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XFSUgimpLB41X
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The Details Of NW's Selection Of The A330...

Mon Jul 02, 2001 3:33 pm

Welp folks, figure you mihgt like to read this. I just got my paws on NW's May/June issue of "On Course," their flight operations magazine on my trip up to MSP last week, and this thing has an interesting and detailed article of why they selected the A330 over the 777 (note that the 767 was never even considered, plus it speaks of the coming 747-200 replacemtn anaylysis).


Here goes, this took me a long time to type up, so i hope you appreciate it- I apologize for any typos:


Perspective on NW's Recent Selection of the A330 of 777

By Tim Campbell, Managing Director- Performance Analysis

From On Course, Northwest Fligiht Operations Magazine May/June 2001

The January February issue of On Course contained an article by Capt. Jeff Carlson that outlined the details of Northwest's multibillion-dollar ivestment in new aircraft. A large component of this order includes 24 PW4168A-powered A330-300s. Numerous questions have arisen since the announcement of this order, specifically why the A330 was selected instead of the 777.

This article will address these questions by summarizing our assessment of the performance characteristics of the A330 relative to the 777 and how this onformation was used in the final evaluation of these two aircraft.

The competition between the 777 and A330 was for a new aircraft taht would replace our DC-10-30s on dedicated transatlantic missions.

Perhaps the most important performance-related aspect of this aircraft evaluation was finding the best match between aircraft payload-range capability and forcasted payload demand. We were seeking an aircraft that efficiently meets our projected requirements. As shown in the graphs, the A330 most optimally meets our payload requirements in the Atlantic. This payload capability, when coupleted with operating costs and projected market requirements (demand) for both passenger and cargo traffic, offers the highest earnings potential.

The match between capability and market requirements is important because it is inefficient to operate aicraft with excess capbality. Our evaluation clearly shows that the 777-200ER aircraft has significantly more payload-range capability than the A330-300.

The additional range capability could be helpful if the same aircraft were also flown across the Pacific. However this possible dual mission capability was determined to be impractical because Pacific aircraft require a much greater share of World Business Class seats than Atlantic aircraft. Furthermore, the Pratt powered 777-200ER could not fly many critical Pacific missions with full passenger load, and most missions required weight limits on cargo.

This is not necessarily apparent if one looks from the generic marketing material from Boeing because the range of the 777-200, evaluated with Northwest rules and interiors, is approximately 1,100 miles less than advertised.

The 777 can carry more seats than the A330 although the A330 already carries 29 more seats than our current DC-10-30s. The optimal 777-200 configuration we modeled had 27 more seats tahn the A330-300 (329-302) and 56 seats more than the DC-10-30 (329-273). However, these additional seats were economy seats taht typically would be filled with lower yielding passengers.

The 777 has the same empty weight for all available MTOW's (580,000-656,000 lbs). Northwest requires only the lowest weight for nearly all markets, roughly comparable to the A330. The net result to Northwest is that the 777 is more than 41,000 pounds heavier than the A330 yet provides minimal additional revenue capacity.

The heavier weight of the 777 translates directly into a fuel burn penalty. On a typical 3,500 nm mission, the A330 burns approximately 28% less fuel tahn a DC-10-30; accounting for its higher seating capacity, it burns 35% less on a per seat basis. The much heavier 777 burns approximately 16% more fuel than the A330 on a per trip basis, and 6% more on a per seat basis.

Questions have arisen about the cruise speed of the A330, largely due to issues surrounding the cruise speed of the A340. NW intends to operate the A330 at a cruise speed of Mach 0.82. This speed corresponds to the aircraft's LRC (long range cruise) Mach number for most gross weight/altitude combinations. While the published cruise speed of the A340 is Mach 0.82, our analysis substantiates the experience of line pilots taht certain operators fly slower to avoid excessive fuel burn. Airbus has implicitly recognized the cruise speed issue with the "first generation" A340's by redesigning the wing on the A340-500 and -600.

