76794p
Topic Author
Posts: 316
Joined: Thu Apr 03, 2008 1:35 am

Was The A340 A Flop?

Wed Nov 14, 2012 6:42 am

I have been thinking about this recently. Was the A340 an overall success? It seems that the only model that has done well is the -600. The -500 didn't terribly well and the -300, in my mind did okay. But as an over all project is it a success or a failure? Is there and was there ever a demand for a long-haul single deck quad engine aircraft?


Pat
There's always money IN the banana stand.
 
BMI727
Posts: 11089
Joined: Mon Feb 02, 2009 9:29 pm

RE: Was The A340 A Flop?

Wed Nov 14, 2012 6:46 am

Quoting 76794p (Thread starter):
Was The A340 A Flop?

No.

Overall, Airbus made a bet and lost. But they didn't get completely crunched and they hedged against it in such a way that it didn't hurt them.
Why do Aerospace Engineering students have to turn things in on time?
 
FlyingAY
Posts: 408
Joined: Thu Jun 21, 2007 2:26 pm

RE: Was The A340 A Flop?

Wed Nov 14, 2012 6:52 am

Quoting 76794p (Thread starter):
I have been thinking about this recently. Was the A340 an overall success? It seems that the only model that has done well is the -600. The -500 didn't terribly well and the -300, in my mind did okay.

Considering that they delivered 218 A340-300s and 97 A340-600s, what makes you say that -600 did well and -300 only "okay"? Keep in mind that Airbus was much more established manufacturer at a time when -600 was launched, when compared to A340-300.
 
User avatar
TWA772LR
Posts: 3603
Joined: Thu Nov 17, 2011 6:12 am

RE: Was The A340 A Flop?

Wed Nov 14, 2012 6:59 am

Quoting 76794p (Thread starter):
Is there and was there ever a demand for a long-haul single deck quad engine aircraft?

707 and DC8 for starters  

But seriously, the A340 was good when it came out when ETOPS wasn't as good as it is nowadays. And is still good for long routes from hot and high airports like JNB. Also the routes from South America to Australia, and Australia to Africa where the routes aren't ETOPS rated. But the day will come when ETOPS will be virtually limitless and those routes will go to the 777/787/A350 etc... The A340 has done it's work. If it had come out a couple of years earlier, there would be a lot more today.

PS, it's a shame SU did'nt order any A345's or A346's, those will look almost as good as a TWA 772LR!      

[Edited 2012-11-13 23:00:45]

[Edited 2012-11-13 23:20:27]
Not every day we find light winds. What do we do in these situations? Fly.
 
76794p
Topic Author
Posts: 316
Joined: Thu Apr 03, 2008 1:35 am

RE: Was The A340 A Flop?

Wed Nov 14, 2012 7:03 am

Quoting TWA772LR (Reply 3):
. If it had come out a couple of years earlier, there would be a lot more today.

How so?
There's always money IN the banana stand.
 
User avatar
TWA772LR
Posts: 3603
Joined: Thu Nov 17, 2011 6:12 am

RE: Was The A340 A Flop?

Wed Nov 14, 2012 7:12 am

Quoting 76794p (Reply 4):
How so?

IMO, it would've done better because ETOPS was in its infancy, and also would've had "that" much more orders than the 777, which came out later. If the A340 did come that much earlier, I think CO and NW wouldn't have cancelled their orders.

This is all my opinion and thoughts on what would've happened. I am no expert on Airbus or the A340.
Not every day we find light winds. What do we do in these situations? Fly.
 
SIA747Megatop
Posts: 412
Joined: Tue Apr 24, 2012 4:36 am

RE: Was The A340 A Flop?

Wed Nov 14, 2012 7:12 am

It's no wonder airlines are phasing A340's out of their fleets so rapidly, back when SQ ordered the A340-500 in 1999 oil was less than $25. When the said aircrafts were delivered in 2004 oil was still less than $50.
"I do not yet know of a man who became a leader as a result of having undergone a leadership course." - Lee Kuan Yew
 
avion660
Posts: 126
Joined: Fri Jan 19, 2007 10:52 pm

RE: Was The A340 A Flop?

Wed Nov 14, 2012 7:25 am

Despite being quite old, some of these points may still be relevant  Time To Call The A340 A Failure? (by MrComet Sep 15 2005 in Civil Aviation)
 
RickNRoll
Posts: 1204
Joined: Fri Jan 06, 2012 9:30 am

RE: Was The A340 A Flop?

Wed Nov 14, 2012 7:38 am

Not a failure, but not as good as they had hoped either. The program created a twin and four engine plane using mostly common parts. The A330 has been a huge success, so it turned out a lot better than expected in that sense. The idea of creating the four and twin using the same base paid off.
 
User avatar
TWA772LR
Posts: 3603
Joined: Thu Nov 17, 2011 6:12 am

RE: Was The A340 A Flop?

