Re: Singapore Airlines The A340 vs 777 saga continues

Date:         22 Jul 99 23:30:20 
From:         don@news.daedalus.co.nz (Don Stokes)
Organization: Daedalus Consulting
References:   1 2
Followups:    1
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In article <3787a1a2@newsfeed.intergate.ca>,
Pardave Lehry <plehry@yahoo.com> wrote:
>> SQ customers are apparently not all that happy with the A340 cabin.
>> They want more headroom, and more space (cabin width). While Airbus
>
>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.  Each airliner that

It always seemed to me that the Airbus widebodies seem to have their
floor very much higher in the fuselage than Boeing aircraft, hence a
lower ceiling, or at least, the fuselage curves over the window seats
much more sharply -- that reduces the space around the window seats and
reduces space for the overhead bins.  I guess it's simply to make room
for cargo in standard containers while retaining a circular fuselage.

>The A340 has a maximum cruising altitude of 39,000 feet.  The Boeing 747 has
>a cruising altitude of 37,000 feet.  Both aircraft have a maximum altitude
>of 41,000 feet.  So whether the A340 will clear the bad weather or not is

747 service ceiling is more like 45,000 feet -- I've certainly been higher
than 41,000' in the things.  777's service ceiling is quite a bit
lower -- 39,300' for the -200 and 36,400' for the -300 (according to
www.boeing.com).

(Oddly enough, www.boeing.com says of the 747-400's altitude capability,
"34,700 feet (10,580 m) - all versions".  I guess the freighter &
domestic versions have lower ceilings than the stock long range airliner
version.)

>cause for concern.  Why Airbus seemed to go with CFMI's CFM-56 engines for
>the A340 is still unclear to me.  Those engines have a thrust rating of
>something like 34,000 pounds, which is why it takes forever for the A340 to
>climb to cruise altitude and then get to its destination.  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
>767's.

The PW4000s are heavier and drag more (and therefore need to burn more
fuel), and they're more expensive.

-- don