757/767 DC10-30 A330 777/747-200
Cruise speed .80 .82 .82 .84


As shown in the table, the A33's cruise speed is slower than the 777, but it is consisten with our DC-10-30 and faster than other aircraft operating accross the Atlantic. The cruise speed differences between the 777 and A330 equiates to a trip length difference of approximately 10 minutes on a typical Atlantic mission. It may be interesting to note that Northwest negotiated stringent, comprehensive contractual commitments from Airbus to ensure the A330 will meet our performance expectations both at the time of deliever and for several years thereafter. This is a requirement we make of airframe/engine manufacturers, including Boeing. The performance level of the new 757-300's has a similar level of protection. Our agreementwith Airbus also provides us with mission flexibility we could not achieve with Boeing. The Airbus agreement is structured to allow us to take delivery of other members of the A330 family if our requirements change over time. A shorter memeber of the A330 family, the A330-200, has 257 seats in the Northwest configuration. It has approximately 900 nm more range than the A330-300. This added flexibility to tailor capacity to market requirements not offered by the 777 since Boeing was unwilling to formally offer a smaller, lower priced version of the 777.

In summary, the excess capacity of the 777 leads to operating economics inferior to the A330. This situations is further degraded when the notably higher puchase price of the 777 is factored into the analysis. The marginal improvement in revenue the 777's size offers simply cannot overcome its increased operating and ownership costs. Our atlantic replacement decision does not mean that the 777 will be excluded from future aircraft competitions. The longer range version of hte 777-200 and 777-300 will be evaluated against the A340-500 and A340-600 when we begin the 747-200 replacement analysis.



Chart:


Atlantic Range requirements for NW

- The range capability of the A330 family is a better match for NW requirements than the 777-200ER
-Markets with capability to carry 302 pax, plus at least 20,000 lbs. cargo in both directions:

BOS-AMS, DTW-AMS, DTW-CDG, DTW-LGW, DTW-LHR, EWR-AWM, IAD-AMS, JFK-AMS, MSP-LGW, MSP-LHR


Pacific Range Requirements for NW
- The range capability of the PW4090 powered 777-20ER is insufficient to be considered as a suitable replacement for the Pacific.
Chicks dig winglets.
 
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B747-437B
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RE: The Details Of NW's Selection Of The A330...

Mon Jul 02, 2001 3:43 pm

Excellent article - thanks for posting it.
 
WorldTraveller
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RE: The Details Of NW's Selection Of The A330...

Mon Jul 02, 2001 7:52 pm

Excellent article indeed!

It clearly lays out the pros and cons of both aircraft, and shows why the A330 is indeed better suited for NW.

You see: Power is not everything!

Best regards
the WorldTraveller
 
Udo
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RE: The Details Of NW's Selection Of The A330...

Mon Jul 02, 2001 8:04 pm

Great article, it shows in detail that airlines are not airlines and all have their specific needs. It's not that simple to say: B777 more range, more power, means better.
I hope some of the forum's experts read that!


Regards
Udo
Me & You & a Plane Named Blue...
 
gerardo
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RE: The Details Of NW's Selection Of The A330...

Mon Jul 02, 2001 8:36 pm

Indeed an interesting article, with some new facts I wasn't aware of.

Thanks for posting it

Regards
Gerardo
dominguez(dash)online(dot)ch ... Pushing the limits of my equipment
 
QantasA3XX
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RE: The Details Of NW's Selection Of The A330...

Mon Jul 02, 2001 8:37 pm

Very interesting article  Smile

I enjoying reading this
I am a big A330 fan but i do love to see B777s in NW colours some day  Smile

Cannot wait for NW to announce the B742's replacements

Cheers
Have a nice one
QantasA380
 
Joni
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RE: The Details Of NW's Selection Of The A330...

Mon Jul 02, 2001 8:44 pm


I'll second everyone on the thread and agree the article was excellent. We don't often get a peek at the actual factors in the decision-making process when airlines buy planes.

 
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RayChuang
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RE: The Details Of NW's Selection Of The A330...

Mon Jul 02, 2001 11:34 pm

I think it came down to this: the 777-200ER was overkill for NW on transatlantic routes from DTW and MSP. The A330-300 was more than sufficient for MSP-AMS operations, the primary route for NW transatlantic flights.

Besides, for transpacific routes the 747-400 is a better choice, and NW will seriously look at the A340-600 as 747-200 replacements given the strong commonality between the A346 and the A333.
 
Guest

RE: The Details Of NW's Selection Of The A330...

Mon Jul 02, 2001 11:38 pm

Sounds a little bit like an excuse to their American passengers who are interrested why NW did not vote for the US planemaker.
I doubt that the 773 will be the replacement for their 742`s.
 
tupolev154b2
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RE: The Details Of NW's Selection Of The A330...

