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Airbus A330 Vs. Airbus A340

Tue May 01, 2001 6:22 am

We have had many (TOO MANY) Boeing versus Airbus discussions here, so lets try something new, Airbus vs. Airbus.

When the A330/340 family of aircraft were introduced, they each had a specific mission: the A330 was a large-capacity medium range airliner (that could also operate short-haul economically) while the A340 was designed for long to ultra-long range flights. With the improved versions of the A330-300 (which after a slow start is seeing a lot of sales to leading airlines), the differences between the capabilities of the 2 models have been minimalized. What is the differences in range and capacity when comparing the most advanced versions of both aircraft? Do you think that both have a future, even after the A340-500/600 airliners are introduced?

I ask that those that normally prefer Boeing products (and that usually includes me) NOT to attack Airbus this time (or any time, its boring), just be cool and maybe we can all learn something.
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RE: Airbus A330 Vs. Airbus A340

Tue May 01, 2001 6:40 am

I think the A330 has the brighter future of the two. Airbus knows this, and has plans to upgrade it.

Airbus needs to put the newly improved A340-500/600 wing, along with much more powerful engines onto the A330-300/200. The only reason Airbus is not already building such an aircraft is because sales of the A343 would end, period. I think that the next development after the A340 Enhanced should be an A330-300 Enhanced, with at least the range of the A343. It is possible, and with the unbeatable seatmile costs of the A330-300, one with more range would surely be a hot seller.

Doing away with the A340-300, a great plane (not at all underpowered, either), would leave Airbus with a product lineup something like this:

A330-200: 250 Pax, 6650 NM
A330-200ER: 260 Pax, 7600NM(New wing)
A330-300: 295 Pax, 5600NM
A330-300ER: 313 Pax, 7100NM(New wing)

A340-500: 313 Pax, 8650NM
A340-600: 380 Pax, 7500NM

So yes, I do see growth in the line, but more for the A330 than the A340. Although, both the A340 modles could have thier ranges increased as the engines have room the grow, and there is more space for fuel. The most important thing that Airbus has to do is stop bashing ETOPS. They suppor 180 min, and they too could reap the benifits of 207 and 240 min. ETOPS. Just don't ask me to fly to SYD with just two engines, no way!

RE: Airbus A330 Vs. Airbus A340

Tue May 01, 2001 6:51 am

What if Airbus on the A330 Enhanced model does put the stronger A340-500/600 wings and for powerplants adds the GE90 or RR Trent 800 series engines? This would be a terrific aircraft!
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Joined: Wed Jan 03, 2001 8:47 pm

RE: Airbus A330 Vs. Airbus A340

Tue May 01, 2001 6:13 pm

although there´s been rumours that airbus wants to develop a variant of the a330-300 with more range, i highly doubt they´ll do so. not only because it would very probably mean the end for the a340-300 which is still very popular among so many carriers (LH, OS, IB, AF, AC, CX, SK). and although the a330-300 has excellent seatmile costs, the a340-300 has as well and i doubt that a longer range version of the 330-300 would be that much more cost effective. if so, airbus would have built this aircraft right from the beginning.
in addition, i highly doubt that airbus would think of fitting the wings of the new 340-500s/600s, which were specifically designed for their much longer fuselage, onto the fuselage of the a330-300, or even of the a330-200. the a330-200 already has a massive wingspan and let´s not forget that the wings of the 345/346 have higher sweep degree than those of the earlier models which, i suppose, certainly could be done somehow but i don´t think it would be the ideal solution.

If only pure sweetness was offered, why's this bitter taste left in my mouth.
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RE: Airbus A330 Vs. Airbus A340

Tue May 01, 2001 8:25 pm

If airbus were to build A330ER, they would defeat their own purpose of designing same aircraft with different number of engines. After all, this is what they are trying to sell, that quad is for long range while twin is for medium range considering ETOPS and efficiency. They have convinced a lot of people and lots of airlines bought this idea. Not only that A343 selling would die off, but may be A345/6 too. This is because boeing has 773 that even can carry more passengers that A346. In this class, the two manufacturers really have distinct philosophies. And i think we can't say which one is right because they can still sell those "competing" planes. Just that they have to stick to their respective philosophy i guess.


RE: Airbus A330 Vs. Airbus A340

Tue May 01, 2001 9:07 pm

I think the A330 would win in a dogfight because it is more agile than the A340. It would, of course, depend on what weapons each were armed with.

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RE: Airbus A330 Vs. Airbus A340

Wed May 02, 2001 1:38 am

I feel it's not in Airbus's best interest to not develop a long/er range version of the A330 because of its idealogy that this is the sole domain of its 4 engine family.

If a prospective airline intends to operate its long range route system using a twin, then Airbus has effectively turned its back on a potential customer who will almost certainly purchase the 777.

It *would* benefit Airbus to manufacture as many variants of *both* its 2 and 4 engine aircraft thus increasing its potential customer base with as many choices as possible. The Airbus full page advertisements do indeed make for pretty viewing while I peruse AWAST, but I sincerely doubt it will sway any potential airline executive to abandon his cost projections and go quad.
You're only as good as your last departure.
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RE: Airbus A330 Vs. Airbus A340

Wed May 02, 2001 3:59 am

There is a lot of growth available, especially for the A330. But maybe we wont see so many new developments as Airbus now is concetrating on the A380. But after that... the future is interesting.

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