fightforlove
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A340-300 vs B777-200ER, A Retrospective Analysis

Wed Oct 04, 2017 4:47 am

I was always under the impression that the A340-300 was killed by the B777-200ER. I was surprised to learn more recently that the A340-300 is actually slightly more fuel efficient than a 77E, let alone less efficient, as is common mis-information. Both Airplanes sold well and have been operated by most of their customers for 20+ years, with the 77E holding the sales edge by close to 2:1 ratio (422 77E to 218 A343(+28 A342)), however it's also interesting to note the A340 actually had about the same number of customers, the Boeing 777 won bigger quantities from United, American, and Singapore to help drive it's sales volume higher.

A343 burns less fuel and is lighter

A343 is ETOPS immune (still a valuable feature in the 90s)

A343 has better hot-and-high performance

B772ER has (arguably) lower maintenance cost (2 engines less to maintain)

B772ER has wider cabin space, including 9 abreast seating option

B772ER has slightly more passenger and cargo payload overall


If anything, it sounds like most 772ER customers chose the 772ER over A343 on account of the higher payload and more seating options, rather than any fuel/cost superiority. This would make sense as the 777 sold very well with high-capacity Asian carriers.

Have also read that the A340 was hindered by it's single engine type option, whereas the 3 engine manufacturers for the Triple Seven got into pricing wars, which helped Boeing to offer the 777 for lower prices.

Anyways, considering the A340 was Airbus' first intercontinental airliner, it's market reception was not too shabby considering it knocked out the MD-11 and helped power Airbus ahead of McDonnell Douglas to the A vs B duopoly we have today. It seems both the A343 and B772ER sold well until the operators had more or less completed their replacement of older DC-10s, L1011s, and 747 Classics and then they were eclipsed by newer aircraft (787-9, A330 improvements). Does anyone have year-by-year sales figures from 1990-early2000s to confirm this?
 
mjoelnir
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Re: A340-300 vs B777-200ER, A Retrospective Analysis

Wed Oct 04, 2017 8:13 am

There was and is a different engine version, called the A330-300. Same, fuselage, same wing, different engine.
 
A380MSN004
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Re: A340-300 vs B777-200ER, A Retrospective Analysis

Wed Oct 04, 2017 8:29 am

Do you have fuel consumption number regarding both acfts on the same mission / payload in order to compare?

Also, can you provide number of the maintenance cost?
 
OldAeroGuy
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Re: A340-300 vs B777-200ER, A Retrospective Analysis

Wed Oct 04, 2017 12:46 pm

You should add one more line in your advantages list:

B772ER was the basis for successful derivatives, the 777F and 773ER.
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Pacific
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Re: A340-300 vs B777-200ER, A Retrospective Analysis

Wed Oct 04, 2017 2:32 pm

I would say that the 777-200ER in later life had the "advantage" of 10 abreast in economy, providing an approx 10% larger passenger capacity. This may swing the fuel burn advantage back to the 777.

Another thing I've read on the forums over the years is that, while the A343 has a slight SFC advantage, the 772ER's faster cruise speed also cancels this out.

As much as I love the A340-300, Boeing did a phenomenal job with the 777. A great aircraft getting outclassed by an outstanding one.
 
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Re: A340-300 vs B777-200ER, A Retrospective Analysis

Wed Oct 04, 2017 2:58 pm

Seated less, less capable, twice as many engines to maintain. Many other factors to consider. Fuel efficiency is not everything.
 
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Re: A340-300 vs B777-200ER, A Retrospective Analysis

Wed Oct 04, 2017 3:32 pm

It is hard to imagine, but there were a lot of factors that made the A340 more desirable than the 777 of the day. I remember when Air Canada chose the A340-300, (then the A330-300, A340-500 and A340-600), they stated things not even related to fuel efficiency. Although as noted, the fuel efficiency of the A340-300 was pretty close to 777-200ER.

Other things noted were ...

The A340 was completely unrestricted on routing on the north Pacific and Arctic, as during those days, long range flying in a four engined aircraft was not restricted. The 777 did not have that luxury. While the FAA did not restrict the 777 from ETOPS flying right out of the barn, Transport Canada did want to see some "history" first, as it was both a new airframe and new engine. Some flights like YYZ-NRT and YYZ-HKG were able to be shortened by as much as an hour over the 777, even with its faster cruise speed.

The A340 was bought in combination with the A330. (As did a lot of airlines). Not only were crews able to be rated on both at the same time, the transition courses to/from the A320 were quite a bit shorter due to similar cockpits and SOPs. It was also envisioned that when the larger A340s arrived, that efficiency would continue as other fleet types were retired.

While maintaining four engines will always be more expensive than two, there were a lot of maintenance commonalities with other aircraft in the fleet that made up for it. Things like airframe, cabin and cockpit similarities.

Of course, history has shown that eventually the 777 would reign supreme. But ... 25 years ago, it was not so cut and dry a decision.
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fightforlove
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Re: A340-300 vs B777-200ER, A Retrospective Analysis

Wed Oct 04, 2017 4:24 pm

OldAeroGuy wrote:
You should add one more line in your advantages list:

B772ER was the basis for successful derivatives, the 777F and 773ER.


This discussion is limited to a head-to-head comparison of the baseline models. Everyone knows the 77W was superior to the A346, this seems to have buried the fact that the original A343/A342s actually held their own quite well.
 
fightforlove
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Re: A340-300 vs B777-200ER, A Retrospective Analysis

Wed Oct 04, 2017 4:40 pm

A380MSN004 wrote:
Do you have fuel consumption number regarding both acfts on the same mission / payload in order to compare?

Also, can you provide number of the maintenance cost?


