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flybynight
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SK's A340 Always Seem To Be At 32,000 Feet

Wed Nov 02, 2005 2:15 pm

The last few times I've flown SK's A343 between SEA and CPH we always seem to settle at a cruising altitude of 32,000 feet until we have flown about 2/3 of the distance. At that time we seem to go up to about 35,000 feet.
Does a fully loaded A340 have a hard time going over 32,000 feet? My last flight (last month) we got into some medium turbulence over Iceland and I was surprised we didn't try a higher altitude.
In comparison, the last UA 772 I was on went right up to 37,000 feet for most of the cross-Atlantic flight.
 
bjornstrom
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RE: SK's A340 Always Seem To Be At 32,000 Feet

Wed Nov 02, 2005 3:38 pm

I noticed that our SK A343 flew much lower than normal on BKK-CPH a couple of weeks ago, I fell asleep after dinner so I cant really say if they went higher after India.
 
PlanesNTrains
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RE: SK's A340 Always Seem To Be At 32,000 Feet

Wed Nov 02, 2005 3:47 pm

Well, over my house near Seattle the SK A340's are noticably lower on climbout than the BA 747s that depart just before. Even in cloudy weather, when the 747 is not viewable, the A340 is often still visible into the distance. Almost like a horizontal, holding altitude.

Probably doesn't answer the question, but is possibly worth 2 cents  Smile.

-Dave
 
mikkel777
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RE: SK's A340 Always Seem To Be At 32,000 Feet

Wed Nov 02, 2005 3:47 pm

Yes, they do have a hard time climbing. They do not have the exessive thrust needed to climb further, and climb is always a result of exessive thrust. The optimum flightlevel is where fuel flow is the lowest. To low and the engines burns more because of denser air, to high and the engines burns more because higher angle of attack is needed to maintain lift, and then giving more induced drag, demanding more thrust and fuel flow.

The 333 on the other hand, regularly clims direct to FL370 and to FL390 after an hour when crossing the atlantic. The 333 has lower MTOW and more thrust available with the same wing, so it can get higher earlier in the flight.
 
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zeke
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RE: SK's A340 Always Seem To Be At 32,000 Feet

Wed Nov 02, 2005 5:32 pm

FL320 is around optimum (FL325) at MTOW. Optimum for a 744 at MTOW can be FL295.

Many reasons for not climbing, if your in the polar jet staying lower can give you a better ground speed.

Twins should have a higher initial climb altitude due to the excess thrust as previously described, I would be surprised if the 772 can do 370 initially after a MTOW departure.
 
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AirPacific747
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RE: SK's A340 Always Seem To Be At 32,000 Feet

Wed Nov 02, 2005 5:33 pm

I get annoyed when I am spotting at the end of runway 4R at CPH when planes are taking off in my direction, because they are very high up in the air when they are passing me at the end of the runway, but it is a different story with the A340. It always passes by in a very low altittude, so it gives a good opportunity for spotting and photographing.
 
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zeke
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RE: SK's A340 Always Seem To Be At 32,000 Feet

Wed Nov 02, 2005 5:44 pm

Quoting AirPacific747 (Reply 5):
It always passes by in a very low altittude, so it gives a good opportunity for spotting and photographing.

Doesnt mean much at all, the amount airlines derate takeoffs varies, the 343 has a better climb gradient to 10000 ft than the 744, the 744 has a better one above 10000 ft.
 
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AirPacific747
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RE: SK's A340 Always Seem To Be At 32,000 Feet

Wed Nov 02, 2005 5:49 pm

Quoting Zeke (Reply 6):
Doesnt mean much at all, the amount airlines derate takeoffs varies, the 343 has a better climb gradient to 10000 ft than the 744, the 744 has a better one above 10000 ft.

It actually means a lot when you are spotting.
The climb rate of the A340 does not seem to be that much, and 04R should be more than enough runway for the A340 and still it seems that it uses all of the runway. I can show you some of the photos I have taken of it to show you what I mean
 
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zeke
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RE: SK's A340 Always Seem To Be At 32,000 Feet

Thu Nov 03, 2005 1:05 am

Quoting AirPacific747 (Reply 7):
I can show you some of the photos I have taken of it to show you what I mean

Your perception, and what actually happens are two different things. If all aircraft were to do a TOGA takeoff for say forecast windshear you may have a comparison, even then flawed as you would not know how close the aircraft was to MTOW.
 
