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LH707330
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Re: Why did the Airbus a340 outsell the MD-11?

Mon Aug 31, 2020 7:21 pm

Antarius wrote:
Revelation wrote:
MrHMSH wrote:
Quick question (not sure it's worthy of its own thread), why does the A330-200 have the taller tail, but the A340-200 not?

Some general suggestions:
1) A330 needs a bigger tail because when it has one engine out it loses half its thrust thus has a lot more yaw, A340 loses only a quarter of its thrust
2) Shorter aircraft need more tail area because the fuselage is shorter so tail provides less torque to counteract yaw

First one definitely applies, not sure about 2nd since I don't know the relative fuselage lengths.


193' vs 195'. So basically identical on length

The length aft of the wings was the same on both 200s. The 300s were the same length, with the 342 being -4 frames between door 2 and the wing (4 windows vs 8 in that first chunk) and -4 frames aft between doors 3 and 4. The A332 was -6/-4, but its taller fin goes further aft, which is why the overall lengths are almost the same. Also, with the 332 activating the center tank, the CG went forward with the inboard engines, so they took more out ahead.
aemoreira1981 wrote:
Another question on door arrangement: why did the A332 not have the same door profile as the A342? On the A342, the exits are more or less evenly spaced, while doors 1 and 2 are much closer on the A332.


Ramp rash. The 342 has smaller inboard engines so they don't hit them on the jetway. The larger 330 engines hang further forward, so they moved the door to keep it clear.

Two things that often get overlooked during these discussions:
1. In the early 90s there was the recession after the Gulf War, so a lot of carriers were not buying or canceled, including Continental and Northwest, who had bought several A340s. Without those, the picture would have been much different
2. The 330 and 777 had three engine vendors in a bloodbath, while the single-source 343 had cash-strapped Snecma not wanting to play ball on discounts. This helped tip many deals to the twins.

To address the OP question: the MD-11 had an old wing and a comparatively inefficient layout (tail-engine is worse than a quad): viewtopic.php?f=3&t=1404461
 
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SheikhDjibouti
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Re: Why did the Airbus a340 outsell the MD-11?

Mon Aug 31, 2020 8:06 pm

DeltaMD95 wrote:
SheikhDjibouti wrote:
Another curiosity is that the MD-11 order book was closed even before the final frames were started, Boeing slammed the door firmly shut on any possible late orders.

Whereas Airbus kept the door open as long as possible, praying for more orders, even though there were none. IIRC the final delivery (in 2011 to Iberia) was merely the conversion of an "option" dating back to an order originally placed in 2003! :o New orders had been thin on the ground for some years already.

You are proving my point exactly with this reply.
Yes, and....?
Have I somehow disappointed you by adding some facts that flesh-out & support your post?
Am I not allowed to agree with your position, adding facts that do not flatter the Airbus position!
Is that against a.net rules?
#puzzled :white:

SheikhDjibouti wrote:
As opposed to US nationalism that guaranteed orders from..... :roll:

{I tire of both "sides" viewing nationalism as a fault that only applies to the other}.

DeltaMD95 wrote:
Respectfully, this is a childish reply. I’m afraid your sensitivity is clouding your judgment.
Please, go ahead, throw in a few more insults. :lol:

DeltaMD95 wrote:
Would you argue that LH, AF, and IB selecting the Airbus (when two other options were available on the market) was not driven by nationalism?
It could be nationalism. It might also have been the best choice. That is all part of this beautiful discussion we are having.

Sometimes a pipe is just a pipe.
Or should home nations be barred from buying home products, just to be on the safe side?

DeltaMD95 wrote:
Would you also argue that DL and AA selecting the MD-11 (when no competing options were available on the market) was nationalism?
I would argue it is a possibility, depending on other factors.
Firstly, there's your slightly myopic "no competing options available". :scratchchin:

The A340 was close on the heels of the MD-11 (contrary to the myth echoed elsewhere in this thread)
DL ordered the MD-11 in 1988, when neither the the MD-11 nor the A340 had flown, so how do you arrive at your distinction?
"No competing options" is being a tad economical with the truth. :roll:

Moving forward to a time when airline CEOs could actually see what they were considering, in full technicolor; the MD-11 first flight was Jan 1990, with the A340 first flight a year and a half later. In the airline world, that is no time at all.

If you or I go into a car dealership, we could buy the current model available now, or check out the brochures for a completely new design coming up in six months. It rather depends whether we need a replacement urgently, or can wait a bit. Or maybe the dealer gives us a cracking deal on the old stock to get it shifted?
If you know the inside story with AA & DL, do tell. Otherwise all of those options are possible.
Overall I believe airlines tend to play the longer game. But there are also exceptions.

So rushing into a fast deal with MD, instead of waiting to see if the A340 lived up to expectations, could easily be described as tending to nationalism.


And since nobody seems to have mentioned it; an analysis of the launch orders came up with this;
The LH & AF A340's went for about $67 million each, while the first 52 MD-11's cost $95 million each

Still think LH & AF were mainly driven by nationalism?
I know IB weren't; Spain didn't join EADS until years after IB ordered their first A340s. (that's a genuine "years", not 18 months dressed up as something larger)

Still, just in case you think my "sensitivity is clouding my judgment"...I'll finish with this rather dangerous thought;

Could there have been some price dumping going on? :scratchchin:
Oh wait, as an Airbus fan I'm not supposed to even mention that as a possibility... :duck:
Nothing to see here; move along please.
 
Douglas7Seas
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Re: Why did the Airbus a340 outsell the MD-11?

Mon Aug 31, 2020 8:22 pm

Interesting to see the number of MD-11's flying at night in comparison to the A340.
Be different; Be nice.
 
Antarius
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Re: Why did the Airbus a340 outsell the MD-11?

