VC10er
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Why Do I Read Many Neg Comments Re: A340?

Sat Apr 21, 2012 12:54 am

PLEASE NO A vs B discussion!

I like the A340 just fine. I'm never disappointed to see I am flying one. But after reading the thread about the considered Swiss fleet changes, and other threads, I realized that the A340 (albeit loved by some) I do read more negative comments regarding it's issues and not being that successful a frame. There have been 375 frames made according to Wiki and seemingly went out of production quite quickly.

On the Swiss thread there were many comments about how easy a used A340's is to get, why would LX take an ac with little resale value etc.

So has the aviation world deemed an A340 something of a failure, a niche airplane?

It does seem with SQ's EWR to SIN non-stop filled a spot nothing else could have filled?

Also, if it's life is short as a pax ac, would they make a good cargo plane?

Thanks for you thoughts.
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IndianicWorld
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RE: Why Do I Read Many Neg Comments Re: A340?

Sat Apr 21, 2012 1:04 am

It depends on which A340 you are referring to.

The A342 and A345 were leaders in ULH type missions, and have now been overtaken by the new breed of twins hitting the market. They had their time, and were quite useful and something newer and better came along.

The A343 has been a great plane for a number of airlines. Its still quite efficient overall, even though some of its missions can be better handled to the modern twins. It still has a role in the fleet on a number of airlines but as time goes on its only natural that it is replaced by the next gen.

I loved the A340 flying experience. Its 8 abreast seating config and its quieter ride made it a great plane to fly.
 
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Stitch
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RE: Why Do I Read Many Neg Comments Re: A340?

Sat Apr 21, 2012 1:37 am

Quoting VC10er (Thread starter):
So has the aviation world deemed an A340 something of a failure, a niche airplane?

Calling it a "failure" would be unduly harsh, IMO, however the latest A330-300 can do many of the missions it can more efficiently, as can the 777-200ER. As such, A340 sales eventually dried up and Airbus recently removed the family from sale. Compared to other Airbus families and models, the A340 was a poor seller and that impacts the resale values of frames.



Quoting VC10er (Thread starter):
It does seem with SQ's EWR to SIN non-stop filled a spot nothing else could have filled?

At the time SQ purchased it, this is true.


Quoting VC10er (Thread starter):
Also, if it's life is short as a pax ac, would they make a good cargo plane?

The A340-300 might find life as a freighter thanks to low purchase price of airframes for feed stock, but the A340-500 and A340-600 are quite heavy so their operating economics as a freighter would suffer some.
 
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RE: Why Do I Read Many Neg Comments Re: A340?

Sat Apr 21, 2012 1:41 am

Quoting Stitch (Reply 2):
Calling it a "failure" would be unduly harsh, IMO, however the latest A330-300 can do many of the missions it can more efficiently, as can the 777-200ER. As such, A340 sales eventually dried up and Airbus recently removed the family from sale. Compared to other Airbus families and models, the A340 was a poor seller and that impacts the resale values of frames.


Well put. I think it's a case of a good overall airliner that simply got overtaken by advancements in twins, and further cannibalized by those advancements applied to it's twin sister A330.
 
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RE: Why Do I Read Many Neg Comments Re: A340?

Sat Apr 21, 2012 2:06 am

Quoting VC10er (Thread starter):
I like the A340 just fine. I'm never disappointed to see I am flying one. But after reading the thread about the considered Swiss fleet changes, and other threads, I realized that the A340 (albeit loved by some) I do read more negative comments regarding it's issues and not being that successful a frame. There have been 375 frames made according to Wiki and seemingly went out of production quite quickly.

Personally I like twins more than quads, but I would acknowledge that it is only my subjective personal opinion, there is nothing "wrong" at all for the 340. I don't like sluggish climb for the 343, or the look of tiny hairdryers on the wings, and I would prefer to go on other types if there is a choice. Objectively, the 340 is not a failure in design, the main reason for slow sales is that there are competing similar aircrafts out there which are more economical to operate. Newer engines also offer more power so that the same load can be carried by fewer but larger engines, and this seems to be more economical. It is just bad luck for the 340.
 
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RE: Why Do I Read Many Neg Comments Re: A340?

Sat Apr 21, 2012 3:55 am

I've never had the privilege of flying on one, but from what I read, the 340 receives accolades for its comfortable and quiet cabin and its style (especially the 343). The fuel efficiency vs twin aircraft is its only problem from what I've read. I think we on A.net would love to see them flying for many years to come!
 
