cygnuschicago
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A340NG - Why Does It Have 4 Engines?

Fri Apr 20, 2007 4:18 am

(I did a quick search and can't find this discussed recently)

My understanding is that the A340 original and A330 are basically the same aircraft with a different wing. By the time Airbus started the A340NG project, ETOPS was in place for many routes, powerful engines were available, and the 777 had proved itself in service both in reliability and unbeaten economics.

Why then didn't Airbus design a two engine version of the A340NG, seeing as they had to redesign the entire wing?

[Edited 2007-04-19 21:19:23]
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OldAeroGuy
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RE: A340NG - Why Does It Have 4 Engines?

Fri Apr 20, 2007 4:23 am

Quoting CygnusChicago (Thread starter):
Why then didn't Airbus design a two engine version of the A340NG, seeing as they had to redesign the entire wing?

Years of marketing that you needed "4 Engines 4 Long Haul"?
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RE: A340NG - Why Does It Have 4 Engines?

Fri Apr 20, 2007 4:25 am

Probably would have required a redesign of the landing gear, bays, and everything related as the original design was not tall enough to hang the engines it would need under those wings.

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RE: A340NG - Why Does It Have 4 Engines?

Fri Apr 20, 2007 4:29 am

To Tugger's list, I would add that the 4 engines distribute their weight more evenly along the span of the wing, relieving bending loads. To hang one much bigger engine on each wing would probably have required strengthening the wing.
 
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RE: A340NG - Why Does It Have 4 Engines?

Fri Apr 20, 2007 4:43 am

Quoting Areopagus (Reply 3):
To Tugger's list, I would add that the 4 engines distribute their weight more evenly along the span of the wing, relieving bending loads. To hang one much bigger engine on each wing would probably have required strengthening the wing.

A set of GE90s weight less than the 4 RR Trent 500s on A340NG. Moreover, RR's Trent 800's are not THAT much heavier than the CF6's available on A330. Add to that that in fact to carry the outboard engines - the A340 wing had to be upgraded with a bulge like feature on the wing between the inboard and outboard engines.

Had they gone 2 engines and called it A330-400 and A330-500 instead i'm sure they'd be selling much better right now.

I am all but certain you could get 2 RR Trent 895s or PW4090's under the A330/340 without having clearance issues, and even if you did, you'd be within a few inches.

The other major problem though that even a 2 engine A340NG would have is that fuselage. Because it is so narrow and needs to be structurally bolstered to such a degree to be stretched to 247 feet long, it would still be heavier than 773ER and be able to carry less payload.

And because it is heavier, it would need engines at least as big as 773ER.... and while you could get the Trent 895's from 773 and 772ER under an A330 wing, I am nearly certain a GE90-115b wouldn't go under there without really substantial changes to the wing and undercarriage.
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RE: A340NG - Why Does It Have 4 Engines?

Fri Apr 20, 2007 6:06 am

Quoting FlyDreamliner (Reply 5):
A set of GE90s weight less than the 4 RR Trent 500s on A340NG. Moreover, RR's Trent 800's are not THAT much heavier than the CF6's available on A330.

As earlier noted: it's not the weight per se, it's the distribution.

Quoting FlyDreamliner (Reply 5):
Add to that that in fact to carry the outboard engines - the A340 wing had to be upgraded with a bulge like feature on the wing between the inboard and outboard engines.

And while supporting a single hanger could've eliminated the need for that, it still would've called for inner fortification of an already overweight (at EIS) apparatus.
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RE: A340NG - Why Does It Have 4 Engines?

Fri Apr 20, 2007 6:13 am

Quoting FlyDreamliner (Reply 5):
Had they gone 2 engines and called it A330-400 and A330-500 instead i'm sure they'd be selling much better right now.

I dont think they really would. It would help, but the 'A340NG's' biggest problem is its weight, not the engines.
 
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RE: A340NG - Why Does It Have 4 Engines?

Fri Apr 20, 2007 6:24 am

Quoting FlyDreamliner (Reply 5):
I am nearly certain a GE90-115b wouldn't go under there without really substantial changes to the wing and undercarriage.

and isn't there an exclsivity deal for the GE90 with Boeing?
 
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RE: A340NG - Why Does It Have 4 Engines?

Fri Apr 20, 2007 9:17 am

May I be the first in this thread to pedantically point out that there is no such thing as an "A340NG". Boeing certainly used the NG suffix for the 737-600/700/800/900 and still do. AFAIK, Airbus never did. I know some enthusiasts use the term, I've even seen 777NG used for the -300ER and -200LR, but this is Tech/Ops, so let's keep it factual.