Mon Aug 31, 2020 8:29 pm

Douglas7Seas wrote:
Interesting to see the number of MD-11's flying at night in comparison to the A340.


That's true for the MD11 against most types. The MD11 has been very successful as a freighter despite failing as a passenger aircraft.

When the world sleeps, the MD11s, a300, 767F etc. are at work.
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Antarius
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Re: Why did the Airbus a340 outsell the MD-11?

Mon Aug 31, 2020 8:31 pm

LH707330 wrote:
Antarius wrote:
Revelation wrote:
Some general suggestions:
1) A330 needs a bigger tail because when it has one engine out it loses half its thrust thus has a lot more yaw, A340 loses only a quarter of its thrust
2) Shorter aircraft need more tail area because the fuselage is shorter so tail provides less torque to counteract yaw

First one definitely applies, not sure about 2nd since I don't know the relative fuselage lengths.


193' vs 195'. So basically identical on length

The length aft of the wings was the same on both 200s. The 300s were the same length, with the 342 being -4 frames between door 2 and the wing (4 windows vs 8 in that first chunk) and -4 frames aft between doors 3 and 4. The A332 was -6/-4, but its taller fin goes further aft, which is why the overall lengths are almost the same. Also, with the 332 activating the center tank, the CG went forward with the inboard engines, so they took more out ahead.
aemoreira1981 wrote:
Another question on door arrangement: why did the A332 not have the same door profile as the A342? On the A342, the exits are more or less evenly spaced, while doors 1 and 2 are much closer on the A332.


Ramp rash. The 342 has smaller inboard engines so they don't hit them on the jetway. The larger 330 engines hang further forward, so they moved the door to keep it clear.

Two things that often get overlooked during these discussions:
1. In the early 90s there was the recession after the Gulf War, so a lot of carriers were not buying or canceled, including Continental and Northwest, who had bought several A340s. Without those, the picture would have been much different
2. The 330 and 777 had three engine vendors in a bloodbath, while the single-source 343 had cash-strapped Snecma not wanting to play ball on discounts. This helped tip many deals to the twins.

To address the OP question: the MD-11 had an old wing and a comparatively inefficient layout (tail-engine is worse than a quad): viewtopic.php?f=3&t=1404461


Interesting. Thank you for the info. The part about the engine price was not something I had thought of.
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Antarius
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Re: Why did the Airbus a340 outsell the MD-11?

Mon Aug 31, 2020 8:35 pm

SheikhDjibouti wrote:
Could there have been some price dumping going on? :scratchchin:
Oh wait, as an Airbus fan I'm not supposed to even mention that as a possibility... :duck:


Is there any proof to this? Has nothing to do with which fan you are, but there needs to be a source for it.
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Veigar
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Re: Why did the Airbus a340 outsell the MD-11?

Tue Sep 01, 2020 9:40 am

The MD-11 seems to be outliving the A340 though, through cargo use. At least. Doesn't really answer OP but it throws up another talking point in the air.
 
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SheikhDjibouti
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Re: Why did the Airbus a340 outsell the MD-11?

Tue Sep 01, 2020 10:31 am

Veigar wrote:
The MD-11 seems to be outliving the A340 though, through cargo use. At least. Doesn't really answer OP but it throws up another talking point in the air.
Pretty much a repeat of the DC-8 flying cargo long after the 707 finished flying in any numbers (Saha Air being a notable exception)

Ok, so there were differences, not least of which was the CFM56 re-engine program. But it seems Douglas is two-for-two on the longevity front

Hell, their DC-6s carried on hauling freight for years (typically out of Miami) long after the competition had gone to the scrappers..

And come to think of it, the DC-3 had a good long run too

It seems Douglas have found their niche market. Come back Donald, you're on to a winner!. :D
Nothing to see here; move along please.
 
airbazar
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Re: Why did the Airbus a340 outsell the MD-11?

Tue Sep 01, 2020 1:23 pm

Veigar wrote:
The MD-11 seems to be outliving the A340 though, through cargo use. At least. Doesn't really answer OP but it throws up another talking point in the air.

Unlike the A340, the MD-11 and DC-10 before it came out of the work done to develop a military transport. It's no surprise that they make great freighters and air refueling platforms. The same was true of the 747.
 
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Polot
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Re: Why did the Airbus a340 outsell the MD-11?

Tue Sep 01, 2020 1:30 pm

airbazar wrote:
Veigar wrote:
The MD-11 seems to be outliving the A340 though, through cargo use. At least. Doesn't really answer OP but it throws up another talking point in the air.

Unlike the A340, the MD-11 and DC-10 before it came out of the work done to develop a military transport. It's no surprise that they make great freighters and air refueling platforms. The same was true of the 747.

The MD-11/DC-10 are not any better at being freighters or air refuelers than the A340. The limited production run of the A340 is what held back the A340 in that role.

The DC-10 is older when certification costs for conversions were lower, and the MD-11 was so unattractive as a passenger aircraft (airlines like AA were getting rid of planes that were 3-5 years old!) that its low value while still being so young meant you could easily charge enough to cover freighter conversion program costs (helped also by the fact the MD-11F was available as a new build freighter from the start, thanks to the success of the DC-10F).
 
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Revelation
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Re: Why did the Airbus a340 outsell the MD-11?

Tue Sep 01, 2020 2:30 pm

Polot wrote:
airbazar wrote:
Veigar wrote:
The MD-11 seems to be outliving the A340 though, through cargo use. At least. Doesn't really answer OP but it throws up another talking point in the air.

Unlike the A340, the MD-11 and DC-10 before it came out of the work done to develop a military transport. It's no surprise that they make great freighters and air refueling platforms. The same was true of the 747.

The MD-11/DC-10 are not any better at being freighters or air refuelers than the A340. The limited production run of the A340 is what held back the A340 in that role.