Wed Nov 14, 2012 7:44 am

Quoting RickNRoll (Reply 8):
The idea of creating the four and twin using the same base paid off.

It was smart of Airbus to do that, but honestly, I have no idea why. Why would you design two nearly identical planes, and have them do nearly identical missions? Is it the whole ETOPS thing?
Not every day we find light winds. What do we do in these situations? Fly.
 
strfyr51
Posts: 2077
Joined: Tue Apr 10, 2012 5:04 pm

RE: Was The A340 A Flop?

Wed Nov 14, 2012 7:44 am

No it Wasn't. Airbus thought he A340 was going to replace te 747-200's and -300's But ! They Kept it all European and installed the CFM-56 which was probably all they HAD at the time.. Rolls was busy building Engines for the 747-400, the 757- 767, and the 777 series and either they didn't ASK them or didn't consider them. But it was plain to see that the A340 -200 and -300's were underpowered. Especially after a UAL 777 climbed out of Singapore 1hr AFTER an A340,
En Route Climbed OVER said A340 and Landed 1hr Ahead of said A340 at LHR. Where upon
SQ dumped their order for the A340, BOEING took 3 in Trade For 777's and Airbus refused to support anybody who bought those airplanes FROM Boeing, (they later relented) To me that was pretty much the End of the A340 as a major Program. But! They DID get busy building the A330 into a fine ETOPS platform which they had NOT originally intended it to BE.
 
BlueSky1976
Posts: 1603
Joined: Tue Jul 20, 2004 9:18 am

RE: Was The A340 A Flop?

Wed Nov 14, 2012 7:57 am

Quoting TWA772LR (Reply 9):
Why would you design two nearly identical planes, and have them do nearly identical missions? Is it the whole ETOPS thing?

A330 was initially medium-haul twin. A340 was the long-haul quad. Together, they were meant to complement each other.

Had the original PW SuperFan worked, Airbus would have sold many more A340.

A330 became long-haul aircraft through the course of time. Initially, its range oscillated around 7000km, with all improvements it grew to nearly 11000km for -300 variant, giving it the performace it has now. Hence, no need for A340 any more.

Enter A350XWB...
POLAND IS UNDER DICTATORSHIP. PLEASE SUPPORT COMMITTEE FOR DEFENSE OF DEMOCRACY, K.O.D.
 
lutfi
Posts: 687
Joined: Wed Sep 27, 2000 6:33 pm

RE: Was The A340 A Flop?

Wed Nov 14, 2012 8:01 am

When the A330/A340 was on the drawing board, really big engines weren't around. IF the B777 engines had been available, then the A340 likely wouldn't exist (AB would have built something very similar to a B777)

So, for ULH, they went with 4 x GTF. The GTF failed, and they did a late swap to 4 x CFM.

The A330/340 was always seen as a family, and as a family, it certainly didn't fail.

Note that the MD11 split the difference (3 engines) and didn't do so well
 
User avatar
TWA772LR
Posts: 3603
Joined: Thu Nov 17, 2011 6:12 am

RE: Was The A340 A Flop?

Wed Nov 14, 2012 8:01 am

Quoting BlueSky1976 (Reply 11):
A330 was initially medium-haul twin. A340 was the long-haul quad. Together, they were meant to complement each other.

Thanks! Always good to learn something new.  
Quoting BlueSky1976 (Reply 11):
PW SuperFan

?
Not every day we find light winds. What do we do in these situations? Fly.
 
PHX787
Posts: 7877
Joined: Thu Mar 15, 2012 7:46 pm

RE: Was The A340 A Flop?

Wed Nov 14, 2012 8:08 am

Quoting TWA772LR (Reply 5):
IMO, it would've done better because ETOPS was in its infancy, and also would've had "that" much more orders than the 777, which came out later. If the A340 did come that much earlier, I think CO and NW wouldn't have cancelled their orders.

Bingo. ETOPS, the 77L, and 77W, along with the r&d going into the A350 can arguably be said as the nails into the coffin for the A340 program. We can say this can also be said about the MD11, but I may be straying off a bit
Follow me on twitter: www.twitter.com/phx787
 
User avatar
zeke
Posts: 9736
Joined: Thu Dec 14, 2006 1:42 pm

RE: Was The A340 A Flop?

Wed Nov 14, 2012 8:24 am

Quoting 76794p (Thread starter):
I have been thinking about this recently. Was the A340 an overall success?

As far as Airbus is concerned, I think they consider it successful. People need to remember that OEMs actually derive more of their income from ongoing maintenance and support than what the do from selling aircraft.

Quoting strfyr51 (Reply 10):
They Kept it all European and installed the CFM-56 which was probably all they HAD at the time..

The launch engine for the A340 was the P&W superfan, P&W were unable to deliver on the engine, the CFM56 was a backup choice, It was not what the aircraft was initially designed with.