Mon Jul 02, 2001 11:39 pm

So, does that mean that NWA is considering the A332 for future routes?
 
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Crosswind
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RE: The Details Of NW's Selection Of The A330...

Mon Jul 02, 2001 11:57 pm

A very interesting read, thanks for posting it.

The article makes a point. that many of us have made before, but which has apparently fallen on deaf ears in the past;

An airline will choose the aircraft which best meets their mission and operational requirements,buying an aircarft with addittional range, capacity and power is a waste of money if you do not intend to utilise those abilities.

The comparison between fuel burn and payload on Trans Atlantic routes between the B777 and the A330 is also very interesting...

Regards
CROSSWIND
 
Guest

RE: The Details Of NW's Selection Of The A330...

Tue Jul 03, 2001 1:03 am

As I mentioned in other forums, if Airbus and Pratt & Whitney get together and offer a 4000 series powerplant on the A340-500/600, NW will go for it. The aircraft will have both engine and cockpit commonality with their A330s.
 
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lindy field
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RE: The Details Of NW's Selection Of The A330...

Tue Jul 03, 2001 1:35 am

Thanks for taking the time to type up the article! It was quite interesting.
 
globetrotter
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RE: The Details Of NW's Selection Of The A330...

Tue Jul 03, 2001 2:19 am

Extremely interesting and fascinating for those of us who love airline management as much as liveries and photos! Thanks for taking the time to post it.

Globetrotter
 
N312RC
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RE: The Details Of NW's Selection Of The A330...

Tue Jul 03, 2001 2:30 am

This article completely overlooks Northwest's pacific operations! What are they gonna do? Just have to wait and see I guess... Im thinking more 747-400's. Northwest has the 747-400, why want the A340-600?
 
Airbus A3XX
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RE: The Details Of NW's Selection Of The A330...

Tue Jul 03, 2001 2:50 am

I thought only UA and AA are the only American Airlines that are allowed to fly to LHR. Correct me if I am wrong.
 
Guest

RE: The Details Of NW's Selection Of The A330...

Tue Jul 03, 2001 3:05 am

N312RC:

'Northwest has the 747-400, why want the A340-600?'

Well,

Lufthansa has the 747-400, yet they've ordered the A340-600;
Cathay Pacific has the 747-400, but they'll also get the A340-600;
JAL has a huge 747-400 fleet, yet they've ordered the 777-300ER;
Air France has the 747-400, but ordered the 777-300ER...

So I'm guessing it would make sense to operate both. Remember that both the A340-600 and the 777-300ER can take more cargo than the 744.

Greetings Big grin
 
XFSUgimpLB41X
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RE: The Details Of NW's Selection Of The A330...

Tue Jul 03, 2001 3:36 am

Glad you guys like the article. As far as rumor mills go: So far most people i have talked to from within the airline think that NW is leaning toward the 772 or 773 for the 742 replacement. Nothing in stone.. but it these people knew what was going to happen more than a year before the DC-10 replacements were announced.
Chicks dig winglets.
 
tripple7
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RE: The Details Of NW's Selection Of The A330...

Tue Jul 03, 2001 5:29 am

Great article. Thanks for sharing it with us. I can't wait to see the first NW A330 arrive in AMS especially when they are going to be on my most frequent route between AMS and BOS. Finally they are going to get rid of the DC-10s.

I guess the A-340 will replace the old 747-200s because of the compaitbility with the A-330.

Regards

Tripple 7
 
NWA
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RE: The Details Of NW's Selection Of The A330...

Tue Jul 03, 2001 6:09 am

good artical. I still am saddened by there decision though. Passengers prefer the 777 over the 330, and I get scared every time I get on an airbus. But, they saw fit for it and it is there company, not mine. I just hopr they get the 777 for -200 replacement.
23 victor, turn right heading 210, maintain 3000 till established, cleared ILS runwy 24.
 
dalecary
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RE: The Details Of NW's Selection Of The A330...

Tue Jul 03, 2001 7:52 am

excellent article but I have a couple of issues.

(1) is the PW powerplant that poor on the 777 to make it unsuitable for Pacific missions? CO and AA with their GE and RR powered 777s obviously don't find this the case.
(2) What will NW go with if they ever want a west-coast US hub to fly non-stop to Europe? The 333 won't do it, the 332 may, but I think you would find the better performing aircraft for these missions would be the 772ER.
Just some thoughts.

