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Anonz263x
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Why did the Airbus a340 outsell the MD-11?

Wed Aug 26, 2020 1:40 am

Im aware that the MD-11 had initial issues with range, not being able to reach its advertised range I believe, but why did the Airbus a340, an aircraft with 4 engines, one more engine outsell it? I mean not massively, but enough, was the a340 a better seller due its commonality being with a330, or is there more to it?
 
bigb
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Re: Why did the Airbus a340 outsell the MD-11?

Wed Aug 26, 2020 1:48 am

Because it fell short on range and payload performance due to it being overweight. Airlines wanted the MD-11 for missions the 777 flies not DC-10 missions.
 
Anonz263x
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Re: Why did the Airbus a340 outsell the MD-11?

Wed Aug 26, 2020 1:57 am

bigb wrote:
Because it fell short on range and payload performance due to it being overweight. Airlines wanted the MD-11 for missions the 777 flies not DC-10 missions.


Yes Im aware of that, but was the a340 somehow "lighter" despite having 4 engines instead of being a Trijet?
 
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aemoreira1981
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Re: Why did the Airbus a340 outsell the MD-11?

Wed Aug 26, 2020 2:03 am

Anonz263x wrote:
bigb wrote:
Because it fell short on range and payload performance due to it being overweight. Airlines wanted the MD-11 for missions the 777 flies not DC-10 missions.


Yes Im aware of that, but was the a340 somehow "lighter" despite having 4 engines instead of being a Trijet?


By about 11 tons, yes. I have to say that SQ is what really swung the pendulum in favor of the A340, especially the A343, for which 218 frames were delivered. The MD11 could not perform the missions that the A343 could. SQ actually canceled an MD11 order over that. It needed the A343 for destinations like CDG and MXP.
 
69bug
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Re: Why did the Airbus a340 outsell the MD-11?

Wed Aug 26, 2020 2:04 am

Basically the MD-11 was an old design which was tweaked for range (slightly better fuel consumption and larger tanks including a tail-tank). They added some aerodynamic aids but you know they're scraping the bottom of the barrel when they change the wipers to park upright to improve aerodynamics !

The A340-300/200 was a much newer design and lighter than the MD-11 whose structure was based on the DC-10. The engines were smaller and had much better cruise consumption.. we used to joke that the A340 had 5 APUs, 4 controlled by throttles.

Also the more engines you have, the lower max thrust needed. to put it simply... for a twin, in an engine out situation the remaining engine has to produce twice the power. For a triple, each remaining engine needs to produce 50% additional power to provide thrust equal to three engines.. for a quad jet.. the margin is 33% additional thrust.

bug
 
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Re: Why did the Airbus a340 outsell the MD-11?

Wed Aug 26, 2020 2:04 am

From what I remember from watching Skyships Eng (no idea on how accurate he is), part of the reason was that the A340, while having four engines instead of three, was a much newer airframe with newer technologies and a more optimized design, while the MD-11 was basically nothing more than a glorified DC-10NEO (or DC-10MAX in Boeingspeak).
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69bug
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Re: Why did the Airbus a340 outsell the MD-11?

Wed Aug 26, 2020 2:10 am

Worked with LH in KUL and we often got requests from China Airlines to carry a few baggage containers for them to FRA as their MD-11 (Mandarin Airlines livery) was max out (payload wise). Our 744 could make it easily with a full load 99% of the time. The 1% was only if the FRA area had really bad weather.

bug
 
bigb
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Re: Why did the Airbus a340 outsell the MD-11?

Wed Aug 26, 2020 2:17 am

Anonz263x wrote:
bigb wrote:
Because it fell short on range and payload performance due to it being overweight. Airlines wanted the MD-11 for missions the 777 flies not DC-10 missions.


Yes Im aware of that, but was the a340 somehow "lighter" despite having 4 engines instead of being a Trijet?


Yup, the MD-11 was that much overweight which made it pointless for airlines to order if they could perform the missions that they were supposed to.
 
Anonz263x
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Re: Why did the Airbus a340 outsell the MD-11?

Wed Aug 26, 2020 2:26 am

69bug wrote:
Basically the MD-11 was an old design which was tweaked for range (slightly better fuel consumption and larger tanks including a tail-tank). They added some aerodynamic aids but you know they're scraping the bottom of the barrel when they change the wipers to park upright to improve aerodynamics !

The A340-300/200 was a much newer design and lighter than the MD-11 whose structure was based on the DC-10. The engines were smaller and had much better cruise consumption.. we used to joke that the A340 had 5 APUs, 4 controlled by throttles.