The DC-10 is older when certification costs for conversions were lower, and the MD-11 was so unattractive as a passenger aircraft (airlines like AA were getting rid of planes that were 3-5 years old!) that its low value while still being so young meant you could easily charge enough to cover freighter conversion program costs (helped also by the fact the MD-11F was available as a new build freighter from the start, thanks to the success of the DC-10F).

I think the there were enough young A345s available early, but they weren't going to be good freighters. Four engines, and too heavy, and not enough volume. Post covid there are plenty of A346s young enough to have a long life time as freighters but suffer from the same problems more or less.
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oldannyboy
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Re: Why did the Airbus a340 outsell the MD-11?

Tue Sep 01, 2020 3:09 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.


I remember being told by a pilot about this somewhat interesting project.
Apparently the Airbus version would have had A340 avionics suite and most probably RR engines, while the MDD version, while retaining the side stick and FBW system, would have a more conventional MD-11 avionics and cockpit layout, as well as GE engines.
At roughly 70 or so meters in length, a new clean wing, modern efficient engines, "true" 9-across Y seating with near vertical walls, and a cavernous hold, this thing w/could have certainly been a serious contender for the then new 744....and who knows... it would have probably prevented the A346 from happening...and potentially the A380 as well..

This could have evolved into a very, very different way......
 
B-HOP
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Re: Why did the Airbus a340 outsell the MD-11?

Tue Sep 01, 2020 4:29 pm

LH707330 wrote:
Antarius wrote:
Revelation wrote:
Some general suggestions:
1) A330 needs a bigger tail because when it has one engine out it loses half its thrust thus has a lot more yaw, A340 loses only a quarter of its thrust
2) Shorter aircraft need more tail area because the fuselage is shorter so tail provides less torque to counteract yaw

First one definitely applies, not sure about 2nd since I don't know the relative fuselage lengths.


193' vs 195'. So basically identical on length

The length aft of the wings was the same on both 200s. The 300s were the same length, with the 342 being -4 frames between door 2 and the wing (4 windows vs 8 in that first chunk) and -4 frames aft between doors 3 and 4. The A332 was -6/-4, but its taller fin goes further aft, which is why the overall lengths are almost the same. Also, with the 332 activating the center tank, the CG went forward with the inboard engines, so they took more out ahead.
aemoreira1981 wrote:
Another question on door arrangement: why did the A332 not have the same door profile as the A342? On the A342, the exits are more or less evenly spaced, while doors 1 and 2 are much closer on the A332.


Ramp rash. The 342 has smaller inboard engines so they don't hit them on the jetway. The larger 330 engines hang further forward, so they moved the door to keep it clear.

Two things that often get overlooked during these discussions:
1. In the early 90s there was the recession after the Gulf War, so a lot of carriers were not buying or canceled, including Continental and Northwest, who had bought several A340s. Without those, the picture would have been much different



2. The 330 and 777 had three engine vendors in a bloodbath, while the single-source 343 had cash-strapped Snecma not wanting to play ball on discounts. This helped tip many deals to the twins.


To address the OP question: the MD-11 had an old wing and a comparatively inefficient layout (tail-engine is worse than a quad): viewtopic.php?f=3&t=1404461


1/ANA also has five firm order and five options, before the order switch to A320, if not, the total would have be at least another 40 (NW+20,CO+16,NH+5), NH and CO have since order 772ER.

2/I think whilst develop engines for 330, engines use can be models grown from 763ER, MD-11 and 747-400, IAE Superfan not being built were a major setback for A340
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DrPaul
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Re: Why did the Airbus a340 outsell the MD-11?

Tue Sep 01, 2020 5:33 pm

Douglas7Seas wrote:
Interesting to see the number of MD-11's flying at night in comparison to the A340.


Yes, I live near Heathrow, and there are still a few MD-11s going over, either towards Stansted or en route USA / mainland Europe, whilst A-340s of all types are an endangered species. Freight work has given this relatively unsuccessful airliner a second lease of life; I suspect the MD-11 will still be doing useful work as a freighter when the all the A-340s are withdrawn. The same thing will probably apply to the A-380, there will almost certainly be 747s working as freighters when many Whales will have been withdrawn. Perhaps manufacturers should keep in mind when designing new airliners the option of a freighter version or the ability to do a freighter conversion later on.
 
DUSdude
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Re: Why did the Airbus a340 outsell the MD-11?

Tue Sep 01, 2020 5:51 pm

Revelation wrote:
Polot wrote:
airbazar wrote:
Unlike the A340, the MD-11 and DC-10 before it came out of the work done to develop a military transport. It's no surprise that they make great freighters and air refueling platforms. The same was true of the 747.

The MD-11/DC-10 are not any better at being freighters or air refuelers than the A340. The limited production run of the A340 is what held back the A340 in that role.

The DC-10 is older when certification costs for conversions were lower, and the MD-11 was so unattractive as a passenger aircraft (airlines like AA were getting rid of planes that were 3-5 years old!) that its low value while still being so young meant you could easily charge enough to cover freighter conversion program costs (helped also by the fact the MD-11F was available as a new build freighter from the start, thanks to the success of the DC-10F).

I think the there were enough young A345s available early, but they weren't going to be good freighters. Four engines, and too heavy, and not enough volume. Post covid there are plenty of A346s young enough to have a long life time as freighters but suffer from the same problems more or less.


I's not just that. The four engines in question are bespoke engines unique to the A345/346 that were made only in small numbers accordingly. They are phenomenally expensive to maintain compared to any other engine, because there are simply no economies of scale. This is massively different from a second hand freighter conversion market for A330, A300/310, 767, DC-10, 744, you-name-it, all of which use ubiquitous GE CF6 or PW4000 engines that can be fixed anywhere for relatively cheap.
 
KlimaBXsst
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Re: Why did the Airbus a340 outsell the MD-11?