Dale.
 
gmunich
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What About SEA-AMS

Tue Jul 03, 2001 8:22 am

What is going to fly SEA-AMS when NW retires the 10's? I also think they should introduce SEA-LGW since BA operates full to the top to LHR. Any thoughts?
 
XFSUgimpLB41X
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RE: The Details Of NW's Selection Of The A330...

Tue Jul 03, 2001 9:02 am

Theres only 400 miles difference in the route from MSP-AMS compared to the SEA-AMS route. I dont doubt that the 330 will have any problem covering that.
Chicks dig winglets.
 
pelicanlarry
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RE: The Details Of NW's Selection Of The A330...

Tue Jul 03, 2001 9:26 am

Very good article, particularly descriptive at the summary paragraph : "...when the notably higher purchase price of the 777 is factored into the analisis..." Question, how much relative weight do you guys think purchase price and payment terms had in NW final decision ?
 
TOMASKEMPNER
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RE: The Details Of NW's Selection Of The A330...

Tue Jul 03, 2001 10:25 am


A week or two ago I wrote if NW was going for the 345 or 346, personally I think, they will go for it, because the 330´s cockpit is similar to the 340 and NW will have no experience with the 777 at all.

But also we could expect more 744 orders.

POST :
https://www.airliners.net/discussions/general_aviation/read.main/506068/
 
M27
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RE: The Details Of NW's Selection Of The A330...

Tue Jul 03, 2001 11:04 am

Could someone tell me what rules NW employs that shorten the 777ER range by 1100 miles? How are these peculiar to NW, or are they? I am aware the article said the interior was also part of the mix. Is this because they want a much higher density seating arangement?
Does it have to do with ETOPS(the only thing I can think of because the 200ER has as much if not more range than the 747-400), and if this is so, why does it affect NW so greatly? Do their routes require more ETOPS flying than say JAL or SQ? If so, please tell me which ones these are. It was said that the 200LR and 300ER might be considered, so that makes one think its not ETOPS, so just what is it? I am assuming that the range figures given by Boeing, are for MTOW, and I believe they are, that leaves only NW wanting to carry more revenue weight instead of fuel, unless they have some rules that I am not familar with.
 
Kohflot
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RE: The Details Of NW's Selection Of The A330...

Tue Jul 03, 2001 11:11 am

Here's a longshot suggestion for ya...

Ordering the 330 (then perhaps the 345/346) makes it even less likely that Continental, or anyone else, buys Northwest.
Ask why..
 
tupolev154b2
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RE: The Details Of NW's Selection Of The A330...

Tue Jul 03, 2001 11:46 am

...and that UAL operates the 772ER extensively on trans-Pacific routes.
 
AA737-823
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RE: The Details Of NW's Selection Of The A330...

Tue Jul 03, 2001 12:06 pm

Yes, to whoever asked about the PW engines being poor...

United has Pratt powered 777s, and they do trans-pac all the time, so it must not be an issue.

From operating economics, supposedly the best 777 engine is the GE90. But airlines have their commonality to keep, thus AA going Rolls (which really doesn't makes sense, what with their GE 767s and pratt S80s, 727s...)

I personally prefer Pratt engines. But hey, I am just a college kid, what do I know???

Oh yeah, to whomever said (NWA???) that they get scared any time they get on an Airbus, I find that interesting. I am not going to flame you. And I will admit that I was terrified to the point of making myself physically ill the first time I got on an A320. But what are your reasons?

I more recently flew a United A320 and really really enjoyed it. Very pleasant aircraft, and those UA V2500 engines are something unique.

Randy
 
Hamlet69
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RE: The Details Of NW's Selection Of The A330...

Tue Jul 03, 2001 1:20 pm

M27,

I would imagine (can somebody help?) that the 1100 mile difference does indeed have to do with ETOPS. Some one correct me if I'm wrong, but NW does not have an 180-ETOPS rating at the moment, do they? I believe they are only rated at 120 (from their 757's). If that is indeed the case, then the Pacific routes they would fly the 777's on would be longer than other carriers (AA, UA, CO, . . .), thereby cutting the aircraft's overall range, until they could get 180, then 207-rated ETOPS. However, this problem should get alleviated somewhat when the A333's come on-line, as they should eventually get a full 180 rating. This would make the 777LR more competitive to NW when the 742 replacement comes to fruitition, as engine selection would not be a factor (cockpit commonality, of course, would be).

