Re: Singapore Airlines The A340 vs 777 saga continues

Date:         22 Jul 99 23:30:17 
From: (James Matthew Weber)
References:   1 2
Next article
View raw article
  or MIME structure

On Sun, 11 Jul 1999 15:46:53 GMT, "Pardave Lehry" <> wrote:

>The aircraft may be overweight by 6.5 metric tonnes, but Airbus can no doubt
>shave those off very easily and quickly.

If it was so easy, why is the A340-300 still 4 tonnes overweight? If it
was so easy, it wouldn't attract any press coverage either. It isn't
easy, and 14,300 pounds is a lot of weight to come out of 350,000 pounds
or so at this stage. It is painful, and it is likely to VERY expensive
if it can be done at all.

>  As for engine reliability "out of the box,

I never said ANYTHING about reliability.

>" it's true that they have fuel problems, but with today's modern
>technology and modern construction techniques and materials, engines are
>very very reliable and often do make their quota for fuel burn.

For this  application, often isn't good enough, and some engines NEVER
make guarantees. Most of the RB211-524G/H-T upgrade contracts involve
a final settlement for Fuel economy guarantees never met on the
original engine.

>Even if SIA were to refuse delivery, I'm sure there are other airlines out
>there that would take those airplanes faster than Boeing's surplus of
>cancelled orders from Asian carriers sitting in Phoenix.

I'd like to know where in Phoenix these aircraft are located. There
are no aircraft storage areas in the Phoenix area. If the A340-500
cannot fly the SQ mission, I think it is more likely to be a stampede
to cancel the A340-500 orders than a rush of prospective buyers.

> Speaking of Asian
>carriers, I'm just curious why they have cancelled their Boeing orders and
>not their Airbus orders.  Korean Airlines is the only airline that has
>cancelled all of their orders.

Other than simply saying the statements are grossly inaccurate, I will
leave them.

>> SQ customers are apparently not all that happy with the A340 cabin.
>The blame of headroom and more space in the cabin should not be placed on
>Airbus.  When an airline orders an aircraft from Airbus or for that matter,
>Boeing, they specify what the interior should be like.

And I am sure that if Airbus had bee able  to provide a cabin that
could be configured with the same head room that SQ's 747 and 777's
have, they would have. The exact shape of the fuselage, and where you
place the cabin floor as well  the fuselage diameter has a big impact
on head room. The narrower A340 body is likely to cause headroom
problems in the  A/B and J/K seats, especially if you make  the cabin
floor relatively high  in the fuselage to increase freight carriage.
As I pointed out SQ passengers get to compare the 747,777 and A340
cabin because SQ operates all 3 types, so to suggest it is a problem
of SQ's making is absurd ...

>The A340 has a maximum cruising altitude of 39,000 feet.

Let me know where I can find an A340 (or any other Airbus aircraft for
that matter) at FL390 in revenue service . It is an altitude that
cannot be attained at ANY realistic operating weight, let alone MGTOW.
By contrast, a 777-200 can go directly to FL390 at MGTOW.

>The Boeing 747 has a cruising altitude of 37,000 feet.  Both aircraft
>have a maximum altitude of 41,000 feet.

What reference did you get that information out of?

FL390 is fairly common at end of cruise on long haul 747-400 services.
Depending upon weight and model, cruise could be anything from FL250
(747-100 at MGTOW)  to FL410 (747-400 or SP at low weight)..

You can go higher than that if you want and if the weight is low enough.
It usually isn't attractive, but I have been in 767's and 747SP's above
41,000 feet.  I believe the maximum certificated altitude on the 747 is
45,000 feet, you are never likely to get there in revenue service

>So whether the A340 will clear the bad weather or not is
>cause for concern.

Why don't you try telling that to an SQ captain who just took off from
Singapore for Europe in his A340-300 at MGTOW and is now out over the
Bay of Bengal on a typical afternoon or early evening.

>Why Airbus seemed to go with CFMI's CFM-56 engines for
>the A340 is still unclear to me.

Bad decision by Airbus to build an airplane for a limited market,
without an iron clad commitment for an engine to power it, or designing
an aircraft around  an engine that didn't exist and required a thrust
level that no in production engine delivered. I think this is called a
self inflicted wound.... Then try to find out all you can about the IAE
V2500 SuperFan.

>... It would be a
>wise decision on behalf of Airbus to go with a much more powerful engine,
>something like the PW4000 series, which is the same engine found on the

They did, it is called an A330... Because it is a twin, it is
unsuitable for many of the missions the A340 was sold for. A340 was
specifically designed to avoid ETOPS restrictions which A330 has.

For someone with such impressive credentials, your comments are
strange indeed...