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RE: Why Do I Read Many Neg Comments Re: A340?

Sat Apr 21, 2012 4:02 am

You could call it a failure, but for the fact that the 340 and 330 have so much commonality. The 340 is no longer competitive, but it has served well, and (other than its "I think I can, I think I can" climb rate, which I suspect really only bothers airliner geeks, pilots and controllers) it is a good and safe bird.

I still think it is butt-ugly, and how it manages that while bing a sibling to the gracful and elegant 330 is just beyond me.
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RE: Why Do I Read Many Neg Comments Re: A340?

Sat Apr 21, 2012 4:16 am

The only negative comments seem to be economics. For long haul it is very good for passengers, smooth and quiet. The pax pays for the economics of twins as the twins are much noisier in the cabin, and some of the 77W's with 10 across are not pleasant, Etihad, KLM and Emirates suck, but beggars cannot be choosers as we say.
 
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RE: Why Do I Read Many Neg Comments Re: A340?

Sat Apr 21, 2012 5:14 am

There is nothing "bad" about the A340. It simply is more expensive to operate than the competing 777. For that reason, it sold poorly.
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RE: Why Do I Read Many Neg Comments Re: A340?

Sat Apr 21, 2012 5:20 am

There was an earlier thread about the A340 vs. 330. Cannot find it right now, but suffice to say: the A340 and A330 were conceived of as being the same beast in different clothing (originallt TA-9 and TA 11 projects from the 1980s). 'Unfortunate that the A340 ended, but in Airbus's outlook it has now evolved into the A330, so it is NOT a loss. Just an early end to a specific version.

P.S. Basically, you are reading negatve comments because this is Airliners.net and because we are so obsessed (as a big group) with innovation rather than historical background and analysis, Hard to accept, mais c'est la vie. (and not unique to Airliners.net)

[Edited 2012-04-20 22:22:32]
 
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RE: Why Do I Read Many Neg Comments Re: A340?

Sat Apr 21, 2012 5:33 am

The unmissed but depressingly influential ConcordeBoy on this forum never tired of ridiculing the A340, calling it a 'POS' (which I understand to be a derogatory term on the western side of the Atlantic Ocean). It may also have been he who described the CFM-56, rather widely considered to be quite a successful engine, as a "hairdryer".

People who can seemingly judge the speed and ascent rate of an aeroplane by watching the clouds go by (a skill I confess I have not acquired) and to whom it is apparently important to reach cruising altitude as quickly as possible sneer at the A340's ability to climb.

Me, I'm an airliner enthusiast. I rather like seeing A340s. I also quite enjoy flying on them. I've had the good fortune to fly on A340s belonging to Sabena, Swiss, Turkish, China Airlines, Cathay, Lufthansa and Virgin Atlantic in both Economy and Business and I've never failed to enjoy a trip. Indeed, I arrived in Japan six years ago on an A340 (LH) and when I leave this July it will be on another (LX).

Was the A340 a commercial success or a failure? The A340-300 did better than many (the MD-11 comes to mind) but poorer than others (the 777-200ER). The A345/A346 certainly didn't sell in the numbers hoped for but c'est la vie. Did Airbus lose money on any of the A340 variants? I rather doubt it.

Why some rush to heap insults on the A340, I've never understood. Says more about them than the plane, I suspect.
 
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RE: Why Do I Read Many Neg Comments Re: A340?

Sat Apr 21, 2012 5:49 am

Quoting LHCVG (Reply 3):
I think it's a case of a good overall airliner that simply got overtaken by advancements in twins

It is an analogous situation to the MD-11. Technology had advanced to the point that 2 engines would suffice, so there was no need to pay to power 3 or 4.

That said the A340 is still a great plane from a passengers perspective. Any negative comments generally start and end with those very same 'bean counters' which everyone seems to love to bash around here.
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RE: Why Do I Read Many Neg Comments Re: A340?

Sat Apr 21, 2012 6:33 am

The following comments are purely personal opinion and based on pure aesthetics and comfort, not technical performance...

I have always been disappointed that the A340 did not sell better.

I remember being in HKG back in 2004 and watching the 343 take off, and I thought it was by far the most beautiful and elegant airliner in the sky. The "hairdryer" engines and the slow climb performance gave the 343 this very delicate and elegant look on take off. I love that!