Hamlet69
All gave some. Some gave all.
 
XFSUgimpLB41X
Topic Author
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RE: The Details Of NW's Selection Of The A330...

Tue Jul 03, 2001 2:03 pm

M27-

Northwest carries a tremendous amount of cargo plus usually full loads on their pacific routes. Somebody mentioned to me today that United and AA have substantially less seats in their aircraft that NW want to put in the 777. Can anyone back me up with this or not? Just what i heard.
Chicks dig winglets.
 
Guest

RE: The Details Of NW's Selection Of The A330...

Tue Jul 03, 2001 2:23 pm

I'm just happy to see that my favorite airline's decisions are having this type of impact on the airliner world. It shows the power of Norhthwest and I'm sure Airbus is glad to have an order of this magnitude from a very major U.S. carrier. I hope they stick with Boeing for the 747-200 replacements...
 
Udo
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RE: The Details Of NW's Selection Of The A330...

Tue Jul 03, 2001 4:12 pm

I think the A340-600 would be a good choice as a B742 replacement, but the problem are the exlusive RR engines...and it doesn't seem as if Airbus and RR want to change their deal.
I don't see the B777 as a future option for NW because it would mean one more completely new type. More B744s (possibly ERs) seem to be the best choice. If AI breaks the RR monopoly on the -600 then a PW-powered A340 could be an option, it wouldn't be a completely new type due to its commonality with the A330 fleet.

Hamlet, don't you think NW has thought a long time about the ETOPS issue?

Regards
Udo
Me & You & a Plane Named Blue...
 
Hamlet69
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RE: The Details Of NW's Selection Of The A330...

Tue Jul 03, 2001 11:26 pm

Udo,

Absolutely. But when your longest-ranging twin is the 757, its impossible to build up the ETOPS experience necessary to gain 180 minute approval. Hence, if they had bought 777's from the start to fly both Atlantic and Pacific routes, they wouldn't have been able to do the Pacific sectors until they got their 180 rating (I believe it takes about a year). So, when you take away the Pacific flights, as the article states, the A333 is lighter and more effecient to fly the Atlantic routes (see U.S. Airways). Of course, the ETOPS angle is probably only part of the problem. As already mentioned, NW would place a lot more seats into the 777 than any of the other U.S.-based operators [329 vs. 278 (UA), 237 (AA), 279 (DL), 283 (CO)].

Hamlet69
All gave some. Some gave all.
 
M27
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RE: The Details Of NW's Selection Of The A330...

Tue Jul 03, 2001 11:38 pm

Hamlet69

Thank you! You have explained my questions. I was not aware of the 120min limit that NW has. I should have been aware of that.

Thanks.
 
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Crosswind
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RE: The Details Of NW's Selection Of The A330...

Tue Jul 03, 2001 11:44 pm

Could someone tell me what rules NW employs that shorten the 777ER range by 1100 miles? How are these peculiar to NW, or are they? I am aware the article said the interior was also part of the mix. Is this because they want a much higher density seating arangement?
Does it have to do with ETOPS(the only thing I can think of because the 200ER has as much if not more range than the 747-400), and if this is so, why does it affect NW so greatly?


M27,
All manufacturers figures for range are based on a "standard" aircraft with "standard" reserves, to present the aircraft in the most favourable light possible.

However, no airlines operate standard aircraft. Any degree of customisation will generally add weight. Weight will depend on which engine manufacturer and model is chosen, what avionics suite is fitted, what type of APU Northwest installs etc.... The number and type of galleys and toilets in a particular configuration can add weight, even down to the type and number of installed seats, and other cabin fittings.

As for Northwest's rules which reduce the B777's range, these will be related to how the aircraft is operated. The performance of any aircraft will be altered by their SOPs, such as what fuel reserves the company requires over the legal minimums, what the airline's fuel despatch policy is, what circumstances flex-thrust will be used for takeoff and how the aircraft's engines and performance are managed in the air.

-----
[T]he Pratt powered 777-200ER could not fly many critical Pacific missions with full passenger load, and most missions required weight limits on cargo.
This is not necessarily apparent if one looks from the generic marketing material from Boeing because the range of the 777-200, evaluated with Northwest rules and interiors, is approximately 1,100 miles less than advertised.

