Scroll Top

Airlines Cut Airbus A340 Takeoff Length With Mathematics

Takeoff Length

Aviation geeks will know that the Airbus A340 has a long takeoff length. Not only does this diminish the number of airports that the A340 can serve. But it also can cause dangerous overruns on takeoff. some incidents with long takeoff rolls have now led airlines to cut the Airbus A340 takeoff length using mathematics.


As per Flightglobal, this was a joint effort between Air France and Lufthansa. Both airlines operate the A340 to Bogota in Colombia. However, Air France had a rotation issue on one flight dating back to March 2017.

The story is that the aircraft suffered delayed rotation– only one hundred forty meters from the end of the runway. As a result, the aircraft was only six feet above the ground once it crossed the threshold for runway 31L. This incident led the supplementary first officer to ask if there may be damage to the aircraft thanks to the low flyover.

After the incident, it was discovered that the aircraft had a really low rotation rate. Thus, Air France and Lufthansa worked together to change rotation techniques for the A340. Which will help to avoid such an incident from happening once more?

What did they attempt to do to shorten takeoff length?

Air France and Lufthansa scrutinized their aircraft information. They found that their aircraft only had an average continuous rotation rate of 1.9° per second. This is incredibly low as Airbus set the rotation rate for the A340 at 3.1° per second.

Ultimately, this suggests that the aircraft lifts off the ground later than it should. As a result, takeoff distance was increased by virtually 200m thanks to this.

Both Air France and Lufthansa then used mathematics to boost performances. One of these involves artificially reducing the length of the runway to improve departure procedures. In terms of performance, this implies that the aircraft has an artificially shorter takeoff length. Air France also amended thrust requirements for all A340s.

Will other carriers follow suit?

It is unclear if other airlines received data from Air France and Lufthansa’s study. However, it’s probably that some airlines may choose to implement the same procedure. a chronic takeoff roll can cause harm to both airports and aircraft. As a result, airlines will attempt to do whatever possible to ensure that these scenarios don’t happen.

For carriers who rely significantly on A340, they may choose to implement similar procedures. However, despite the improvements, it’s still clear that the A340 has a long takeoff roll. And because of this, it can’t serve all airports across the globe.

This does restrict the number of destinations where the A340 can fly. Even with these artificial runway restrictions, it doesn’t seem like the A340 will be opened up for operations to and from additional airports.

What do you think about Air France and Lufthansa’s study? is the A340’s takeoff length too long? let us know in the comments!

Related Posts