I'm looking for those numbers, don't have anything yet, but did find this article of a head-to-head of the 77E and A343:

https://leehamnews.com/2015/11/26/used-b777-200er-or-a340-300/
https://leehamnews.com/2015/12/03/used-b777-200er-or-a340-300-part-2/

One big takeway: ◾The 777-200ER and A340-300 are very close in Cash Operating Costs in their base versions.

Sounds like the 772ERs main advantage was higher payload/cargo revenue, particularly on longer flights, which compensated for any fuel burn advantage the lighter A343 had (Airbus at one point claimed a 5% fuel burn advantage). For TPAC carriers, this may have been the advantage of 772ER, which is funny considering Airbus initially envisioned the A340 doing well in the Asia market while the A330 was more desired by potential North American customers.
 
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Re: A340-300 vs B777-200ER, A Retrospective Analysis

Wed Oct 04, 2017 5:30 pm

fightforlove wrote:
I was always under the impression that the A340-300 was killed by the B777-200ER.

I'd say the more accurate analysis is that the A333 killed off both of them. The 772ER certainly sold more than the 343 (422 v. 218), but the 333 outsold both of them (782). As Airbus began making improvements to the 333, it started eating into the 343s sales as it was becoming increasingly capable of handling most of the missions the 343 was designed for. At the same time, the 333 was eating into the 772ERs sales as well because it can also perform a large number of the missions of the 772, obviously other than those at the extreme's of the 772s range, but more efficiently since the 333 is a lighter aircraft. I haven't seen the statistics posted recently, but for the US airlines, the 333 was the most efficient widebody in their fleets. At DL, the 333s CASM advantage over the 763, 764, 772 (ER and LR), and 332 is pretty significant. Note that both the 772ER and the 343 have stopped selling while the 333 continues to log orders. The last 343 order occurred in 2008; the last year the 772ER received any significant orders was 2007. The 772ER continued selling until 2013, but only at a rate of 3-4 orders per year.
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LH707330
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Re: A340-300 vs B777-200ER, A Retrospective Analysis

Wed Oct 04, 2017 8:48 pm

This is a good thread. Here's a pretty basic summary:

777-200ER: good engines, engine price pressure, better payload-range, but too heavy due to baked in stretch potential
340-300: older-gen engines, no engine price pressure (in fact, SNECMA's troubles in the 90s exacerbated this and lost a number of deals to the 777), optimal frame given mission (no extra weight)
330-300: newer gen engines, engine price pressure, weight advantage
340-500/600: too much stretch, hence weight

As you can see, the 340/777 were fairly even because they had almost opposite strengths and weaknesses, in fact the 340 engine mx may have been cheaper because Airbus was so good at eking performance from the hair dryers and they were related to mass-produced engines. Meanwhile, the 333 had the strengths of both (structural efficiency of the 340, engine tech and competition of the 777), and once they upped the weights just enough, mopped the floor with both. The stretch 340s did poorly for two reasons:
1. Too long for the diameter => extra weight
2. The 343 wing was already extended because of the Superfan cancellation, so they couldn't go wider without adding to the chord. The additional chord on the 346 gave it a worse aspect ratio, so the 343 ended up better off from an induced drag standpoint
 
fightforlove
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Re: A340-300 vs B777-200ER, A Retrospective Analysis

Wed Oct 04, 2017 10:25 pm

LH707330 wrote:
340-300: older-gen engines, no engine price pressure (in fact, SNECMA's troubles in the 90s exacerbated this and lost a number of deals to the 777)


Just out of curiosity, what were the largest key customer orders that Airbus lost on account of this trouble?
 
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Re: A340-300 vs B777-200ER, A Retrospective Analysis

Thu Oct 05, 2017 12:58 am

Well, you've posted a lot of "data" without actually referencing any data.

Your claim that the 343 offers superior fuel burn compared to the 772ER is baseless.
I suspect that, on some mission profiles, it is true. And on other missions, the 772 comes out ahead.

I recently rode a 343 from BKK to FRA. The greatest rate of climb I ever saw on the flight was 1100 feet per minute.
Climb performance isn't everything, but it is something, and it's something the 343 never excelled at.

So each airplane had its strengths and weaknesses.

And frankly, if the 343 was as great as you're making it out to be, then the A330 wouldn't ever have become so much more popular.

I heard it summarized recently this was: The A340 was a good airplane. But it ended up competing against the 777, which was an excellent airplane.
 
fightforlove
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Re: A340-300 vs B777-200ER, A Retrospective Analysis

Thu Oct 05, 2017 4:01 am

AA737-823 wrote:

And frankly, if the 343 was as great as you're making it out to be, then the A330 wouldn't ever have become so much more popular.


I'm not boosting the A343 as better than the 772ER. I'm just creating a discussion to compare the 2 types fairly. The disappointing market reception of the A345/346 has overshadowed the fact that the baseline A343 was a solid performer. A343 burns 6500 kg/h, B772ER 6630 kg/h. Of course, the mission can vary the total fuel burn, but the point is the A343 fuel burn is competitive. If it was as bad as some people make it out to be, it wouldn't have been taken by 30+ customers, most of whom have only recently retired/begun to retire their A343 fleets.
 
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Re: A340-300 vs B777-200ER, A Retrospective Analysis

Thu Oct 05, 2017 4:26 am

The problem is the 343 could have been a great plane if the original engine envisioned for it (the superfan) had worked out.

Instead it was solid....not spectacular. And I have zero doubt the 77E was cheaper to operate and maintain, as well as more capable than the 343.
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Re: A340-300 vs B777-200ER, A Retrospective Analysis

Thu Oct 05, 2017 7:42 am

OA412 wrote:
fightforlove wrote:
I was always under the impression that the A340-300 was killed by the B777-200ER.

I'd say the more accurate analysis is that the A333 killed off both of them.