-----

ETOPS does not come into the equation. Northwest may only have 120min ETOPS at the moment, but both the B777 and A330 are available with out-of-the-box 180min ETOPS approval.

bmi british midland took their A330s with 180min ETOPS, even though they have never operated a single ETOPS sector and haven't even operated a widebody before.

Northwest will need to do a little work before delivery, but the B777 would have been delivered with full 180min ETOPS, just like the A330 will be. All that will be required once the planes arrive are a few proving runs before the airline can go "live" with fare paying passengers under 180min ETOPS rules.

Regards
CROSSWIND
 
tim
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RE: The Details Of NW's Selection Of The A330...

Tue Jul 03, 2001 11:45 pm

That really was one of the best articles i have read on here!

tim
 
767AV
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RE: The Details Of NW's Selection Of The A330...

Wed Jul 04, 2001 12:07 am

AIRBUS A3XX. YOU ARE WRONG. AIR CANADA, AVIANCA AND VARIG ARE ¨AMERICAN AIRLINES¨, AND ARE ALLOWED TO FLY TO LONDON HEATHROW. NOT ONLY UA AND AA ARE AMERICAN.
 
ryanb741
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RE: The Details Of NW's Selection Of The A330...

Wed Jul 04, 2001 12:14 am

As a linguistic point, here in Europe (UK) when we say 'America', we mean USA. 'Latin America' refers to South America and 'North America' refers to USA/Canada. We would never refer to a Canadian or an Argentine etc as an 'American'.
I used to think the brain is the most fascinating part of my body. But, hey, who is telling me that?
 
M27
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RE: The Details Of NW's Selection Of The A330...

Wed Jul 04, 2001 2:52 am

Crosswind

Thank you for the detailed information and the time you took to provide it.

Thanks!
 
Guest

Udo

Wed Jul 04, 2001 3:50 am

If Airbus breaks the exclusive engine deal with Rolls Royce on the A340-500/600 and adds a P&W 4000 series engine, you will see orders grow. Many P&W customers who have P&W 4000 powered A330s and 747/767/777s, will go for this aircraft if they don't want the GE90 777-200LR & 300ER.
 
gerardo
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RE: The Details Of NW's Selection Of The A330...

Wed Jul 04, 2001 4:20 am

It is my understanding, that the Airbus-RR deal is not an exclusivity deal, as for example the GE-Boeing deal on the longer range B777. But perhaps PW and/or GE don't see a market big enough for them. GE hasn't very much success with its engine on the A330 (looking at market share). But PW might indeed have a good chance, looking at the big market share they have on the A330.

Rgds
Gerardo
dominguez(dash)online(dot)ch ... Pushing the limits of my equipment
 
Guest

RE: The Details Of NW's Selection Of The A330...

Wed Jul 04, 2001 4:44 am

If NW is interested in the A340-500/600 and they want a P&W 4000 series engine, Airbus can do it. If they offered AF the CFM56 on the A318 just to get them to order it, then the same can be done with the A340.
 
Hamlet69
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RE: The Details Of NW's Selection Of The A330...

Wed Jul 04, 2001 11:04 am

Crosswind,

You're right in stating that the 777 and A330 are both 180 ETOPS approved. However, there is a difference between the aircraft being ETOPS certified, and the airline. The former has to do with airframe/engine reliability, while the latter has to do with maintenence standards/practices. As an example, in 1998 (or '99?) a MAS 777 suffered an in flight shut-down not long after take-off. When the incident was investigated, it was found that the techincian had failed to replace a critical O-ring while servicing the engine, which caused a severe oil leak. It was also found that the same technician had performed the same procedure on both engines (a big ETOPS no-no, each engine must be worked on by a different tech.). MAS's ETOPS rating was subsequently restricted for a time until they could provide proof that they made their maintenence practices more stringent.

That being said, I honestly have no idea whether or not ETOPS has anything to do with the 1100-mile range difference quoted in the article. However, my gut feeling is that, while it is well known the manufacturers embellish their published statistics, I cannot believe that either one would try to do so to their customers, as the operator would quickly find out what the aircraft could and could not do, and hold the manufacturer accountable (a la MD-11).

Hamlet69
All gave some. Some gave all.
 
NWA
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RE: The Details Of NW's Selection Of The A330...

