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ukoverlander
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A340 To A330 Conversion?

Mon Dec 09, 2013 10:14 pm

While I understand that the A330 and A340 basic airframes are practically identical I'm hoping some wise A-netters could explain the fundamental differences that would prevent for example, the conversion of an A340 into an A330 twin. I've not heard of this idea ever being floated, so I assume despite the airframe similarities, the costs involved in modifying engines and avionics and would simply be too prohibitive to bother. Nevertheless it would be interesting to understand the key reasons and major areas of expense that would make such an undertaking impractical.

Thanks in advance for your thoughts.
 
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vhqpa
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RE: A340 To A330 Conversion?

Mon Dec 09, 2013 10:33 pm

In addition to the engines and avionics at the very least you'd also have to drastically modify the fuel and electric systems architecture and then certify the conversion. In theory I'm sure it could be done but not at any reasonable cost. It would probably be cheaper just to buy two brand new A330 frames than convert a single A340 frame
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Starlionblue
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RE: A340 To A330 Conversion?

Tue Dec 10, 2013 12:28 am

I think by far the biggest (i.e. most expensive) problem is that you'd have to strengthen the wing.

Apart from that:
- Remove the center gear.
- Remove the outer engines and change the inners.
- Extend the fin and rudder.
- Change the flight control programming.
- Recertify at ruinous cost.

Quoting vhqpa (Reply 1):
In addition to the engines and avionics at the very least you'd also have to drastically modify the fuel and electric systems architecture and then certify the conversion.

I don't think the avionics, fuel and electrics are that different hardware wise. The 330/340 (discounting 340NG) are in most ways different variants of the same plane. They're more alike than a 747-100 and a 747-400. I think it would be more software changes than anything else. But I might be wrong.

Quoting vhqpa (Reply 1):
It would probably be cheaper just to buy two brand new A330 frames than convert a single A340 frame

Indeed.
"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots." - John Ringo
 
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Polot
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RE: A340 To A330 Conversion?

Tue Dec 10, 2013 3:04 am

There is also the issue of number of available airframes. You could only convert the A343- the others differ too much from the A330 (Contrary to popular believe the A342 and the A332 are not exactly the same size like the A343 and A333 is, not that many A342s were made to begin with).
 
prebennorholm
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RE: A340 To A330 Conversion?

Tue Dec 10, 2013 3:10 am

I agree with the posters above. To that we can add the price of two new A330 engines. Price of the engines is a significant part of the price of a new plane, so it would be a huge investment.

It is totally out of question for the NG birds, which leaves us with the 342 and 343. They are getting older every day, and they are getting closer and closer to the day when they can smell their retirement date. Even the early NG birds are not that new any longer.

And who would want it? Many operators are happy to fly them day in and day out on routes which they couldn't perform any longer if converted to 330.

For instance SK is happy with their mix of 333 and 343. Shared crews. The 333s fly the routes they can, and the 343s fly the routes which the 333s can't do. They have ordered A359 as replacement, and they will arrive one day when our beard has reached our knees.

It will never happen.

[Edited 2013-12-09 19:23:02]
Always keep your number of landings equal to your number of take-offs
 
wingscrubber
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RE: A340 To A330 Conversion?

Wed Dec 11, 2013 8:41 pm

Can You Make A A330 Out Of A A340? (by KrisYYZ May 5 2006 in Tech Ops)
^ Some good answers in this thread where the same question was asked

I think this could be done relatively easily if it was approached as an experimental engine testbed type project, a fun example of where two engines have been replaced with one is of course the RB211 flying testbed...
http://www.vc10.net/History/Individual/XR809.html

Also, forgoing 4 x props for 2 x jets has been done  http://www.aviastar.org/air/england/vickers_tayviscount.php

The basic mechanics of removing/blanking off the outer engines, removing the centre gear etc is all possible and fairly straightforward, the question is what the motivation would be, and what the performance deficit/gain would be?
This would vary depending on the starting point - it might be a challenge to convert a -600 to a twin, take-off/engine out performance might be the limiting factor? The A340-300 and A330-300 have the same size fuselage though. Incidentally the Trent 500 powerplant used on -500/600 is basically the same unit as the Trent 700 used on A330... so the commonality is already there. Common type ratings/cockpit layout would help a lot too, if you were hypothetically trying to certify an A340 to A330 conversion.

The question that remains is what would the motivation be to do this? The economics of converting A340s to twin-engine at great expense, in order to achieve twin-engine fuel burn doesn't make sense. If an operator wants A330s that badly, they'll just park their A340s in the desert, cannibalise them for spares and then lease/buy A330s.

https://www.airliners.net/photo/Catha...irways/Airbus-A340-313X/1664841/L/
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Tod
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RE: A340 To A330 Conversion?

Thu Dec 12, 2013 2:57 pm

Without OEM support the certification cost alone would be prohibitive.

(but wouldn't that be an impressive SB?)
 
dc9northwest
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RE: A340 To A330 Conversion?

Tue Dec 17, 2013 5:14 pm

Maybe impossible, but an A330-500 or an A330-600 would be nice to see 
 
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Starlionblue
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RE: A340 To A330 Conversion?

Tue Dec 17, 2013 11:14 pm

Quoting dc9northwest (Reply 7):
Maybe impossible, but an A330-500 or an A330-600 would be nice to see 

It exists. It's called the A350. 
"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots." - John Ringo
 
prebennorholm
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RE: A340 To A330 Conversion?

Wed Dec 18, 2013 12:24 am

Quoting dc9northwest (Reply 7):
...but an A330-500 or an A330-600 would be nice to see

A330-500 was offered at the Farnborough Airshow in 2000.

It was an 8 frames shrink of the -200 with range increased to 7,000 nm.

A little more relevant, a light version of the -500 with only 4,000 nm range and Trent 500 engines instead of Trent 700 / PW4000 / CF6-80 was also proposed.

The project was abandoned a couple of years later due to limited customer interest.

I'm not sure how serious that Airbus offer really was. Maybe it was little more than a responce to a few customers who had talked about A300 and A310 with FBW and cockpit commonality with the rest of the Airbus program. When they saw the price sticker, then sure they turned attention to A321 (or A332) instead.

Some early A300/A310 customers had got some really cheap planes while European taxpayers were investing in getting rid of the total US airliner dominance. Maybe they assumed that they could replace those aging birds at similar prices, but by the year 2000 those days were long time gone.

During the rumor phase leading up to the 2000 Farnborough Airshow it was named A330-100 by a.netters.
Always keep your number of landings equal to your number of take-offs
 
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Stitch
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RE: A340 To A330 Conversion?

Wed Dec 18, 2013 2:18 am

Quoting prebennorholm (Reply 9):
A330-500 was offered at the Farnborough Airshow in 2000.

Airbus was also peddling the A330-100 at the show that year to counter the 767-400ERX and 777-100X, with ILFX expressing the most interest. It would have come in thee flavors: a 195t medium range (8325km) model, a 221t intercontinental (112,395km) model and a 230t ULH model. The original plan was for Trent 500 power, but Airbus decided to stick with the Trent 700 and the medium-range model dropped the A300-600R wing for the standard A330 wing for commonality with her longer-ranged sisters.

And then there was the A340-400, which was a 12-frame extension with the A340-300 wings and engines, trading capacity for lower range (7000km). The A340-400 served as the foundation of what became the A340-600.
 
FlyboyOz
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RE: A340 To A330 Conversion?

Sat Dec 21, 2013 7:24 am

It is impossible to convert A346 to A330 as A336 doesn't exist. lol

Maybe not.... two A345's engines with A346's fuselage then it becomes A330-600! lol
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