown-area rest module.
 
OldAeroGuy
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RE: Carriers Consider Suing Airbus Over A346 CG Issues

Sun Apr 08, 2007 2:02 am

Quoting SSTsomeday (Reply 28):
Does the 340 not have the capability to offer crew rest areas above the main cabin, as is the case with the 777?

No, the A340 cross section does not have enough space in the crown to offer a 777 style overhead crew rest.

Mr. Leahy's counter argument was to say that the 777 was providing crew rests in the overhead storage bins.
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Acheron
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RE: Carriers Consider Suing Airbus Over A346 CG Issues

Sun Apr 08, 2007 2:04 am

Quoting 777fan (Reply 14):
I would surmise that Airbus is at fault since they presumably installed the F and C class seats; they had to know what they were going to weigh, should have done the calculations and in turn, told the respective carriers "yes, that's okay", or "no, you can't put that there". Either way, sucks to be the affected carriers.

Then they would get sued for not abiding to the carriers' wishes, contract and whatnot.
 
WestJetYQQ
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RE: Carriers Consider Suing Airbus Over A346 CG Issues

Sun Apr 08, 2007 2:04 am

Quoting Atmx2000 (Thread starter):
Carriers Consider Suing Airbus Over A346 CG Issues

Simple as this, COME ON!!!! Doesn't Airbus have enough problems as it is?
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atmx2000
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RE: Carriers Consider Suing Airbus Over A346 CG Issues

Sun Apr 08, 2007 2:20 am

Quoting DfwRevolution (Reply 27):
Glancing at the replies, has anyone considered just moving the premium cabin to the center of the aircraft? It would weird to have an economy cabin, followed by premium seats, followed by economy seats, but it should solve the problem, no?

Ah but then all those premium customers would complain about cabin noise.

Anyway, I have a hard time believing the economy cabin is lighter. You've got about 2 rows of 3 abreast C being equivalent to 5 rows of 8 abreast Y area wise. Even if the C seats are heavier, the weight of 34 additional passengers should make up for that.
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coa747
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RE: Carriers Consider Suing Airbus Over A346 CG Issues

Sun Apr 08, 2007 2:45 am

Shouldn't CG issues have been considered during the construction by Airbus. I would have thought they would consider maximum load and what that would do to CG. Funny how some people on this forum defend the A340-600 to the death saying what a great airplane it is. Wonder why you don't hear any customers complain about the 777-300ER? I guess because it peforms as advertised for ALL airlines not just a few. Apparently the same can not be said for the A340-600 or we wouldn't keep hearing these stories and complaints from airlines. Sooner or later you have to wake up and realize the A340-600 and 500 were big loosers for Airbus and that isn't my opinion, just ask Emirates who canceled their big order, Virgin who was the 4 engine for the long haul poster child oh and you can throw in Thai as well.
 
ikramerica
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RE: Carriers Consider Suing Airbus Over A346 CG Issues

Sun Apr 08, 2007 3:03 am

Quoting Baroque (Reply 8):
Not if the pax are allowed to bring on their egos as cabin baggage.

Which are heavier, their egos or the chip on your shoulder?  Wink

Quoting SSTsomeday (Reply 23):
Actually, if this is a problem, it sounds to me that this is not an Airbus-specific problem, but rather an issue that would come up for any existing, ultra-long fuselage when upgrades of heavy first and business class seats that were not originally envisioned for the type are installed.

Hey, believe what you want. Maybe the 77W will have the same issues. Who knows? Maybe the jets where they put fuel in the stabilizers will have that issue?

Quoting DfwRevolution (Reply 27):
That isn't even 60%

And 2 other carriers are suing...

Quoting OldAeroGuy (Reply 30):
Mr. Leahy's counter argument was to say that the 777 was providing crew rests in the overhead storage bins.

