From: email@example.com (James Matthew Weber) Organization: WinStar GoodNet, Inc. Date: Sat, 21 Aug 1999 23:15:53 GMT Followups: 1
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The current issue of Flight International discusses a 200 seat derivative of the A330-200, the A330-100. It a matter of removing about 18 feet of fuselage. This makes the aircraft almost identical in length to a 767-300ER. I have to be honest, and say I've looked at the numbers, this doesn't seem like a very attractive product. The basic problem is the airframe is derived from the basic A330 airframe which is designed to carry 500,000 pounds or so off the runway, by contract the MGTOW on a 767-300ER is 412,000 pounds, and the A310-100 is likely to have an empty weight between 50,000 and 60,000 higher than the 767-300ER. That is a lot of extra weight to fly with. you generally strengthen airframes when you stretch them, but I don't know anyone who weakens them when they shrink, and rarely are the wings or other lift and control surfaces altered. The result is Empty weight on the shrunken product is often not appreciable less than on the basic product.. Empty Weight A330-300 262,000 pound A330-200 266,000 pounds ( 15 foot shrink,probably the big issue is the extra fuel tank) A320 90,000 pounds A319 88,000 pounds (12 foot shrink) 737-300 72,000 pounds 737-500 70,000 pounds (8 foot shrink) Fokker F100 54,000 pounds Fokker F70 50,000 pounds (14 foot shrink) On the other hand stretches are not nearly as painful: 737-700 84,000 pounds 737-900 91,000 pounds (28 foot stretch) A320-100 90,000 pounds A321-100 106,000 pounds (23 foot stretch) 767-200 187,000 pounds 767-300 194,000 pounds (21 foot stretch) Seems to cost about 400 pounds per foot to stretch, but when you shrink, you only get about 200 pounds per foot back! The A330 will probably use the CF6-80E family, or Trent 700 family, or PW4000 family, although a geared fan like the proposed 8160 is a possibility. What that suggests is the airframe is a lot heavier, and the engine specific fuel consumption is likely to be very similar to the CF6, RB211 and PW4000's used on the 767ER, so you don't save much money on fuel for the engines, but you do have to pay to carry the extra weight. The market for such a product has to be very limited, so don't look for any engine manufacturer to commit to a multi-billion USD R&D programme to build a anything even remotely resembling an all new engine for the product. There appear to be only three advantages in this product versus a 767-300ER. 1). Cockpit/engine commonality with existing A330 2). Modest Range improvement (about 600 miles) 3). Increase in freight carriage on short and medium haul (The A330-200 has a very high maximum landing weight, almost 400,000 pounds). Max 767-300ER payload (MLW-Empty Weight) is 117,000 pounds, A330-100 I estimate at 135,000 pounds OF these item 1 is perhaps the most attractive. I cannot think of a lot of places where the difference in range opens many markets, and almost by definition a very long, thin route probably doesn't produce a vast amount of freight. In return, for all of the missions you don't need the extra range , or the extra freight lift relative to a 767-300ER, you get to carry 50,000+ pounds of extra weight! This sort of reminds me of the 747SP, horrible operating economies, but capable of flying missions no other aircraft could, except that with the A330-100 only the horrible operating costs are likely to be the case. The 767-200ER already has comparable range. It would looks to me like this aircraft may be a paper response to another paper aircraft, the 767-300ERX, which is still likely to have a substantial empty weight advantage over the A330-100. Maybe I missed something here, but this is a product that just look very attractive?