Re: A340 flight: the straight dope

From:         jimakine@cc.helsinki.fi (Jari Isto Makinen)
Organization: University of Helsinki
Date:         27 Jul 93 23:49:39 PDT
References:   1
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Robert Dorsett (rdd@cactus.org) wrote:

> 1.  The airplane was an A340-200, with four CFM56-5C's, five crewmembers, and
> 17 passengers.  The airplane ID isn't given, but there's a big "79" forward
> of the front door. 

To be exact, they had a crew of four and 18 passengers. The plane itself
was MSN4 F-WWBA, and that "79" is just a number at the Le Bourget Air Show.
They had also about one tonne of spare parts aboard.

>     Second leg: 21:46, 10392 nm, fuel burn 134.8 (297,200 lbs) tons of fuel.
> 	(just barely international IFR reserves left?)

They had about seven tonnes of fuel remaining, equivalent to about one
and a half hour flight.

> 3.  The airplane DID use additional fuel tanks: five, with a total additional
> capacity of 28.5 tons (62,800 lbs).  No mention is made of whether they used 
> special fuel, or supercooled it before takeoff (ala the 747-400 record-setting 
> attempt).

The fuel was normal at normal temperature, and these additional tanks
are available as option for A310, A330 and A340 - so there were not
special either. The aircraft used also normal ATC procedures, so it
wasn't given any priority when taxiing or approaching. They also flew
the routes used by ordinary airliners.

> 4.  The article notes the following records will be certificated by 
> Federation Aeronautique Inernationale:
>     - Longest flight by a commercial transport.
>     - Fastest around-the-world flight in the 250-300 metric ton MTOW category.
>     - Fastest flight between Paris to Auckland and Auckland to Paris.
>     - First nonstop flight between the two cities, both directions.

The people aboard told after the flight also that it was one of their
most exiting flights - the feeling during the flight was high, athough
one of the toilettes was broken down. They sleeped on inflatable
mattresses and had in fact just nearly 50-hour-party aboard...


Jari Makinen
(who saw the plane landing and had a dinner afterwards with the crew)
Univ. of Helsinki