Tue Sep 01, 2020 6:11 pm

Realistically, as brilliant as the MD11 engineers and designers were and for that matter the innovators of the L1011, fundamentally both were flawed in terms of number 2 engine interchangeability.

Perhaps instead of going down the same or similar rabbit hole... the trijet manufacturers should have gone with a pair of vertical stabilizers at the end of the horizontal stabilizer (Connie style) and simply housed the #2 upon a pylon at the rear of the fuselage.

Purists might object, but convictions don’t necessarily equate to profits. Let these lessons be observed upon future hypersonic and supersonic endeavors such as Richard Branson’s recently highly publicized but not well received design.
Aesthetically the A 340 got it right!
 
Antarius
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Re: Why did the Airbus a340 outsell the MD-11?

Tue Sep 01, 2020 6:45 pm

KlimaBXsst wrote:
Realistically, as brilliant as the MD11 engineers and designers were and for that matter the innovators of the L1011, fundamentally both were flawed in terms of number 2 engine interchangeability.

Perhaps instead of going down the same or similar rabbit hole... the trijet manufacturers should have gone with a pair of vertical stabilizers at the end of the horizontal stabilizer (Connie style) and simply housed the #2 upon a pylon at the rear of the fuselage.

Purists might object, but convictions don’t necessarily equate to profits. Let these lessons be observed upon future hypersonic and supersonic endeavors such as Richard Branson’s recently highly publicized but not well received design.


It is a complication, but not enough on its own to have been the key reason for demise.The DC-10 sold 400 copies, the 727 sold 1800, for example.

The MD11 failure was more on it being overweight and under performing while the L1011 was late to the market and also under performing due to RR's bankruptcy and delay to the requisite engines.
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multimark
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Re: Why did the Airbus a340 outsell the MD-11?

Tue Sep 01, 2020 7:22 pm

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.


Air Canada.
 
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Revelation
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Re: Why did the Airbus a340 outsell the MD-11?

Tue Sep 01, 2020 7:25 pm

DUSdude wrote:
I's not just that. The four engines in question are bespoke engines unique to the A345/346 that were made only in small numbers accordingly. They are phenomenally expensive to maintain compared to any other engine, because there are simply no economies of scale. This is massively different from a second hand freighter conversion market for A330, A300/310, 767, DC-10, 744, you-name-it, all of which use ubiquitous GE CF6 or PW4000 engines that can be fixed anywhere for relatively cheap.

Good points. I guess we'll find out more as more A330s with good carrying capacity come onto the 2nd hand market. It has had a long production run and its engines are pretty darn mainstream. So far A330 hasn't had a good conversion market, but it's still early.
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Wake now, discover that you are the song that the morning brings
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LH707330
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Re: Why did the Airbus a340 outsell the MD-11?

Wed Sep 02, 2020 5:19 am

Antarius wrote:
LH707330 wrote:
Antarius wrote:

193' vs 195'. So basically identical on length

The length aft of the wings was the same on both 200s. The 300s were the same length, with the 342 being -4 frames between door 2 and the wing (4 windows vs 8 in that first chunk) and -4 frames aft between doors 3 and 4. The A332 was -6/-4, but its taller fin goes further aft, which is why the overall lengths are almost the same. Also, with the 332 activating the center tank, the CG went forward with the inboard engines, so they took more out ahead.
aemoreira1981 wrote:
Another question on door arrangement: why did the A332 not have the same door profile as the A342? On the A342, the exits are more or less evenly spaced, while doors 1 and 2 are much closer on the A332.


Ramp rash. The 342 has smaller inboard engines so they don't hit them on the jetway. The larger 330 engines hang further forward, so they moved the door to keep it clear.

Two things that often get overlooked during these discussions:
1. In the early 90s there was the recession after the Gulf War, so a lot of carriers were not buying or canceled, including Continental and Northwest, who had bought several A340s. Without those, the picture would have been much different
2. The 330 and 777 had three engine vendors in a bloodbath, while the single-source 343 had cash-strapped Snecma not wanting to play ball on discounts. This helped tip many deals to the twins.

To address the OP question: the MD-11 had an old wing and a comparatively inefficient layout (tail-engine is worse than a quad): viewtopic.php?f=3&t=1404461


Interesting. Thank you for the info. The part about the engine price was not something I had thought of.

Gets a good mention in Norris and Wagner's book "A340 and A330," along with a few other good tidbits like the Superfan fiasco. The fact that Snecma didn't want to play ball on pricing nor do another PIP in the 1999/2000 time frame cost them several big orders. Barring the engine OEM bloodbath on the 777, the two frames were broadly comparable and we likely would have seen a more even order split. It's worth noting that the 777 was the last major airline project with three engine choices, the vendors had enough after that and GE decided to go all-or-nothing on the heavier GE90-115 777s.

B-HOP wrote:
1/ANA also has five firm order and five options, before the order switch to A320, if not, the total would have be at least another 40 (NW+20,CO+16,NH+5), NH and CO have since order 772ER.

2/I think whilst develop engines for 330, engines use can be models grown from 763ER, MD-11 and 747-400, IAE Superfan not being built were a major setback for A340


Didn't know about ANA, thanks for sharing that.

The Superfan was not everything they made it out to be, it was supposed to be ~7% better than the V2500, which at the time was a point or two better than the CFM56-5A. The wing extension, ~8t MTOW bump, and lower weight of the CFM56-5C, plus the parts commonality, got them to within 1% of the original COC quote, according to Reinhard Abraham at Lufthansa. Basically, they traded a bit of fuel burn for cheap maintenance, which is what we see pop up in all the 77E vs 343 threads where the quad comes out on top in the MX department because of the economies of scale with the commodity NB engines.
 
MRYapproach
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Re: Why did the Airbus a340 outsell the MD-11?

