Airbus has been granted type certification for the ultra-long-range A340-500 on December 3rd by the European Joint Aviation Authorities, following a certification campaign, which benefited from the aircraft’s 100 per cent systems commonality with the larger A340-600. The A340-500 has a shorter fuselage and a longer range than the A340-600, which received its type certificate in May 2002.
Since its maiden flight on 11th February 2002, the A340-500 successfully completed some 400 flight hours in more than 150 flights in a certification campaign which involved two test aircraft and focused on the A340-500’s own particular geometry and configuration. Following the example set by its sibling, the A340-600, the A340-500 flight test results have fully met and, in some cases, significantly exceeded customers’ expectations.
“This major milestone marks the completion of our market-leading long-range family, which has won 55 per cent of all sales in its category,” said Airbus President and Chief Executive Officer No‘l Forgeard. “With the longest range in the world, the A340-500 offers a new and relaxing flight experience to passengers seeking to travel non stop between distant city pairs without the inconvenience of an intermediate stop.”
The A340-500n together with the A340-600 and the A340-300, make up a Family that meet airlines’ needs in range and capacity in the 250-400 seat category. It will enter service more than two years before its nearest competitor. The first aircraft is scheduled for delivery to Air Canada in early 2003.
The ultra long range A340-500 typically carries 313 passengers in a three-class layout over a distance of up to 8,650 nm/16,000 km. It was launched in December 1997 alongside its higher-capacity sibling, the A340-600. The A340-600 typically carries 380 passengers in a three-class layout over a distance of up to 7,500 nm/13,900 km and has been in airline service since August 2002. Both new A340 versions are powered by Trent 500 engines from Rolls-Royce.
The two aircraft benefit from a same type rating with the A340-300 and A340-200 models, allowing pilots to fly all four versions with a single licence endorsement, resulting in considerable savings for Airbus operators.
The A340-500 and -600 are members of Airbus’ market leading A330/A340 Family, which has won almost 750 firm orders from over 60 customers to date.
A leading aircraft manufacturer with the most modern and comprehensive product line on the market, Airbus is a global company with design and manufacturing facilities in France, Germany, the UK, and Spain as well as subsidiaries in the U.S., China and Japan. Headquartered in Toulouse, France, Airbus is an EADS joint Company with BAE SYSTEMS.