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AirPacific747
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RE: SK's A340 Always Seem To Be At 32,000 Feet

Thu Nov 03, 2005 2:41 am

Quoting Zeke (Reply 8):
Your perception, and what actually happens are two different things. If all aircraft were to do a TOGA takeoff for say forecast windshear you may have a comparison, even then flawed as you would not know how close the aircraft was to MTOW.

you are getting too advanced now, Zeke. All I was saying was that the A340 always passes by very low, and I am able to get good shots of it even though it is taking off in my direction.
 
cloudyapple
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RE: SK's A340 Always Seem To Be At 32,000 Feet

Thu Nov 03, 2005 2:47 am

Why do i want to climb slowly while wasting my precious fuel so that some spotter can take a picture of my plane? Why would anyone care?
 
Maersk737
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RE: SK's A340 Always Seem To Be At 32,000 Feet

Thu Nov 03, 2005 3:08 am

The A340 climbs slowly because of power and fuel  Wink

Cheers

Peter
 
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AirPacific747
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RE: SK's A340 Always Seem To Be At 32,000 Feet

Thu Nov 03, 2005 3:14 am

Quoting Cloudyapple (Reply 10):
Why do i want to climb slowly while wasting my precious fuel so that some spotter can take a picture of my plane? Why would anyone care?

hmmm... i dont know.. why dont you go ask the pilot?
http://i20.photobucket.com/albums/b250/freddy513/DSC_0050-kopi1.jpg

 Wink

.... kids  Yeah sure
 
amhilde
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RE: SK's A340 Always Seem To Be At 32,000 Feet

Thu Nov 03, 2005 3:22 am

PlanesNTrains- I noticed the same thing when I was at Safeco Park this summer watching a baseball game with my little guy, who came in CPH-SEA on that SK flight. I was able to watch the 343 climbing from takeoff past the stadium and climbing... and climbing.... and climbing (look honey, there is your plane!). The VS 343s from LAX used to ALWAYS climb forever- hell, you would almost be to LAS before they levelled out.

Im on that SK flight from SEA on Tuesday- is there a lot of turbulence this time of year? Ive never flown that far north on an east-bound flight before.
 
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AirPacific747
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RE: SK's A340 Always Seem To Be At 32,000 Feet

Thu Nov 03, 2005 4:05 am

Quoting Amhilde (Reply 13):
PlanesNTrains- I noticed the same thing when I was at Safeco Park this summer watching a baseball game with my little guy, who came in CPH-SEA on that SK flight. I was able to watch the 343 climbing from takeoff past the stadium and climbing... and climbing.... and climbing (look honey, there is your plane!). The VS 343s from LAX used to ALWAYS climb forever- hell, you would almost be to LAS before they levelled out.

Im on that SK flight from SEA on Tuesday- is there a lot of turbulence this time of year? Ive never flown that far north on an east-bound flight before.

I do not think it is that bad. It looks like it is going to be sunny here on monday so hopefully it will stay that way on tuesday.. I can go photographing your plane coming in if it is not too early.
 
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ZSOFN
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RE: SK's A340 Always Seem To Be At 32,000 Feet

Thu Nov 03, 2005 4:42 am

When I was at LHR on a miserable day a few weeks back, I was standing around at Hatton Cross as A/C disappeared into the cloud long before they passed overhead on departure from 09R. However an A340 came my way - that was something special. By far the slowest initial climbout I saw all day.

When it comes to initial cruise I sat in a full VS 744 from LHR to JNB and we stayed at FL290 until south of the Sahara - the whole climb felt like a struggle - was more like being on a cruise ship than a 747 (despite the tiny seat pitch  Wink )
 
WAH64D
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RE: SK's A340 Always Seem To Be At 32,000 Feet

Thu Nov 03, 2005 4:52 am

Quoting AirPacific747 (Reply 7):
The climb rate of the A340 does not seem to be that much, and 04R should be more than enough runway for the A340 and still it seems that it uses all of the runway. I can show you some of the photos I have taken of it to show you what I mean

Using more runway generally means using less fuel. Airlines almost never allow max (TOGA) power to be used unless there is a very good reason for it. It increases both fuel consumption and wear and tear on the engines. A340s usually take off with a minimum flex (assumed oat for the Boeing boys and girls) temp of 30 degrees celcius plus. This is obviously dependant on outside temp, field altitude, aircraft weight and runway length.