Sort of like those pod hotels in Tokyo. People pay for those, right?
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Stitch
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RE: Carriers Consider Suing Airbus Over A346 CG Issues

Sun Apr 08, 2007 3:12 am

Quoting DfwRevolution (Reply 27):
Glancing at the replies, has anyone considered just moving the premium cabin to the center of the aircraft? It would weird to have an economy cabin, followed by premium seats, followed by economy seats, but it should solve the problem, no?

While I imagine it is not for CG issues, is not BA moving the new Club World cabin between Doors 2 and 3 on the 744? I thought I read about it in the forum.
 
jetfan727
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RE: Carriers Consider Suing Airbus Over A346 CG Issues

Sun Apr 08, 2007 3:15 am

Quoting Stitch (Reply 21):
Are CG issues one of the reasons LH does not offer First Class on their A346 fleet? (That I can find from seatguru.com and seatexpert.com.)

Some of LH's A346 are going to have F class.

Quoting JAAlbert (Reply 22):
Describing the 340-600 as spaghetti w/ wings doesn't provide much reassurance

A kind of a stupid description to say the least, even more surprising since it comes from someone within the airliner industry.The A340-600 is a perfectly safe aircraft to fly on.

Quoting Coa747 (Reply 34):
Funny how some people on this forum defend the A340-600 to the death saying what a great airplane it is.

Funny how some people on this forum keep on criticizing it....

Quoting Coa747 (Reply 34):
just ask Emirates who canceled their big order, Virgin who was the 4 engine for the long haul poster child oh and you can throw in Thai as well.

VS / LH / IB / CX / TG are all sooooooo unhappy with their A340-600s. And Emirates has now become the world's reference.....
 
atmx2000
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RE: Carriers Consider Suing Airbus Over A346 CG Issues

Sun Apr 08, 2007 3:24 am

Quoting Jetfan727 (Reply 37):
VS / LH / IB / CX / TG are all sooooooo unhappy with their A340-600s. And Emirates has now become the world's reference.....

Well we all know VS has delayed their orders... Whether it is for demand related reasons or something else who knows.

CX ordered a lot of 773ERs despite having A346s in fleet.

TG:

http://etna.mcot.net/query.php?nid=27902

Somchai Meesane, spokesman for the assembly’s panel, told reporters that losses incurred from the two direct services to the US were due mainly to high fuel costs and fierce competition in the trans-Pacific segment. THAI had to enter into a price war and successively reduce air fares to attract
business, the legislators were told.

The committee questioned whether it was commercially sound to fly Airbus A 340-500 and Airbus 340-600 aircrafts on the two loss-making routes as they were extremely energy inefficient.

Committee members also asked whether THAI management and board of directors at the time were under pressure from political appointees to purchase the aircrafts, Mr Somchai said, adding that all five of them were ordered during the previous administration.


[Edited 2007-04-07 20:25:00]
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Dougloid
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RE: Carriers Consider Suing Airbus Over A346 CG Issues

Sun Apr 08, 2007 3:36 am

I do not see this as a problem for Airbus although the airlines are now understanding what it costs to dispense with the services of a competent weights engineer and are pointing the finger everywhere but at themselves. As Pogo says "We have seen the enemy, and he is us" or the Bard "The fault, dear Brutus. lies not in our stars but in ourselves.".

When I worked for Garrett that was my job title, weights engineer before I got my A&P and went out in the shop. Many and bitter were the arguments we had with customers over these matters. We'd do a weight estimate incoming and outgoing, and with some Jetstars we'd have a situation in which the crew could load the aircraft out of the CG envelope. So we'd either have to add permanent ballast (which ups the GW and imposes other limits), provide a set of instructions as to how to load the aircraft and stay within the CG limits, or revise the interior.

Most often we'd have the weight and CG come in within .2 per cent MAC and a couple hundred pounds max on a 25,000 pound airplane as compared to our projections. One time we nailed it, right down to the last pound.

