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stratable
Topic Author
Posts: 160
Joined: Mon Sep 23, 2019 12:22 pm

Engineering Model Request - Hypothetical 1990s A310neo

Thu Dec 30, 2021 4:04 pm

Hi guys,

This is a carry over from the civil aviation forum on the discussion on hypothetical A300/A310neos.

This was my last post there:
stratable wrote:
Always thought that a 1990s A310 with a slightly upped MTOW (170 tons maybe?), the A330's avionics and maybe an uprated PW2000 would have been an attractive plane.
Guess there was just no business case overall. I'd assume it's kinda like going from the 737NG to the MAX.
To add to that, maybe update the wingtips, as well?

I chose the PW2000 since all Trents available at the time seem to be too large (much like the CF6/PW4000 probably was too large for the A310). Given the performance margins of the 757
I plainly assumed with a thrust bump the PW2000 would be capable of powering the A310 (even though it would possibly climb as strongly as the A340-300). Is there a generational difference between the CF6-80 and the later PW2000 or does that still count as the same engine generation? I didn't suggest the RB211 that's on the 757 because Trents were already pushing out the 211s in the 90s.

This question is not about a business case (there likely wasn't one otherwise they would have done it). It is more about more about what performance improvements would have been achieved by the potential upgrades I mentioned above. Do we have any savvy aerospace engineers here who would be interested in determining how such a hypothetical 1990s upgrade to the A310 would fare compared to the base 164t MTOW A310-300 or the base A321-200 that was available in the 1990s?
Also, I'd be super interested in learning on how you'd go about building a model like that - suggestions for entry-level reading would be much appreciated.
 
User avatar
77west
Posts: 1205
Joined: Sat Jun 13, 2009 11:52 am

Re: Engineering Model Request - Hypothetical 1990s A310neo

Thu Dec 30, 2021 8:07 pm

stratable wrote:
Hi guys,

This is a carry over from the civil aviation forum on the discussion on hypothetical A300/A310neos.

This was my last post there:
stratable wrote:
Always thought that a 1990s A310 with a slightly upped MTOW (170 tons maybe?), the A330's avionics and maybe an uprated PW2000 would have been an attractive plane.
Guess there was just no business case overall. I'd assume it's kinda like going from the 737NG to the MAX.
To add to that, maybe update the wingtips, as well?

I chose the PW2000 since all Trents available at the time seem to be too large (much like the CF6/PW4000 probably was too large for the A310). Given the performance margins of the 757
I plainly assumed with a thrust bump the PW2000 would be capable of powering the A310 (even though it would possibly climb as strongly as the A340-300). Is there a generational difference between the CF6-80 and the later PW2000 or does that still count as the same engine generation? I didn't suggest the RB211 that's on the 757 because Trents were already pushing out the 211s in the 90s.

This question is not about a business case (there likely wasn't one otherwise they would have done it). It is more about more about what performance improvements would have been achieved by the potential upgrades I mentioned above. Do we have any savvy aerospace engineers here who would be interested in determining how such a hypothetical 1990s upgrade to the A310 would fare compared to the base 164t MTOW A310-300 or the base A321-200 that was available in the 1990s?
Also, I'd be super interested in learning on how you'd go about building a model like that - suggestions for entry-level reading would be much appreciated.


I don't think the PW2000 would have been able to fit this mission, remember twinjets need excess power for an engine-out situation. I can't actually think of any engine from that generation that would have better suited the A310 than what they ended up using anyway. These days, a slightly scaled up (45-50k thrust) PW GTF would work nicely.
 
stratable
Topic Author
Posts: 160
Joined: Mon Sep 23, 2019 12:22 pm

Re: Engineering Model Request - Hypothetical 1990s A310neo

Thu Dec 30, 2021 10:03 pm

77west wrote:
I don't think the PW2000 would have been able to fit this mission, remember twinjets need excess power for an engine-out situation. I can't actually think of any engine from that generation that would have better suited the A310 than what they ended up using anyway. These days, a slightly scaled up (45-50k thrust) PW GTF would work nicely.


Yeah not sure how much growth potential is in the PW2000. The JT9D-7R4 has about 210kn and was used on the 767 and a310. That is not too far away from the 194kn of the PW2043. The PW2000 is roughly 1800lbs less each too. (all numbers from Wikipedia). That's why I would be curious to see the numbers. Thanks in any case.
 
RJMAZ
Posts: 2596
Joined: Sat Jul 09, 2016 2:54 am

Re: Engineering Model Request - Hypothetical 1990s A310neo

Sun Jan 02, 2022 3:48 am

stratable wrote:
I chose the PW2000 since all Trents available at the time seem to be too large (much like the CF6/PW4000 probably was too large for the A310).