As a passenger, my favorite aircraft is by far the 346...although not as aesthetically pleasing as the 343, it is just so much more comfortable. Whenever I fly home PVG-NYC, I have a choice between UA's 77E and MU's 346. Although UA offers a much better soft product, I always try to choose MU for the more comfortable ride of the 346 (my primary IFE is the window on take off and landing, and Ambien during cruise ^_^).

Don't get me wrong, the 777 and A330 are fantastic aircraft, and have been home runs for Airbus and Boeing, but my love for the A340 will never die!
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RE: Why Do I Read Many Neg Comments Re: A340?

Sat Apr 21, 2012 6:50 am

Quoting RyanairGuru (Reply 11):
It is an analogous situation to the MD-11. Technology had advanced to the point that 2 engines would suffice, so there was no need to pay to power 3 or 4.

That said the A340 is still a great plane from a passengers perspective. Any negative comments generally start and end with those very same 'bean counters' which everyone seems to love to bash around here.

I agree with that principal. However, at the risk of splitting hairs, I think the A340 didn't suffer the same level of technical deficiencies in relation to it's advertised performance, but simply got superseded by advancements in technology. I could be wrong, but my understanding of the MD-11 is that it was a plane that underperformed from the beginning, and even after PIPs were implemented could not compete in the market.
 
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RE: Why Do I Read Many Neg Comments Re: A340?

Sat Apr 21, 2012 7:28 am

Failure is the wrong word IMO. The development costs for the A340 would have been significantly less than the 777 (given that Airbus effectively got two types for the price of one by developing the A340/A330 alongside each other), so it might well be of equal financial success.

While I don't argue that the A340 is an A330, you have to look at the program as a whole when determining its success IMO. Without the A340, the A330 would likely not have the same penetration is does today (ie airlines would have gone for 777's for long range flights instead of the A343, and wouldn't have purchased A330's due to commonality etc). Airlines like LX would be 777 airlines, and wouldn't be operating large numbers of A333's. LH, IB, AY etc are also examples of this.

So really, while the A340 itself might have proven to be a bit lackluster, it has enabled Airbus to develop a really strong customer base in this segment. The success of the A330 would never have been as great as it is today without the help of the A340 in the 1990's.
 
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RE: Why Do I Read Many Neg Comments Re: A340?

Sat Apr 21, 2012 7:41 am

Quoting VC10er (Thread starter):
So has the aviation world deemed an A340 something of a failure, a niche airplane?

It made it to market. I got orders. It made airlines money AND it shaped airbus making it what it is today.

It was NOT a failure. FACT.
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RE: Why Do I Read Many Neg Comments Re: A340?

Sat Apr 21, 2012 8:07 am

Quoting JAAlbert (Reply 5):

I was recently on LH's A346 in J and found no appreciable difference in comfort or noise compared to the 777 in front. It was my first trip on the A346 and expected an extra quiet ride from all I read. I still found it loud.

Only other A340 trip was 15 years back on Sabena. All I remember was being excited about flying on it but being cramped by their horrible seat pitch, although that was luxurious compared to the Sobelair 767 we connected to.
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RE: Why Do I Read Many Neg Comments Re: A340?

Sat Apr 21, 2012 9:15 am

Quoting LHCVG (Reply 3):
Quoting Stitch (Reply 2):
Calling it a "failure" would be unduly harsh, IMO, however the latest A330-300 can do many of the missions it can more efficiently, as can the 777-200ER. As such, A340 sales eventually dried up and Airbus recently removed the family from sale. Compared to other Airbus families and models, the A340 was a poor seller and that impacts the resale values of frames.


Well put. I think it's a case of a good overall airliner that simply got overtaken by advancements in twins, and further cannibalized by those advancements applied to it's twin sister A330.
Quoting LHCVG (Reply 13):
I think the A340 didn't suffer the same level of technical deficiencies in relation to it's advertised performance, but simply got superseded by advancements in technology.

Its worth remembering that the 340 was also superseded by the rising cost of jet fuel - the fuel delta between a twin and a quad is very different today at $100+ per barrel as opposed to $35 per barrel when the 340 was first conceived. The 340 was the first genuine long haul platform built by Airbus at a time when ETOPS was in its infancy and a quad would have been a lower risk option. Things only really changed with the advent of the 772ER.

Nitpic - the 342/3 are models that belong to the 330/340 family which was a single program. The 345/6 were part of the later 340NG program which could be considered a separate family.