Also the more engines you have, the lower max thrust needed. to put it simply... for a twin, in an engine out situation the remaining engine has to produce twice the power. For a triple, each remaining engine needs to produce 50% additional power to provide thrust equal to three engines.. for a quad jet.. the margin is 33% additional thrust.

bug


I also wonder if the a340 wouldve had a much harder time selling if it was a trijet, and what would the naming be "Airbus t330, t standing for Trijet"?
 
aschachter
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Re: Why did the Airbus a340 outsell the MD-11?

Wed Aug 26, 2020 2:46 am

I think, from what I remember, Airlines would have also chosen the A340, if they had A330s, as they either had a common pilot rating or only a very quick conversion if needed.

I am thinking a MD11 to A330 pilot conversion would have taken longer.

Also, maybe some of the A330/A340 spare parts could have been in common too? But I may be wrong here.
 
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FLALEFTY
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Re: Why did the Airbus a340 outsell the MD-11?

Wed Aug 26, 2020 3:46 am

aschachter wrote:
I think, from what I remember, Airlines would have also chosen the A340, if they had A330s, as they either had a common pilot rating or only a very quick conversion if needed.

I am thinking a MD11 to A330 pilot conversion would have taken longer.

Also, maybe some of the A330/A340 spare parts could have been in common too? But I may be wrong here.


Another factor was that airlines that had A32X-series aircraft in their narrow body fleets had a much easier time transitioning pilots to the A340/330 since the cockpit layouts, FBW flight controls and avionics were very similar.
 
69bug
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Re: Why did the Airbus a340 outsell the MD-11?

Wed Aug 26, 2020 5:38 am

Anonz263x wrote:
69bug wrote:
Basically the MD-11 was an old design which was tweaked for range (slightly better fuel consumption and larger tanks including a tail-tank). They added some aerodynamic aids but you know they're scraping the bottom of the barrel when they change the wipers to park upright to improve aerodynamics !

The A340-300/200 was a much newer design and lighter than the MD-11 whose structure was based on the DC-10. The engines were smaller and had much better cruise consumption.. we used to joke that the A340 had 5 APUs, 4 controlled by throttles.

Also the more engines you have, the lower max thrust needed. to put it simply... for a twin, in an engine out situation the remaining engine has to produce twice the power. For a triple, each remaining engine needs to produce 50% additional power to provide thrust equal to three engines.. for a quad jet.. the margin is 33% additional thrust.

bug


I also wonder if the a340 wouldve had a much harder time selling if it was a trijet, and what would the naming be "Airbus t330, t standing for Trijet"?


My guess is the 4 x smaller engines had better burn and hanging the engines on the wings was a much simpler and lighter solution to sticking it in the tail.

Working with the DC-10/ MD-11 maintenance issues which would be an easy fix on the wing engines (1 and 3) would not be so on the tail engine. For example manually operating a sticky starter valve is a relative simple operation for engine 1 and 3 but a pain on engine no.2. Also thrust- reverser issues where locking out the reversers were required is not a 1 hour job on engine #2. Topping up engine oil on engine #2 required someone going into the tail and pumping oil up into the engine until it overflowed back down into the tail was a messy and inconvenient (and these engines required topping off regularly). As a result more time was spent at homebase to ensure that engine #2 would not give problems downline.

bug
 
Noshow
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Re: Why did the Airbus a340 outsell the MD-11?

Wed Aug 26, 2020 5:47 am

Those four A340 engines were A320-engine types. Everybody had them and had parts for them. (talking about A340-200 and -300 NOT -500 and -600). Cockpits were pretty much A320 as well. Easy conversion including to the A330.
 
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Re: Why did the Airbus a340 outsell the MD-11?

Wed Aug 26, 2020 5:56 am

aschachter wrote:
Also, maybe some of the A330/A340 spare parts could have been in common too? .


Drop the some and make it most, as in all the stuff that wasn´t directly related to having four engines instead of two. As long the A340 was still made, the A330 wing came with lots of stuff only the A340 needed. Having the outer engine mounting points made the A330 tanker real easy.

Anonz263x wrote:
bigb wrote:
Because it fell short on range and payload performance due to it being overweight. Airlines wanted the MD-11 for missions the 777 flies not DC-10 missions.


Yes Im aware of that, but was the a340 somehow "lighter" despite having 4 engines instead of being a Trijet?


That third engine needs a strong rear fuselage to hold it up, while the four engines on the wing countered bending moments making it lighter. Hence the same wing of the A330 could support 275t TOW on the quad jet. The CFM56 is also a very prolific engine, and since it seems the 4x CFM56 had about the same maintenance cost as the two on a 77E, so probably a cost advantage vs. three too.

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rigo
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Re: Why did the Airbus a340 outsell the MD-11?

Wed Aug 26, 2020 6:29 am

I don't know how big a role that played, but the MD-11 was also unpopular with passengers. It looked virtually indistinguishable from the DC-10 and even though by then the DC-10 had become a safe and reliable aircraft, it never managed to get rid of its bad reputation.
 