Quoting strfyr51 (Reply 10):
Especially after a UAL 777 climbed out of Singapore 1hr AFTER an A340,
En Route Climbed OVER said A340 and Landed 1hr Ahead of said A340 at LHR.

For any aircraft to beat an A340 over a SIN-LHR flight by 2 hours would need to cruise supersonically. The maths does not lie. Yet another a.net myth busted.

Quoting strfyr51 (Reply 10):
BOEING took 3 in Trade For 777's and Airbus refused to support anybody who bought those airplanes FROM Boeing, (they later relented) To me that was pretty much the End of the A340 as a major Program

Boeing actually took something like 17 A340s and a bunch of A310s from SQ. SQ made it a condition of the 777 order that they take all of the Airbus widebodies, which included all of the A340s. The ex-SQ A340s were supported by Airbus, I flew a number of those aircraft for the best part of 10 years after they left SQ, I think the majority of the others ended up in EK and Gulf Air. Yet another a.net myth busted.
We are addicted to our thoughts. We cannot change anything if we cannot change our thinking – Santosh Kalwar
 
steman
Posts: 1400
Joined: Wed Aug 09, 2000 4:55 pm

RE: Was The A340 A Flop?

Wed Nov 14, 2012 8:25 am

I don´t think the A340 has been a failure.
One must consider that it was Airbus first truly long haul model,
the first 4 engined model and part of a bigger family that produced 7 different models
with 2 and 4 engines spanning a wide range of applications.
It also gave Airbus the necessary experience to design the A380.
Few years after entry into service of the original -200 and -300, things started to change
with the improvements in ETOPS technology.
Hence the huge success enjoyed by the B777 and A330 while the A340 started ist´s
slow decline.
Nevertheless it is still in widespread use today with many first tiers operators around
the world. Passengers love its quietness.

The SuperFan, as far as I remember, was a PW project which should have provided
the power for the A340. But it got cancelled when the A340 was on an advanced
design stage.
Airbus had to resort to what was available in the same class and CFMI realized the -5 version
of its popular CFM56.
Is the A340 underpowered? Many believe so. I think it does its job well.

The -500 and -600 came out probably too late and could not really compete against
Boeing´s excellent 777-300ER.
But they are still very modern and extremely elegant airplanes.
We´ll miss the 4 holers when all airliners will be 2 engined.
 
Btblue
Posts: 528
Joined: Thu Mar 18, 2004 4:57 am

RE: Was The A340 A Flop?

Wed Nov 14, 2012 8:34 am

I don't see the A340 as a flop but more of a disappointment. Had it arrived a few years earlier (for all versions) then it would likely have garnered more success.

Saying that, we have the A330 which is an almost identical derivative but with two engines and it's still going strong seeing regular updates. So as a programme and lessons learned and implemented, I guess overall it is a success in that respect. Plus we have the birth of the A350XWB which in terms of orders, implies it will be successful too.
146/2/3 737/2/3/4/5/7/8/9 A320 1/2/18/19/21 DC9/40/50 DC10/30 A300/6 A330/2/3 A340/3/6 A380 757/2/3 747/4 767/3/4 787 77
 
sweair
Posts: 1816
Joined: Sun Nov 20, 2011 9:59 am

RE: Was The A340 A Flop?

Wed Nov 14, 2012 8:42 am

Airbus seem to miss timing of its products in the market, they often seem to miss the big turns and changes. The A340 is a dud IMO, they should have done the A330+ A 777 competitor instead of the A380 back in 2000. The over hyped growth of the credit economy lured Airbus to go for it.

Now they will be late to the big twin party and the A380 is not a big seller, its just too big.

The only families I really think is good is the 320 and 330.
 
User avatar
zeke
Posts: 9736
Joined: Thu Dec 14, 2006 1:42 pm

RE: Was The A340 A Flop?

Wed Nov 14, 2012 8:49 am

Quoting steman (Reply 16):

The SuperFan, as far as I remember, was a PW project which should have provided the power for the A340. But it got cancelled when the A340 was on an advanced design stage.

It is somewhat similar to the GTF they are working on today. It was the V2500 core with a geared fan, they promised Airbus an engine with 30,000+ lb thrust with a TSFC that was 15-20% lower than the V2500. if they had produced that engine, even by todays standards it would be very efficient.

Airbus had no idea that P&W could not deliver on the engine until they went to P&Ws headquarters in Connecticut to sign the deal in 1987, only to be told P&W had cancelled the engine, they offered the PW2000 instead. Airbus had already had order for the Superfan powered A340s at that stage from Northwest and Lufthansa.
We are addicted to our thoughts. We cannot change anything if we cannot change our thinking – Santosh Kalwar
 
Scipio
Posts: 842
Joined: Tue Oct 16, 2007 4:38 am

RE: Was The A340 A Flop?