Regards,
StickShaker

[Edited 2012-04-21 02:19:42]
 
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RE: Why Do I Read Many Neg Comments Re: A340?

Sat Apr 21, 2012 11:31 am

I think at launch, the A342, and then the A343 WERE niche airplanes, competing directly with the MD11. But the fact is that it rapidly went into disgrace with the arrival of long range heavy ETOPS planes, 777 leading the flock...
the fact is that A343 (dunno about the bigger 340s) has a too low resulting payload.
Payload is the main issue of this aircraft family.
I'm curious to see how it will behave as a cargo aircraft...!
An AF official told me several years ago that in AF fleet, the A340 was the less sustainable aircraft (one could believe it's the 744)...
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RE: Why Do I Read Many Neg Comments Re: A340?

Sat Apr 21, 2012 12:16 pm

I don't get it either. There are few aircraft that were designed to use the curvature of the earth to climb to altitude  
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RE: Why Do I Read Many Neg Comments Re: A340?

Sat Apr 21, 2012 2:01 pm

Wasn't the A340 supposed to be powered by the IAE SuperFan - one of the earlier GTF attempts, and the CFM56 had to be shoehorned onto it?
I'm curious to know if this affected the capabilities of the A342/3 as planned vs delivered.
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RE: Why Do I Read Many Neg Comments Re: A340?

Sat Apr 21, 2012 2:13 pm

Quoting col (Reply 7):
The only negative comments seem to be economics. For long haul it is very good for passengers, smooth and quiet. The pax pays for the economics of twins as the twins are much noisier in the cabin.

[quote=RyanairGuru,reply=11]
That said the A340 is still a great plane from a passengers perspective. Any negative comments generally start and end with those very same 'bean counters' which everyone seems to love to bash around here.

  

I wouldn't have put it this well, exactly, spot on with your perspective, the A340 will be the M11 of Airbus, as pointed out earlier in this thread. Unfortunate, nice sexy looking planes, loved Thai colors most IMO. BTW, I'm not a M11 or 340 hater, I loved them both, they were trying to sell amongst new twins that could do most of the same missions with better mpg's. Bad timing is all, if M11's or 340 came at a slightly different time in aviation, they would have possibly done better than they did.

[Edited 2012-04-21 07:31:34]
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RE: Why Do I Read Many Neg Comments Re: A340?

Sat Apr 21, 2012 2:24 pm

Quoting PM (Reply 10):
Was the A340 a commercial success or a failure? The A340-300 did better than many (the MD-11 comes to mind) but poorer than others (the 777-200ER). The A345/A346 certainly didn't sell in the numbers hoped for but c'est la vie. Did Airbus lose money on any of the A340 variants? I rather doubt it.

The MD-11 was a DC-10 derivative, so its success has to be considerd in the whole Dc-10 program. The A340-500/600 have to be considered in the whole A330/340 program too, while the A340-500/600 didn't sell all that well they did sell enough to breathe new life into the A340 program. The 77W killed the A346 but the A330-300 continues to get decent orders from many airline replacing earlier A340 or A330.

Virgin Atlantic, SWISS. KLM, Lufthansa, Singapore and Cathay all have new and expanding A330-300 orders which will keep the A330 line open for another 5 years.
 
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RE: Why Do I Read Many Neg Comments Re: A340?

Sat Apr 21, 2012 2:28 pm

Quoting sccutler (Reply 6):
I still think it is butt-ugly, and how it manages that while bing a sibling to the gracful and elegant 330 is just beyond me.

I've always considered the A330 the less-aesthetic model with that long fuselage and wide wingspan with those two small engines. The A340's extra engines, on the other hand, nicely balance out those wide wings.

The larger diameter of the 777's fuselage and nacelles make it a more-balanced twin, to my eyes.
 
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RE: Why Do I Read Many Neg Comments Re: A340?

Sat Apr 21, 2012 3:44 pm

Quoting VHHYI (Reply 20):
Wasn't the A340 supposed to be powered by the IAE SuperFan - one of the earlier GTF attempts, and the CFM56 had to be shoehorned onto it?
I'm curious to know if this affected the capabilities of the A342/3 as planned vs delivered.

The capabilities of the A342/3 meet regulatory criteria, but the demise of the SuperFan did have one effect: the aircraft has less spectacular airfield performance than its peers. Try computing the A342/3's thrust-to-weight ration and dividing it by its wing loading (both at MTOW & max rated thrust) to arrive at a quick-and-dirty airfield performance index. Now do the same thing for other comparable aircraft: the A342/3's index is generally lower.