Wed Sep 02, 2020 5:29 am

I'm pretty sure the downstairs toilets had something to do with it.

Yes I'm kidding. But when I flew MUC-SFO on an LH A340 in 1998 even the flight attendants understood why I was so excited to see the fasten-seatbelt light turn off so I could check out the subterranean bathrooms.
 
CowAnon
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Re: Why did the Airbus a340 outsell the MD-11?

Wed Sep 02, 2020 7:41 pm

LH707330 wrote:
B-HOP wrote:
2/I think whilst develop engines for 330, engines use can be models grown from 763ER, MD-11 and 747-400, IAE Superfan not being built were a major setback for A340

The Superfan was not everything they made it out to be, it was supposed to be ~7% better than the V2500, which at the time was a point or two better than the CFM56-5A. The wing extension, ~8t MTOW bump, and lower weight of the CFM56-5C, plus the parts commonality, got them to within 1% of the original COC quote, according to Reinhard Abraham at Lufthansa. Basically, they traded a bit of fuel burn for cheap maintenance, which is what we see pop up in all the 77E vs 343 threads where the quad comes out on top in the MX department because of the economies of scale with the commodity NB engines.

Also, Airbus didn't have any A340 buyers for a long time when it was originally promoted with just the CFM56. Once Airbus decided to offer the A340 with the Superfan, Lufthansa's chairman went against his own engineers' advice and made his company the first airline to buy the A340 (with the backing of a supervisory board member who just happened to be Airbus's chairman of the board). After that, a bunch of other airlines quickly followed the blue-chip customer in purchasing the A340 (most or all of them choosing the Superfan version). While that was happening, Boeing was looking at putting the Superfan on its proposed 140-170 seat 7J7 airliner in a conventional engine configuration. Then Rolls-Royce/IAE backed out of its scheduling commitments for the Superfan, so Airbus had to go to a slightly revamped version of the CFM56 A340 combo, and Boeing had to stick to powering the 7J7 with the unducted fan in a T-tail setup. Airbus had most of their A340 orders converted to the CFM56 version, while Boeing eventually canceled the 7J7, so it's very hard to see Airbus as the victim here. If the Superfan had been realized, Airbus probably would've had to compete its newborn A320 against a fly-by-wire 7J7 with an advanced engine, containers, and equal-or-better passenger comfort, instead of going against upgrades of the cramped, non-containerized, less capable 737.
 
LH707330
Posts: 2361
Joined: Fri Jun 15, 2012 11:27 pm

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

Wed Sep 02, 2020 8:32 pm

CowAnon wrote:
LH707330 wrote:
B-HOP wrote:
2/I think whilst develop engines for 330, engines use can be models grown from 763ER, MD-11 and 747-400, IAE Superfan not being built were a major setback for A340

The Superfan was not everything they made it out to be, it was supposed to be ~7% better than the V2500, which at the time was a point or two better than the CFM56-5A. The wing extension, ~8t MTOW bump, and lower weight of the CFM56-5C, plus the parts commonality, got them to within 1% of the original COC quote, according to Reinhard Abraham at Lufthansa. Basically, they traded a bit of fuel burn for cheap maintenance, which is what we see pop up in all the 77E vs 343 threads where the quad comes out on top in the MX department because of the economies of scale with the commodity NB engines.

Also, Airbus didn't have any A340 buyers for a long time when it was originally promoted with just the CFM56. Once Airbus decided to offer the A340 with the Superfan, Lufthansa's chairman went against his own engineers' advice and made his company the first airline to buy the A340 (with the backing of a supervisory board member who just happened to be Airbus's chairman of the board). After that, a bunch of other airlines quickly followed the blue-chip customer in purchasing the A340 (most or all of them choosing the Superfan version). While that was happening, Boeing was looking at putting the Superfan on its proposed 140-170 seat 7J7 airliner in a conventional engine configuration. Then Rolls-Royce/IAE backed out of its scheduling commitments for the Superfan, so Airbus had to go to a slightly revamped version of the CFM56 A340 combo, and Boeing had to stick to powering the 7J7 with the unducted fan in a T-tail setup. Airbus had most of their A340 orders converted to the CFM56 version, while Boeing eventually canceled the 7J7, so it's very hard to see Airbus as the victim here. If the Superfan had been realized, Airbus probably would've had to compete its newborn A320 against a fly-by-wire 7J7 with an advanced engine, containers, and equal-or-better passenger comfort, instead of going against upgrades of the cramped, non-containerized, less capable 737.

Curious to know more about the LH chairman piece, you got some references for that? From what I've read, the LH team was pretty involved in the A340 program and had pretty good buy in across the fleet planning group.

Regarding the Superfan in a conventional 7J7 layout, how was that supposed to fit? Some of the designs called for a 107 inch fan, that would have been tricky on a smaller frame.
 
DeltaMD95
Posts: 555
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Re: Why did the Airbus a340 outsell the MD-11?

Wed Sep 02, 2020 9:06 pm

SheikhDjibouti wrote:
If you know the inside story with AA & DL, do tell. Otherwise all of those options are possible.
Overall I believe airlines tend to play the longer game. But there are also exceptions.

So rushing into a fast deal with MD, instead of waiting to see if the A340 lived up to expectations, could easily be described as tending to nationalism.


AA and DL, perhaps more than any other operator, had strong, on-going relationships with McDonnell Douglas. This went back decades. If I’m correct, DL had ordered every single DC/MD variant at the time of the MD-11 order. That’s not nationalism, IMO. That’s vendor loyalty.

