A340

From:         Tobias Henry Lutterodt <luterodt@phoenix.Princeton.EDU>
Date:         05 May 93 14:15:01 PDT
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I went to Newark last Friday to do some plane spotting as I got there I saw
Lufthansa's first A340 (a -200) on finals.  The aircraft is beautiful!  Here
are a few observations I made:

  -  The main landing gear is huge.  (Largest in operation today, I've read
        somewhere.)  The two-wheeled body gear has a small panel on the back
        side which may indicate that its doors cannot cover the entire area
        when the gear is stowed.  Anyway, this remains a mystery to me.
  -  The dihedral on the wing is very noticeable, even at the gate.
  -  The outboard engine seems _really_ far outboard.  I understand that the 
        location of the inboard engine was dictated by a common location for
        the A330 and the A340, which in turn probably dictated this far
        outboard location.  In contrast, the engines on a 747 seem much closer
        and those on the IL-96 seem closer still.
  -  As has been reported in the press, the aircraft has a pronounced nose-
        down appearance.
  -  The wingspan is enormous.  The A340 dwarfs the DC-10 in this respect.
  -  The takeoff performance was unimpressive considering that EWR-FRA should
        be just a hop skip and a jump for the aircraft.  The Turkish Airlines
        A310 I saw did almost as well!

Just a few thoughts.  I'd like to read more observations of the A340 in service
if anyone else has seen it around.  Any comparisons with the MD-11?

Toby

(The Commerical Aviation Nut)