Not that this matters to carriers or flight crew, but it does seem to quite mightily irritate many a.nutters...


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RE: Why Do I Read Many Neg Comments Re: A340?

Sat Apr 21, 2012 3:58 pm

Quoting faro (Reply 24):
The capabilities of the A342/3 meet regulatory criteria, but the demise of the SuperFan did have one effect: the aircraft has less spectacular airfield performance than its peers.

It actually has better airfield performance than any twin, it is required to by the one engine out minimum climb gradients. No one cares in industry about all engines operating climb gradients.

Quoting faro (Reply 24):
Try computing the A342/3's thrust-to-weight ration and dividing it by its wing loading (both at MTOW & max rated thrust) to arrive at a quick-and-dirty airfield performance index.

Do it again, one engine inoperative.
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RE: Why Do I Read Many Neg Comments Re: A340?

Sat Apr 21, 2012 4:14 pm

I love the 340 variants. It is a very comfortable aircraft to fly in. On the routes I have flown, I actually prefer it to the 777, which in my opinion is quite boring. This summer I expect to be on a LH346 which is the first for me. It is exciting!!
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RE: Why Do I Read Many Neg Comments Re: A340?

Sat Apr 21, 2012 4:20 pm

Quoting VC10er (Thread starter):
On the Swiss thread there were many comments about how easy a used A340's is to get, why would LX take an ac with little resale value etc.

So has the aviation world deemed an A340 something of a failure, a niche airplane?

I'd say not. It was and still is used by some of the worlds best airlines flying important routes in their networks, so it currently is helping put bread on the table of airline workers as well as the aerospace workers who built and maintain the aircraft. 375 frames were built from 1993 to 2010 (29 per year average) which is a good run.

Quoting StickShaker (Reply 17):
Nitpic - the 342/3 are models that belong to the 330/340 family which was a single program. The 345/6 were part of the later 340NG program which could be considered a separate family.

As I said in the earlier thread, the -600 was bad luck when it came to orders: 97 were built but 38 additional orders were cancelled. It had the bad luck of coming to market right as the 9/11 market shock was taking hold and then the 773 ended up being better than anticipated.
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RE: Why Do I Read Many Neg Comments Re: A340?

Sat Apr 21, 2012 4:48 pm

Quoting zeke (Reply 25):
Quoting faro (Reply 24):
The capabilities of the A342/3 meet regulatory criteria, but the demise of the SuperFan did have one effect: the aircraft has less spectacular airfield performance than its peers.

It actually has better airfield performance than any twin, it is required to by the one engine out minimum climb gradients. No one cares in industry about all engines operating climb gradients.

I even dare say that some airlines bought the A340 for its airfield / hot and high performance. IB and SA come to mind, as well as China Southwest Airlines (now CA), who bought their A343s SPECIFICALLY for operations to LXA which is situated at an altitude of 4000m / 13,000ft.
Also, when asked to do so, it is capable of reasonably swift climbs. Here AF's nonstop SXM-CDG flight comes to mind. The A340 still seems to be the only aircraft capable of reaching Europe nonstop from SXM with a reasonable payload (maybe except the 772LR).
I suspect that a significant thrust de-rate is in fact the reason for its repuation as a slow initial climber.
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RE: Why Do I Read Many Neg Comments Re: A340?

Sat Apr 21, 2012 5:04 pm

Quoting zeke (Reply 25):
Quoting faro (Reply 24):
The capabilities of the A342/3 meet regulatory criteria, but the demise of the SuperFan did have one effect: the aircraft has less spectacular airfield performance than its peers.

It actually has better airfield performance than any twin, it is required to by the one engine out minimum climb gradients. No one cares in industry about all engines operating climb gradients.

Admittedly I was talking about the all engines operating condition, yes. From an operating perspective, it does not matter given that it meets all regulatory criteria (and as you noted, in a better manner than any twin in an engine-out situation). My post was re takeoff performance in a normal, all engines operating scenario, about the 'showmanship' of it all.

I love the A342/3 and its sleek, elegant lines. That it delivers less in the (nominal) takeoff isn't really a bother but I have seen many posts on a.net nailing it for its more 'graded' takeoff performance.


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RE: Why Do I Read Many Neg Comments Re: A340?