The unprecedented Singapore Airlines deal with Boeing to rid themselves of their newly-minted A340's and buy 772ER's also contributed at an early stage to significantly tarnish the A340's marketing prospects...

http://www.nytimes.com/1999/07/01/business/boeing-and-airbus-battle-over-singapore-airline-sales.html


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Pacific
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Re: A340-300 vs B777-200ER, A Retrospective Analysis

Thu Oct 05, 2017 9:13 am

fightforlove wrote:
A343 burns 6500 kg/h, B772ER 6630 kg/h. Of course, the mission can vary the total fuel burn, but the point is the A343 fuel burn is competitive.


However, the 772ER is a bigger aircraft. Using Air France's leisure configuration which is fairly similar across both aircraft...

The A343 seats 275 passengers.
The 772ER seats 304, the extra width providing an extra seat per row in Biz, Premium Economy and Economy. (Seatguru)

1. Therefore the 772ER seats 10% more pax while burning 2% more fuel (according to your figures).
2. The 772ER also flies 2.4% faster than the A343 which in itself will overcome the 2% fuel burn deficit per hour, especially on longer routes. (Typical cruise speed of M.84 vs M.82 as specified by Boeing and Airbus respectively)

From my understanding, the 772ER is therefore far more efficient in fuel burn considering today's seating standards.

Genuine question to the forum:
What is the difference in cost in maintaining 4x CFM56 engines which are notoriously durable vs 2x large, (then) state of the art engines and related systems on the 772ER? To muddy the water even further, the 772ER would need to be maintained to a higher standard than the A343 to meet ETOPS standards.
 
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Re: A340-300 vs B777-200ER, A Retrospective Analysis

Thu Oct 05, 2017 3:27 pm

Pacific wrote:
1. Therefore the 772ER seats 10% more pax while burning 2% more fuel (according to your figures).


Today's Air France 772 has 3-4-3 i.e. 10 across seating in Y.
Was the 772 flown in a 10 across arrangement from the get go?
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Pacific
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Re: A340-300 vs B777-200ER, A Retrospective Analysis

Thu Oct 05, 2017 5:17 pm

WIederling wrote:
Pacific wrote:
1. Therefore the 772ER seats 10% more pax while burning 2% more fuel (according to your figures).


Today's Air France 772 has 3-4-3 i.e. 10 across seating in Y.
Was the 772 flown in a 10 across arrangement from the get go?


AF initially had 9 across in Y. At 9 abreast, the 772ER would have a similar capacity to the A343 and they would be more evenly matched for sure.

Things I'm thinking of, but have no figures are:

772ER has lower hours for the crew due to faster cruise speed
Said faster cruise speed also offsets the 2% more SFC
A343 is a lighter frame so incurs less overflight and airport fees
Maintenance cost of 2 vs 4 engines and the systems that support it (pipes, pumps, monitoring equipment etc)
Other factors include deals with individual airlines - the A343 and 9-abreast 772ER seem so close that factors such as lease rates, purchase prices, after-sales contracts etc. may also be the decider for the airline.
 
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Re: A340-300 vs B777-200ER, A Retrospective Analysis

Sat Oct 07, 2017 10:55 pm

fightforlove wrote:
LH707330 wrote:
340-300: older-gen engines, no engine price pressure (in fact, SNECMA's troubles in the 90s exacerbated this and lost a number of deals to the 777)


Just out of curiosity, what were the largest key customer orders that Airbus lost on account of this trouble?

Not sure, I doubt that's publically available, but anybody who bought a 777 in the late 90s would have been talking to both OEMs and gone with the better overall package, engines included.

Pacific wrote:
Maintenance cost of 2 vs 4 engines and the systems that support it (pipes, pumps, monitoring equipment etc)

I've read that the maintenance cost of the 343 engines compares favorably to the 77E engines because a) the CFM56-5C is related enough to the 5A and 5B that it benefits from economies of scale on part cost, and b) the total thrust is so much lower, hence the thrust-related part cost is lower. On the other side of the coin, there are things that you need to do 2x vs 4x, but some of that is needed on the twin anyway due to ETOPS redundancy (e.g. dual generators).

To bring this all together, it appears that the main advantages for the 77E were engine cost and payload/range, followed by speed.
 
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Re: A340-300 vs B777-200ER, A Retrospective Analysis

Sun Oct 08, 2017 12:20 am

AA737-823 wrote:
I recently rode a 343 from BKK to FRA. The greatest rate of climb I ever saw on the flight was 1100 feet per minute.
Climb performance isn't everything, but it is something, and it's something the 343 never excelled at.


Climb rate is something indeed, but it is largely irrelevant to the economics. If a plane climbs slowly but total trip fuel is nice and low, it is still a better choice for the bean counters.

BTW try sitting in a 343 climbing out of JNB. The climb rate is atrocious, but so what? It meets the minimum requirements.
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LH707330
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Re: A340-300 vs B777-200ER, A Retrospective Analysis

Sun Oct 08, 2017 3:12 am

Starlionblue wrote:
BTW try sitting in a 343 climbing out of JNB. The climb rate is atrocious, but so what? It meets the minimum requirements.

It sure beats sitting in the terminal because your 777 is tire-speed limited and can't take off until midnight....
 
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Re: A340-300 vs B777-200ER, A Retrospective Analysis

Sun Oct 08, 2017 3:14 am

LH707330 wrote:
Starlionblue wrote:
BTW try sitting in a 343 climbing out of JNB. The climb rate is atrocious, but so what? It meets the minimum requirements.

It sure beats sitting in the terminal because your 777 is tire-speed limited and can't take off until midnight....


