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RW A340-300 is a slug--but beautiful !


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#1 JSACKS

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Posted 01 August 2007 - 03:28 PM

Just did a roundtrip KIAD-EGLL with Virgin Atlantic A340-300. Great flights. Beautiful aircraft too. But observed she is a real slug on takeoff and climb. With full pax from EGLL to KIAD yesterday it took 55 secs to reach rotation speed and climbed out at a mere one thousand ft/min. Exactly one half of the 777-200 I usually take with United Airlines. Climb with flaps out was very tough and slow. Once clean, we accelerated reasonably quickly but climb angle was close to zero for that phase. It took forever to reach cruise alt of 34,000'. Observed similar stats on both flights. I was surprised, I mean, tanks must have been maybe 60% filled for these flights? So I cannot imagine how a fully paxed and fueled -300 would take off and climb out.

She's nonetheless a great a/c and was quiet at cruise and handled summer turbulence over the Atlantic very well. I like this Airbus.

JS
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#2 Bry

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Posted 01 August 2007 - 11:01 PM

Its even worse in the A340-200, which has was very underpowered.
Virgin operate the A340-300X which not only took advantage of lighter construction methods, but has engines a good deal more powerful.
That being said, we're being careful to make sure the underpowered nature of the A340 isn't too exaggerated. smile.gif
But fully loaded, you will really struggle to exceed 29,000ft/31,000ft without burning off fuel even at econ speed.
Step climbing isn't so much an option as a necessity.

#3 JSACKS

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Posted 02 August 2007 - 08:41 AM

QUOTE (Bry @ Aug 1 2007, 10:41 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Its even worse in the A340-200, which has was very underpowered.
Virgin operate the A340-300X which not only took advantage of lighter construction methods, but has engines a good deal more powerful.
That being said, we're being careful to make sure the underpowered nature of the A340 isn't too exaggerated. smile.gif
But fully loaded, you will really struggle to exceed 29,000ft/31,000ft without burning off fuel even at econ speed.
Step climbing isn't so much an option as a necessity.



Bry:

That is interesting. I never heard of the "X" model. So we were actually in a more powerful -300 than normal? That is remarkable!

I've also flown in Virgin's A340-600 which was tremendous. That feels a lot more powerful on takeoff but still climbs less steeply than a 747-400. The cruise speed of the -600 is pretty close to the 747-400 too. The engines on the -600 are monstrous--and sound great!

JS

#4 Bry

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Posted 02 August 2007 - 12:34 PM

There are 3 versions of the A340-300

The original A340-300, the A340-300X and A340-300E.

The X is the "HGW" version which appeared 3 years later and the most common of all the A340 variants.
The E is the newest and most powerful, entering service in 2003 with Swiss International.

#5 waleed

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Posted 12 August 2007 - 07:47 AM

I did a trip on Royal Jordanian A340-200 Kord-Ojai return. I did notice a slow climb rate from Ojai, and after discussing it with a pilot that flies the U.S. route,was told that they redlined for takeoff from Amman everytime.
The thing is, to pass over the West Bank, and tel-Aviv, they need to be at 11,000ft, and if memory serves me right 250knts.
The engines were undepowered enough to  require a circling maneuver over Amman to gain altitude before heading westwards. I do not think that fuel was more than 80%, but not sure.
When I did the rather "cleaner" than normal AirFrance 300  tongue.gif from Kord to Lfpg, it seemed to take forever, and the climb rate was pathetic. It surely had less than 70% fuel onboard.
Still, it was a beautifull experience.
Waleed.

#6 fowler

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Posted 25 March 2012 - 05:06 PM

If you look on Flightradar24 for SWR288 from Zürich to Job'urg daily flight with the A343 you can see the flight always do an approx 30-50NM extra course on west after leaving the SID then come back east before crossing the Alps plain south to JNB - the same for Air Mauritius flight out of Geneva at night going west well over PAS or circling once before turning back east on course to Mauritius to clear the various MEA in the region - the only aircraft who needs to do that on regular airline flying.

#7 Sherv

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Posted 26 March 2012 - 07:22 PM

Glad you enjoyed the "slug" :P




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