One slick way we had of dealing with this was we'd sell the customer the provisions to mount a Delco Carousel INS system and in the rack in the nose we'd mount a 54 pound lead block that duplicated the CPU. We'd tell the customer that was so he didn't have to redo his weight and balance calculations if he decided to rent an INS for an overwater flight, but it really was ballast to compensate for an aft CG condition.

The airlines bought the aircraft in question with full knowledge of the weight and CG range as delivered. It's right there in the flight manual. If they've configured themselves into a place where the forward cargo hold is now load limited because of adverse CG consequences that's on their heads, because they knew going in what the weight and CG of a completed aircraft was.

And where were the airlines when the bad news was coming out of the weights engineering group? Probably in a meeting.
If you believe in coincidence, you haven't looked close enough-Joe Leaphorn
 
boeing767-300
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RE: Carriers Consider Suing Airbus Over A346 CG Issues

Sun Apr 08, 2007 3:38 am

Quoting DfwRevolution (Reply 27):
Of the twelve airlines who have ordered the A340-600, five have "defected" to the 773ER. Do you really consider 7 out of 12 a demonstration of satisfaction amongst the "vast majority" of the A340-600 customers? That isn't even 60%

Ok so EK AC and CX would be three. Who are the other two?...
 
DfwRevolution
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RE: Carriers Consider Suing Airbus Over A346 CG Issues

Sun Apr 08, 2007 3:39 am

Quoting Jetfan727 (Reply 37):
VS / LH / IB / CX / TG are all sooooooo unhappy with their A340-600s.

CX has placed an order for 18 773ER despite already operating the A346, so be careful who you reference...

Quoting Jetfan727 (Reply 37):
Funny how some people on this forum keep on criticizing it....

Seriously, is there any wonder why? No aircraft has been this out-classed so rapidly after EIS since the MD-11.

Quoting Atmx2000 (Reply 33):
Ah but then all those premium customers would complain about cabin noise.

Would they? The A340 cabin environment is quieter across the length of the cabin than its competitors anyway, so it would not put A346 operators at a disadvantage versus the 777.

Quoting Atmx2000 (Reply 33):
Anyway, I have a hard time believing the economy cabin is lighter. Even if the C seats are heavier, the weight of 34 additional passengers should make up for that.

Apparently that isn't the case...

If the weight of the first/business seats are indeed causing the nose-down torque, there is only one conclusion to be drawn: there is not an equal and opposing torque (mass*arm length) working to keep the A346 in equilibrium. The reason for that imbalance must relate to the mass distribution aft of the COG/COL, which would point directly at the weight of the economy cabin.

If you place exactly 50% of the economy cabin ahead of the wing, followed by the entire premium cabin, followed by the remaining 50% of the economy cabin, you achieve balance no matter what the absolute masses of the various cabin features are.
 
DfwRevolution
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RE: Carriers Consider Suing Airbus Over A346 CG Issues

Sun Apr 08, 2007 3:43 am

Quoting Boeing767-300 (Reply 40):
Ok so EK AC and CX would be three. Who are the other two?...

EY, QR
 
jetfan727
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RE: Carriers Consider Suing Airbus Over A346 CG Issues

Sun Apr 08, 2007 3:55 am

QR is even still in the process of taking delivery of their A340-600s. They like them a lot, as do their passengers on the LHR-DOH route. Too bad for BA on this route..... As for AC, they finally did not take them because they suddenly realized that being in a dire financial situationt at that time they just could not afford being delivered any plane for some time.

Quoting DfwRevolution (Reply 41):
so be careful who you reference...