Having said that, its well known that the CFM engined A340s have a somewhat "leisurely" climb rate. The A345 and A346 are a different story but still aren't in the league of any of the twins.
 
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AirPacific747
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RE: SK's A340 Always Seem To Be At 32,000 Feet

Thu Nov 03, 2005 5:01 am

Quoting WAH64D (Reply 16):
Using more runway generally means using less fuel. Airlines almost never allow max (TOGA) power to be used unless there is a very good reason for it. It increases both fuel consumption and wear and tear on the engines. A340s usually take off with a minimum flex (assumed oat for the Boeing boys and girls) temp of 30 degrees celcius plus. This is obviously dependant on outside temp, field altitude, aircraft weight and runway length.

Having said that, its well known that the CFM engined A340s have a somewhat "leisurely" climb rate. The A345 and A346 are a different story but still aren't in the league of any of the twins.

Okay thankyou making that clear. If you click the link I posted, you can see that it confirms that the A340 does not have much engine power. It starting retracting its gear a long time ago and it is not very high up yet.

However, the A343 is very pleasant to fly I think, and I dont mind the slow climbing rate. Makes you able to enjoy the scenery for a longer time
 
Devil505x
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RE: SK's A340 Always Seem To Be At 32,000 Feet

Thu Nov 03, 2005 6:37 am

https://www.airliners.net/open.file/950153/M/

There doesn't seem to be any climbing problems in this photo and when I saw the 340 on climb out at SXM it was pretty impressive!
 
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AirPacific747
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RE: SK's A340 Always Seem To Be At 32,000 Feet

Thu Nov 03, 2005 6:39 am

Quoting Devil505x (Reply 18):
There doesn't seem to be any climbing problems in this photo and when I saw the 340 on climb out at SXM it was pretty impressive!

It has to avoid a mountain as far as I remember. the plane was probably far from full anyway, because when I look at the date of when the picture was taken, I would imagine that SXM is not the place people are going in october.
 
amhilde
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RE: SK's A340 Always Seem To Be At 32,000 Feet

Thu Nov 03, 2005 6:59 am

AirPacific747- Ill be on SK938 arriving on Wednesday around 1.25 pm DK time I believe- though the Boy had a delay both ways in June with SK. Would be nifty if you got a photo of it!
 
Devil505x
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RE: SK's A340 Always Seem To Be At 32,000 Feet

Thu Nov 03, 2005 7:00 am

Quoting AirPacific747 (Reply 19):
I would imagine that SXM is not the place people are going in october.

Why not? Better weather than where I am. My point was that (in my opinion) the 340 seems to climb quite quickly. When I was in SXM

Quoting AirPacific747 (Reply 19):
It has to avoid a mountain as far as I remember. the plane was probably far from full anyway,

Ever been to St Maarten? Full or empty the planes climb quickly to avoid the mountain.
 
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AirPacific747
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RE: SK's A340 Always Seem To Be At 32,000 Feet

Thu Nov 03, 2005 7:04 am

Quoting Amhilde (Reply 20):
AirPacific747- Ill be on SK938 arriving on Wednesday around 1.25 pm DK time I believe- though the Boy had a delay both ways in June with SK. Would be nifty if you got a photo of it!

I gotta figure something out with my driving teacher.. I am hopefully going to get my license next week and that tuesday is the day before the exam so I planned to go driving with my driving teacher on tuesday but maybe I can move it to 10 am or so instead of 12:30 as original planned. I will try to work on it
 
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AirPacific747
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RE: SK's A340 Always Seem To Be At 32,000 Feet

Thu Nov 03, 2005 7:07 am

Quoting Devil505x (Reply 21):
Ever been to St Maarten? Full or empty the planes climb quickly to avoid the mountain.

Unfortunately no, but hopefully I will get the chance some day.
Maybe you are right. Just telling you how it is at my home airport  Smile
 
rootsair
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RE: SK's A340 Always Seem To Be At 32,000 Feet

Thu Nov 03, 2005 7:10 am

Quoting Mikkel777 (Reply 3):
Yes, they do have a hard time climbing. They do not have the exessive thrust needed to climb further, and climb is always a result of exessive thrust.



Quoting AirPacific747 (Reply 7):
The climb rate of the A340 does not seem to be that much, and 04R should be more than enough runway for the A340 and still it seems that it uses all of the runw



Quoting Maersk737 (Reply 11):
The A340 climbs slowly because of power and fuel

no wonder it clims slow...have you seen the hair dryer derived engine the A340's have?
 
trekster
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RE: SK's A340 Always Seem To Be At 32,000 Feet

Thu Nov 03, 2005 7:11 am

Happens in 74's as well, got confused when we CLIMBED over the states, saw us at somethign like 330, and it went up to 360???