A320GOUZO
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Re: Why did the Airbus a340 outsell the MD-11?

Wed Aug 26, 2020 6:30 am

There was a plan to put the A330/A340 wing onto a stretched MD-11 fuselage to be named the AM300.
It was set to challenge the 747 and could be configured with either the standard MD-11 or A340 cockpit.

I imagine if MD had re winged the MD-11 from the beginning rather than just putting wingtips onto a DC-10 wing, it would had more range and better fuel efficiency and would of sold more.
 
Noshow
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Re: Why did the Airbus a340 outsell the MD-11?

Wed Aug 26, 2020 6:42 am

From my point of view MDD were not really investing anymore in commercial programs just milking what they had. They were on the way out. Hopefully history will not repeat itself.
 
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Re: Why did the Airbus a340 outsell the MD-11?

Wed Aug 26, 2020 8:33 am

rigo wrote:
I don't know how big a role that played

I can answer that for you: none. At all.


A320GOUZO wrote:
There was a plan to put the A330/A340 wing onto a stretched MD-11 fuselage to be named the AM300.
It was set to challenge the 747 and could be configured with either the standard MD-11 or A340 cockpit.

:checkmark: Was back in 1987: Airbus was rarin' to go, and McDD didn't take them seriously.

Yet another mistake.
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Noshow
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Re: Why did the Airbus a340 outsell the MD-11?

Wed Aug 26, 2020 8:56 am

Airbus was right to develop own stuff in house. That Frankenstein plane would not have worked it seems.
 
Noshow
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Re: Why did the Airbus a340 outsell the MD-11?

Wed Aug 26, 2020 8:57 am

Airbus was right to develop own stuff in house. That Frankenstein plane would not have worked it seems.
 
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Re: Why did the Airbus a340 outsell the MD-11?

Wed Aug 26, 2020 9:28 am

Noshow wrote:
Airbus was right to develop own stuff in house. That Frankenstein plane would not have worked it seems.

We'll never know; but of the MD11's many problems, its comparatively short/stubby wing was probably the greatest.

If they could've pulled this off, and presumably given the MD11 access to the A330/A340 wing's enormous center tank + potentially thwarted the rise of a longhaul competitor (77E) to the hybridized monster all the way until 1997..... it's sorta scary to ponder just how different things may have ended up being in the world aviation market.
I myself, suspect a more prosaic motive... ~Thranduil
 
Noshow
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Re: Why did the Airbus a340 outsell the MD-11?

Wed Aug 26, 2020 9:52 am

Airbus instead used the A300 moduls to develop the twin-family A330/A340 that really went into the future and made them some long range plane maker with a "full offer". The right decision.
 
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Re: Why did the Airbus a340 outsell the MD-11?

Wed Aug 26, 2020 10:48 am

MD wanted to get away with minimum upgrades. It worked with the DC9-50 to MD80 upgrades, but once the A320 came along and started getting airline acceptance outside the usual Airbus operators, this approach (MD80 to MD90) wasn't good enough

Similarly if Airbus hadn't been around, then MD would have got away with the bare minimum DC10 to MD11 changes, but the A330/40 pairing showed it up and the 777 killed it off...
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Re: Why did the Airbus a340 outsell the MD-11?

Wed Aug 26, 2020 11:04 am

Anonz263x wrote:
bigb wrote:
Because it fell short on range and payload performance due to it being overweight. Airlines wanted the MD-11 for missions the 777 flies not DC-10 missions.


Yes Im aware of that, but was the a340 somehow "lighter" despite having 4 engines instead of being a Trijet?


Airbus claimed that either 2 or 4 engines are more efficient than 3. The engineering compromises necessary for a tail mounted engine add weight and compromise performance. They also limit stretches to increase capacity. Also as engines got more capable and efficient, reengining planes with tail mounted became more more difficult. The beauty of the A330/A340 design was that the same wing could be mounted with either 1 or 2 engines per wing depending on whether the plane was to be built as a twin engined A330 or quad engined A340. As engines are some of the heaviest components of aircraft, putting all the engines whether 2 or 4 on the wings puts them all near the plane's center of gravity and center of lift. The outboard engines allow the wing structure to be lighter.
 
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Re: Why did the Airbus a340 outsell the MD-11?

Wed Aug 26, 2020 11:07 am

FLALEFTY wrote:
Another factor was that airlines that had A32X-series aircraft in their narrow body fleets had a much easier time transitioning pilots to the A340/330 since the cockpit layouts, FBW flight controls and avionics were very similar.


Training a few hundreds pilots shouldn't have been a factor compared with the difference in operating costs.