Anyway an A340 with two engines already exists and it is called the A330. Airbus already hang the biggest engines they can off that, and it does not fly as far as an A340. Simply adding two GE90s would not give the A340 a big increase in range. For extra range, as well as more thrust to increase MTOW you need to carry much more fuel, which the airframe can't do. It worked on the 777 because the design had so much growth potential. In contrast, the A340 was designed to be optimal at its orginal size.

The least powerful growth version, the A340-500, has four 53,000 lb engines, that's a total of 212,000 lb thrust. The engine out performance is therefore achieved with 75% of this, which is 159,000 lb. So a twin version with the same engine out performance would need two 159,000 lb thrust engines. That is a little over simplified, but two 115,000 lb engines would certainly not be enough for certification, even though the total takeoff thrust would be higher.
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mandala499
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RE: A340NG - Why Does It Have 4 Engines?

Fri Apr 20, 2007 10:00 pm

Quote:
Why then didn't Airbus design a two engine version of the A340NG, seeing as they had to redesign the entire wing?

Coz if A340NG is a twin, it'll be called the A330NG!

Obvious isn't it?

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RE: A340NG - Why Does It Have 4 Engines?

Sat Apr 21, 2007 12:05 am

Quoting Jetlagged (Reply 9):
The least powerful growth version, the A340-500, has four 53,000 lb engines, that's a total of 212,000 lb thrust. The engine out performance is therefore achieved with 75% of this, which is 159,000 lb. So a twin version with the same engine out performance would need two 159,000 lb thrust engines. That is a little over simplified, but two 115,000 lb engines would certainly not be enough for certification, even though the total takeoff thrust would be higher.

Word.



A has ben said above, the outboards relieve wing bending moment and allow a lighter wing. Moving the engines outwards (on a twin version) would have been pretty complicated and expensive.

Sure, Airbus could have made a 777 like twin, but that would have involved a lot of money. Enter the A350XWHBGAHJWEMEBBXXARGH or whatever today's acronym is.
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RE: A340NG - Why Does It Have 4 Engines?

Sat Apr 21, 2007 5:43 am

Quoting Starlionblue (Reply 12):
Moving the engines outwards (on a twin version) would have been pretty complicated and expensive.

As well as creating a problem of directional stability when flying on one engine?
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RE: A340NG - Why Does It Have 4 Engines?

Sat Apr 21, 2007 10:57 pm

Quoting Kukkudrill (Reply 14):
Quoting Starlionblue (Reply 12):
Moving the engines outwards (on a twin version) would have been pretty complicated and expensive.

As well as creating a problem of directional stability when flying on one engine?

Indeed. At the very least the rudder would have to be increased in size, increasing drag and maybe requiring strengthening of the rear fuse.
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ConcordeBoy
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RE: A340NG - Why Does It Have 4 Engines?

Sun Apr 22, 2007 6:27 am

Quoting Scouseflyer (Reply 7):
and isn't there an exclsivity deal for the GE90 with Boeing?

Boeing is obligated to GE (on 700K.lbs+ Triple7s), not the other way around.

Quoting Jetlagged (Reply 8):
The engine out performance is therefore achieved with 75% of this, which is 159,000 lb. So a twin version with the same engine out performance would need two 159,000 lb thrust engines.

...even taking the A345's higher weight relative to its competition; why would a(ny such) twinjet attempt to conform to a 75% OEI thrust percentage??
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RE: A340NG - Why Does It Have 4 Engines?

Sun Apr 22, 2007 8:31 am

Quoting ConcordeBoy (Reply 13):
...even taking the A345's higher weight relative to its competition; why would a(ny such) twinjet attempt to conform to a 75% OEI thrust percentage??

Because that is the eqivalent. That is:
- Quad needs to continue take-off with 75% thrust,
- Twin needs to continue take-off with 50% thrust.
It thus follows that for "the same" aircraft one engine on the twin (50%) needs to be as strong as 3 on the quad(75%) . A twin needs 50% more power in total than a quad.
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RE: A340NG - Why Does It Have 4 Engines?

Sun Apr 22, 2007 9:49 am

Quoting Starlionblue (Reply 14):
Because that is the eqivalent.

No it isn't. If it was, then quads would have no advantage over twins in hot/high.

Quoting Starlionblue (Reply 14):
A twin needs 50% more power in total than a quad.