Sat Apr 21, 2012 5:57 pm

Quoting VC10er (Thread starter):
I like the A340 just fine. I'm never disappointed to see I am flying one

It is all about economics. Finances drives this business as you may know. It is the bottom line that counts. The A340 has too many engines and has too high operating costs compared to 777:s and A330:s. That is the problem with the A340. But it is a fine airplane allright. But it is economics that ultimately decides if an airliner is a success or not...
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RE: Why Do I Read Many Neg Comments Re: A340?

Sat Apr 21, 2012 6:11 pm

The A340m was chiefly a victim of poor timing. When it was launched ETOPS really did not exist, and Airbus believed that long haul would belong to planes with more than two engines. Also, at the time no engine existed that would power a widebody for long haul missions. The idea of having an airframe with two engines for short/medium haul and four for long haul looked very attractive at the time; but Airbus did not anticipate the widespread acceptance of ETOPS, or the fact that Boeing would persuade all three engine makers to make 80,000 lb engines (Airbus at the time probably did not have the credibility to persuade them to make that kind of investment). The 777 ultimately offered greater capability and better economics than the A340, but the A330 has shown itself to be more economical on shorter range missions. Airbus made a huge gamble when it launched the A330/A340; they won big on the A330 and probably did not lose on the A340; except for the A346/A346. While the performance of the 77W did surprise everyone, Airbus should have realized that Boeing would have the easier job in that battle with a big twin, and done something different. I doubt that they made any money on the NG's, but they probably did at least break even on the original A340. They certainly have made lots on the A330.
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RE: Why Do I Read Many Neg Comments Re: A340?

Sat Apr 21, 2012 6:11 pm

Quoting zeke (Reply 25):
It actually has better airfield performance than any twin, it is required to by the one engine out minimum climb gradients. No one cares in industry about all engines operating climb gradients.

This is not the case. A twin has a requirement to be able to climb on 50 % of available thrust in case of engine failure. The A340 is certified to climb with a loss of 1/4 of thrust. So a twin has superior performance on take off with all engines working compered to the A340 if you put the thrust up.The 777, A330 and 757 are superior to the A340 in this respect. But the A340 is still a good plane....

[Edited 2012-04-21 11:14:47]
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RE: Why Do I Read Many Neg Comments Re: A340?

Sat Apr 21, 2012 6:13 pm

Quoting SEPilot (Reply 31):
Also, at the time no engine existed that would power a widebody for long haul missions

Power was there allright. It was just that 2 engines across oceans was not regarded as safe...
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RE: Why Do I Read Many Neg Comments Re: A340?

Sat Apr 21, 2012 6:26 pm

Quoting Navigator (Reply 33):

Power was there allright. It was just that 2 engines across oceans was not regarded as safe...

The engines did not exist until Boeing asked for them for the 777; the manufacturers were willing to develop them for Boeing, but I don't think that they would have done the same for Airbus at the time they were developing the A330/A340, as they were not yet established as a major player.
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RE: Why Do I Read Many Neg Comments Re: A340?

Sat Apr 21, 2012 6:26 pm

Quoting RWA380 (Reply 21):
I wouldn't have put it this well, exactly, spot on with your perspective, the A340 will be the M11 of Airbus, as pointed out earlier in this thread.

I don't buy that. The MD11 was a follow-on model, and always known to be a half-measure. In particular many knew/felt it should have a new wing or at least a re-profiled wing to do the missions that MD was selling it for. The A340 was an all-new design that pioneered many ideas that are still in use today and brought many important customers to Airbus. It's quad jet design was favored at the time by many customers such as Singapore Airlines. The MD-11 eventually became a good airplane especially for freight, but it ended up chasing away customers from MD instead of adding them.

The comparison I would make is between the A346 model and the B748. The A346 started poorly (note the comments about "heavy wings" in the Swissair thread) and even with a MTOW bump didn't stack up very well against the competition. The B748 started off poorly (some early frames were rejected and still sit unsold, last I heard) and the jury is still out about how it will do in passenger service. The A346 and B748 will also be the last models in their family, and some will always question the wisdom of launching them, but a lot of that benefits from hindsight.
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RE: Why Do I Read Many Neg Comments Re: A340?

Sat Apr 21, 2012 6:37 pm

Quoting SEPilot (Reply 34):
The engines did not exist until Boeing asked for them for the 777

You forget about the JT9D engine that is just fine to drive an A330 or that sort of plane. The 777 is larger but not all twins are that large
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RE: Why Do I Read Many Neg Comments Re: A340?