It wasn't the 342/343 that killed the MD-11: it was the 777, which had taken the lead over A340 deliveries even before the end of 1998 despite the A340's ~24-month earlier entry to service, 3/93 against 5/95.
 
soyuz
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Re: Why did the Airbus a340 outsell the MD-11?

Wed Aug 26, 2020 11:11 am

This thread made me check out how many A340s and MD-11s were in the air on FR24. Turns out there are a lot more of the latter flying around (essentially all MD-11Fs). So with COVID killing off the passenger quad, it’s the Mad Dog who gets the last laugh, albeit in cargo version only.
 
tvh
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Re: Why did the Airbus a340 outsell the MD-11?

Wed Aug 26, 2020 11:52 am

Why was there never a freigther of the A340. Now that the A330 has more MTOW there is no use for it, but in the early days the A340 would have done good compared with the MD11.
 
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Re: Why did the Airbus a340 outsell the MD-11?

Wed Aug 26, 2020 2:45 pm

Noshow wrote:
From my point of view MDD were not really investing anymore in commercial programs just milking what they had. They were on the way out. Hopefully history will not repeat itself.

What they didn't have was money and time, not interest, i believe
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Re: Why did the Airbus a340 outsell the MD-11?

Wed Aug 26, 2020 3:16 pm

A320GOUZO wrote:
There was a plan to put the A330/A340 wing onto a stretched MD-11 fuselage to be named the AM300.
It was set to challenge the 747 and could be configured with either the standard MD-11 or A340 cockpit.

I imagine if MD had re winged the MD-11 from the beginning rather than just putting wingtips onto a DC-10 wing, it would had more range and better fuel efficiency and would of sold more.


It was a little more than just putting "wingtips", I guess you meant winglets, on a DC-10 wing.
 
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FLALEFTY
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Re: Why did the Airbus a340 outsell the MD-11?

Wed Aug 26, 2020 3:36 pm

MIflyer12 wrote:
FLALEFTY wrote:
Another factor was that airlines that had A32X-series aircraft in their narrow body fleets had a much easier time transitioning pilots to the A340/330 since the cockpit layouts, FBW flight controls and avionics were very similar.


Training a few hundreds pilots shouldn't have been a factor compared with the difference in operating costs.

It wasn't the 342/343 that killed the MD-11: it was the 777, which had taken the lead over A340 deliveries even before the end of 1998 despite the A340's ~24-month earlier entry to service, 3/93 against 5/95.


This thread is about why the A340 outsold the MD-11, not how the B777 outsold them both.

The training cost benefits for the A340's with airlines that had, or were buying A32X narrow body aircraft was one of the factors that helped it sell to some airlines. It wasn't the only factor, but it certainly was on the list. Two of the largest operators of the A340, Air France and Lufthansa, were also transitioning to A32X fleets at the same time they ordered the A340.
Last edited by FLALEFTY on Wed Aug 26, 2020 3:59 pm, edited 2 times in total.
 
AAMDanny
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Re: Why did the Airbus a340 outsell the MD-11?

Wed Aug 26, 2020 3:54 pm

Also the the longer Long Haul flights, which required the Crews to take controlled rest, the A340 offered a proper Crew Rest areas where as the MD11 did not. A340 offered separate Pilot and Cabin Crew rest areas with proper bunk beds, whereas the MD11 uses either passenger seats or there was a 'assembled' or 'folded out' like what the MD11 offered (which was only for pilots only)

The Airbus A340 also offered a Crew Rest area for the Cabin Crew in the hold which could be removed (it was the size of of x2 ULD's) which could be removed on flights where Crew Rest was not required to maximise the cargo space available. It was called the LDMCR (Lower Deck Mobile Crew Rest)

With the A340 offering good range and the capability to offer a Crew Rest area for all the crew without having to 'block out' revenue seats in the Cabin to offer a crew rest area the A340 stood out as the better performer on the longer long haul routes. Also the capability of a common flight deck between A320/A330/A340 was also a modern appeal to Airlines.
 
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Re: Why did the Airbus a340 outsell the MD-11?

Wed Aug 26, 2020 4:21 pm

aemoreira1981 wrote:
Anonz263x wrote:
bigb wrote:
Because it fell short on range and payload performance due to it being overweight. Airlines wanted the MD-11 for missions the 777 flies not DC-10 missions.


Yes Im aware of that, but was the a340 somehow "lighter" despite having 4 engines instead of being a Trijet?


By about 11 tons, yes. I have to say that SQ is what really swung the pendulum in favor of the A340, especially the A343, for which 218 frames were delivered. The MD11 could not perform the missions that the A343 could. SQ actually canceled an MD11 order over that. It needed the A343 for destinations like CDG and MXP.