SheikhDjibouti wrote:
And since nobody seems to have mentioned it; an analysis of the launch orders came up with this;
The LH & AF A340's went for about $67 million each, while the first 52 MD-11's cost $95 million each

Still think LH & AF were mainly driven by nationalism?
I know IB weren't; Spain didn't join EADS until years after IB ordered their first A340s. (that's a genuine "years", not 18 months dressed up as something larger)

Still, just in case you think my "sensitivity is clouding my judgment"...I'll finish with this rather dangerous thought;

Could there have been some price dumping going on? :scratchchin:
Oh wait, as an Airbus fan I'm not supposed to even mention that as a possibility... :duck:


This is a valid point. If we had the ROIC numbers of A340 vs. MD-11, I think the opinion over which aircraft was the “winner” would be different among a.net armchair bean counters. They were both losers. But the A340 was at a bigger cost. We’d have to blend with A330 sales well into the 2000s before the A340 deficit would be lifted above the MD-11.

The reality is both of these programs were well in the red; but McDD’s investments were less and the planes weren’t price dumped. So in a direct ROIC comparison, the MD-11 may have been on top (or better put, not as far below).
Did you know that a Boeing 717-200 is really a McDonnell Douglas MD95-30? ;-)
 
CowAnon
Posts: 133
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Re: Why did the Airbus a340 outsell the MD-11?

Wed Sep 02, 2020 9:40 pm

LH707330 wrote:
CowAnon wrote:
LH707330 wrote:
The Superfan was not everything they made it out to be, it was supposed to be ~7% better than the V2500, which at the time was a point or two better than the CFM56-5A. The wing extension, ~8t MTOW bump, and lower weight of the CFM56-5C, plus the parts commonality, got them to within 1% of the original COC quote, according to Reinhard Abraham at Lufthansa. Basically, they traded a bit of fuel burn for cheap maintenance, which is what we see pop up in all the 77E vs 343 threads where the quad comes out on top in the MX department because of the economies of scale with the commodity NB engines.

Also, Airbus didn't have any A340 buyers for a long time when it was originally promoted with just the CFM56. Once Airbus decided to offer the A340 with the Superfan, Lufthansa's chairman went against his own engineers' advice and made his company the first airline to buy the A340 (with the backing of a supervisory board member who just happened to be Airbus's chairman of the board). After that, a bunch of other airlines quickly followed the blue-chip customer in purchasing the A340 (most or all of them choosing the Superfan version). While that was happening, Boeing was looking at putting the Superfan on its proposed 140-170 seat 7J7 airliner in a conventional engine configuration. Then Rolls-Royce/IAE backed out of its scheduling commitments for the Superfan, so Airbus had to go to a slightly revamped version of the CFM56 A340 combo, and Boeing had to stick to powering the 7J7 with the unducted fan in a T-tail setup. Airbus had most of their A340 orders converted to the CFM56 version, while Boeing eventually canceled the 7J7, so it's very hard to see Airbus as the victim here. If the Superfan had been realized, Airbus probably would've had to compete its newborn A320 against a fly-by-wire 7J7 with an advanced engine, containers, and equal-or-better passenger comfort, instead of going against upgrades of the cramped, non-containerized, less capable 737.

Curious to know more about the LH chairman piece, you got some references for that? From what I've read, the LH team was pretty involved in the A340 program and had pretty good buy in across the fleet planning group.


It's from a Der Spiegel article in April 1987. There's an English translation here:
https://archive.org/details/DTIC_ADA356937/page/n19

Regarding the Superfan in a conventional 7J7 layout, how was that supposed to fit? Some of the designs called for a 107 inch fan, that would have been tricky on a smaller frame.


That's a good question. I don't know if Boeing ever explained how, but there was also speculation that Airbus would use the Superfan on a stretched version of the A320:
http://web.archive.org/web/201909270848 ... 203280.PDF
 
airbazar
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Re: Why did the Airbus a340 outsell the MD-11?

Wed Sep 02, 2020 9:56 pm

DeltaMD95 wrote:
This is a valid point. If we had the ROIC numbers of A340 vs. MD-11, I think the opinion over which aircraft was the “winner” would be different among a.net armchair bean counters. They were both losers. But the A340 was at a bigger cost. We’d have to blend with A330 sales well into the 2000s before the A340 deficit would be lifted above the MD-11.

The reality is both of these programs were well in the red; but McDD’s investments were less and the planes weren’t price dumped. So in a direct ROIC comparison, the MD-11 may have been on top (or better put, not as far below).


Sorry what? The A340/A330 are the same exact program. No difference whatsoever. The only red that program has seen is in the paint of the liveries of the many airlines that operate the aircraft. To say that the program was well in the red while excluding the A330 is like saying the 767 program was well in the red if we exclude the 763.
 
WayexTDI
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Re: Why did the Airbus a340 outsell the MD-11?

Thu Sep 03, 2020 3:34 am

airbazar wrote:
DeltaMD95 wrote:
This is a valid point. If we had the ROIC numbers of A340 vs. MD-11, I think the opinion over which aircraft was the “winner” would be different among a.net armchair bean counters. They were both losers. But the A340 was at a bigger cost. We’d have to blend with A330 sales well into the 2000s before the A340 deficit would be lifted above the MD-11.

The reality is both of these programs were well in the red; but McDD’s investments were less and the planes weren’t price dumped. So in a direct ROIC comparison, the MD-11 may have been on top (or better put, not as far below).


Sorry what? The A340/A330 are the same exact program. No difference whatsoever. The only red that program has seen is in the paint of the liveries of the many airlines that operate the aircraft. To say that the program was well in the red while excluding the A330 is like saying the 767 program was well in the red if we exclude the 763.

In fact, the A330/340 programs are so intertwined that they pull their MSNs from a single pool; meaning there is no A330 MSN 13-16 or 18-29 (all are A340s), and there is no A340 MSN12 or 17 or 30 (those are A330s).
 
tommy1808
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Re: Why did the Airbus a340 outsell the MD-11?