Confused the hell out of me
 
A3204eva
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RE: SK's A340 Always Seem To Be At 32,000 Feet

Thu Nov 03, 2005 8:11 am

FYI it's called a "step climb". And the a/c won't always be at FL320 because of odd and even FL according to which direction they're heading in.
 
startknob
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RE: SK's A340 Always Seem To Be At 32,000 Feet

Thu Nov 03, 2005 8:48 am

Being situated some 60+km directly south of FRA's "Startbahn West" you ALWAYS know when a 342/343 started there some minutes ago heading south. Engine noise is respectably louder, it's very easy to see (when weather condition allow) and everybird else is higher. Also other heavy intercontinentals like 744s, 777s and 330s.

Interestingly the 346 e.g. from LH are quite in the mid: They're always higher already and - logically - less noisy than the 343s but not as high as the other models.

You can watch this spectacel each evening from ca. 9:30 p.m. local when the large birds start in FRA for around two and a half hours, when you're in Lampertheim, Lorsch, Bürstadt, Bobstadt or Biblis.

Regards,
Startknob
 
Amy
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RE: SK's A340 Always Seem To Be At 32,000 Feet

Thu Nov 03, 2005 10:22 am

I can't see any reason why SAS' A340s would operate so low. I would doubt it would be the A340. Unless the route was close to the aircraft's range I would imagine even the slowest A340-311s could get up to more than FL320 on initial climb.

Maybe the economic benefits of higher altitudes are lowered if the aircraft is constantly at higher N1 and N2 percentages.
 
phxflyer
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RE: SK's A340 Always Seem To Be At 32,000 Feet

Thu Nov 03, 2005 12:38 pm

I've noticed a similar thing on USAirways A321 flights between PHX and PHL/PIT/CLT. Heading east, we always end up at 31,000 ft on the A321, whereas the same flights on the A319 and A320 go on up to at least 37,000 ft. Heading west, the A321 ends up at 32,000 ft whereas the A319 and A320 head up to at least 36,000 ft. I've always been curious why this is the case...
 
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flybynight
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RE: SK's A340 Always Seem To Be At 32,000 Feet

Thu Nov 03, 2005 2:11 pm

Quoting A3204eva (Reply 26):
FYI it's called a "step climb". And the a/c won't always be at FL320 because of odd and even FL according to which direction they're heading in.

Yes, I do know that. On the flight going East to Denmark I believe we were at 31,000 feet.


The 744 will outclimb the A343. Last time I checked, the 744 had some of the best performance specs of any widebody. I doubt strongly the A343 would climb to 40,000 feet, something I have experienced in a 744. Funny, I can't seem to find a max ceiling for the A343. I wonder why.
Having said this, I love flying on the A340 and all other Airbus planes.
Probably the best performance I have personally experienced was a UA 762 on a flight between JFK and SFO. I remember listening to the traffic reports on the headphones. Other planes around us could not climb to 37,000 feet to aviod turbulence. Our plane, no problem!!
I love that. Performance is cool in planes just like cars (hmm, time to go out and play with my S60R!)
 
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AirPacific747
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RE: SK's A340 Always Seem To Be At 32,000 Feet

Thu Nov 03, 2005 2:58 pm

Quoting Flybynight (Reply 30):
(hmm, time to go out and play with my S60R!)

lol you have a tuned Volvo S60?! Big grin
 
The777Man
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RE: SK's A340 Always Seem To Be At 32,000 Feet

Thu Nov 03, 2005 11:59 pm

I flew on a SK 343 a few years ago IAD-CPH and I remember hearing the captain say that we would intially climb to 29000 feet and at about half way into the flight when the aircraft was lighter, we would climb to 38000 feet.

I thought this sounded odd since when the aircraft is on an Atlantic track I thought they could rarely change altitude and speed?

The777Man
 
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AirPacific747
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RE: SK's A340 Always Seem To Be At 32,000 Feet

Fri Nov 04, 2005 12:55 am

Quoting The777Man (Reply 32):
I flew on a SK 343 a few years ago IAD-CPH and I remember hearing the captain say that we would intially climb to 29000 feet and at about half way into the flight when the aircraft was lighter, we would climb to 38000 feet.