This is it. The MD11 was heavier and failed to meet the promised performance. By the time the PIPs came in, airlines had either canceled orders (like SQ) or lost faith and dumped them early (like AA).
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hitower3
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Re: Why did the Airbus a340 outsell the MD-11?

Wed Aug 26, 2020 4:27 pm

I might add that Airbus, quickly after its introduction, improved the A340 MTOW from 258t to 275t, which bumped the payload-range envelope quite significantly.
Initially, LH had a subfleet of A340-211 to cover some of the furthest routes of the network (Latin America, Far East). These became redundant with the higher MTOW and were exchanged against -313 models.

Another side note: While the A340 sold less units than the first generation 777, it had more operators...

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Re: Why did the Airbus a340 outsell the MD-11?

Wed Aug 26, 2020 4:40 pm

MIflyer12 wrote:
It wasn't the 342/343 that killed the MD-11: it was the 777, which had taken the lead over A340 deliveries even before the end of 1998 despite the A340's ~24-month earlier entry to service, 3/93 against 5/95.


Nah, it wasn't the 777. The MD-11 was thoroughly torpedoed already in the 1980s, and while Airbus played a big part with the A340 and A330, Boeing did probably did more to kill off the MD-11 with the 767-300ER than the 777.

Looking at failed orders, notable ones included:
Singapore Airlines - changed to A340-300
SAS - changed to 767-300ER
JAT - Embargoed and eventually shut down due to the civil war
Air Europe - Bankrupt
British Caledonian - Taken over by British Airways who went for the 767-300ER

The MD-11s prospects were closely tied to the DC-10. A significant number of those sales campaigns went in a similar direction. Lufthansa, AOM, UTA/Air France and Continental to mention a few of the big DC-10 operators who passed on the MD-11 at the time.

By the time American Airlines sold its first 12 MD-11s to FedEx in 1995, the MD-11 was virtually dead as a passenger aircraft.

As for what eventually replaced many of those MD-11s from passenger service, you are right about the 777.
 
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Re: Why did the Airbus a340 outsell the MD-11?

Wed Aug 26, 2020 5:04 pm

69bug wrote:
They added some aerodynamic aids but you know they're scraping the bottom of the barrel when they change the wipers to park upright to improve aerodynamics !


Like the 787 and A350?

tvh wrote:
Why was there never a freigther of the A340. Now that the A330 has more MTOW there is no use for it, but in the early days the A340 would have done good compared with the MD11.

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Aptivaboy
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Re: Why did the Airbus a340 outsell the MD-11?

Wed Aug 26, 2020 6:13 pm

It really was a cash crunch problem. McD was perpetually short of ready cash. Other than the F-4 Phantom program and some other military programs, the McDonnell side of things wasn't nearly as large and profitable as the other big aerospace players. The same could be said for Douglas, which while legendary for its designs, just wasn't large enough to capture the kind of profits and market share that Boeing could. When the two merged, many in in the industry openly wondered how a merger of two smaller, cash-poor contractors could ever really compete. I may be overstating things a bit, and if so I apologize, but historically that's more or less true.

So... When the MD-11 came around, McD didn't have the cash to either significantly redesign the DC-10, especially its wing, nor to design a totally new airplane. As a result, a lot of the finer points were missed and the MD-11 never really met its design criteria. However, the 777 and the A330/340 could and did, and both proved quite capable and adaptable, especially the 777. As a result, airlines either didn't buy further MD-11s, or rid themselves of the type fairly quickly; American comes to mind. American was VERY upset with the missed performance goals and said so quite publicly, at times. N1750B was delivered to AA in May of 1991, and was gone by February of 1997, not even six years.

Another issue had to do with the type being a trijet, and the newer twins like the 777 and the A330 were simply more efficient, and didn't entail the jungle gym necessary to service that tall tail mounted engine. Two newer, modern engines were simply more fuel efficient than three, and the size of the center engine housing meant that only certain engines could ever fit there, so they couldn't reengine it, even if someone wanted to. But, you can hang any number of engines of various sizes off of the wings of the 777 and A330/340, which gives airlines a lot of flexibility.

Anyway, its a shame the McD never really made the MD-11 what it could have been. With more cash and perhaps a partnership with Airbus, the MD-11 or something to follow after the DC-10 would have been quite remarkable to see.
 
LCDFlight
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Re: Why did the Airbus a340 outsell the MD-11?

Wed Aug 26, 2020 6:31 pm

Aptivaboy wrote:
It really was a cash crunch problem. McD was perpetually short of ready cash. Other than the F-4 Phantom program and some other military programs, the McDonnell side of things wasn't nearly as large and profitable as the other big aerospace players. The same could be said for Douglas, which while legendary for its designs, just wasn't large enough to capture the kind of profits and market share that Boeing could. When the two merged, many in in the industry openly wondered how a merger of two smaller, cash-poor contractors could ever really compete. I may be overstating things a bit, and if so I apologize, but historically that's more or less true.