Wed Jul 04, 2001 12:14 pm

AA737-823,

I will admit, airbus are very smooth riding aircraft, nice and smooth. The thing I dont like is the computer system thing. Dose this happen often that they crash? No, of course not. But, the idea that a computer can lock up and remove all control from the pilot just frightens me. What are the odds that this will happen? Slim to none. I just dont like that train of thought. Also, thank you for not "flameing" me. That happens often to people and I thank you for not doing so.
23 victor, turn right heading 210, maintain 3000 till established, cleared ILS runwy 24.
 
Udo
Posts: 4288
Joined: Tue May 18, 1999 5:16 pm

RE: The Details Of NW's Selection Of The A330...

Wed Jul 04, 2001 7:32 pm

NWA,

Nobody will flame you! Of course the feeling of being flown by a computer can be frightening but it's not really the case! It's Airbus's philosophy that the computer should support and supervise the pilots and avoid critical situations which can be caused by the human factor.
We have seen several cases where the computer intervened and completely confused the crew (CAL and KAL A300-600s e.g.). But the investigation always has shown that the pilots just were not appropriately prepared in those situations. That is a question of training, they should have been better trained to understand when and how the computer reacts. I cannot remember any A310/A300 incident with Lufthansa or Swissair who train their pilots well.
Of course, the Warsaw A320 case has shown a clear computer fault but Airbus corrected the system and it shouldn't be a problem any longer.
There also have been faults with Boeing aircraft or others.

Just calm down, the Airbus computer is not something to fear!

Regards
Udo
Me & You & a Plane Named Blue...
 
na
Posts: 9770
Joined: Sun Dec 12, 1999 3:52 am

RE: The Details Of NW's Selection Of The A330...

Wed Jul 04, 2001 7:56 pm

Yes, and I´m not afraid of Airbus´ computers at all, but...

...Udo, have you read the new "Spiegel" magazine? There´s an interesting article about the recent Iberia A320 landing accident at Bilbao. Airbus admits the pilots did the right thing by trying a go around in adverse wheather conditions, but were overruled by the Computer resulting in a very hard landing including the front wheel undercarriage breaking away. Airbus is changing the software now, giving the pilots more chance.
 
XFSUgimpLB41X
Topic Author
Posts: 3961
Joined: Fri Aug 25, 2000 1:18 am

RE: The Details Of NW's Selection Of The A330...

Wed Jul 04, 2001 9:58 pm

I don't believe ETOPS had anything to do with the decision, as it would have mentioned it. I have Northwest dispatch sheets from DC-10 and 747 flights my dad has brought home, but i can't really tell anything different from the fuel reserves required from other airlines since I've never really looked at one from another airline.  Smile/happy/getting dizzy
Chicks dig winglets.
 
magyar
Posts: 528
Joined: Mon Feb 14, 2000 4:11 pm

FBW

Thu Jul 05, 2001 4:06 am


>>
interesting article about the recent Iberia A320 landing
accident at Bilbao. Airbus admits the pilots did the right thing by trying a go around in adverse wheather conditions,
but were overruled by the Computer resulting in a very hard landing including the front wheel undercarriage breaking
away. Airbus is changing the software now, giving the pilots more chance.
<<

I read an interesting article on the www.aviationnow.com.
It was about an A319 or A320 (I don't remember) incident
in Germany. As far as I understand there was turbulence
before landing and the pilot had to correct for it, but
because the correction would have exceeded some threshold
(in thrust or angle I don't remember) the computer overrid
the command and the result was a hard landing (with the
nosegear damaged).
I would not be surprised if the Iberia incident was something
similar. IIRC, Airbus is modifying the code to allow the
correcting move and planning to retrofit all A319/320
(I think they are not changing it on the A321).

As far as FBW concerned, I am also worried about the
excessive computer control. You cannot write a code
which is completly bug free and you cannot think of all
possibilities. There should be always a way to overrid the
FBW system.

This being said, I would like to point out one thing. We will
always hear about the cases when the computer caused
an incident/accident. But there could be lots of cases when it
actually prevented one and it may not be published!
So, when we worry about the dangers of FBW we should
not forget that it could also increased safety on other
occasions.

Janos
 
Tan Flyr
Posts: 1711
Joined: Sat Aug 19, 2000 11:07 pm

RE: The Details Of NW's Selection Of The A330...

Thu Jul 05, 2001 11:12 am

XFSU, thanks for the interesting article. Questions that followed by other members of the forumwere the same that I thought of while reading.

One thought, will the 330 be the right choice if NW's assesments are too light in 10 years?

Thanks again

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