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A321 & A346:Lemons Of Our Times?

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A321 & A346:Lemons Of Our Times?

Old 29th Jul 2014, 13:29
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A321 & A346:Lemons Of Our Times?

A stretch too far?
Getting the balances right is a juggling act by playing musical chairs for pax.
Cabin crew give it the the thumbs down.
Flight crew waste more time to get rocking and rolling.
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Old 29th Jul 2014, 15:35
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We don't seem to have any W/B problems with our -321s. Can't comment on the 346 as we don't have any.
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Old 29th Jul 2014, 15:45
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What sort of W&B issues do you have with the A321/A346 ?

I can recall the amount of aircraft I've had go 'out of trim' on one hand, and it's almost always been down to poor load control.

If you're having an A321/A346 go out of trim on a regular basis you really need to start asking questions. It barely takes a few minutes to check if a flight's going to be out of trim based on the booked figures a few hours before departure, and if it is out of trim it shouldn't be hard to fix
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Old 30th Jul 2014, 14:01
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Obviously someone who has no idea what he is talking about....

Just another mindless Airbus knocker!
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Old 30th Jul 2014, 14:23
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Prefer the A321 to the A320. Much better aircraft to fly.
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Old 30th Jul 2014, 14:56
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comparative technical data or just musings?

Maybe another forum would add some meat to this
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Old 30th Jul 2014, 19:16
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321 evolving to be a great aircraft just like the 757, e.g. AA operating them coast to Coast with flat bed F&J and decent Y product. With the neo, expect to see them on similar TATL routes in the future.
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Old 30th Jul 2014, 22:03
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Except for in the summer when you want to get above weather, I really prefer the 321 much more comfortable than either the 320 or 319, though my airline has some of the really early 320s (many below SN 500) and they are pretty tired. Our newer 320s are almost as nice as the 321s (much quieter).
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Old 30th Jul 2014, 22:15
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As someone who worked in the cabin on an A321, I blinking loved it!

Great plane to work on… probably, like the 757, the longest you would really want to have as a single aisle aircraft, but apart from that, really nice… Plenty of room, pax liked it etc…
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Old 6th Aug 2014, 03:17
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Lemon? A321 stats - 940+ deliveries, 1170+ on order.


You might need to reevaluate what you call a lemon.
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Old 6th Aug 2014, 04:58
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321 evolving to be a great aircraft just like the 757
The 321 effectively killed off the 757. I don't think the bean counters consider it to be a lemon.
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Old 7th Aug 2014, 00:30
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Originally Posted by Dan Winterland View Post
The 321 effectively killed off the 757.
Hmm... no more so than the B738 and B739. Ultimately the B757 lost out because airlines worked out that it was cheaper to train current B737 pilots on a stretch 737 than it would be converting them to the B757.
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Old 7th Aug 2014, 14:40
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Cost of flying the a/c, and not cost of pilot training, was the problem.
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Old 7th Aug 2014, 15:34
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Sadly true. Much as I loved the 757, at the end of the day if all you need is a jet to cram in 200-220 people and cart them down to the canaries, an empty a321 is eleven tonnes lighter than an empty 757. That is a lot of tin to carry around unnecessarily. Burn is about 20-25% less than a 757.


Still much rather be flying the 757 though
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Old 7th Aug 2014, 16:50
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Originally Posted by misd-agin View Post
Cost of flying the a/c, and not cost of pilot training, was the problem.
I'd argue both probably had an impact. A large chunk of Airbus's business case around having their whole FBW range being more-or-less identical in terms of flight deck arrangement and handling was to save airlines money on type conversion training. No matter how people feel about it, it was a very slick bit of thinking around technology and commerce - and something that Boeing and MD could not match - not in spite of the success of their legacy types, but precisely because of it!

Obviously there's a weight saving using an A321 vs. a B752, but at some point in the '80s, Boeing would have had the option of building their future short/medium-haul range around either shrinking the 757 or stretching the 737. I'm guessing that the number of existing B737s (and type-rated pilots) had a big impact on that decision.
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Old 8th Aug 2014, 05:07
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The A321 NEO looks good on paper.
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Old 8th Aug 2014, 07:42
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I liked flying the A346. It is what the A340-200/300 should have been in the first place.
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Old 8th Aug 2014, 09:32
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I've only worked on A346 for LH and these were a sod to trim well.

You have 8 full pallet positions in the forward hold and to keep the tail down at the back you had an option of either 4LD3 or one pallet.

The way LH configured it, the lower aft hold was used for (working from front to back) toilets, galley lifts, galley, crew rest.

While not totally weightless, these were a lot lighter than 4 cargo pallets which would have otherwise occupied this space.

Cargo dept would try to have a mix of hi density cargo on some pallets, and volumetric stuff on the others so we could load the lighter ones in the front but this was not really possible all the times.

These aircraft ended flying long sectors with the CG close to the forward limit resulting in fuel burn being more than advertised.

For the weight and balance guys, this was a rude shock as they had been used to having A340-200/300 and B747 which were basically quite balanced (combis had left the fleet by then!).

Last edited by Anilv; 8th Aug 2014 at 09:43. Reason: corrected A340 to read -200/300
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Old 8th Aug 2014, 13:11
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The -346 is so long that the interphone from the forward galley to the aft is actually long-distance, which means most carriers can't afford it, so the most junior FA gets appointed the messenger and shuttles between the galleys.

Yes, it's a joke.
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Old 16th Aug 2014, 10:16
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The original post missed the commercial issues to do with the A340-600. It’s not a lemon, but rather its market disappeared. The economics of the A340-600 were actually pretty good for the time, matched the 777-300 and beat the 747-400.

When the A340 family was conceived, there was domination of the major long-haul routes by the 747-200 and that domination continued by the 747-400 up to about 2002. The A340-200 and more so the -300 had the ability to replace the 747-200/-300 on longer Europe-Asia and trans-Pacific routes, by consolidating capacity and increasing frequency. The later A340-600 with its 380 seats was aimed at both the -200/-300 and towards the 747-400.

What happened though was that the airlines changed strategy as the market evolved. The large aircraft were conceived for the regulated market, with traffic being fed through major airports. As the market deregulated, it fragmented. As a result the 747 has been replaced in many cases with smaller aircraft over the past two decades, partly because the 747/A340-600 capacity was always too large for many airlines, but also because smaller aircraft have stimulated the fragmentation of the major markets. It is the market change that cast the gloom on the A340-600 sales, with only 97 sold out of 377 total A340 sales.

Interestingly one comparison performed by Aircraft Commerce 10 years ago looked at 747 replacements and showed that the 777-300 and A340-600 have virtually identical profit profiles, explained by the A340’s marginally higher trip costs being offset by its 15- seat higher capacity. The 777-300’s and A340-600’s profit profiles also shadowed the 747-200’s, even though the 777/A340 were new and the 747-200 was used and depreciated. This illustrates the 777-300’s and A340-600’s suitability as 747-200/-300 replacements. This is explained by the A340-600 and 777-300 having similar capacities and trip costs to the 747-200 (which included finance costs). This rather dispelled the issue of new aircraft having an economic disadvantage because of high finance charges. The 747-400 has a lower profit profile than the 747-200. This is because the 747-400 has higher costs than the 747-200, explained by high finance charges (the -200 was used, and the 747-400 was new). So the 747-400 had higher cash operating costs than the A340-600 and 777-300.
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