Wed Nov 14, 2012 9:04 am

As a family, the A330/A340 is currently the best-selling widebody family of all times (with 1,617 orders), ahead of the B747 (1,529 orders), the B777 (1,380 orders), and the B767 (1,105 orders).

I think that, for many reasons, the A340 was an essential part of this undeniable success.
 
anstar
Posts: 2861
Joined: Sun Nov 23, 2003 3:49 am

RE: Was The A340 A Flop?

Wed Nov 14, 2012 9:10 am

Quoting 76794p (Thread starter):
It seems that the only model that has done well is the -600. The -500 didn't terribly well and the -300, in my mind did okay.

And yet we have VS getting rid of 600's and keeping older 300's.
 
AF185
Posts: 289
Joined: Fri Sep 07, 2012 1:58 am

RE: Was The A340 A Flop?

Wed Nov 14, 2012 9:18 am

Quoting Scipio (Reply 20):
As a family, the A330/A340 is currently the best-selling widebody family of all times (with 1,617 orders), ahead of the B747 (1,529 orders), the B777 (1,380 orders), and the B767 (1,105 orders).

I think that, for many reasons, the A340 was an essential part of this undeniable success.

I agree. If you think about it, many airlines have operated an A330/A340 combo (LH, EK, AF, CX, MU, CI, SQ, QR..to name a few), and having the A340 in the fleet most probably convinced some airlines to expand their A330 fleet later on.
 
slinky09
Posts: 590
Joined: Sat Jun 06, 2009 5:03 pm

RE: Was The A340 A Flop?

Wed Nov 14, 2012 9:36 am

Quoting anstar (Reply 21):
And yet we have VS getting rid of 600's and keeping older 300's.

Which is more to do with lease terms and overall TCO than one being 'better' than the other.
 
brightcedars
Posts: 751
Joined: Wed Nov 10, 2004 6:18 pm

RE: Was The A340 A Flop?

Wed Nov 14, 2012 9:37 am

I don't think you can consider the A330/A340 programme as a whole a failure, by a wide margin.

It put Airbus' foot in the door at many airlines at a time when there was a choice between Boeing and... Boeing after McDonnell Douglas failed to deliver on its promises regarding the MD-11.

And yes, Boeing responded with a fantastic product in the form of the 777.

Still it gave Airbus experience in a new market they hadn't explored before: long haul. Something that gave them the skills to develop the A380 program and now the A350.

I don't see anything more exciting in commercial aviation until Comac produce their own long-haul tube or better, someone leaps into the future or aviation (supersonic jumbos or better).
I want the European Union flag on airliners.net!
 
User avatar
pvjin
Posts: 2913
Joined: Fri Mar 16, 2012 4:52 pm

RE: Was The A340 A Flop?

Wed Nov 14, 2012 10:16 am

Quoting strfyr51 (Reply 10):
Especially after a UAL 777 climbed out of Singapore 1hr AFTER an A340,
En Route Climbed OVER said A340 and Landed 1hr Ahead of said A340 at LHR

Are you sure? To me that sounds total rubbish unless there were some very significant differences in winds between altitudes.
"Optimism is the madness of insisting that all is well when we are miserable." - Voltaire
 
Bongodog1964
Posts: 3069
Joined: Wed Oct 18, 2006 6:29 am

RE: Was The A340 A Flop?

Wed Nov 14, 2012 10:24 am

It was launched in to a market place where airlines had a choice of two suppliers for long haul widebodies, today the airlines till have a choice of two, with Airbus having displaced McD.

On the basis that Airbus survived the experience, became a manufacturer which offered a full range of mainline aircraft and are now more or less equal to Boeing it cannot be considered a failure. Even if the A340 never made a euro profit, it still gave the airlines an alternative to Boeing, and now few if any airlines would make a major fleet decision without having a cursory glance at what Airbus has to offer. Until the A340 came along it wasn't even worth their while to do anything other than phone Seattle and accept the offer put in front of them.
 
User avatar
zeke
Posts: 9736
Joined: Thu Dec 14, 2006 1:42 pm

RE: Was The A340 A Flop?

Wed Nov 14, 2012 10:30 am

Quoting pvjin (Reply 25):
To me that sounds total rubbish unless there were some very significant differences in winds between altitudes.

SIN-LHR is around 6020 nm along the airways, and would take around 12.5 hrs in an A340, for a 777 to do it in 10.5 hrs, it need to TAS at 573 kts, which is Mach 1 at 36,000 ft.
We are addicted to our thoughts. We cannot change anything if we cannot change our thinking – Santosh Kalwar
 
User avatar
FlyCaledonian
Posts: 1731
Joined: Mon Dec 29, 2003 6:18 am

RE: Was The A340 A Flop?

