Re: A340

From:         h andrew chuang <chuang_hsin@ae.ge.com>
Date:         08 Feb 94 02:15:47 PST
References:   1
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In article <airliners.1994.905@ohare.Chicago.COM> Karl Swartz writes:

|>One of the reasons that the A340 didn't go with a larger engine
|>(perhaps the PW2000 series) is that there was a strong sentiment
|>to put a "French" engine on the "French" aircraft.
|
|While there may be some truth to that, weight and expensere were
|probably far more serious concerns.  The CFM56-5C series used on the
|A340 has a dry weight of 5,700 lbs. and is somewhat less expensive
|than the far heavier PW2037 at 7,160 lbs. or RB.211-535 at about 7,100
|to 7,300 lbs., depending on exact model.  Scaling either of these
|engines down to the size needed by the A340 probably would not have
|saved enough weight as they are fundamentally larger (hence heavier)
|engines.

I doubt Airbus seriously explored the possibility of putting the PW2000 or
RB.211-535 on the A340.  It did propose a Superfan (an ultra high bypass
[UHB] IAE V2500) version of the A340 that Lufthansa was very interested in.
I would think that a UHB version of the V2500 could easily produce similar
thrust and consume significant less fuel than the PW2000 or RB.211-535.
The UHB engine would definitely be heavier than the CFM56-5C and might or
might not have a weight advantage over the two bigger engines, but the fuel
saving should outweigh the weight penalty.  Due to technical difficulties,
Airbus/IAE scratched that plan.  However, P&W is working on an ADP (Advanced
Ducted Prop which is another jargon for UHB) application for the A340, but
I'm not sure if IAE is involved.

|Long-term, I expect the A340 will follow in the footsteps of the
|DC-8-62 and 747SP -- impressive performers for which there just isn't
|that large a market, and which are rapidly eclipsed by more versatile
|aircraft.

With nearly 100 firm A340 orders in the book and two recent orders by Air
Canada and Cathay Pacific (after a long drought), I find it hard to put
the A340 in the 747SP-league (less than 40 747SP were made, am I right??).
With a solid European market base, and with some financial incentives for
airlines in other parts of the world, the A340 should do no worse that
the L-1011 in terms of number of orders.  Financially, the A340 should do
well, after all, the A340 is just a stretched A300 with A320 avionics and
four engines.  In addition, the development cost is also shared by the A330
program.  Nevertheless, I wonder if an ADP-powered A340 (i.e., a growth
A340) will ever materialize.  (Airbus will always have Lufthansa to count
on if it decides to launch the program!)

[ Personal opinions of ] Andrew Chuang