So... When the MD-11 came around, McD didn't have the cash to either significantly redesign the DC-10, especially its wing, nor to design a totally new airplane. As a result, a lot of the finer points were missed and the MD-11 never really met its design criteria. However, the 777 and the A330/340 could and did, and both proved quite capable and adaptable, especially the 777. As a result, airlines either didn't buy further MD-11s, or rid themselves of the type fairly quickly; American comes to mind. American was VERY upset with the missed performance goals and said so quite publicly, at times. N1750B was delivered to AA in May of 1991, and was gone by February of 1997, not even six years.

Another issue had to do with the type being a trijet, and the newer twins like the 777 and the A330 were simply more efficient, and didn't entail the jungle gym necessary to service that tall tail mounted engine. Two newer, modern engines were simply more fuel efficient than three, and the size of the center engine housing meant that only certain engines could ever fit there, so they couldn't reengine it, even if someone wanted to. But, you can hang any number of engines of various sizes off of the wings of the 777 and A330/340, which gives airlines a lot of flexibility.

Anyway, its a shame the McD never really made the MD-11 what it could have been. With more cash and perhaps a partnership with Airbus, the MD-11 or something to follow after the DC-10 would have been quite remarkable to see.


The MD-11 and MD-90 were both modernizations on a shoestring. They were good enough for commercial service (which is a very high bar) but not good enough to compete versus better-capitalized foes Boeing and Airbus. To do that, they either had to be earlier than 1990 with those products, with better wings. I get the feeling the steam to glass conversion period was 1988 to 1998. McD needed to have 2-man glass cockpit MD-11 and MD-90 around 1988, and alter their wings sufficiently for enough range. To do this, they would have needed to spend more money 1982-1987, however much wing revisions cost. I think it could have paid off.
 
69bug
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Re: Why did the Airbus a340 outsell the MD-11?

Wed Aug 26, 2020 11:54 pm

KFLLCFII wrote:
69bug wrote:
They added some aerodynamic aids but you know they're scraping the bottom of the barrel when they change the wipers to park upright to improve aerodynamics !


Like the 787 and A350?

tvh wrote:
Why was there never a freigther of the A340. Now that the A330 has more MTOW there is no use for it, but in the early days the A340 would have done good compared with the MD11.

The fuselage slope behind the wing.



The 787 and 350 were clean sheet designs and fuel economy (thru improved aerodynamics) was paramount from day 1.

The A310F and A300F all were freighters with the kink in the floor, a pain to load.

bug
 
catiii
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Re: Why did the Airbus a340 outsell the MD-11?

Thu Aug 27, 2020 1:36 am

Anonz263x wrote:

I also wonder if the a340 wouldve had a much harder time selling if it was a trijet, and what would the naming be "Airbus t330, t standing for Trijet"?


This post makes zero sense.
 
DeltaMD95
Posts: 554
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Re: Why did the Airbus a340 outsell the MD-11?

Thu Aug 27, 2020 10:35 pm

The reason is simple. It’s because the MD-11 was offered for only 7 years after EIS (1991-98) and the A340 was offered for 28 years after EIS (1993-2011). Also add European nationalism that guaranteed the A340 orders from the likes of LH, AF, IB, etc.

Despite a production run that was twice as long, today a higher percentage of MD-11s are active than A340s (55% vs 33%), from their respective production runs.
Did you know that a Boeing 717-200 is really a McDonnell Douglas MD95-30? ;-)
 
Jalap
Posts: 640
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Re: Why did the Airbus a340 outsell the MD-11?

Thu Aug 27, 2020 11:06 pm

Anonz263x wrote:
Im aware that the MD-11 had initial issues with range, not being able to reach its advertised range I believe, but why did the Airbus a340, an aircraft with 4 engines, one more engine outsell it? I mean not massively, but enough, was the a340 a better seller due its commonality being with a330, or is there more to it?

Commonality with the A330 wouldn't have played much of a role because the 330 initially wasn't a big success. Can't immediately think of airlines that operated both 330's and 340's in the mid '90's.
The 340 was simply the best plane in the market. Although it got overtaken pretty quickly. Perhaps Airbus didn't anticipate the ETOPS possibilities of twins soon enough.
 
DeltaMD95
Posts: 554
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Re: Why did the Airbus a340 outsell the MD-11?

Fri Aug 28, 2020 12:03 am

Antarius wrote:
aemoreira1981 wrote:
Anonz263x wrote:

Yes Im aware of that, but was the a340 somehow "lighter" despite having 4 engines instead of being a Trijet?