...the numbers don't support anywhere near that assessment.

OEI THRUST differential: 36%
773ER = 115,300
A346HGW = 180,000

POWER/WEIGHT differential: 4%
773ER = 29.75
A346HGW = 28.65
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speedracer1407
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RE: A340NG - Why Does It Have 4 Engines?

Sun Apr 22, 2007 11:15 am

Quoting Starlionblue (Reply 14):
Because that is the eqivalent. That is:
- Quad needs to continue take-off with 75% thrust,
- Twin needs to continue take-off with 50% thrust.
It thus follows that for "the same" aircraft one engine on the twin (50%) needs to be as strong as 3 on the quad(75%) . A twin needs 50% more power in total than a quad.

As concordeboy notes, the numbers don't add up, and I think the reason for this is that twin engine planes have lower engine-out minimum climb gradient requirements. Betwen liftoff and gear retraction, a twin must maintain an unspecified positive climb, whereas a quad must maintain .5% climb gradient. After gear retraction and before 400ft AGL, a twin must maintain 2.4% climb gradient, and a quad 3%. Above 400, and at "final takeoff speed" (According to FAR, but I don't really know what this means), a twin must maintain 1.2%, and a quad 1.7%.

Perhaps his accounds for the discrepency in available power with one engine inoperative between twins and quads.

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RE: A340NG - Why Does It Have 4 Engines?

Sun Apr 22, 2007 9:34 pm

Quoting Speedracer1407 (Reply 16):
As concordeboy notes, the numbers don't add up, and I think the reason for this is that twin engine planes have lower engine-out minimum climb gradient requirements. Betwen liftoff and gear retraction, a twin must maintain an unspecified positive climb, whereas a quad must maintain .5% climb gradient. After gear retraction and before 400ft AGL, a twin must maintain 2.4% climb gradient, and a quad 3%. Above 400, and at "final takeoff speed" (According to FAR, but I don't really know what this means), a twin must maintain 1.2%, and a quad 1.7%.

Well, sure. I was talking about "the same" within quotation marks. I AM aware that quads and twins are more different than that.  Wink
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kaddyuk
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RE: A340NG - Why Does It Have 4 Engines?

Mon Apr 23, 2007 3:23 am

Quoting CygnusChicago (Thread starter):
Why then didn't Airbus design a two engine version of the A340NG, seeing as they had to redesign the entire wing?

Because customers who didnt have ETOPS and didn't want ETOPS demanded a four engine aircraft...

Virgin, Lufthansa, South African... Not ETOPS carriers (or certainly weren't when they had their original A340's delivered).

Just because the more economical solution exists doesnt mean that the airlines will choose it. The B777 is a VERY expensive airframe and when you consider more than just the economical performance. It makes alot of sense...
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ConcordeBoy
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RE: A340NG - Why Does It Have 4 Engines?

Mon Apr 23, 2007 4:19 am

Quoting Kaddyuk (Reply 18):
Because customers who didnt have ETOPS and didn't want ETOPS demanded a four engine aircraft.

...name some.

Quoting Kaddyuk (Reply 18):
Virgin, Lufthansa, South African... Not ETOPS carriers (or certainly weren't when they had their original A340's delivered).

Neither is true in the case of LH.
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RE: A340NG - Why Does It Have 4 Engines?

Mon Apr 23, 2007 7:45 am

Quoting ConcordeBoy (Reply 19):
Neither is true in the case of LH.

In the case of LH they already operated the A340 and it would have made sense to continue with the same type of airframe rather than start a whole new line...

Quoting ConcordeBoy (Reply 19):
...name some.

Virgin Atlantic Airways...

South African Airways are another carrier who operated a four engine long haul fleet...

Airbus built the A340-500 and -600 Because there was a market demand for it They wouldn't have built the aircraft if they didnt think it wouldn't sell...

Can you explain to me why would airbus build an aircraft they weren't sure would sell?
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RE: A340NG - Why Does It Have 4 Engines?

Mon Apr 23, 2007 10:01 am

Quoting CygnusChicago (Thread starter):
Why then didn't Airbus design a two engine version of the A340NG, seeing as they had to redesign the entire wing?

To answer the question again, because they didn't really redesign the entire wing. They created a tapered root insert (a wedge shaped piece) and expanded the existing wing around it. This is not redesigning the entire wing. Making a whole new wing optimized for, say, a GE-90, would have been much more work.