Sat Apr 21, 2012 6:46 pm

Quoting SEPilot (Reply 34):
The engines did not exist until Boeing asked for them for the 777

The A310, 767 etc are widebodies that are used on longhauls and thrust that was OK for those widebodies existed the minute the 747 took off in 1969  
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RE: Why Do I Read Many Neg Comments Re: A340?

Sat Apr 21, 2012 6:54 pm

Somewhere out there in the world, a certain lover of SSTs and 777s is dying to join this thread.
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RE: Why Do I Read Many Neg Comments Re: A340?

Sat Apr 21, 2012 7:03 pm

Last week I spoke to a lead planner at an Asian carrier that operates A340s and A330s. They told me that the fuel burn on the 340s was nearly 40% higher than the 330. In fact, when speaking to several airline planners at A340 carriers, the typical reaction is a roll of the eyes.

What it comes down to is that the airplane simply burns too much fuel. That is what drove the lack of orders and eventually led to the discontinuance of the model.
 
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RE: Why Do I Read Many Neg Comments Re: A340?

Sat Apr 21, 2012 7:15 pm

Quoting jetlanta (Reply 39):
Last week I spoke to a lead planner at an Asian carrier that operates A340s and A330s. They told me that the fuel burn on the 340s was nearly 40% higher than the 330. In fact, when speaking to several airline planners at A340 carriers, the typical reaction is a roll of the eyes.

Right! It is the economics and nothing else that drives the A340 out of the market. Unfortunately... 
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RE: Why Do I Read Many Neg Comments Re: A340?

Sat Apr 21, 2012 8:14 pm

Dare I say it - isn't the fact twins are now more fuel efficient the reason why the 747 - sadly - is also dying? I love the 747, and will miss her, but loved flying her, a recent BA LHR-YVR flight is fresh in my mind.

On a separate note, I've often noticed that Airbus frames seem to land less hard than Boeing frames, I have no idea if that is just a subjective impression and I have no axe to grind either way, any thoughts?
 
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RE: Why Do I Read Many Neg Comments Re: A340?

Sat Apr 21, 2012 9:01 pm

Quoting Navigator (Reply 36):
You forget about the JT9D engine that is just fine to drive an A330 or that sort of plane. The 777 is larger but not all twins are that large
Quoting Navigator (Reply 37):
The A310, 767 etc are widebodies that are used on longhauls and thrust that was OK for those widebodies existed the minute the 747 took off in 1969  

They are used on mid-hauls. The range of the original 777, but Boeing had always intended on an IGW with 90k engines, something that didn't exist until the mid-90s.
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RE: Why Do I Read Many Neg Comments Re: A340?

Sat Apr 21, 2012 9:05 pm

Quoting Navigator (Reply 32):
So a twin has superior performance on take off with all engines working compered to the A340 if you put the thrust up.

And again, like zeke told you, it is engine-out performance that really matters.

Quoting jetlanta (Reply 39):
Last week I spoke to a lead planner at an Asian carrier that operates A340s and A330s. They told me that the fuel burn on the 340s was nearly 40% higher than the 330.

That figure must have been for an A345/6 vs. the A330, if it was correct. The added fuel burn of the A343 vs. the A333 is certainly not 40%.
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RE: Why Do I Read Many Neg Comments Re: A340?

Sat Apr 21, 2012 9:07 pm

Quoting PM (Reply 10):
Why some rush to heap insults on the A340, I've never understood. Says more about them than the plane, I suspect.

Got that right  
Quoting col (Reply 7):
For long haul it is very good for passengers, smooth and quiet

I've flown on SQ's A380's, and my favourite flight is still a LAN A340 from SCL to AKL - the sheer quality of the ride and noise (and the wine, and the stewardesses et al) blew me away

Quoting qf002 (Reply 14):
So really, while the A340 itself might have proven to be a bit lackluster, it has enabled Airbus to develop a really strong customer base in this segment. The success of the A330 would never have been as great as it is today without the help of the A340 in the 1990's

It's easy to lose sight of the A340's place in Airbus's road to industrialisation

Quoting N1120A (Reply 38):
Somewhere out there in the world, a certain lover of SSTs and 777s is dying to join this thread.

Just what A-net needs - loads of added predjudice and no added intellect.......

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RE: Why Do I Read Many Neg Comments Re: A340?