True 'dat.
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Re: A340-300 vs B777-200ER, A Retrospective Analysis

Sun Oct 08, 2017 6:00 am

LH707330 wrote:
I've read that the maintenance cost of the 343 engines compares favorably to the 77E engines because a) the CFM56-5C is related enough to the 5A and 5B that it benefits from economies of scale on part cost, and b) the total thrust is so much lower, hence the thrust-related part cost is lower. On the other side of the coin, there are things that you need to do 2x vs 4x, but some of that is needed on the twin anyway due to ETOPS redundancy (e.g. dual generators).

To bring this all together, it appears that the main advantages for the 77E were engine cost and payload/range, followed by speed.


Interesting to hear that 4x frugal CFM56 costs less to maintain than 2x 777 engines. I'm guessing from your post that 2x CFM56 still costs more than 1x 777 engine when new. Didn't know that, thanks.
 
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Re: A340-300 vs B777-200ER, A Retrospective Analysis

Sun Oct 08, 2017 6:47 pm

Pacific wrote:
Interesting to hear that 4x frugal CFM56 costs less to maintain than 2x 777 engines. I'm guessing from your post that 2x CFM56 still costs more than 1x 777 engine when new. Didn't know that, thanks.

Well, the pricing thing was certainly true in the late 90s, Snecma was having a rough patch and didn't want to offer discounts. Meanwhile, GE had a shot at any deal because it was in CFM and on the 777 with the GE90, so they were less incentivized to play ball for a 340 deal. Meanwhile, RR and PW were competing hard for 777 business.
 
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Re: A340-300 vs B777-200ER, A Retrospective Analysis

Sat Oct 14, 2017 5:35 pm

Ummm... Per sources I found, the 777-200ER burns a tiny bit less fuel than the A343-300E:
https://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=ht ... mrc&uact=8

The A343 would weigh less on a mission, but the CFM-56 isn't that efficient an engine. Everyone does realize it is a narrowbody high spool designed for high cycle life, not for fuel efficiency? It lacks a 2nd stage high turbine! It just uses the CFM-56-5B low compressor which isn't optimized for the fan to cut development costs.

The 777 is compared with slightly more payload.
Pacific wrote:
LH707330 wrote:
I've read that the maintenance cost of the 343 engines compares favorably to the 77E engines because a) the CFM56-5C is related enough to the 5A and 5B that it benefits from economies of scale on part cost, and b) the total thrust is so much lower, hence the thrust-related part cost is lower. On the other side of the coin, there are things that you need to do 2x vs 4x, but some of that is needed on the twin anyway due to ETOPS redundancy (e.g. dual generators).

To bring this all together, it appears that the main advantages for the 77E were engine cost and payload/range, followed by speed.


Interesting to hear that 4x frugal CFM56 costs less to maintain than 2x 777 engines. I'm guessing from your post that 2x CFM56 still costs more than 1x 777 engine when new. Didn't know that, thanks.

The CFM-56 is cheaper to maintain. With a high spool and low compressor basically from the CFM-56-5B, there is plenty of part commonality.

The T700 costs about $4.5 million per overhaul. The CFM-56, but it is built for cycles, not for hours. It costs about $100/hr or $400/hr for the aircraft(I can only estimate overhaul costs).

Per this link, about $600/hr for the T700 and everything I know the T800 costs are very similar. So yes, the CFM-56 is cheaper or engines. But would add costs on the airframe side due to more engines (more fire suppression equipment, more valves, more fuel lines, etc.):
http://www.team.aero/images/aviation_da ... e_A330.pdf

The best link I found had the costs per block hour very similar for the 777 and A340-300:
https://www.icao.int/Meetings/AMC/MA/20 ... p28app.pdf

This means the 777-200ERs possibly higher payload helped sell it.
And once there was a 777-300ER, which beat promises by a bunch, that was the end of the A340, in particular after the A330-200 and then range extensions for the A330-300.
The 777 was one of the widebodies used as a two deck combi. Remember before 2008, freight rates were *far* higher than today. We've been in a decade slump on freight. But the 777, even the 777-200ER, was a really good freight hauler on 4,000 to 6,000nm missions. Its longer range allowed some ULH missions (recall UA used to have a non-stop to DXB).

So the A340 won on engine maintenance costs, but airframe maintenance costs and fuel burn brought its costs in line. When costs are similar, airlines will go with the higher available payload. I also expect the 3 way engine fight on the 777 (and A330) helped the sales price, lease terms, and actual engine maintenance costs tremendously. Recall RR was almost kicked off the 777. They made a few very low priced deals (sales price and discounted parts) to get the 777 to SQ, EK (early sales), and back to BA (who originally bought the GE-90). On the A330, GE started the aircraft and then Pratt and later RR just kicked them off the airframe (the CF6 really was pushed too far for the A330, it suffered on even warm days). I know pratt made some deals selling the PW4068/4068A/4070 they regretted. They effectively bought their way onto the airframe at little to no profit over the terms of the contract.

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LH707330
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Re: A340-300 vs B777-200ER, A Retrospective Analysis

Sun Oct 15, 2017 1:54 am

Lightsaber, thanks for your thoughtful assessment, always good to read your posts.

That table you posted is a good illustration of that point about the airframe and engines, the stats on wetted area and weight show the structural efficiency of the 340, pity the engines were so bad. Makes you wonder how things would have gone with either the Superfan or a decent two-spool with a 2-stage HPT.
 
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Re: A340-300 vs B777-200ER, A Retrospective Analysis

Sun Oct 15, 2017 9:07 am

LH707330 wrote:
Makes you wonder how things would have gone with either the Superfan or a decent two-spool with a 2-stage HPT.


The A330 would have sucked if the superfan would have worked out, 4-holers would probably still be the norm, since, if i understand correctly, the gear become harder to make with increasing power, and there probably would not be any non-GTF longhaul aircraft around anymore.

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Re: A340-300 vs B777-200ER, A Retrospective Analysis

Sun Oct 15, 2017 9:40 am

tommy1808 wrote:
LH707330 wrote:
Makes you wonder how things would have gone with either the Superfan or a decent two-spool with a 2-stage HPT.


