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AIRLINES are considering suing Airbus after the aircraft manufacturer warned them that the front-end of the A340-600 was dangerously overweight, The Times of London has learnt.
The problem is caused by heavier than expected first and business-class areas and airlines have been told to reduce the amount of cargo they carry to rebalance the aircraft.
The first and business class sections on some A340-600s are so heavy that they are pushing the jet’s nose down during flight, which can play havoc with the aerodynamics and potentially endanger passengers and crew. Flying nose down also increases drag off the wings and forces the aircraft to burn more fuel.
Airbus has recommended that airlines carry about five tonnes less cargo in the front of the plane to compensate, a reduction of nearly 10 per cent in its total cargo capacity.
Initially there were two models of A340, the A340-200 and A340-300. The 200 is shorter than the 300 and has a smaller capacity but can fly farther. In 1997, Airbus launched two lengthened variants of the A340, the ultra-long-range -500 and high-capacity -600 series. Both of these models entered airline service in 2002.
Airbus Facts Dates and History