Sat Apr 21, 2012 9:29 pm

Quoting Stitch (Reply 2):
Calling it a "failure" would be unduly harsh

I'd call the A345/346 a failure. It grew too much, got too heavy, cost too much, and sold too little. The A342/A343 might not seem that great today, but it was a solid plane in a size/range that worked for alot of airlines. Technology marched on and it now it confuses people why it it was made. The A330 was no where near as good then as it is today which all to many forget.

But then billions were spent redoing the A340 from nose to tail to arrive at the A340NG. It launched to praise, which quickly soured for some as they awoke to the realisation that it wasn't anything like thier old A340's. It ended on a even more sour note when airbus made the A340NG have that horrible HGW "upgrade" standard for all new builds. The 345 is the shining example of how wrong this NG program went. It continues to drill large holes in the wallets of its operators, and a low resale value means that one can't even swap it for something better without losing even more money.
 
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RE: Why Do I Read Many Neg Comments Re: A340?

Sat Apr 21, 2012 9:30 pm

Quoting 666wizard (Reply 41):
Dare I say it - isn't the fact twins are now more fuel efficient the reason why the 747 - sadly - is also dying? I love the 747, and will miss her, but loved flying her, a recent BA LHR-YVR flight is fresh in my mind.

Thankfully the 747s fantastic ability to haul huge amounts of freight, will mean the Queen will have a place in the blue yonder for many years to come.
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RE: Why Do I Read Many Neg Comments Re: A340?

Sat Apr 21, 2012 9:38 pm

Quoting XT6Wagon (Reply 45):
I'd call the A345/346 a failure. It grew too much, got too heavy, cost too much, and sold too little. The A342/A343 might not seem that great today, but it was a solid plane in a size/range that worked for alot of airlines.

   Agreed with this assessment. And we have to also remember this:

Quoting qf002 (Reply 14):
while the A340 itself might have proven to be a bit lackluster, it has enabled Airbus to develop a really strong customer base in this segment.

The A343 was a wake-up call to the industry. For a few years, between its EIS in 1993 and the EIS of the 777-200ER in 1998, it was the best long-haul aircraft out there by a significant margin. It put to rest any doubts that Airbus could compete in any segment. Two problems affected it: 1) the stillborn Superfan, and 2) the fact that Airbus was not as well positioned as Boeing at the time to convince customers that the future of transpacific and large aircraft was two engines.

Quoting XT6Wagon (Reply 45):
It launched to praise, which quickly soured for some as they awoke to the realisation that it wasn't anything like thier old A340's.

Specifically, that it was much heavier than their old A340s. The A340NG had (and has) three problems: 1) weight, 2) weight, and 3) weight. If it had been 40 tonnes lighter, it would have been an astonishingly capable airframe and would have, at the very least, presented the 77W/77L with a major headache.

[Edited 2012-04-21 14:39:52]
 
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RE: Why Do I Read Many Neg Comments Re: A340?

Sat Apr 21, 2012 10:11 pm

Quoting astuteman (Reply 44):
It's easy to lose sight of the A340's place in Airbus's road to industrialisation

Quoting N1120A (Reply 38):
Quoting qf002 (Reply 14):
it has enabled Airbus to develop a really strong customer base in this segment. The success of the A330 would never have been as great as it is today without the help of the A340 in the 1990's.

I think this is very true. While it might have not been a spectacular success in terms of sales, I'm sure that Airbus is stronger today for the A340. It was what established them in the long haul market, and in 1993 the 777-200ER was still a long way away...
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RE: Why Do I Read Many Neg Comments Re: A340?

Sat Apr 21, 2012 10:22 pm

Quoting Navigator (Reply 36):

You forget about the JT9D engine that is just fine to drive an A330 or that sort of plane. The 777 is larger but not all twins are that large

The JT9D was the 747 engine, and it was used on the 767 and A330. It was totally insufficient for a plane the size of the A330 that would have long range, which is why the A330 was designated as the short to medium range model. True, the A330 range has grown significantly since its inception by both improved efficiency and higher MTOW & thrust, but in the 80's the engines needed to power a plane that size for long range missions did not exist. The 777 started out as a medium range very large twin, and hence it needed larger engines out of the box, which all three manufacturers then developed. At the time it was considered the extreme limit of the capability to make the 777 engines. But they were improved (drastically in the case of the GE90-115) to enable the 777 to become the long range king, and in the process end the A340's career.
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