The A330 would have sucked if the superfan would have worked out, 4-holers would probably still be the norm, since, if i understand correctly, the gear become harder to make with increasing power, and there probably would not be any non-GTF longhaul aircraft around anymore.

Would have looked absolutely modern:
Image
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Re: A340-300 vs B777-200ER, A Retrospective Analysis

Sun Oct 15, 2017 1:30 pm

Pacific wrote:
LH707330 wrote:
I've read that the maintenance cost of the 343 engines compares favorably to the 77E engines because a) the CFM56-5C is related enough to the 5A and 5B that it benefits from economies of scale on part cost, and b) the total thrust is so much lower, hence the thrust-related part cost is lower. On the other side of the coin, there are things that you need to do 2x vs 4x, but some of that is needed on the twin anyway due to ETOPS redundancy (e.g. dual generators).

To bring this all together, it appears that the main advantages for the 77E were engine cost and payload/range, followed by speed.


Interesting to hear that 4x frugal CFM56 costs less to maintain than 2x 777 engines. I'm guessing from your post that 2x CFM56 still costs more than 1x 777 engine when new. Didn't know that, thanks.


I remember at the time SAA got theirs, saying it cost half of the 777 engines overhaul costs to overhaul four A343 engines.
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Re: A340-300 vs B777-200ER, A Retrospective Analysis

Mon Oct 16, 2017 4:23 am

Why was the IAE V2500 not an option on the 343?

Recall the 772 was the “short” version. The 773 was always in the plan for medium range low CASM people hauling. For many eastern hemisphere airlines, this capability from the aircraft family was quite important. Airbus had nothing larger than the 343 at the time.

Fortunately for Airbus, the second-fiddle A330 ended up becoming a home run, especially after a couple of critical PIPs of the later-released Trent 700. Of course Boeing terrible project management on the 787 certainly was a gift for A in this regard.
 
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Re: A340-300 vs B777-200ER, A Retrospective Analysis

Mon Oct 16, 2017 8:13 am

Okcflyer wrote:
Why was the IAE V2500 not an option on the 343?


IMU the core was. As the IAE Superfan. But Pratt botched that.
see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IAE_SuperFan
Not much chance for a reward after that?

The A330 A340 combo actually was a rather well thought out spread to go with
the vagaries of less than reliable/willing engine manufacturers
( Pratt: "Upps, did it again" and GE: "you can have this engine, fit your plane around it" )
and how ETOPS would be pushed or hindered in the then largest market ( US, FAA
blocked extensions for Airbus offer as long as Boeing did not have a comparable twin.)

From the get go the A330 was expected to "grow up" over time displacing the A340 from below.
Murphy is an optimist
 
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Balerit
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Re: A340-300 vs B777-200ER, A Retrospective Analysis

Mon Oct 16, 2017 1:26 pm

From a current SAA captain replying on another forum:

There aren’t too many aircraft around that can do what a A346 does. 320 pax, 17hrs and many tonnes of cargo. Add to that the fact that as a quad she has a massive performance advantage over any twin out of JNB. It’s going to interesting to see how the various replacement options (B787-10, A359, B777-8) stack up. They will all be very efficient, but I’m curious to see the hot n high penalties when they are asked to do a JNB-JFK on a hot summer evening off RWY 21.
Licensed Aircraft Maintenance Engineer (retired).
 
OldAeroGuy
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Re: A340-300 vs B777-200ER, A Retrospective Analysis

Mon Oct 16, 2017 3:58 pm

WIederling wrote:
how ETOPS would be pushed or hindered in the then largest market ( US, FAA
blocked extensions for Airbus offer as long as Boeing did not have a comparable twin.)


An interesting view of history. Fair use from the History section of the Wikipedia article on ETOPS:

"Airbus A300 twinjet aircraft had been operated across the North Atlantic, the Bay of Bengal and the Indian Ocean under a 90-minute ICAO rule since 1976. However, ETOPS officially began in 1985 with the newly issued ETOPS criteria."

The FAA and ICAO concluded that a properly designed twin-engined airliner can make intercontinental transoceanic flights. In 1985 the FAA was first to approve ETOPS guidelines spelling out conditions for allowing a 120-minutes diversion period, sufficient for most transatlantic flights."

Three points:

1) Airbus has often pointed out that ETOPS began with the 90 min extension granted the A300. The FAA approved this extension.

2) 120 min ETOPS began in 1985 with FAA and ICAO approval. The A300 was capable of being approved for 120 min ETOPS.

3) In 1985, the A330/340 design cycle (with support from the engine companies) could have fully incorporated the revised ETOPS rules. The FAA did not force Airbus into designing the A340.
Airplane design is easy, the difficulty is getting them to fly - Barnes Wallis
 
WIederling
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Re: A340-300 vs B777-200ER, A Retrospective Analysis

Mon Oct 16, 2017 7:56 pm

OldAeroGuy wrote:
WIederling wrote:
how ETOPS would be pushed or hindered in the then largest market ( US, FAA
blocked extensions for Airbus offer as long as Boeing did not have a comparable twin.)


An interesting view of history. Fair use from the History section of the Wikipedia article on ETOPS:

"Airbus A300 twinjet aircraft had been operated across the North Atlantic, the Bay of Bengal and the Indian Ocean under a 90-minute ICAO rule since 1976. However, ETOPS officially began in 1985 with the newly issued ETOPS criteria."

The FAA and ICAO concluded that a properly designed twin-engined airliner can make intercontinental transoceanic flights. In 1985 the FAA was first to approve ETOPS guidelines spelling out conditions for allowing a 120-minutes diversion period, sufficient for most transatlantic flights."

