Airbus A340
Airbus A340
Airbus A340-600 cockpit

TYPE: Wide-bodied airliner.

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: International

PROGRAMME: Launched 5 June 1987 as parallel programme with A330, uniquely offering twin- and four-engined variants of same basic design. First flight of four-engined A340-300 25 October 1991; A340-200 and -300 certified simultaneously by 18 European joint airworthiness authorities (JAA) on 22 December 1992; first deliveries to Lufthansa on 29 January 1993 (-200) and Air France on 26 February 1993 (-300); both versions entered service March 1993; both received FAA certification 27 May 1993. A340/A330 certified by JAA for GPS satellite navigation January 1994; successful trials conducted at Toulouse in October 1994 using differential global positioning (DGPS) for fully automatic landings, including roll-out. The 200th aircraft from A330/340 assembly line flew in November 1997; 100th A340 delivered to Singapore Airlines in February 1997; 180-minute ETOPS for Rolls-Royce Trent 700 engines awarded May 1996.

A340-500 and -600 were launched on 8 December 1997, at an estimated investment cost of US$2.9 billion. First flights took place on 11 February 2002 and 23 April 2001 respectively, followed by certifications on 3 December 2002 and 29 April 2002. A340-600 entered service with Virgin Atlantic 1 August 2002. 2,000th Airbus was A340-300 for Lufthansa, delivered 18 May 1999. 400th A330/A340 family member first flown 23 March 2001.

Cathay Pacific took delivery of an A340-300 covered with 700 m2 (7,535 sq ft) of plastic film riblets in October 1996 in a trial intended to reduce fuel consumption (average 3/4 tonne per medium- or long-range flight) by reducing drag.

DEVELOPMENT MILESTONES
A340-300

Launched
5 Jun 87
First flight
25 Oct 91
Certification
22 Dec 92
First delivery (Air France)
26 Feb 93
Entered service (Air France)
Mar 93


Subsequent versions

A340-200

First flight
1 Apr 92
Certification
22 Dec 92
First delivery (Lufthansa)
29 Jan 93
Entered service (Lufthansa)
15 Mar 93


A340-600

Launched
8 Dec 97
Rolled out
23 Mar 01
First flight
23 Apr 01
Public debut 16 Jun 01
Certificafion
29 May 02
First delivery (Virgin Atlantic)
22 Jul 02
Entered service (Virgin Atlantic)
1 Aug 02

A340-500
Launched
17 Jun 97
Go-ahead
8 Dec 97
First flight
11 Feb 02
Certification
3 Dec 02
First delivery (Emirates)
23 Oct 03

CURRENT VERSIONS: Initial A340-300: Higher-capacity version, carrying up to 375 passengers (standard) or 440 (optional) and powered initially by CFM56-5C2 turbofans. Able to carry typical load of 295 passengers over distances of 7,300 n miles (13,519 km; 8,400 miles).

Current A340-300 (engineering designation -300X) powered by 151.2 kN (34,000 lb st) CFM56-5C4 turbofans; maximum T-O weight 271,000 kg (597.450 lb) with optional MTOW of 275,000 kg (606,275 lb); stronger landing gear, and aerodynamic and engine refinements, plus optional additional centre tank (ACT) for increased fuel capacity compared with basic A340-300. First flight (F-WWJH; CFM56-5C4 engines) 25 August 1995; first delivery, to Singapore Airlines, 17 April 1996.

A340-300E: Enhanced version with upgraded CFM56-5C4/P engines (trial engine first flew on an A340 on 19 November 2002); optional increased MTOW of 276,500 kg (609,575 lb); new-style cabin from A340-600. Initial customer. South African Airways, ordered six in 2002; first delivery due early 2004.

A340-300 Aviator: Company testbed for Aircraft Wing with Advanced Technology Operation (Aviator) R & D programme to explore ways of reducing aircraft wake, drag, noise and fuel consumption, and other technologies, which could be applied to future Airbus designs. Two-year programme (to mid-2005) will test such features as enlarged winglets, modified inboard spoilers/airbrakes, turbulence sensors and various vortex devices.

Initial A340-200: Short-fuselage, longer-range version of A340-300, with same initial power plant; seating capacity 420 passengers, but more typically 303 in a two-class or 263 in three-class configuration; first flight (F-WWBA) 1 April 1992; entered service January 1993 with Lufthansa.

Current A340-200; Advanced version (previously referred to as A340-8000) wifli additional fuel in two tanks in rear cargo hold, strengthened fuselage and wings. CFM56-5C4 engines and 275,000 kg (606,275 lb) maximum T-O weight; first order placed March 1996 by Prince Jefri of Brunei for one VVIP aircraft, which first flew 19 December 1997 and was retained by Airbus during 1998; stored at Schonefeld-Berlin in "green" condition, in 1999. Sold to Jordan for Royal Flight. New-build aircraft no longer marketed by Airbus.

A340-400: Series discontinued in favour of A340-600.