I am careful. Are you ? Somebody in this same thread who apparently works with CX said that they would keep using their A346s, even installing the new CX interiors in them.
 
bluewhale18210
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RE: Carriers Consider Suing Airbus Over A346 CG Issues

Sun Apr 08, 2007 3:55 am

I simply DO NOT understant what the fuss is about. The whole reason you have certified load planners to work on flights is to optimize the CG. When it comes to Airbus it was even easier, since each LD3 gets its own lock and they can be put anywhere. Boeing aircrafts are a little tricker since there are only certain combinations that would work.
Now if the aircraft is too heavy in the front then put heavy stuff in the back! I can't believe all the stuff a plane carry would be the same density. An LD3 full of bags weight 800-900KG, and if a cargo can only weighs 500KG, put it in the front and put the bags in the back! Fill up the back before filling up the front, and you'll come out OK.
Sidenote: A330 is also heavy in the front. The removal of the outboard engines from the A340 basic frame made it heavy in the front. The way we counter it is to put EVERYTHING in the back, starting the FAR BACK and work our way forward. I had yet to see a flight going out of trim with that tactic.
JPS on A300-600RF A319/320 B737-400/800 B757-200F B767-300F CRJ-200/900. Looking to add more.
 
atmx2000
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RE: Carriers Consider Suing Airbus Over A346 CG Issues

Sun Apr 08, 2007 4:06 am

Quoting DfwRevolution (Reply 41):
If the weight of the first/business seats are indeed causing the nose-down torque, there is only one conclusion to be drawn: there is not an equal and opposing torque (mass*arm length) working to keep the A346 in equilibrium. The reason for that imbalance must relate to the mass distribution aft of the COG/COL, which would point directly at the weight of the economy cabin.

But if it is only a problem on aircraft that have cargo deck options such as crew rests, galleys, and lavs, all of which are in the rear I believe, it would seem that it isn't a issue of a too heavy premium class. It seems that these options must be lighter than cargo, and being placed near the back of the aircraft, prevent cargo from being shifted to the very rear where they would generate the most torque. It would seem that it would actually displace more cargo forward.

Quoting Bluewhale18210 (Reply 44):
Now if the aircraft is too heavy in the front then put heavy stuff in the back! I can't believe all the stuff a plane carry would be the same density. An LD3 full of bags weight 800-900KG, and if a cargo can only weighs 500KG, put it in the front and put the bags in the back! Fill up the back before filling up the front, and you'll come out OK.

Can't do that if you have lower deck options in the aft.

Quoting DfwRevolution (Reply 41):
Would they? The A340 cabin environment is quieter across the length of the cabin than its competitors anyway, so it would not put A346 operators at a disadvantage versus the 777.

But the absolute comfort of the cabin would be down, which may lead premium passengers to be less amenable to parting with more money.

[Edited 2007-04-07 21:15:34]
ConcordeBoy is a twin supremacist!! He supports quadicide!!
 
DfwRevolution
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RE: Carriers Consider Suing Airbus Over A346 CG Issues

Sun Apr 08, 2007 4:09 am

Quoting Jetfan727 (Reply 43):
QR is even still in the process of taking delivery of their A340-600s. They like them a lot,

They have one left on order for a fleet total of four. They have 14 773ER on order. Which aircraft do you think they "like" more? It's clear as day that the 777 is preferred at QR.

Quoting Jetfan727 (Reply 43):
As for AC, they finally did not take them because they suddenly realized that being in a dire financial situationt at that time they just could not afford being delivered any plane for some time.

Do I really need to pull out the commentary by Air Canada CEO on their reasons for ordering the 773ER over the A346?

Quoting Jetfan727 (Reply 43):
I am careful. Are you ?

Don't make me laugh rookie.  rotfl   rotfl 
 
musapapaya
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RE: Carriers Consider Suing Airbus Over A346 CG Issues

Sun Apr 08, 2007 4:22 am

Quoting DfwRevolution (Reply 46):
It's clear as day that the 777 is preferred at QR.