The PW2000 has a 84.5inch fan that is 10inch smaller than the 94inch fan on the PW4000 that was originally fitted to the A310. The PW2000 doesn't have enough thrust for a higher MTOW A310.

The lowest thrust A310 with 45,800lb of thrust only had a 144,000kg MTOW. The PW2000 has even less thrust at a maximum of 43,734lb. There is zero chance the PW2000 could power a 170t MTOW A310. This takeoff weight would require a minimum of 55,000lb of thrust.


stratable wrote:
I plainly assumed with a thrust bump the PW2000 would be capable of powering the A310

55,000lb of thrust is a 30% increase for the PW2000

That is not a thrust bump. Adding a bigger fan to the PW2000 to increase thrust is effectively what the PW4000 is. Both engines entered service a couple years apart so technology is similar.

It is worth nothing the original A310-200 used the CF6-80A/A1 with 48,000lb of thrust and a 86.4inch fan. The A310-300 got the CF6-80C2 with 59,000lb of thrust and a 93inch fan. It effectively had a NEO same with the A300-600. So going larger increased performance which is the exact opposite of going to the PW2000.

The A310 production ended in 1998. But production drops to only 10% rate in 1994 to keep the line open. The A340-500/600 was launched in 1996 so there was an opportunity to share an engine. The Trent 500 was certified in 2000. The new engines for the 737MAX, A330NEO and A320NEO average a 15% weight and diameter increase. The Trent 500 is only a 4% increase in diameter and 10% increase in weight over the largest A310 engine. A simple fit but a massive improvement in bypass ratio and fuel burn.

It is worth noting that in 1996 GE was actually selected to offer a cleansheet scaled down GE90 for the A340-500/600. GE wanted a second aircraft to use the engine as GE were required to pay for engine development costs. Airbus could have launched a second aircraft to use this GE engine. Passenger orders for the A300 has also dropped in the late 1990's with mostly freighter orders remaining. I can see why Airbus abandoned this market size.
 
stratable
Topic Author
Posts: 160
Joined: Mon Sep 23, 2019 12:22 pm

Re: Engineering Model Request - Hypothetical 1990s A310neo

Sun Jan 02, 2022 4:34 pm

RJMAZ wrote:
stratable wrote:
I chose the PW2000 since all Trents available at the time seem to be too large (much like the CF6/PW4000 probably was too large for the A310).

The PW2000 has a 84.5inch fan that is 10inch smaller than the 94inch fan on the PW4000 that was originally fitted to the A310. The PW2000 doesn't have enough thrust for a higher MTOW A310.

The lowest thrust A310 with 45,800lb of thrust only had a 144,000kg MTOW. The PW2000 has even less thrust at a maximum of 43,734lb. There is zero chance the PW2000 could power a 170t MTOW A310. This takeoff weight would require a minimum of 55,000lb of thrust.


stratable wrote:
I plainly assumed with a thrust bump the PW2000 would be capable of powering the A310

55,000lb of thrust is a 30% increase for the PW2000

That is not a thrust bump. Adding a bigger fan to the PW2000 to increase thrust is effectively what the PW4000 is. Both engines entered service a couple years apart so technology is similar.

It is worth nothing the original A310-200 used the CF6-80A/A1 with 48,000lb of thrust and a 86.4inch fan. The A310-300 got the CF6-80C2 with 59,000lb of thrust and a 93inch fan. It effectively had a NEO same with the A300-600. So going larger increased performance which is the exact opposite of going to the PW2000.

The A310 production ended in 1998. But production drops to only 10% rate in 1994 to keep the line open. The A340-500/600 was launched in 1996 so there was an opportunity to share an engine. The Trent 500 was certified in 2000. The new engines for the 737MAX, A330NEO and A320NEO average a 15% weight and diameter increase. The Trent 500 is only a 4% increase in diameter and 10% increase in weight over the largest A310 engine. A simple fit but a massive improvement in bypass ratio and fuel burn.

It is worth noting that in 1996 GE was actually selected to offer a cleansheet scaled down GE90 for the A340-500/600. GE wanted a second aircraft to use the engine as GE were required to pay for engine development costs. Airbus could have launched a second aircraft to use this GE engine. Passenger orders for the A300 has also dropped in the late 1990's with mostly freighter orders remaining. I can see why Airbus abandoned this market size.


This is great, thank you.
By the time the Trent 500 was certified in 2000, the A310s design was already over 20 years old.
I can see why they would have moved away from it at that point anyway (aside from a business case) seeing that the far more advanced 787 (even though a different market segment) was launched in 2003.

My thoughts for a new engine for the A310 would have been around an early 1990s introduction, basically around the time the A330 first launched, complementing it with a smaller A310neo that adopts the A330's avionics as well as a more efficient engine. This would have closed the gap between the A321 and the A330.
But I guess there was no other engine available at the time.

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