207

主题

213

帖子

1376

积分

站长

Rank: 9Rank: 9Rank: 9

积分
1376

最佳新人活跃会员热心会员宣传达人灌水之王杰出贡献优秀版主荣誉管理社区风云

Is the Airbus A340-8000 really that special?[复制链接]
发表于 2021-8-1 09:46:47 | 显示全部楼层 |阅读模式
01 What is A340-8000
In 1998, the Brunei government planned to receive a unique aircraft: an Airbus A340-8000 (MSN204). This is not an imaginary aircraft but a long-range variant of the A340-200. The aircraft does not comply with Airbus' naming rule and was planned for the brother of the Sultan of Brunei. With the help of its two auxiliary fuel tanks, it has over 8000 nm of range (1300nm more than the ordinary -200s), meaning that it has the second-longest range in the A340 family at the time, just shy of the 9000 nm marked by the -500. Its maximum takeoff weight is 275 tons, similar to the -300 variant after it.


02 A "career" with twist and turns
Although Brunei Government had spent a decent amount of money on the plane, the plane never arrived in Brunei until years after its delivery in 1998. The plane was stationary in Berlin Schönefeld Airport (SXF/EDDB/ETBS), which is now the Berlin Brandenberg airport. The interior was installed a year after its delivery, starting speculations that the plane had been sold to a new owner. The plane is under the management of Lufthansa Technik before it moved from Berlin to Hamburg in August 2002. Around the same time, its registration number changed from the Brunei V8-AC3 to a German D-ASFB. However, this change did not last long, as it was reversed in 2003. 9 years after its delivery, the plane finally entered service following Saudi Arabia's purchase of the plane. It was registered as HZ-HMS until 2010 when that changed to HS-HMS2 when it moved to "Saudi Royal Flight", the Saudi royal family's fleet. The Saudi Royal Flight consisted of the aforementioned plane, several 747s, a 757 and an Airbus A318.

03 Was it a test aircraft?
Interestingly, the aircraft was registered as “A340-213X” instead of the “A340-8000”. I believe that was because afterwards, Airbus offered a performance improvement kit for all Airbus A340-200s produced. The improvement kit was based on the “-8000” variant. The kit would allow the plane to fly up to 8100 nm, 100 nm more than the original A340-8000. This confirms that the A340-8000 was Airbus’ improvement to the “-200” variant to promote sales for the airliner. However, it was proven to be unsuccessful as not many A340-200s were built after MSN204. Not only that, but according to planespotter.net, only a few A340s have the suffix “-213”.


04 A340-8000 and the discotinued 777-100X
At the time of the development of the A340-8000, Boeing had also announced a new variant of the 777: the Boeing 777-100X. Boeing proposed the 777-100X to compete against the A340-8000. It surpassed the Airbus project in every aspect. With two engines, it was going to be more fuel-efficient than the A340 and have a lower maintenance cost. Its range would be 400 nm more than the A340-8000 and with 20 more seats. If the project had continued, its Maximum Takeoff Weight would reach 300 tons and have a fuselage that is 6.4 meters shorter than the original 777-200. It would also use the same engine as the 777-200.  Unfortunately, the project was discontinued because of its low capacity and Boeing belief that their engine's technology was simply not efficient enough for the plane. Because of this, it is clear Airbus intended to launch the Airbus A340-8000 as a widespread project. Boeing viewed this as a threat. Although both projects eventually didn’t take off, we still know that Boeing recognised the potential of moving away from the quad-jets and onto more fuel-efficient twin-jet designs. Boeing understood from a higher level the shift from the Hub-and-Spoke model with big, four-engine aircraft to the Point-to-Point model with smaller, more fuel-efficient, twin-engine aircraft. However, Airbus did not catch on. Airbus dropped the proposed "A330-600" design and developed more Quad-jets, such as the A340-600 and the A380. These projects ended as expected without any success. However, the story of the A330-600 is a topic for a later time.


Please note that other sources also claim that Airbus only intended to build one of these A340-8000, and the "8000" represents the range of the type: 8000nm. We are not so sure about their true intension at the time, so it is still a topic.  

微信扫一扫,阅读更方便^_^

坚韧不拔,We make it fly!——aeroflight.cn
回复

使用道具 举报

您需要登录后才可以回帖 登录 | 立即注册

本版积分规则

QQ| 手机版|小黑屋| 航空飞行社区 ( 粤ICP备2021097060号 ) | 繁体中文版 |网站地图|粤公网安备44030702004085号

本站已运行【 】 服务状态流控:良好

Powered by 航空飞行社区 © 2021 China AeroFlight Inc.

除非另有声明 || 本网站采用署名-非商业性使用-相同方式共享 3.0 中国大陆许可协议授权与转载。

返回顶部