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Airbus A340: that bad, eh?

Old 29th Jul 2016, 22:43
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bnt
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Airbus A340: that bad, eh?

I understand - from Wikipedia and threads such as this one - that the Airbus A340 series is no longer competitive against the likes of the Boeing 777-300 or 787, or even the A380, never mind the A350. It's a quad burner in the age of ever-expanding ETOPS capabilities. The same trend is impacting the A380 and the 747 range. So it's probably heading in to the sunset as a freighter, etc.

Given all that, however, is it really a bad aircraft? I read a discussion on another forum in which someone said the A340 is garbage and airlines are queueing up to dump them. So I suppose my question is: I know airlines run on economy numbers, but besides that, is it really that bad?
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Old 29th Jul 2016, 22:59
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No, it was a good airliner for its time, replacing the likes of the Tristar and DC-10 but with lower seat cost and far superior range. over time it was superceded by the likes of the aircraft you mentioned and now is uneconomical versus the two-engined efficient new generation jets such as the 787. That said it was a fine airliner, and correct me if I am wrong but I believe it is the safest airliner ever built with not one fatality since launch.
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Old 30th Jul 2016, 07:52
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Originally Posted by Doors to Automatic View Post
correct me if I am wrong but I believe it is the safest airliner ever built with not one fatality since launch.
No, you're not wrong.

Only two A340s have been written off in revenue service (AF at Toronto and IB at Quito), neither involving fatalities.
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Old 30th Jul 2016, 07:53
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I tend to agree that it is more a victim of change than a bad plane.
Good safety record too, as was the Handley Page HP42 in its day!
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Old 31st Jul 2016, 16:53
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the 340-200/300 basically ran on fumes with its 4 CFM56 engines (good) but at the expense of longer flying times (bad, maybe almost an hour longer from UK to USA west coast)
climb rate was slow when heavy but this was a popular airliner for its time. (not very good)
often weight restricted (bad) out of hot n high airports like NBO and JNB so freight often was left behind which is a big loss for airlines when that happens. (also bad)

the 340-600 was less successful as was first predicted by Airbus Sales due to the RR Trent engines did not offer the range and fuel burn as planned (bad) to buyers so they fell out of favour quite quickly. (very bad)
Virgin were less then happy with theirs but had to stick with them due leasing contracts.

the -300 was under powered and the -600 overpowered (both not good for varying reasons)

Had A340's from the outset been fitted with four RR RB211535E4 (757) engines instead of the smaller CFM's maybe they would have been around much longer
I was always interested to know what the fuel burn would have been like if fitted with those engines.
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Old 31st Jul 2016, 23:48
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The problem with the A340-600/500 was the weight of the beefed up wing and fuselage going overweight rather than the engines, which as a variant of the Trent still sold very well on the B777.
Virgin had very favourable lease rates I believe as they got the airframes intended for Swissair which went bust?
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Old 1st Aug 2016, 05:21
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Enjoyed flying it .... the -600 "felt" BIG - bigger than the 747 .... always thought that, rather than flying it down the approach, I was herding it !
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Old 1st Aug 2016, 21:24
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Had A340's from the outset been fitted with four RR RB211535E4 (757) engines instead of the smaller CFM's maybe they would have been around much longer
I was always interested to know what the fuel burn would have been like if fitted with those engines.
Circa 8 tonnes per hour would be my guess.
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