Wed Nov 14, 2012 10:36 am

The A330 could be seen as TriStar 1, DC-10-10 (and even 747-100) replacement, whilst the A340 was a Tristar 500, DC-10-30 and DC-10-40, and a 747-200 replacement. It was designed in the late 1980s, when engines and ETOPs meant a big twin wasn't the thing to do. Remember, the 777 came after the MD-11 and A330/A340, so Boeing was able to see what the competition had coming and come in with a clean sheet design. It was Beong that pushed for the large twin, and then went for the ETOPs capability from the get-go.

The A340 was hit by the recession of the early 1990s, with a number of carriers not taking the aircraft who wanted it, particularly CO and NW. Both went on to add second-hand DC-10s in the mid-1990s, and then went for the 764/772 (CO) and A332/A333 (NW) for their widebody replacement needs.

The A346 is a good plane, but initially came in overweight and was then beaten by the 77W which has proved to be an even more efficient aircraft. As others have said, if Airbus had got that aircraft in service a few years earlier I think it would have taken a few more orders (likely at the expense of some 744s). I wonder why Airbus didn't produce a A335/A336, but perhaps the wing couldn't be developed to support 777 size engines?
Let's Go British Caledonian!
 
G500
Posts: 1252
Joined: Tue Oct 18, 2011 11:45 pm

RE: Was The A340 A Flop?

Wed Nov 14, 2012 10:39 am

Boeing hit the jackpot with the 777 series.... Compared to the 777 one might see the A340 as a failure.. But I don't think it was.
 
flyingalex
Posts: 623
Joined: Fri Jul 16, 2010 1:32 pm

RE: Was The A340 A Flop?

Wed Nov 14, 2012 11:37 am

As others have said, it would be too simple a view to look at the number of A340s flying today and declare the programme a failure. The A340 provided Airbus with a crucial stepping stone into the longhaul market, and delivered a base from which they were able to develop the A330 with relatively little R&D cost. The A330 and A340 share a production line, can be flown concurrently, and are very much part of the same overall project.

In its entirety, that project has been fantastically successful for Airbus, even if they didn't sell as many of the four-engined variant as they expected. However, since the success of the two-engined derivative would not have been possible without first building the four-engined base, it was definitely a good move by Airbus to do so.

And, as others have said, at the time when the A340 was developed and first brought into service, ETOPS and ocean-crossing twins were still more of a dream than a reality. ETOPS caught on and caught up very quickly though, and became a game-changer.
Public service announcement: "It's" = "it is". To indicate posession, write "its." Looks wrong, but it's correct grammar
 
rheinwaldner
Posts: 1244
Joined: Wed Jan 02, 2008 4:58 pm

RE: Was The A340 A Flop?

Wed Nov 14, 2012 11:41 am

The A340 played an incredible role in opening new markets Airbus. It was mandatory to become a manufacturer, that offered a full product range.

Keep in mind that any produced A340 was an increase in market share and meant that one of the established OEM's has missed an opportunity to do business. So as a consequence the A340 was one of the key factors why the MD-series have been eliminated in the mean time.

I wonder how a good a GTF-equipped A340 would fare against the 787/A350....
 
chieft
Posts: 325
Joined: Thu Jun 16, 2005 11:35 pm

RE: Was The A340 A Flop?

Wed Nov 14, 2012 11:43 am

Boeings moves to get ETOPS extended part by part by the authoroties was a clever strategic masterpiece and lead finally to the fact, that the A340s were kicked out of the markets.

Airbus has recognised that early and designed the A330 - basically another nail on the A340's coffin...

[Edited 2012-11-14 04:06:43]
Aircraft are marginal costs with wings.
 
na
Posts: 9129
Joined: Sun Dec 12, 1999 3:52 am

RE: Was The A340 A Flop?

Wed Nov 14, 2012 11:47 am

The A340, one of the most elegant airliners ever, wasnt a flop at all. When it came out, it smashed the MD-11, its only serious opponent, only to be overtaken by the 777 in the late 90s (in the mid-90s, when the Triple Seven made its debut, fuel price wasnt such an issue). The A340-600/500 wasnt successful, granted, as RR failed didnt build such an effective engine as GE did for the 77W/77L.
But in the end, as it was developed together with the widely identical A330, the overall program is even one of the big success stories of civil aviation.
 
User avatar
Faro
Posts: 1491
Joined: Sun Aug 12, 2007 1:08 am

RE: Was The A340 A Flop?

Wed Nov 14, 2012 11:51 am

Quoting zeke (Reply 15):
As far as Airbus is concerned, I think they consider it successful. People need to remember that OEMs actually derive more of their income from ongoing maintenance and support than what the do from selling aircraft.

Certainly it was not helped by the demise of the Super Fan.

To my mind it's a success if it has broken even on i) joint A330/A340 development costs and ii) A340-specific development costs after taking into account the earnings margins derived from spare parts, training, support, mx, etc.

We can assume that break-even on i) was achieved a long time ago. Can we reasonably assume that break-even was also met for ii) given incremental A345/6 development costs?