Three points:

1) Airbus has often pointed out that ETOPS began with the 90 min extension granted the A300. The FAA approved this extension.

2) 120 min ETOPS began in 1985 with FAA and ICAO approval. The A300 was capable of being approved for 120 min ETOPS.

3) In 1985, the A330/340 design cycle (with support from the engine companies) could have fully incorporated the revised ETOPS rules. The FAA did not force Airbus into designing the A340.


1: IMU the A300 flew under ICAO 90 minutes rule _not_ available to operators under FAA rules.

3: your argument misses the point.
No engines available for a twin with A340 range. ( Superfan coming to fruitition would have changed the environment for 2 vs 4 engines even more.)
Murphy is an optimist
 
WIederling
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Re: A340-300 vs B777-200ER, A Retrospective Analysis

Mon Oct 16, 2017 8:50 pm

WIederling wrote:
[quote="OldAeroGuy"
1) Airbus has often pointed out that ETOPS began with the 90 min extension granted the A300. The FAA approved this extension.

1: IMU the A300 flew under ICAO 90 minutes rule _not_ available to operators under FAA rules.
[/quote]

To add ( and counter your assertion) :
FAA earliest extension granted for twins was for TWA flying 767 ( STL to FRA) to 90 minutes. i.e. not before fall 1982.
Murphy is an optimist
 
OldAeroGuy
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Re: A340-300 vs B777-200ER, A Retrospective Analysis

Tue Oct 17, 2017 4:10 am

WIederling wrote:
3: your argument misses the point.
No engines available for a twin with A340 range. ( Superfan coming to fruitition would have changed the environment for 2 vs 4 engines even more.)


No, my argument is very much to the point. Your claim was that the FAA rules or lack of them blocked Twins from flying diversion times beyond 60 minutes, forcing the A340 to be a Quad.

Since FAA ETOPS rules were published in 1985 and were available during the A330/340 design cycle, you should really blame:

1) The engine companies as they didn't have an available engine that could have given the A330 the range of an A340.

2) Airbus for not having the foresight to work with the engine companies to produce such an engine. After all the 777 program was started in 1988 when the engine companies committed to engines that would allow a long range Twin to compete with a long range Quad.
Airplane design is easy, the difficulty is getting them to fly - Barnes Wallis
 
WIederling
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Re: A340-300 vs B777-200ER, A Retrospective Analysis

Tue Oct 17, 2017 7:49 am

OldAeroGuy wrote:
WIederling wrote:
3: your argument misses the point.
No engines available for a twin with A340 range. ( Superfan coming to fruitition would have changed the environment for 2 vs 4 engines even more.)


No, my argument is very much to the point. Your claim was that the FAA rules or lack of them blocked Twins from flying diversion times beyond 60 minutes, forcing the A340 to be a Quad.

Since FAA ETOPS rules were published in 1985 and were available during the A330/340 design cycle, you should really blame:

1) The engine companies as they didn't have an available engine that could have given the A330 the range of an A340.

2) Airbus for not having the foresight to work with the engine companies to produce such an engine. After all the 777 program was started in 1988 when the engine companies committed to engines that would allow a long range Twin to compete with a long range Quad.


You are barking up the wrong tree.
My point was that FAA in a protectionist move did not budge on time extensions for twins before Boeing had a product at the ready.

Contrary to popular belief over the pond the A340/A330 combo was a rather successful and change proof path to follow
especially if you keep the protectionist aspect ( certs but also engine offers ) in mind.
Murphy is an optimist
 
OldAeroGuy
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Re: A340-300 vs B777-200ER, A Retrospective Analysis

Tue Oct 17, 2017 3:04 pm

And you're dissembling if you believe the FAA had a protectionalist agenda relative to the A300 or A330/340. After all, the FAA was willing to allow Eastern Airlines a 75 min exemption for the A300 to ease their operations from Newark/JFK to Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.

If you want to blame any certification agency for impeding ETOPS, the JAA was a follower to the FAA leadership in establishing ETOPS rules.

No one doubts the success of the A330. Just think how much more successful it would have been if it had been built in two versions.

There could have been the medium range version that was actually built and a long range version with a centerline gear and a larger engine, i.e. an A340 Twin. The long range version would have required working with the engine companies as Boeing did on the 777.
Airplane design is easy, the difficulty is getting them to fly - Barnes Wallis
 
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Matt6461
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Re: A340-300 vs B777-200ER, A Retrospective Analysis

Tue Oct 17, 2017 8:40 pm

tommy1808 wrote:
LH707330 wrote:
Makes you wonder how things would have gone with either the Superfan or a decent two-spool with a 2-stage HPT.


The A330 would have sucked if the superfan would have worked out, 4-holers would probably still be the norm, since, if i understand correctly, the gear become harder to make with increasing power, and there probably would not be any non-GTF longhaul aircraft around anymore.

best regards
Thomas


Totally agreed re Lightsaber and his posts.

Do we know we know whether the normalized layout in Leeham's comparison is for a 10ab 77E? Seems not, that would make some difference.

It's interesting how good the A330/A340 wing is, especially for its time. Higher AR than any contemporary widebody and still competitive against the new designs.
IIRC, however, Airbus only increased the wingspan after the Superfan fell through. Had Superfan lived up to expectations, we could have seen slightly cheaper, but less fuel-efficient versions of A330/340. At '90's gas prices, it made sense for OEM's to trade fuel efficiency for ownership/production costs to a much greater extent than in this century. But that tradeoff would have hampered the programs (especially A330) later on.

Another factor is probably that the A343 has more optimal fineness ratio than 77E - this contributes some of the wetted area delta (less nose/tail cone per pax).

Another factor is probably that Boeing envisioned further growth on basically the 77E's wing - the 77W has only extended wingtips IIRC, whereas the A340NG required a hefty wing revision (plugs plus maybe a reloft but can't recall exactly).