Then when are they gonna be delivered?
Lufthansa Group of Airlines
 
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glideslope
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RE: Carriers Consider Suing Airbus Over A346 CG Issues

Sun Apr 08, 2007 4:28 am

Quoting Coa747 (Reply 34):
Shouldn't CG issues have been considered during the construction by Airbus. I would have thought they would consider maximum load and what that would do to CG. Funny how some people on this forum defend the A340-600 to the death saying what a great airplane it is. Wonder why you don't hear any customers complain about the 777-300ER? I guess because it peforms as advertised for ALL airlines not just a few. Apparently the same can not be said for the A340-600 or we wouldn't keep hearing these stories and complaints from airlines. Sooner or later you have to wake up and realize the A340-600 and 500 were big loosers for Airbus and that isn't my opinion, just ask Emirates who canceled their big order, Virgin who was the 4 engine for the long haul poster child oh and you can throw in Thai as well.

Right on IMO. IMO, it's a design issue. Too large of a plug forward of CG. If it's that "tricky" to load to achieve a good fuel burn, no wonder it's not selling. The 773 can't be any tougher to load. Thank goodness for the 330 and the 320.
To know your Enemy, you must become your Enemy.” Sun Tzu
 
XT6Wagon
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RE: Carriers Consider Suing Airbus Over A346 CG Issues

Sun Apr 08, 2007 4:34 am

Quoting DfwRevolution (Reply 41):
Seriously, is there any wonder why? No aircraft has been this out-classed so rapidly after EIS since the MD-11.

Eh, the MD-11 still makes a good freighter. Didn't have enough market to keep selling as a new build freighter, but I'd love to see ANY A340NG get converted. A346.... 22% payload to MTOW for the loss.
 
lostturttle
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RE: Carriers Consider Suing Airbus Over A346 CG Issues

Sun Apr 08, 2007 4:37 am

Quoting JAAlbert (Reply 22):
I have been wondering just how heavy those first class suites are. In an age where airlines are looking to strip any unnecessary weight from an aircraft, it is interesting that they are clamoring to install these large, bulky -- and apparently very heavy -- units.

To make a "buck" or many in this case! But I tend to agree, give me a business class seat with a decent width and pitch. The IFE is icing on the cake for me but not needed. Get me there safely, communicate any delays and I am happy.

Some of these premium cabins are starting to look like rejects from the upcoming Transformer's movie! (BA as an example) With all motors and flaps I wonder what the maintenance headaches are like?
 
Rheinbote
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RE: Carriers Consider Suing Airbus Over A346 CG Issues

Sun Apr 08, 2007 4:47 am

quote:
The first and business class sections on some A340600s are so heavy that they are pushing the jet’s nose down during flight, which can play havoc with the aerodynamics and potentially endanger passengers and crew. Flying nose down also increases drag off the wings and forces the aircraft to burn more fuel.

Yeah ,alright...it is obvious that this article was 'authored' by a complete ...ahem... with only a vague understanding of how planes fly. Add Doug McVitie, a disgruntled former Airbus salesman, to this 'litany of bad research', as one commentator put it, and you have a sensationalist story to fill the Easter Holidays news gap. Not the first blunder by David Robertson either.

The A346 is an ill-conceived design with a lousy structural efficiency and too many engines, resulting in a voracious appetite for fuel. Airlines knew it when they bought it. They couldn't foresee the hike in oil prices - too bad. Putting tons of plush and mechanized sofas into the cabin doesn't help in this respect, no matter where you put it.
 
boeing767-300
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RE: Carriers Consider Suing Airbus Over A346 CG Issues

Sun Apr 08, 2007 5:09 am

Quoting Rheinbote (Reply 51):
The A346 is an ill-conceived design with a lousy structural efficiency and too many engines, resulting in a voracious appetite for fuel. Airlines knew it when they bought it

From the tone I would say just a little 'sarcastic'

Quoting Rheinbote (Reply 51):
resulting in a voracious appetite for fuel. Airlines knew it when they bought it. They couldn't foresee the hike in oil prices

This is a very poor excuse for the A346 inefficiency when compared to the more fuel efficient 77W. Blaming this shortfall in design on 'fuel price hikes' is pathetic to say the least.

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