The 345/6 is evolutionary, not a new aircraft. It is still based on the old. And so Airbus can offer it much cheaper than the 777. While the 777 may be superior in some ways, being the cheaper aircraft offsets some of the advantages of the 777.

Also, there are the usual suspects:
- Commonality of maintenance, operations and engines.
- Delivery availability.
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ConcordeBoy
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RE: A340NG - Why Does It Have 4 Engines?

Mon Apr 23, 2007 10:14 am

Quoting Kaddyuk (Reply 20):
In the case of LH they already operated the A340 and it would have made sense to continue with the same type of airframe rather than start a whole new line.

As true as that may be, it does nothing to redeem your earlier (false) statement that LH was not an ETOPS certified airline at that time.

Quoting Kaddyuk (Reply 20):
Virgin Atlantic Airways.
South African Airways are another carrier who operated a four engine long haul fleet...

Again, your statement of (rather obvious) past fleet compositions, has no bearing on the fact that you've failed to present a shred of evidence that these airlines "demanded a four engine aircraft" for fleet succession-- particularly in the case of VS, whom if you'll recall, was the loudest voice in support of Boeing's (twinjet) Sonic Cruiser; at around the timeframe in question.

Quoting Kaddyuk (Reply 20):
Airbus built the A340-500 and -600 Because there was a market demand for it They wouldn't have built the aircraft if they didnt think it wouldn't sell.

That covers pretty much every aircraft ever built.

Quoting Kaddyuk (Reply 20):
Can you explain to me why would airbus build an aircraft they weren't sure would sell?

Dunno, ask this fella:

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RE: A340NG - Why Does It Have 4 Engines?

Mon Apr 23, 2007 10:16 am

Quoting Starlionblue (Reply 21):
being the cheaper aircraft offsets some of the advantages of the 777.

initially it did... but even that began to fall out of the A340's favor.
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trex8
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RE: A340NG - Why Does It Have 4 Engines?

Mon Apr 23, 2007 10:41 am

Quoting ConcordeBoy (Reply 19):
Quoting Kaddyuk (Reply 18):Because customers who didnt have ETOPS and didn't want ETOPS demanded a four engine aircraft.
...name some.

CI didn't have etops , didn't want to be delayed with transpac services getting etops and thats why they chose the A343 rather than the 772ER.
 
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RE: A340NG - Why Does It Have 4 Engines?

Mon Apr 23, 2007 10:55 am

Quoting ConcordeBoy (Reply 22):
As true as that may be, it does nothing to redeem your earlier (false) statement that LH was not an ETOPS certified airline at that time.

Ouch... Okay I'll alter that statement to reflect Lufthansa's position.

"Even though LH had ETOPS capability, they still chose the quad jet over a Twin jet to fly Long Haul because LH didnt want to operate another ETOPS airplane type" proof of this is the fact that they ordered the A340...!

Quoting ConcordeBoy (Reply 22):
particularly in the case of VS, whom if you'll recall, was the loudest voice in support of Boeing's (twinjet) Sonic Cruiser; at around the timeframe in question.

But VS are loud about any new project which could land them some publicity... Remember the whole concorde incident? Virgin have THRICE shunned a twin jet and taken the Quad route...

Quoting Starlionblue (Reply 21):
The 345/6 is evolutionary, not a new aircraft.

Exactly!
The differences between the A343 and A345/6 are large enough to matter to the operating cost of each frame yet small enough to enable the airline to operate a more advanced aircraft without the cost of introducing a new type.

Why did boeing advance the B747 to the -400 varient...? Because no matter how hard you try, you cant ignore the fact that there always has been and always will be a market for 4-Engined aeroplanes...!
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ConcordeBoy
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RE: A340NG - Why Does It Have 4 Engines?

Mon Apr 23, 2007 11:59 am

Quoting Kaddyuk (Reply 25):
because LH didnt want to operate another ETOPS airplane type



Quoting Kaddyuk (Reply 25):
Virgin have THRICE shunned a twin jet and taken the Quad route

I'm curious as to why (based on your presentation here) that you assume this to be the ultimate element of (or even of primary consideration in) the decision of these carriers' fleet procurement over the more typical standards of price, cost, fleet commonality, price-incentives, and politics (LH)? Do tell.

...especitally considering these two particular airlines, who both offered ETOPS operations before their A340NG purchases.
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kaddyuk
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RE: A340NG - Why Does It Have 4 Engines?