Still the comparison shows that quads aren't necessarily better than twins in all cases - or are only marginally better at best.
The quad's bad rep these days is because our recent quads (A340NG, 747-8, A380) are simply bad products for various individualized reasons.
 
WIederling
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Re: A340-300 vs B777-200ER, A Retrospective Analysis

Wed Oct 18, 2017 1:00 pm

Matt6461 wrote:
Still the comparison shows that quads aren't necessarily better than twins in all cases - or are only marginally better at best.


you overstate a discussion point and then show that that statement is not quite right ( "the overstatement", see )

Folk lore here was that quads are so bad there is no overlap to twins beyond
some rather rare situations like hot and high.

This has been hammered in by fannish posters to no end.
Still in that form it is patently wrong.

But ask around: everbody "knows" Twins are far superior to Quads.
Like everybody in the US "knew" that Saddam had his dirty hands in 911. ...

this years "banksters nobel prize" in economy is rather interesting reading
in that context.
Murphy is an optimist
 
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Matt6461
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Re: A340-300 vs B777-200ER, A Retrospective Analysis

Wed Oct 18, 2017 4:42 pm

WIederling wrote:
Matt6461 wrote:
Still the comparison shows that quads aren't necessarily better than twins in all cases - or are only marginally better at best.


you overstate a discussion point and then show that that statement is not quite right ( "the overstatement", see )

Folk lore here was that quads are so bad there is no overlap to twins beyond
some rather rare situations like hot and high.

This has been hammered in by fannish posters to no end.
Still in that form it is patently wrong.

But ask around: everbody "knows" Twins are far superior to Quads.
Like everybody in the US "knew" that Saddam had his dirty hands in 911. ...

this years "banksters nobel prize" in economy is rather interesting reading
in that context.


Just a little advice: try to state clearly what you mean to say instead of using cryptic allusions to, e.g., the work of economist Richard Thaler or the Iraq war.
What discussion point did I overstate?
 
dirtyfrankd
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Re: A340-300 vs B777-200ER, A Retrospective Analysis

Thu Oct 19, 2017 3:34 am

LH707330 wrote:
Starlionblue wrote:
BTW try sitting in a 343 climbing out of JNB. The climb rate is atrocious, but so what? It meets the minimum requirements.

It sure beats sitting in the terminal because your 777 is tire-speed limited and can't take off until midnight....


Do you mind explaining to me what this means? I'm researching this topic now to try and understand -- but would love to hear from you what this phenomenon is, how it is affected by hot & high ops, and why the 777 varies from the 343?
 
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Starlionblue
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Re: A340-300 vs B777-200ER, A Retrospective Analysis

Thu Oct 19, 2017 4:09 am

dirtyfrankd wrote:
LH707330 wrote:
Starlionblue wrote:
BTW try sitting in a 343 climbing out of JNB. The climb rate is atrocious, but so what? It meets the minimum requirements.

It sure beats sitting in the terminal because your 777 is tire-speed limited and can't take off until midnight....


Do you mind explaining to me what this means? I'm researching this topic now to try and understand -- but would love to hear from you what this phenomenon is, how it is affected by hot & high ops, and why the 777 varies from the 343?


The point LH707330 is making is that the 777 is tire weight limited at high density altitudes (hot and high). In other words your required rotation speed is too fast for the tires. And that the 340 is not similarly performance limited.
"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots." - John Ringo
 
WIederling
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Re: A340-300 vs B777-200ER, A Retrospective Analysis

Thu Oct 19, 2017 1:47 pm

Matt6461 wrote:
Just a little advice:

a judicious amount of condescension seem to be a prerequisite in your line of work?

... try to state clearly what you mean to say instead of using cryptic allusions to, e.g., the work of economist Richard Thaler or the Iraq war.

congrats you joined all the right dots.
What discussion point did I overstate?


come on. Its only two or three more dots. You can do that!
Murphy is an optimist
 
LH707330
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Re: A340-300 vs B777-200ER, A Retrospective Analysis

Fri Oct 20, 2017 1:03 am

Matt6461 wrote:
tommy1808 wrote:
LH707330 wrote:
Makes you wonder how things would have gone with either the Superfan or a decent two-spool with a 2-stage HPT.


The A330 would have sucked if the superfan would have worked out, 4-holers would probably still be the norm, since, if i understand correctly, the gear become harder to make with increasing power, and there probably would not be any non-GTF longhaul aircraft around anymore.

best regards
Thomas


Agree with Tommy, the Superfan would have led to a favoring of the quad layout until the engine OEMs could get the gearbox cooling sorted out. Although they have 99% efficiency, with the amount of power being shoved through, the last 1% still results in significant heat that needs to go somewhere.

Matt6461 wrote:

It's interesting how good the A330/A340 wing is, especially for its time. Higher AR than any contemporary widebody and still competitive against the new designs.
IIRC, however, Airbus only increased the wingspan after the Superfan fell through. Had Superfan lived up to expectations, we could have seen slightly cheaper, but less fuel-efficient versions of A330/340. At '90's gas prices, it made sense for OEM's to trade fuel efficiency for ownership/production costs to a much greater extent than in this century. But that tradeoff would have hampered the programs (especially A330) later on.


The wing was indeed very well done, they had a very high thickness/chord relationship of 12% (vs 9ish for the MD-11) that enabled them to make it that skinny. The original span ended just outside where the ailerons are now, it grew from ~180 feet to 192 with the tortilla chips, then to 197 with the winglets after the Superfan cancellation. One of the issues with the long, skinny wing was the aerodynamics and twisting of the outboard wind and the engine, the early 340 had many issues there before they added the plastron. I suspect that this led to future trade studies on twins versus quads leading to twins, because a higher aspect wing only exacerbates the twisting issues.