By about 11 tons, yes. I have to say that SQ is what really swung the pendulum in favor of the A340, especially the A343, for which 218 frames were delivered. The MD11 could not perform the missions that the A343 could. SQ actually canceled an MD11 order over that. It needed the A343 for destinations like CDG and MXP.


This is it. The MD11 was heavier and failed to meet the promised performance. By the time the PIPs came in, airlines had either canceled orders (like SQ) or lost faith and dumped them early (like AA).


This is sadly true. Conversely, in regards to the capability and corresponding sentiment, by time of the improved ‘94-‘96 PIP l/ns, it’s worth noting operators such as KL, AY, Swissair, DL, continued to take delivery and “kept the faith“ operating their fleets for years after AA’s canceling of further options.

Outside of a couple of blue-chip outliers that get attention, the truth is most MD-11 pax operators made their decision to phase out a) after McDonnell Douglas went out of business and pax production ceased or b) from the wake of 9/11
Did you know that a Boeing 717-200 is really a McDonnell Douglas MD95-30? ;-)
 
jfk777
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Re: Why did the Airbus a340 outsell the MD-11?

Fri Aug 28, 2020 12:38 am

The A340 always gets the "dog" treatment because it sold terribly and has four engines. Its twin, the A330, sold very well and is still in production as the A330-900. Airbus sold over 1,000 A330's. Why do people always separate the two when they were launch together, so the two programs are successful if looked at in that light.

It was the A330 that killed the A340, by being more capable as later versions were made the A330-300 could do all but the longest A340-300 missions. Sadly the A340-500/600 sold poorly. Airbus got their revenge on the 77W with the A350-1000, the new 77W.
 
Antarius
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Re: Why did the Airbus a340 outsell the MD-11?

Fri Aug 28, 2020 1:02 am

jfk777 wrote:
The A340 always gets the "dog" treatment because it sold terribly and has four engines. Its twin, the A330, sold very well and is still in production as the A330-900. Airbus sold over 1,000 A330's. Why do people always separate the two when they were launch together, so the two programs are successful if looked at in that light.


Because they are different aircraft. The only reason to "look at it in that light" is to prop up numbers for a contest - Airbus doesn't list them together either.

There's nothing wrong with saying Airbus failed with the a340. It's not a ding on Airbus overall to say that. It's just a fact, it just didn't sell well just like the a380, the 777-300(non ER), the 764, the 737-600 or the a318 did.

They did hit it out of the park with the a330. Win some, lose some.
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aemoreira1981
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Re: Why did the Airbus a340 outsell the MD-11?

Fri Aug 28, 2020 2:29 am

jfk777 wrote:
The A340 always gets the "dog" treatment because it sold terribly and has four engines. Its twin, the A330, sold very well and is still in production as the A330-900. Airbus sold over 1,000 A330's. Why do people always separate the two when they were launch together, so the two programs are successful if looked at in that light.

It was the A330 that killed the A340, by being more capable as later versions were made the A330-300 could do all but the longest A340-300 missions. Sadly the A340-500/600 sold poorly. Airbus got their revenge on the 77W with the A350-1000, the new 77W.


If Airbus hadn't handicapped the early A330 (the 242t A333 can do virtually any A343 mission, and the upcoming 251t A339 can outperform the A343), I would say that the A340 would have sold even less. The A345 was a bad answer to the B77L (with the A346 being an answer to the B77W). It took until the A349/A35K to provide a worthy competitor.

I have to wonder what if the A345 was available as a freighter from the start.
 
raylee67
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Re: Why did the Airbus a340 outsell the MD-11?

Fri Aug 28, 2020 3:45 am

aemoreira1981 wrote:

If Airbus hadn't handicapped the early A330 (the 242t A333 can do virtually any A343 mission, and the upcoming 251t A339 can outperform the A343), I would say that the A340 would have sold even less. The A345 was a bad answer to the B77L (with the A346 being an answer to the B77W). It took until the A349/A35K to provide a worthy competitor.

I have to wonder what if the A345 was available as a freighter from the start.


I am not sure the early A330-300 was "deliberately handicapped". One have to remember that it's 1993 we are talking about. The A330-300 is a large aircraft. It's a lot larger than the 767. The engine technology at that time has its limitation. If the A330-300 could have been made to fly long range at that time, Airbus would not need to come up with the shortened A330-200 in 1998 to satisfy the twin-engine long range market. They could have made all the MTOW increase in A330-300 at that time already. But it took them 10+ more years from there to gradually improve the A330-300 to make the A330-200 obsolete.

Also remember that the early 777-200 (i.e. the A-model) also has a range similar to the early A330-300. 777-200ER (or it was called 777-200IGW initially) came out much later. Before 777-200ER, there was no twin that can fly trans-Pacific.