Okay I did CPH-IAD and IAD-CPH in the of summer 2004, and I flew the A330 both ways. I guess you have been "lucky" to try the A340 then

[Edited 2005-11-03 16:55:40]
 
The777Man
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RE: SK's A340 Always Seem To Be At 32,000 Feet

Fri Nov 04, 2005 1:52 am

Hi !

I flew on a SK 343 on 17Jan04. To my knowledge, SK only flew the 343 to IAD from Oct 03 to Mar04.

The777Man
 
BestWestern
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RE: SK's A340 Always Seem To Be At 32,000 Feet

Fri Nov 04, 2005 2:14 am

I'm on an SK 340 on Saturday en route to asia ... will report on my findings.

If i bring my laptop... I may even report the findings as they happen!
 
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AirPacific747
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RE: SK's A340 Always Seem To Be At 32,000 Feet

Fri Nov 04, 2005 2:18 am

Quoting BestWestern (Reply 35):
I'm on an SK 340 on Saturday en route to asia ... will report on my findings.

If i bring my laptop... I may even report the findings as they happen!

cool! I was online on my way from CPH to PVG last summer. It was quite cool to be able to chat with your friends on messenger while flying to the far east

btw I did start a thread about it on here while flying, but it is deleted now

[Edited 2005-11-03 18:32:11]
 
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flybynight
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RE: SK's A340 Always Seem To Be At 32,000 Feet

Fri Nov 04, 2005 3:21 am

Quoting AirPacific747 (Reply 33):
Quoting The777Man (Reply 32):
I flew on a SK 343 a few years ago IAD-CPH and I remember hearing the captain say that we would intially climb to 29000 feet and at about half way into the flight when the aircraft was lighter, we would climb to 38000 feet.

Okay I did CPH-IAD and IAD-CPH in the of summer 2004, and I flew the A330 both ways. I guess you have been "lucky" to try the A340 then

For a while the A340 was used on flights to Dulles and Newark before the A330 came along. I believe there was at least a one year gap between when the A340's were delivered and when the A330 started flying in SK colors. So for a while SAS was flying the A340 and 763's on long haul flights.
 
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flybynight
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RE: SK's A340 Always Seem To Be At 32,000 Feet

Fri Nov 04, 2005 3:23 am

Quoting AirPacific747 (Reply 31):
lol you have a tuned Volvo S60?!

The R version is pretty quick. In fact I just drove it passed Kastrup from Malmo.

http://kjelstrup.homelinux.com/kris/...esund%20bridge%20to%20Denmark.html
 
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AirPacific747
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RE: SK's A340 Always Seem To Be At 32,000 Feet

Fri Nov 04, 2005 3:55 am

Quoting Flybynight (Reply 38):
The R version is pretty quick. In fact I just drove it passed Kastrup from Malmo.

You gotta come by here and let me try it 
damn it looks cool!! I love the dashboard
The car I am going to drive is a volvo V40 lol.. its 2,0 liters so its actually ok fast.  bigthumbsup 

[Edited 2005-11-03 20:02:09]
 
mikkel777
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RE: SK's A340 Always Seem To Be At 32,000 Feet

Fri Nov 04, 2005 5:43 am

On a SK 343 flight from CPH-IAD I decided to take the time to initial cruise FL. If i remember correctly, it was something like 29 minutes to FL310. I noted it somewhere, but that paper is back home in Europe now. There was no leveling off during the climb, and we were almost by Kristiansand when we reached cruise. It is a dog, no question, but nice and quiet.
 
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AirPacific747
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RE: SK's A340 Always Seem To Be At 32,000 Feet

Fri Nov 04, 2005 6:41 am

Quoting Mikkel777 (Reply 40):
On a SK 343 flight from CPH-IAD I decided to take the time to initial cruise FL. If i remember correctly, it was something like 29 minutes to FL310. I noted it somewhere, but that paper is back home in Europe now. There was no leveling off during the climb, and we were almost by Kristiansand when we reached cruise. It is a dog, no question, but nice and quiet.

Cool so you are a SAS pilot? And if you are, I presume you are from Scandinavia. Also because of your username, but then why do you have an American flag next to your username?
 
mikkel777
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RE: SK's A340 Always Seem To Be At 32,000 Feet

Fri Nov 04, 2005 7:01 am

No, I used to fly SK as a pax a lot. With the airshow, it is not a problem to keep track of altitudes and where you are on a flight.

