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AIRBUS A-340-600

From SKYbrary Wiki

Name A-340-600
Manufacturer AIRBUS
Body Wide
Wing Fixed Wing
Position Low wing
Tail Regular tail, mid set
WTC Heavy
Type code L4J
Aerodrome Reference Code 4E
RFF Category 9
Engine Jet
Engine count Multi
Position Underwing mounted
Landing gear Tricycle retractable
Mass group 5

Manufacturered as:

AIRBUS A-340-600
AIRBUS Prestige (A-340-600)
AIRBUS A-340-600 Prestige

AIRBUS A-340-600

AIRBUS A-340-600 AIRBUS A-340-600 3D


Long to ultra long range wide-body airliner. First flight in April 2001. First delivery to Virgin Atlantic in 2002. Stretched development of A340-500. Total of 116 aircraft ordered, 60 are in operation (August 2006). The A346 is member of the A340 family of aircraft.

Technical Data

Wing span 63.45 m208.169 ft <br />
Length 75.36 m247.244 ft <br />
Height 17.22 m56.496 ft <br />
Powerplant 4 x R-R Trent 556 (249kN) turbofans.
Engine model Rolls-Royce Trent 500

Performance Data

Take-Off Initial Climb
(to 5000 ft)
Initial Climb
(to FL150)
Initial Climb
(to FL240)
MACH Climb Cruise Initial Descent
(to FL240)
(to FL100)
Descent (FL100
& below)
V2 (IAS) 145 kts IAS 175 kts IAS 290 kts IAS 290 kts MACH 0.81 TAS 480 kts MACH 0.81 IAS 290 kts IAS kts Vapp (IAS) 160 kts
Distance 3140 m ROC 1500 ft/min ROC 1200 ft/min ROC 1000 ft/min ROC 800 ft/min MACH 0.82 ROD 1000 ft/min ROD 2000 ft/min MCS 210 kts Distance 2000 m
MTOW 368000368,000 kg <br />368 tonnes <br /> kg Ceiling FL410 ROD ft/min APC D
WTC H Range 79007,900 nm <br />14,630,800 m <br />14,630.8 km <br />48,001,312.371 ft <br /> NM

Accidents & Serious Incidents involving A346

  • A320 / A346, en-route, Eastern Indian Ocean, 2012 (On 18 January 2012, ATC error resulted in two aircraft on procedural clearances in oceanic airspace crossing the same waypoint within an estimated 2 minutes of each other without the prescribed 1000 feet vertical separation when the prescribed minimum separation was 15 minutes unless that vertical separation existed. By the time ATC identified the loss of separation and sent a CPDLC message to the A340 to descend in order to restore separation, the crew advised that such action was already being taken. The Investigation identified various organisational deficiencies relating to the provision of procedural service by the ANSP concerned.)
  • A346, London Heathrow UK, 2009 (On 12 December 2009, an Airbus A340-600 being operated by Virgin Atlantic Airways on a scheduled passenger flight departing from London Heathrow in night VMC was slow to rotate and the aircraft settled at an initial climb speed below VLS - defined as the lowest selectable speed which provides an appropriate margin above the stall speed. This prompted the PF to reduce the aircraft pitch attitude in order to accelerate which resulted in a poor rate of climb of between 500 and 600 fpm. The flaps were retracted on schedule and the aircraft continued its climb. At no time was full takeoff thrust selected. Later in the climb, the crew looked again at the take off data calculation and realised that they had made the departure with insufficient thrust set and using Vr and V2 speeds which were too low for the actual aircraft weight. The flight to the planned destination was completed.)
  • A346, Quito Ecuador, 2007 (On 31 August 2007 an Airbus A340-600 made a hard landing with drift /side slip present after a making a circling approach in good visibility with a relatively high cloudbase and was disabled on the runway after sustaining significant damage to the landing gear. It was found that the visual circling segment had been flown too close to the runway and the subsequent final approach had been unstabilised with touchdown being made at an excessive rate of descent. The destination risk assessment carried out by the airline involved was found to inadequate as was pilot training for the approach flown.)
  • A346, Toulouse France, 2007 (During ground running of engines, the aircraft impacted a concrete wall at a ground speed of 30 kts following unintended movement and the aircraft was wrecked.)
  • A346, en route, eastern Indian Ocean, 2013 (On 3 February 2013, an Airbus A340 crew in the cruise in equatorial latitudes at FL350 in IMC failed to use their weather radar properly and entered an area of ice crystal icing outside the prevailing icing envelope. A short period of unreliable airspeed indications on displays dependent on the left side pitot probes followed with a brief excursion above FL350 and reversion to Alternate Law. Excessive vibration on the left engine then began and a diversion was made. The engine remained in use and was subsequently found undamaged with the fault attributed to ice/water ingress due to seal failure.)
  • A346, en-route, Amsterdam Netherlands, 2005 (On 8 February 2005, a Virgin Atlantic Airways A340-600 experienced in-flight fuel management problem which led to loss of power of No 1 engine and temporary power loss of No 4. The captain decided to divert to Amsterdam where the aircraft landed safely on three engines.)
  • A346, en-route, northern Turkey, 2019 (On 21 August 2019, an Airbus A340-600 encountered sudden-onset moderate to severe clear air turbulence whilst in the cruise at FL 360 over northern Turkey which resulted in a serious passenger injury. The Investigation found that the flight was above and in the vicinity of convective clouds exhibiting considerable vertical development but noted that neither the en-route forecast nor current alerting had given any indication that significant turbulence was likely to be encountered. It was noted the operator’s flight crew had not been permitted to upload weather data in flight but since this event, that restriction had been removed.)
  • AT43/A346, Zurich Switzerland, 2010 (On 18 June 2010, an ATR 42 began a daylight take off on runway 28 at Zurich without ATC clearance at the same time as an A340 began take off from intersecting runway 16 with an ATC clearance. ATC were unaware of this until alerted to the situation by the crew of another aircraft which was waiting to take off from runway 28, after which the ATR 42 was immediately instructed to stop and did so prior to the runway intersection whilst the A340 continued departure on runway 16 .)

Further Reading