Thu Sep 03, 2020 5:14 am

CowAnon wrote:
LH707330 wrote:
CowAnon wrote:
Also, Airbus didn't have any A340 buyers for a long time when it was originally promoted with just the CFM56. Once Airbus decided to offer the A340 with the Superfan, Lufthansa's chairman went against his own engineers' advice and made his company the first airline to buy the A340 (with the backing of a supervisory board member who just happened to be Airbus's chairman of the board). After that, a bunch of other airlines quickly followed the blue-chip customer in purchasing the A340 (most or all of them choosing the Superfan version). While that was happening, Boeing was looking at putting the Superfan on its proposed 140-170 seat 7J7 airliner in a conventional engine configuration. Then Rolls-Royce/IAE backed out of its scheduling commitments for the Superfan, so Airbus had to go to a slightly revamped version of the CFM56 A340 combo, and Boeing had to stick to powering the 7J7 with the unducted fan in a T-tail setup. Airbus had most of their A340 orders converted to the CFM56 version, while Boeing eventually canceled the 7J7, so it's very hard to see Airbus as the victim here. If the Superfan had been realized, Airbus probably would've had to compete its newborn A320 against a fly-by-wire 7J7 with an advanced engine, containers, and equal-or-better passenger comfort, instead of going against upgrades of the cramped, non-containerized, less capable 737.

Curious to know more about the LH chairman piece, you got some references for that? From what I've read, the LH team was pretty involved in the A340 program and had pretty good buy in across the fleet planning group.


It's from a Der Spiegel article in April 1987. There's an English translation here:
https://archive.org/details/DTIC_ADA356937/page/n19


i don´t think Airbus ever offered the A340 with CFM56 engines before the demise of the Superfan.

best regards
Thomas
Well, there is prophecy in the bible after all: 2 Timothy 3:1-6
 
rbavfan
Posts: 3628
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Re: Why did the Airbus a340 outsell the MD-11?

Thu Sep 03, 2020 6:06 am

I would say the fact that the MD-11did not reach its range specs & had balance issues. While the A340 did not.
 
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Chipmunk1973
Posts: 286
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Re: Why did the Airbus a340 outsell the MD-11?

Thu Sep 03, 2020 6:44 am

One thing I’ll miss about the demise of the A340, is the A340-500. As a single deck, 4 engined plane, it’s proportions seemed about just right. The -600 just looked too stretched, in my view, and never looked comfortable. But that’s just my own opinion.
Cheers,
C1973


B707, B717, B727, B734, B737, B738, B743, B77W, A300, A320, A332, A333, A339, A388, BAe146, Cessna 206.
 
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Wildlander
Posts: 51
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Re: Why did the Airbus a340 outsell the MD-11?

Thu Sep 03, 2020 1:05 pm

Engine development and performance vs promises played its part in the relative successes of the MD-11, A340 and the 777 models. The MD-11, notably the PW4000 powered models required a whole orange full of PIPs and MTOW increases to get close to expectations. Who knows the SuperFan would have worked and been reliable and then developed to higher thrust for future A340 models. CFM rescued the programme but struggled to get the CFM-5C to provide the thrust the early A340s would be benefitted from. Airbus offered a PW2000 version of the A340-300 to United alongside the A330 but UA opted for the 777 (Boeing unwilling to lose to AIB again? and the promise of folding wingtips to fit more 777s into the "terminal for Tomorrow" gates). As stated by a previous poster, once the 777 became a 3 way engine contest, CFM (GE) had "less" incentive to develop the CFM56-5C or price to win.

On the US sales front, recall that AIrbus agreed to let NWA to cancel their A340 order to save the airline and preserve A330/A320 orders. Continental used Chapter 11 to cancel their Airbus orders. Neither helped the MD-11 but would have given the A340 better "street cred" and a bigger order book.

Finally, Airbus seriously underestimated the ability of Boeing/GE to develop the 777-300ER to match then exceed the payload range capabilities of the A340-600. Once these were achieved and 10 abreast in the back became the norm it was game over. Who knows, maybe a GE powered A340-600 would have been significantly better then the Trent 500 version, as GE could or would not play ball.

All history now.
 
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Polot
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Re: Why did the Airbus a340 outsell the MD-11?

Thu Sep 03, 2020 1:24 pm

Wildlander wrote:
Who knows, maybe a GE powered A340-600 would have been significantly better then the Trent 500 version, as GE could or would not play ball.

GE would not play ball as soon as they signed an exclusivity agreement in the late 90s for the 77W/77L. They weren’t going to develop a engine for a project that would compete against their future GE90 variants, especially as at the time the GE90 was a financial and commercial dud that had cost GE a lot of money.
 
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SheikhDjibouti
Posts: 2288
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Re: Why did the Airbus a340 outsell the MD-11?

Thu Sep 03, 2020 1:25 pm

Wildlander wrote:
.... a whole orange full of PIPs
:rotfl:

If that was a deliberate typo, you are a £$%&ing genius.
Nothing to see here; move along please.
 
texl1649
Posts: 1410
Joined: Thu Aug 02, 2007 5:38 am

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

Thu Sep 03, 2020 1:52 pm

The A340 was compromised by the fact that it never got the engines it should have, true, but it was/is still the vastly better plane, more modern, and stable as well. Commonality with a sibling helped as well, but in the end the whole ‘4 engines 4 long haul’ of course was...abandoned. The MD-11’s wings were about 20 years older at that point, and just not particularly competitive with Airbus’ offerings.

Only general durability/availability/cost (and a flat cargo floor) have kept it (MD11) around so long as a box carrier.
 
LH707330
Posts: 2361
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Re: Why did the Airbus a340 outsell the MD-11?

