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Why No Further A330 Stretch?

Fri Nov 10, 2006 11:50 am

Anyone know why Airbus stopped with the -300? Seems to me they could have gone a little longer and used 777 class thrust engines....plenty of those available. I don't think it was ground clearance. On the PW4000, the 777 engines are only 12 inches larger in diameter.
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RE: Why No Further A330 Stretch?

Fri Nov 10, 2006 12:24 pm

Good question, which leads me to this what if: what if Airbus decided to stretch the A330 to the dimensions of the A340-500 and -600 and not the A340? Or simply put (apart from the 4 engines 4 longhaul thing): why didn't they go with the twin platform for the stretch instead of the quad?
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RE: Why No Further A330 Stretch?

Fri Nov 10, 2006 12:34 pm

< speculation >
Probably because the wing can't really handle that. The 345/346 wing is heavily modified compared to the 332/333/342/343 wing. My guess it requires the outboard engines in place to mitigate wing bending moment. Making it a twin would either require wing reinforcement (the 332/333 wing is already reinforced compared to the 342/343 wing for this exact reason) or moving the engines outboard. Moving the engines outboard would have required pretty much a new wing so that was out.

Furthermore, for the mission (very long haul), it is by no means a given that fuel consumption for a "335/336" would be less than for the 345/346. As I understand it, on long routes the 340 is more efficient than the equivalent 330. This is all before engine maintenance costs of course.
< /speculation >
"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots." - John Ringo

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