This week for our plane of the week I have decided to do the Airbus a340, which is a wide body quad-jet aircraft. It is definitely a long range aircraft with the maximum range on the 500 version coming in at 9,000 miles. The 500 uses the Rolls-Royce Trent 553 engines that can each put out a stammering 53,000 pounds of thrust each. The first a340 versions were made and sold in the early 1990’s and production continued until 2011. The a340 was out out of production due to lack of new orders. This is mainly because now that engines are more reliable 2 engines is just as safe as 4. This means that airlines are ordering the 777 and sometimes the a330 to cut down on fuel usage. The a340 has almost the exact same cockpit as the a330 except for some very very minor differences. This is great because an a330 pilot can also easily fly the a340. It still gets better too because these cockpits are based off of the a320 cockpit so it is very very easy for pilots to switch between the airbus aircraft. And as with all airbus aircraft the pilots control the plane with a sidestick the looks kind of like a joystick to a video game. The Airbus a340 is an extremely interesting aircraft but they may not be around for much longer so if you want an a340 ride than you had better try to book with Lufthansa or another a340 operator.
The plane geek