Fri Sep 04, 2020 2:48 am

CowAnon wrote:
LH707330 wrote:
CowAnon wrote:
Also, Airbus didn't have any A340 buyers for a long time when it was originally promoted with just the CFM56. Once Airbus decided to offer the A340 with the Superfan, Lufthansa's chairman went against his own engineers' advice and made his company the first airline to buy the A340 (with the backing of a supervisory board member who just happened to be Airbus's chairman of the board). After that, a bunch of other airlines quickly followed the blue-chip customer in purchasing the A340 (most or all of them choosing the Superfan version). While that was happening, Boeing was looking at putting the Superfan on its proposed 140-170 seat 7J7 airliner in a conventional engine configuration. Then Rolls-Royce/IAE backed out of its scheduling commitments for the Superfan, so Airbus had to go to a slightly revamped version of the CFM56 A340 combo, and Boeing had to stick to powering the 7J7 with the unducted fan in a T-tail setup. Airbus had most of their A340 orders converted to the CFM56 version, while Boeing eventually canceled the 7J7, so it's very hard to see Airbus as the victim here. If the Superfan had been realized, Airbus probably would've had to compete its newborn A320 against a fly-by-wire 7J7 with an advanced engine, containers, and equal-or-better passenger comfort, instead of going against upgrades of the cramped, non-containerized, less capable 737.

Curious to know more about the LH chairman piece, you got some references for that? From what I've read, the LH team was pretty involved in the A340 program and had pretty good buy in across the fleet planning group.


It's from a Der Spiegel article in April 1987. There's an English translation here:
https://archive.org/details/DTIC_ADA356937/page/n19

Regarding the Superfan in a conventional 7J7 layout, how was that supposed to fit? Some of the designs called for a 107 inch fan, that would have been tricky on a smaller frame.


That's a good question. I don't know if Boeing ever explained how, but there was also speculation that Airbus would use the Superfan on a stretched version of the A320:
http://web.archive.org/web/201909270848 ... 203280.PDF

Seems the engineers were concerned about the risk associated with the A340+IAE engine, and rightly so. Thanks for that link.

tommy1808 wrote:
i don´t think Airbus ever offered the A340 with CFM56 engines before the demise of the Superfan.


They did, but people were not as interested until the Superfan was canceled, then they didn't really have a choice.
Wildlander wrote:
The MD-11, notably the PW4000 powered models required a whole orange full of PIPs and MTOW increases to get close to expectations.

Do you know if PW promised MD something more aggressive than they did Boeing and Airbus? I've read about the engines missing spec, but from what I can find, they're the same ones that were on the A300-600, 747-400 and 767-300ER, so would they not have known by 1988 that they had a big problem if they missed spec?
Wildlander wrote:
Who knows the SuperFan would have worked and been reliable and then developed to higher thrust for future A340 models. CFM rescued the programme but struggled to get the CFM-5C to provide the thrust the early A340s would be benefitted from.

I think with the shorter wing originally envisaged for the 330/340, the Superfan would have helped them get an early sales lead, but then Boeing could still have gone a step bigger with the 777. Getting the bigger wing as a result of the Superfan cancellation improved the L/D and helped the later HGW 330s. In terms of combined sales for the whole 330/340 program, I think it was actually a good thing.
Wildlander wrote:
Airbus offered a PW2000 version of the A340-300 to United alongside the A330 but UA opted for the 777 (Boeing unwilling to lose to AIB again?

When did this happen? I've read that A avoided the PW2000 because it was heavy and the derate would have made it less efficient.
Wildlander wrote:
As stated by a previous poster, once the 777 became a 3 way engine contest, CFM (GE) had "less" incentive to develop the CFM56-5C or price to win.

GE was sometimes nudging people to the 340 because they then didn't have to worry about RR and PW as much (same story in 737 vs 320), it was Snecma that didn't want to play ball on pricing, which pissed off the Airbus folks and to a lesser degree the GE people who then had to fight in the bloodbath.
Wildlander wrote:
Finally, Airbus seriously underestimated the ability of Boeing/GE to develop the 777-300ER to match then exceed the payload range capabilities of the A340-600. Once these were achieved and 10 abreast in the back became the norm it was game over. Who knows, maybe a GE powered A340-600 would have been significantly better then the Trent 500 version, as GE could or would not play ball.

The issue with the 340-600 was the structural weight, it really was a stretch too far and they missed their target to boot. That's the reason neither PW nor GE went along with it, and RR made a parts-bin special. It was overall an OK airplane, but GE made the -115 a masterpiece, beating spec by 4%. Had A hit weight and GE come in at spec, the fuel burn gap would have been about 4%, with the Airbus having better payload/range. That would have been closer to a split market, not the runaway 777-300ER that we saw.
 
tcfc424
Posts: 580
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Re: Why did the Airbus a340 outsell the MD-11?

Fri Sep 04, 2020 3:44 am

I think the reason the MD11 was chosen as a freighter versus the A340 was simply due to availability. While pax carriers were shedding relatively light-use MD11 and DC10 frames, the A340 soldiered on as a pax version. By the time an A340 F conversion (or purpose-built) option would have been considered, better twin options were coming online, or the majority of cargo carriers had chosen the MD11 for their fleet plan. I have no facts to back any of that up, that's pure speculation on my part.

*edited for clarification
 
Antarius
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Re: Why did the Airbus a340 outsell the MD-11?

Fri Sep 04, 2020 4:29 am

tcfc424 wrote:
I think the reason the MD11 was chosen as a freighter versus the A340 was simply due to availability. While pax carriers were shedding relatively light-use MD11 and DC10 frames, the A340 soldiered on as a pax version. By the time an A340 F conversion (or purpose-built) option would have been considered, better twin options were coming online, or the majority of cargo carriers had chosen the MD11 for their fleet plan. I have no facts to back any of that up, that's pure speculation on my part.

*edited for clarification


Wingspan. The MD11, 767F, a300F etc. All fit in a category D, but the 340 is one size up (E).

Makes a big difference in terms of space utilization.
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