A340-500: Ultra-long-range variant of A340-600 able to carry (typically) 313 passengers in three classes across 8.650 n miles (16,020 km; 9,954 miles). Fuselage 3.20 m (10 ft 6 m) longer than A340-300, representing 14-frame shrink of A340-600, plus additional fuel in rear centre tank. Launched at 1997 Paris Air Show and received go-ahead December 1997. Commonality with existing A330/A340 variants allows cross-crewing and employment of common cargo containers and interiors to minimise training, staffing, provisioning and maintenance costs. Stated to be the world's longest-range airliner. Development time of A340-500/-600 series reduced by 25 per cent by use of Airbus Concurrent Engineering (ACE) shared CADD-CAD/CAM systems.

Compared with -300, has 0.53 m (1 ft 9 m) fuselage plug ahead of wings and 1.07 m (3 ft 6 in) plug to the rear; wings of increased chord (incoiporating a third fiiselage plug of 1.60m; 5ft 3 in) with span sketched to 63.45 m (208ft 2 in); 31° 6' sweepback at quarter-chord; taller vertical stabiliser is married to a new horizontal stabiliser to give increased chord fin with 0.50 m (1ft 7 3/4in) height extension. Max TO weight 368,000 kg (811,300 lb). Landing gear adaptation involves replacement of central twin-wheel unit with forward-retracting brakeable doublebogie unit. Rolls-Royce Trent 553 of 236 kN (53,000 lb st) chosen as power plant; this combines fan diameter of Trent 700 with scaled IP and HP compressors and turbines of Trent 800, plus new high-lift LP turbine. Honeywell 331-600 APU chosen for A340-500/-600 in March 1999. A340-500 initial launch commitments received from Air Canada, Emirates, SIA and ILFC. Maiden flight (F-WWTE. c/n 394) took place 11 February 2002; certified 3 December 2002.

A340-600: Derivative of A340-300 with 20-frame fuselage stretch, 267 kN (60,000 1b st) class engines, increased horizontal tail area, full electrical control of rudder (replacing mechanical linkage between computer and actuator for both primary and secondary systems), additional fuel capacity, four-wheel central landing gear and 365,000 kg (804,690 1b) basic and 368,000 kg (811,300 1b) optional maximum T-O weights; can carry 380 three-class passengers or 475 in all-economy class up to 7,500 n miles (13,890 km; 8,630 miles) and designed as Boeing 747 replacement with significantly lower costs and full commonality with A330/A340 family. Compared with A340-300, has same wing chord/fuselage centre-section, wing span, tailplane and fin modifications as -500, but with further 5.87 m (19 ft 3 in) plug ahead of wing and 3.20 m (10 ft 6 m) to the rear. Airbus and GE Aircraft Engines agreed in April 1996 that latter should be sole power plant source for -600, but this accord dissolved in February 1997 and Rolls-Royce Trent 556 of 249 kN (56.000 lb st) chosen on non-exclusive basis. Ramair turbine fitted in underwing pod between engines on starboard wing. Launch commitments from Aerolineas Argentinas, Air Canada, Egyptair, Lufthansa, Swissair and Virgin Atlantic; initial firm order placed by Virgin on 15 December 1997 for eight, plus options. First metal cut 27 July 1998. Final assembly began June 2000; airframe completed September 2000 and engines fitted November 2000. Prototype (c/n 360) rolled out 23 March 2001 and first flew (F-WWCA) 23 April 2001; public debut at Paris Air Show, June 2001; second aircraft (c/n 371) handed to test department 8 June 2001 and first flown (F-WWCB) 18 June 2001; third test example, (c/n 376) flew 24 September 2001 (F-WWCC/G-VATL); three-aircraft 1,600 hour test programme completed. Programme of weight reduction and engine improvements implemented as a result of test data; weight optimisation to be achieved gradually by structural modifications; optimum configuration reached in 2003. Certification by JAA awarded 29 April 2002; first delivery (fourth aircraft, G-VSHY, to Virgin Atlantic) 22 July and entered service 1 August 2002.

A340-600F: Development study for freighter version; considered by UPS for order eventnally placed for MD-11 freighters; airline has option to convert some of its 60 A300-600Fs to A340-600FS if required.

AIRBUS A340 MARKS AND VARIANTS
Series
Mark
Power Plant
FAA Certification
200
211
CFM56-5C2 or -5C2/F or -5C2/G 27 May 93
200
212
CFM56-5C3/F or -5C3/G 7 Jul 94
200
213
CFM56-5C4 2 Oct 94
300
311
CFM56-5C2 or -5C2/F or -5C2/G 27 May 93
300
312
CFM56-5C3/F or -5C3/G 7 Jul 94
300
313
CFM56-5C4 2 Oct 97
500
541
Trent 553-61 27 Jan 03
600
642
Trent 556-61 22 Jul 02

Series
Variant
MTOW (kg)
200
000
253,500
200
001
257,000
300
000
253,500
300
001
257,000
500
000
368,000
500
001
372,000
600
000
365,000
600
001
368,000

Note: Variant parameters may include differences in data other than max T-O weight. Except as constrained by Series. Variants are applicable to several engine options.

CUSTOMERS: Sales at 1 January 2004 totalled 347, of which 261 delivered.

COSTS: Development cost of A340-500/-600 set at US$2.9 billion, 20 per cent lower than basic A340. Unit cost of A340-300 US$161.1 million; A340-500 US$177.8 million; A340-600 US$186.4 millon (2002 prices).



 

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