From 2002 till 2006 the A340-500 was the world's longest-range
commercial airliner. It can fly 313 passengers in a three-class cabin
layout over 8,650 nautical miles (16,000 km).
above: one of the 10 Emirates A340-500 in Athens in 2010.
Compared with the A340-300, the -500
features a 3.3-m fuselage stretch, an enlarged wing area, massive
increase in fuel capacity (around 50% over -300), slightly higher
cruising speed, larger horizontal stabilizer and smaller vertical
tailplane. The A340-500 has taxi cameras to help the pilots during
ground manoeuvres. The A340-500 is powered by four 53,000 lbf (236 kN)
thrust Rolls-Royce Trent 553 turbofans. The engines of the A340-600 are
slightly more powerfull.
Singapore Airlines, used the A340-500 in 2005 on it's New York -
Singapore non-stop route. This is an 18-hour journey that is the
longest non-stop commercial flight in the world in 2005. The aircraft
can only do this with a reduced cargo load.
Thai flies their A340-500 non-stop between Bangkok and Los Angeles. A route A747-400 can't make.
By august 2007 total orders stood at 33. It seems Kingfisher ordered
some. The airbus website continued to maket the aircraft as the Wolrd's
longest range airliner, while the Boeing 777-200LR had more range.
By the end of october 2005 only 26 Airbus ultra long range A 340-500
had been ordered. Emirates (10), Singapore Airlines (5), Thai (2) and
Air Canada (2). By january 2006 total orders were still standing at 26.
In october 2005 some 20 of the aircraft had been delivered. By october
2006 a total of 24 A340-500 had been delivered, but total orders
remained at 26.
In 2010 TAM seems to fly 2 Airbus A340-500 airliners between Milan and Sao Paulo, which isn't an ultra long haul route.
With the introduction of the Boeing 777-200LR "Worldliner" in
2006, the A340-500 lost it's title of the world's longest-range
The Boeing 777-200LR was selling better. By 2006 Airbus had problems
selling any variant of the the 4-enigned A340 and the Boeing 777
variants were selling much better. By 2014 the A340-500 was even already phased out with many airlines and even second hand frames were almost impossible to sell.
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