Faro
The chalice not my son
 
LAXintl
Posts: 20183
Joined: Wed May 24, 2000 12:12 pm

RE: Was The A340 A Flop?

Wed Nov 14, 2012 11:53 am

As others eluded to, Airbus killed the A340 with one of its own models.

I well recall sitting in briefings to airlines in the 1990s, an Airbus would push its dual A330/A340 model family offerings.
Basically the A330 was recommended for segments under 8-hours and A340 over 8.

But as the A330 family grew in capability, the lines got blurred, to the point Airbus eventually itself having to admit the A330 was economically far superior to the A340 in most airline business cases.

Eventually I stopped seeing Airbus even offer the A340 any longer except in a few cases trying to push the -600 in futile line up against the 777.

But I think its also important to remember - the A340 was more meant as a competitor to things like the MD-11 at the time, but yes I do also think Airbus failed to properly gauge what Boeing was able to do with the 777 and the great popularity the aircraft was able to achieve.
From the desert to the sea, to all of Southern California
 
flyingalex
Posts: 623
Joined: Fri Jul 16, 2010 1:32 pm

RE: Was The A340 A Flop?

Wed Nov 14, 2012 12:08 pm

Quoting LAXintl (Reply 35):
But I think its also important to remember - the A340 was more meant as a competitor to things like the MD-11 at the time, but yes I do also think Airbus failed to properly gauge what Boeing was able to do with the 777 and the great popularity the aircraft was able to achieve.

Exactly. With the A340, Airbus achieved what it set out to achieve - to build a longhaul widebody aircraft that was better than the widebodies that ruled the 70s and 80s, and could capably replace them. It was their bad luck that the market moved on before they could really sell a lot of said aircraft, but it laid an important foundation for the future.
Public service announcement: "It's" = "it is". To indicate posession, write "its." Looks wrong, but it's correct grammar
 
AirbusA6
Posts: 1484
Joined: Tue Apr 26, 2005 5:53 am

RE: Was The A340 A Flop?

Wed Nov 14, 2012 12:35 pm

The A340-300 was definitely NOT a flop, as it was effectively an A330-300ER, but with 4 engines instead of 2, but sharing virtually everything else, it definitely sold enough to pay for these differences, launched Airbus into a new market sector AND kicked MD out of the business, by taking many potential MD11 customers...

The A340-500/600 probably has to be considered a flop, as it was an expensive derivative that delivered few sales, and of all the recent Airbus and Boeing products is the one most comprehensively outperformed by a rival. The airframe was a major part of the problem, an A330-600 wouldn't have been optimal either, hence the launch of the replacement A350-1000.
it's the bus to stansted (now renamed National Express a6 to ruin my username)
 
ozglobal
Posts: 2511
Joined: Tue Nov 09, 2004 7:33 am

RE: Was The A340 A Flop?

Wed Nov 14, 2012 12:36 pm

Is the better question, wasn't the A340/A330 family a great success, spanning as it has different ETOPS eras and eveolving range and performance...? It is after all more or less one plane with variants.
When all's said and done, there'll be more said than done.
 
jfk777
Posts: 5816
Joined: Tue Aug 22, 2006 7:23 am

RE: Was The A340 A Flop?

Wed Nov 14, 2012 12:49 pm

The A340 gets a bum rap for poor sales, its like the Airbus 747SP. But what did the SP and A340 have in common ? They were part of much bigger successful programs which sold or are selling over 1000 planes which for a widebody is a lot. The 747 speaks for its own sales and the A330/340 program is still going strong, its is the A330 growth that killed the A340. IF an A330 can do what the A340 did wy would you buy a A340 ? You wouldn't, A330 are strong crossing the Atlantic like 767 did and even fly the Pacific to Korea and Japan. There are a few flights where the A340 can't be replaced by an A330 but those are too few to worry about. The A340 "flop" has become the A330-300's success.
 
Ferroviarius
Posts: 238
Joined: Sun Mar 11, 2007 3:28 am

RE: Was The A340 A Flop?

Wed Nov 14, 2012 1:58 pm

Quoting na (Reply 33):
The A340-600/500 wasnt successful, granted, as RR failed didnt build such an effective engine as GE did for the 77W/77L.

One possibly should mention that RR already DID have the TRENT 8104 when Boeing was looking for engines for the 77W/L. RR suggested to develop that 8104 into an 8110 or 8115 but was, if I recall correctly, not willing to make a deal with B - as GE did - in sharing R&D costs for the entire 77W/L. GE did and B agreed to ONLY accept GE engines on the 77W/L.


Concerning the 342 and 343, I wonder whether there might be available within some years a development of P&W's GTF currently being prepared for the 32? NEOs to replace the CFMs. Thus, re-engined versions of the 342 and 343 might be available and economically viable solutions for - possibly (?) - passenger traffic but also as freighters.