Matt6461 wrote:

Another factor is probably that the A343 has more optimal fineness ratio than 77E - this contributes some of the wetted area delta (less nose/tail cone per pax).


Yes, the 777-200ER has much more dead space and weight in the fuselage.

Matt6461 wrote:

Another factor is probably that Boeing envisioned further growth on basically the 77E's wing - the 77W has only extended wingtips IIRC, whereas the A340NG required a hefty wing revision (plugs plus maybe a reloft but can't recall exactly).


Not sure about a depth-wise reloft, but they lengthened the chord for more fuel space and speed, but that killed the aspect ratio advantage, which made the wing less optimal.

Matt6461 wrote:

Still the comparison shows that quads aren't necessarily better than twins in all cases - or are only marginally better at best.
The quad's bad rep these days is because our recent quads (A340NG, 747-8, A380) are simply bad products for various individualized reasons.


Indeed. Most of the available comparisons are skewed for other reasons than the engine layout. As we discussed in the other thread, ceteris paribus, the twin is better for smaller applications, and the quad takes over when the plane's total size gets too big.
 
tommy1808
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Re: A340-300 vs B777-200ER, A Retrospective Analysis

Fri Oct 20, 2017 5:11 am

Matt6461 wrote:
Had Superfan lived up to expectations, we could have seen slightly cheaper, but less fuel-efficient versions of A330/340. At '90's gas prices, it made sense for OEM's to trade fuel efficiency for ownership/production costs to a much greater extent than in this century. But that tradeoff would have hampered the programs (especially A330) later on. .


Seriously? You think a mere 5 feet winglet, or even 12 feet of wing plus 5 feet of winglet, did more to fuel burn than a whole freaking geared Turbofan engine instead of an adapted short haul aircraft drives? They where aiming at a 20% SFC reduction compared to the V2500. That would still be competitive today. That aircraft would have had much, much lower TOW for the same mission, decreasing mission fuel even more.

best regards
Thomas
Times are changing: 70 years ago the USA went to war to defeat the Nazis, now they elect them to run their country.
 
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Matt6461
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Re: A340-300 vs B777-200ER, A Retrospective Analysis

Fri Oct 20, 2017 7:40 pm

tommy1808 wrote:
Matt6461 wrote:
Had Superfan lived up to expectations, we could have seen slightly cheaper, but less fuel-efficient versions of A330/340. At '90's gas prices, it made sense for OEM's to trade fuel efficiency for ownership/production costs to a much greater extent than in this century. But that tradeoff would have hampered the programs (especially A330) later on. .


Seriously? You think a mere 5 feet winglet, or even 12 feet of wing plus 5 feet of winglet, did more to fuel burn than a whole freaking geared Turbofan engine instead of an adapted short haul aircraft drives? They where aiming at a 20% SFC reduction compared to the V2500. That would still be competitive today. That aircraft would have had much, much lower TOW for the same mission, decreasing mission fuel even more.

best regards
Thomas


A330 shares the A340's wing and would have been only hurt by the span loss. A330, as you know, is the far more important part of the program. A shorter-spanned A340's advantage would have been attributable to engine SFC edge and therefore ephemeral.
 
LH707330
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Re: A340-300 vs B777-200ER, A Retrospective Analysis

Fri Oct 20, 2017 8:26 pm

Matt6461 wrote:
tommy1808 wrote:
Matt6461 wrote:
Had Superfan lived up to expectations, we could have seen slightly cheaper, but less fuel-efficient versions of A330/340. At '90's gas prices, it made sense for OEM's to trade fuel efficiency for ownership/production costs to a much greater extent than in this century. But that tradeoff would have hampered the programs (especially A330) later on. .


Seriously? You think a mere 5 feet winglet, or even 12 feet of wing plus 5 feet of winglet, did more to fuel burn than a whole freaking geared Turbofan engine instead of an adapted short haul aircraft drives? They where aiming at a 20% SFC reduction compared to the V2500. That would still be competitive today. That aircraft would have had much, much lower TOW for the same mission, decreasing mission fuel even more.

best regards
Thomas


A330 shares the A340's wing and would have been only hurt by the span loss. A330, as you know, is the far more important part of the program. A shorter-spanned A340's advantage would have been attributable to engine SFC edge and therefore ephemeral.

The 330 is now the more important part because of its better engines. If the reverse were true, then the 330 would have been the slower seller, and Boeing would have thought long and hard about launching the 777 if a big GTF wasn't possible.

Here are some fun facts from Norris and Wagner's excellent A340/330 book:

1. The Superfan fuel burn advantage was about 10% over the baseline V2500-A4
2. The Superfan-equipped A340 promised a fuel burn advantage of 30% over the MD-11 and 4% over the 747-400
3. MTOW for both variants went up 17,600 lbs (~8t) with the engine change and a loss of 150 nm range
4. Reinhard Abraham of Lufthansa "admitted the CFM-powered one would burn more fuel than the Superfan version, he said maintenance costs would be lower and DOC would be 'within 1%'"

Point 4 really illustrates what Lightsaber was getting at earlier about the mass-market engine parts and the engines being cheap to maintain.
 
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ElroyJetson
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Re: A340-300 vs B777-200ER, A Retrospective Analysis

Sat Oct 21, 2017 4:10 pm

Interesting points made....particularly by lightsaber. The summation seems to be.


1. The 77E was slightly more fuel efficient.

2. The 77E had a moderate payload advantage.

3. The 77E had a higher cruise speed

4. Maintenance costs were roughly equal.


Overall, it sounds like both were solid aircraft, but the 77E was a moderately better. As a number of folks have said, the 77W was an absolute home run and that killed off the A340 once and for all.

It would have been interesting if the superfan had actually happened. I think the story might have been very different.
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