I am a pilot in Florida right now, but will go back to Norway next year.
 
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AirPacific747
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RE: SK's A340 Always Seem To Be At 32,000 Feet

Fri Nov 04, 2005 7:04 am

Okay cool!
I wish I was in Florida now  Smile the weather here sucks!
 
[email protected]
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RE: SK's A340 Always Seem To Be At 32,000 Feet

Fri Nov 04, 2005 7:29 am

I have flown SAS A340-300s numerous times between CPH and SEA. SAS flies the A340-313X, which is the highest thrust, extended range version of the A343, with 151kN CFM56-5C4 engines. The performance difference on the A340-311 which was the initial A343 model is quite large. 139kN on the -311 and 159kN on the -313/313X.

The whole reason for SAS climbing slowly, is based on weight, temperature and rumway length. Seeing as neither of this is much of a problem on the CPH-SEA run, SAS de-rates the engine on take-off, to save fuel and save on engine maintenance costs from wear and tear.

Most of the times when I've flown on the route we've levelled out just south of Kristiansand KRS/ENCN on the south coast of Norway, and we're climbing for around 30mins.

The same has usually been the case in Seattle, but I've flown NWA on their DC-10s and they are hardly any better with regards to initial climb performance.

I'll be sampling NWA's A330 in mid November, so look forward to that. I've flown SAS A330's on the CPH-EWR run once, and it was noticeably more powerful.

Oh for information on the Airbus codes, use this excellent tool:
http://www.plane-spotter.com/Aircraf.../Deciphering_the_Airbus_codes1.pdf
 
mikkel777
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RE: SK's A340 Always Seem To Be At 32,000 Feet

Fri Nov 04, 2005 7:41 am

Quoting [email protected] (Reply 44):
The whole reason for SAS climbing slowly, is based on weight, temperature and rumway length.

Climbperformance is not based on runway lenght, but weight, density altitude and climb derate thrust. ATC restrictions or climb gradient requirements can also contribute to a slower climbrate than optimal.

CO, as one example, does not use climb derate at all. This is to save fuel, even if the mx cost increases.
 
persotvik
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RE: SK's A340 Always Seem To Be At 32,000 Feet

Fri Nov 04, 2005 8:33 am

MD11 guys, excellent takeoff performance. Climbs like a rocket. I was very impressed 

http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y40/Trhgutt/Aircraft%20photos/RGAMS-CDG.jpg

[Edited 2005-11-04 00:35:56]
 
eilennaei
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RE: SK's A340 Always Seem To Be At 32,000 Feet

Fri Nov 04, 2005 8:57 am

An MD-11 with a similar paint scheme as in the above was at FL400 over Boston en route to JFK on the one occasion I was playing with a flight tracking site. The company procedure is to hit Autoflight and be gone. Whether the engines will not take it and shall avenge some day, remains to be seen.
 
persotvik
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RE: SK's A340 Always Seem To Be At 32,000 Feet

Fri Nov 04, 2005 9:16 am

Quoting Eilennaei (Reply 47):
An MD-11 with a similar paint scheme as in the above was at FL400 over Boston en route to JFK on the one occasion I was playing with a flight tracking site. The company procedure is to hit Autoflight and be gone. Whether the engines will not take it and shall avenge some day, remains to be seen.

This photo is taken by me onboard Varig MD11 PP-VTH Star Alliance colours.
Enroute AMS-CDG in June.
 
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flybynight
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RE: SK's A340 Always Seem To Be At 32,000 Feet

Fri Nov 04, 2005 9:21 am

Quoting AirPacific747 (Reply 39):
You gotta come by here and let me try it
damn it looks cool!! I love the dashboard
The car I am going to drive is a volvo V40 lol.. its 2,0 liters so its actually ok fast.

The car is being shipped to the US as we speak. I live in Seattle now (probably the most Scandinavian city in the US), so I was picking my car up in Goteborg for a drive down to Bremerhaven, Germany.
In fact, based on the tracking, my car just went through Panama on its way to the LA area.
Uhh, I'm getting off track from airplanes!  Smile

Just a couple of comments.
I'm really not questioning the takeoff performance of the A340. It seems the plane has a hard time getting up beyond 32,000 feet. Maybe it is just SK trying to conserver fuel, but on the other hand, the higher the altitude, the more fuel efficient a plane usually is. So, it seems to come back to the A340 not having the ability to cruise higher with heavy loads.

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