Best,

Ferroviarius
 
sweair
Posts: 1816
Joined: Sun Nov 20, 2011 9:59 am

RE: Was The A340 A Flop?

Wed Nov 14, 2012 2:13 pm

Quoting Ferroviarius (Reply 40):
Concerning the 342 and 343, I wonder whether there might be available within some years a development of P&W's GTF currently being prepared for the 32? NEOs to replace the CFMs. Thus, re-engined versions of the 342 and 343 might be available and economically viable solutions for - possibly (?) - passenger traffic but also as freighters.

The market is saturated with freighters and old frames, it would not be worth the cost, the A340 program is history and dead anyway.
 
rfields5421
Posts: 5545
Joined: Thu Jul 19, 2007 12:45 am

RE: Was The A340 A Flop?

Wed Nov 14, 2012 2:25 pm

Quoting TWA772LR (Reply 9):
Why would you design two nearly identical planes, and have them do nearly identical missions? Is it the whole ETOPS thing?

It is very easy today to dismiss the impact of ETOPS upon aircraft design and usage.

The idea of Trans-Pacific flights in a twin, Trans-Atlantic flights from the Caribbean to Europe, a route such as the LAN B767 from Chile to Easter Island to Tahiti, etc - simply wasn't acceptable.

EROPS did not allow twins to fly northern Trans-Atlantic routes unless the aircraft actually overflew UAK - KEF - FAE until the revision of ETOPS in 1985.

There were no long range twins flying from the US to Hawaii at that time.

By then much of the A330/A340 design work had be done and Airbus was committed to the concept. The A340/A330 long range / short range concept was finalized in 1982.

It was ETOPS 90 initially in 1985, when ETOPS 120 was approved.

ETOPS 180 did not happen until 1988.

The A340 isn't a flop. It was just a product that came out near the end of the life cycle of smaller quads. The A340 was never designed to compete head to head with the B747, but to fill the gap for airlines that did not need a full sized B747 aircraft.

Airbus quickly found with ETOPS that the A330 twin could be a greater selling long range aircraft than the A340.
 
StickShaker
Posts: 620
Joined: Thu Sep 02, 2004 7:34 pm

RE: Was The A340 A Flop?

Wed Nov 14, 2012 2:27 pm

Quoting RickNRoll (Reply 8):
The program created a twin and four engine plane using mostly common parts. The A330 has been a huge success

The original 330/340 family as launched in the late 80's comprised the 342, 343 and 333. All R&D costs were for the "family" rather than any individual model. The 332 came much later. While the 342/3 sold less than hoped this shortfall has certainly been made up by the 330 models. Its not appropriate to describe these 340 models as a failure as the overall program has been very successful. Having a common wing with the 340 has given the 330 plenty of room for MTOW increases which has led to its range increases which have made it so much more appealling.

Quoting SIA747Megatop (Reply 6):
back when SQ ordered the A340-500 in 1999 oil was less than $25. When the said aircrafts were delivered in 2004 oil was still less than $50.

And within a few more years oil had climbed to around $150/barrel. The 345/6 suffered the perfect storm, massive increases in fuel prices along with competition from a new twin whose engine (GE90) exceeded all expectations.


Regards,
StickShaker
 
Ferroviarius
Posts: 238
Joined: Sun Mar 11, 2007 3:28 am

RE: Was The A340 A Flop?

Wed Nov 14, 2012 2:34 pm

Quoting sweair (Reply 41):
The market is saturated with freighters and old frames, it would not be worth the cost, the A340 program is history and dead anyway.

Yes, Sweair, but these old frames will have to be recycled within some years and then re-engined 34?s might become acceptable MD10 or MD11 replacements. Of course, they cannot compete with any 77F, 332F or 748 but they would be MUCH cheaper to acquire. They still do establish economic value as airplanes, not as parts of airplanes, only, as long as they are airworthy, I assume, just as the MD11s today are economically valuable freighters while at the same time not useful any longer as passenger airplanes.

Or am I wrong???

Best,
Ferroviarius
 
Eagleboy
Posts: 1699
Joined: Fri Dec 04, 2009 2:29 am

RE: Was The A340 A Flop?

Wed Nov 14, 2012 2:35 pm

Quoting sweair (Reply 18):
The A340 is a dud IMO, they should have done the A330+......

The only families I really think is good is the 320 and 330.

You seem to be missing the point mentioned by several posters.

The A340 was a complement to the A330. At the time of design an 'A330+' was not an option due to engine technology. In recent years we now have the upgraded 'A330+' as you refer to it.

Quoting jfk777 (Reply 39):
There are a few flights where the A340 can't be replaced by an A330 but those are too few to worry about. The A340 "flop" has become the A330-300's success.

P.S. the A340 is part of the A330 family........

[Edited 2012-11-14 06:36:04]
 
sweair
Posts: 1816
Joined: Sun Nov 20, 2011 9:59 am

RE: Was The A340 A Flop?