Mon Apr 23, 2007 2:48 pm

Quoting ConcordeBoy (Reply 26):
more typical standards of price, cost, fleet commonality, price-incentives, and politics (LH)? Do tell.

The fact that their choice was a quad is just an observation... You must draw your own conclusions as to why, if a twin jet is that much better than a quad... why didnt they pick it...? This draws back to the original question.

Airbus built the A340-5/600 because at they believed they could continue the A340-2/300 line by selling to current operators of that type a more modern, economical and viable solution to the aging A340 fleet without the expense of introducing a WHOLE new type into their fleet. Hence why the A343 & A346 can be flown by the same pilots, maintained by the same engineers and fixed with the same parts and tooling that they have used for years already.

Boeing do this ALL the time... What do you think the B773ER and B772LR are? They're a natural progression of a very successfull line of aeroplanes. The B748i is another type. Boeing COULD have dropped the B747 line (And perhaps its time they did but that is for a WHOLE other topic).

They're continuing these lines so that they can keep up production and so that either new airlines will buy the new model or current operators will upgrade to the latest version.

That is exactly what has happened. Nearly all the current operators of the A340-500 and -600 have been A340 operators in the past...
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ConcordeBoy
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RE: A340NG - Why Does It Have 4 Engines?

Mon Apr 23, 2007 11:24 pm

Quoting Kaddyuk (Reply 27):
You must draw your own conclusions as to why, if a twin jet is that much better than a quad... why didnt they pick it

I just listed the typical factors for such in the prior post....

Quoting Kaddyuk (Reply 27):
Nearly all the current operators of the A340-500 and -600 have been A340 operators in the past...

Though interesting to note that while plenty of former A340 operators, and even some "A340NG" operators, have selected the "777NG" as the anchor of their current 250-350seat longhaul fleet; not a single B-market 777 operator has done the opposite. About the closest would be TG, though they only opped A-market 777s at the time of their A340NG order.
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kaddyuk
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RE: A340NG - Why Does It Have 4 Engines?

Tue Apr 24, 2007 2:10 am

Quoting ConcordeBoy (Reply 28):
Though interesting to note that while plenty of former A340 operators, and even some "A340NG" operators, have selected the "777NG" as the anchor of their current 250-350seat longhaul fleet; not a single B-market 777 operator has done the opposite. About the closest would be TG, though they only opped A-market 777s at the time of their A340NG order.

You'll have to forgive me, i assume that "B-Market 777's" are the -3ER and -2LR versions...

This is true... the next gen 777's out perform their quad equivilant. Hence why no airline yet has also choosen the A340-5/600. Infact in the case of SQ they chose it OVER the A340-5/600.

I'm a fan of twin-jets. The problems you now have with Quad jets is that you have two more engines to go wrong. But at the same time and i quote my last post...

Quoting Kaddyuk (Reply 27):
selling to current operators of that type a more modern, economical and viable solution to the aging A340 fleet without the expense of introducing a WHOLE new type into their fleet.

It threw operators with an aging quad jet fleet a lifeline to continue with the type they've been flying for years with...
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RE: A340NG - Why Does It Have 4 Engines?

Tue Apr 24, 2007 2:44 am

Can we please leave the A vs. B threads in "Civil" Aviation? Thanks very much! This forum has arguably the highest quality of all, let's keep it that way!
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ConcordeBoy
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RE: A340NG - Why Does It Have 4 Engines?

Tue Apr 24, 2007 5:31 am

Quoting Kaddyuk (Reply 29):
You'll have to forgive me, i assume that "B-Market 777's" are the -3ER and -2LR versions...

772LR is a C-market aircraft

772ER and 773ER are B-market
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RE: A340NG - Why Does It Have 4 Engines?

Tue Apr 24, 2007 5:48 am

Quoting BuyantUkhaa (Reply 30):
Can we please leave the A vs. B threads in "Civil" Aviation? Thanks very much! This forum has arguably the highest quality of all, let's keep it that way!

It's also another twins versus quads argument. There are at least two others on the go here at the moment. Seems some people just don't like four engined aircraft.
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ConcordeBoy
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RE: A340NG - Why Does It Have 4 Engines?

Tue Apr 24, 2007 8:07 am

Quoting Jetlagged (Reply 32):
Seems some people just don't like four engined aircraft.

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RE: A340NG - Why Does It Have 4 Engines?

Tue Apr 24, 2007 2:19 pm

Quoting Mandala499 (Reply 9):

I agree, it would be a different airplane.
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