Based on the development history of 777-200ER and A330-300, I would say it was a necessity back in 1993 that 3 or 4 engines are needed for a long range aircraft that carries 300+ passengers.
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ZK-NBT
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Re: Why did the Airbus a340 outsell the MD-11?

Fri Aug 28, 2020 4:06 am

DeltaMD95 wrote:
The reason is simple. It’s because the MD-11 was offered for only 7 years after EIS (1991-98) and the A340 was offered for 28 years after EIS (1993-2011). Also add European nationalism that guaranteed the A340 orders from the likes of LH, AF, IB, etc.

Despite a production run that was twice as long, today a higher percentage of MD-11s are active than A340s (55% vs 33%), from their respective production runs.


The question is more why was the MD11 only in production for 7 years after ETS, it was more like 11 1990-2001, but I think by 1998 when Boeing took over MCD they quickly announced the line would close.

Plenty have already answered why, reality is the MD11 fell short of promised performance.
 
Antarius
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Re: Why did the Airbus a340 outsell the MD-11?

Fri Aug 28, 2020 4:26 am

raylee67 wrote:
aemoreira1981 wrote:

If Airbus hadn't handicapped the early A330 (the 242t A333 can do virtually any A343 mission, and the upcoming 251t A339 can outperform the A343), I would say that the A340 would have sold even less. The A345 was a bad answer to the B77L (with the A346 being an answer to the B77W). It took until the A349/A35K to provide a worthy competitor.

I have to wonder what if the A345 was available as a freighter from the start.


I am not sure the early A330-300 was "deliberately handicapped". One have to remember that it's 1993 we are talking about. The A330-300 is a large aircraft. It's a lot larger than the 767. The engine technology at that time has its limitation. If the A330-300 could have been made to fly long range at that time, Airbus would not need to come up with the shortened A330-200 in 1998 to satisfy the twin-engine long range market. They could have made all the MTOW increase in A330-300 at that time already. But it took them 10+ more years from there to gradually improve the A330-300 to make the A330-200 obsolete.

Also remember that the early 777-200 (i.e. the A-model) also has a range similar to the early A330-300. 777-200ER (or it was called 777-200IGW initially) came out much later. Before 777-200ER, there was no twin that can fly trans-Pacific.

Based on the development history of 777-200ER and A330-300, I would say it was a necessity back in 1993 that 3 or 4 engines are needed for a long range aircraft that carries 300+ passengers.


The 77E came out in 1997, not that much after the 772 that launched in 1995. Granted that's 4 years after 1993, but not by enough to be the difference, IMO.

I think Airbus got caught up thinking the 4 engine solution would last longer than it did and that carriers would buy in to that by fear mongering the twins. They were still pushing the "4 engine for long haul" mantra into the 2000s. So they seemed to focus more on offering a 4 engine option long haul and a 2 engine regionally than a long haul twin.

I can't imagine it was anything but a strategic blunder, as they launched the a332 in 1998 which was a major success. In addition, they pioneered the twin widebody with the a300, so they were at one point ahead of the times by decades.
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ZK-NBT
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Re: Why did the Airbus a340 outsell the MD-11?

Fri Aug 28, 2020 4:31 am

Jalap wrote:
Anonz263x wrote:
Im aware that the MD-11 had initial issues with range, not being able to reach its advertised range I believe, but why did the Airbus a340, an aircraft with 4 engines, one more engine outsell it? I mean not massively, but enough, was the a340 a better seller due its commonality being with a330, or is there more to it?

Commonality with the A330 wouldn't have played much of a role because the 330 initially wasn't a big success. Can't immediately think of airlines that operated both 330's and 340's in the mid '90's.
The 340 was simply the best plane in the market. Although it got overtaken pretty quickly. Perhaps Airbus didn't anticipate the ETOPS possibilities of twins soon enough.


CX for one. They were a solid A340 operator and one of the largest A330 operators.

There may be 1 or 2 others I can’t think of.
 
filipinoavgeek
Posts: 460
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Re: Why did the Airbus a340 outsell the MD-11?

Fri Aug 28, 2020 7:11 am

ZK-NBT wrote:
Jalap wrote:
Anonz263x wrote:
Im aware that the MD-11 had initial issues with range, not being able to reach its advertised range I believe, but why did the Airbus a340, an aircraft with 4 engines, one more engine outsell it? I mean not massively, but enough, was the a340 a better seller due its commonality being with a330, or is there more to it?

Commonality with the A330 wouldn't have played much of a role because the 330 initially wasn't a big success. Can't immediately think of airlines that operated both 330's and 340's in the mid '90's.
The 340 was simply the best plane in the market. Although it got overtaken pretty quickly. Perhaps Airbus didn't anticipate the ETOPS possibilities of twins soon enough.


CX for one. They were a solid A340 operator and one of the largest A330 operators.

There may be 1 or 2 others I can’t think of.


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