Wed Nov 14, 2012 2:36 pm

Re engine is not that straight forward, it would involve certification and big investments, who would foot that bill?!
 
ecbomberman
Posts: 83
Joined: Mon Mar 28, 2011 1:26 pm

RE: Was The A340 A Flop?

Wed Nov 14, 2012 2:37 pm

I think that when you look at the A340, one must consider it together with the A330.

I think that Airbus was revolutionary in terms thinking (when one looks back) that you get 2 airplanes with essentially almost identical parts (e.g.: airframe and to a certain extent, the wings). I would say that it was very clever on Airbus' part in order to minimise risk and establish themselves as a company capable of making large planes.

I know, correct me if I'm wrong, that Boeing created cockpit communality with the 757/767. However, Airbus went a step further by going one step further so that pilots can fly A320/330/340 (correct me if I'm wrong again). I'm sure not a lot of people appreciated this during the early years but I would hazard a guess that it might be more of a significance nowadays.

By gaining experience from the A330/340 project, Airbus was then able to get more ambitious and created the A380. I'm sure without the experience of the prior, Airbus would not have been able to achieve it.

Quoting BlueSky1976 (Reply 11):
Quoting BlueSky1976 (Reply 11):
A330 was initially medium-haul twin. A340 was the long-haul quad. Together, they were meant to complement each other.

Had the original PW SuperFan worked, Airbus would have sold many more A340.

A330 became long-haul aircraft through the course of time. Initially, its range oscillated around 7000km, with all improvements it grew to nearly 11000km for -300 variant, giving it the performace it has now. Hence, no need for A340 any more.

Enter A350XWB...

Couldn't have agreed more.

Despite the high fuel costs, the A343 still does have a niche market to fulfil. Those long and thin routes where the 77E are too big for the job and not cost effective or hot and high fields where twins are 1 engine inop restricted.

Thus, I would like to think that one should not just look at the surface of things. The A340 does have a market and it should be considered a success for such a small company at that time (and probably still now with the A343).
VS343/346/744 CX744/L1101/343 MH332/333/733 BD32x/EMB 145 AK320 SQ310/77E/773/744 UA747SP/744 BA744 BI763ER/319 QF763ER
 
AM744
Posts: 1434
Joined: Thu Jun 07, 2001 11:05 pm

RE: Was The A340 A Flop?

Wed Nov 14, 2012 3:21 pm

Quoting steman (Reply 16):
I don´t think the A340 has been a failure.
One must consider that it was Airbus first truly long haul model,
the first 4 engined model and part of a bigger family that produced 7 different models
with 2 and 4 engines spanning a wide range of applications.
It also gave Airbus the necessary experience to design the A380.

I think this can't be understated. The A340 at the very least, made Airbus a legitimate contender in the large airplane market.
 
strfyr51
Posts: 2077
Joined: Tue Apr 10, 2012 5:04 pm

RE: Was The A340 A Flop?

Wed Nov 14, 2012 3:30 pm

Quoting Lutfi (Reply 12):

unfortunately? That was NOT the case, The PW JT9D-7G/R/Q, the CF6-50 and 80 series,the RB211-524 and 535's and any Number of Russian Built engines were all plying the skies at the time the A340 was designed and built, and each would have given the A340 some get up and GO.
The A340-200 and -300 appears to have been designed to just enough power to lift it's bulk at Max Gross Weight, and not 1 Pound more. I've watched that Airplane climb out of ORD in the evening for FRT and it wallows like a beached Whale, while the -500 climbs like it's Tail is on fire and it's trying to outrun the flames. For a long time VS had a banner on it's side "4 Engines Not Two" Because as many know, ETOPS was a TWA Idea pioneered by TWA/ Boeing and their B767-233's who did the first concept and proving runs. The Center tank was fully installed with pumps and wiring but wasn't even Activated on the United 767-222's because flying Domestically we didn't need them. Even Boeing and the FAA had to be convinced that the B767-200's could fly ETOPS and TWA provided the extensive route planning. For 60 and 120 Min. ETOPS. over the Atlantic. The FAA came up with ETOPS Criteria for Safe Operation.
The FAA didn't get heavily into the act with the 180, 207 and now 300 Min Rules until Boeing Purpose Built the 767-300 series for ETOPS. And freely Admitted at the time, That if the Idea sells Airplanes? They were all for it.
And that more than anything IMHO Might have spelled the end of the Trijet and put a crimp in the A340 Program .
And as it appears?? I might be right. Even the 777-200A was purpose built for the US-EU and west coast to Hawaii market
and why Hardly anybody today has any 200A Airplanes and buy ONLY the -B, -ER and -LR airplanes .

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: AirFiero, Baidu [Spider], ben175, Boeing778X, Google [Bot], hoons90, jbs2886, jonchan627, jpetekyxmd80, Kiwirob, ttm, yendig, zombie and 240 guests