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Airbus A340

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The Airbus A340 is a long-range, four-engine, wide-body commercial passenger jet airliner developed and produced by the European aerospace company Airbus. The A340 was assembled in Toulouse, France. It seats up to 375 passengers in the standard variants and 440 in the stretched -600 series. Depending on the model, it has a range of 6,700-9,000 nautical miles (12,408-16,668 kilometers). Its distinguishing features are four high-bypass turbofan engines and three-bogie main landing gears.

The A340 was manufactured in four fuselage lengths. The initial variant, A340-300, which entered service in 1993, measured 209.0 feet (63.7 meters). The shorter -200 was developed next, and the A340-600 was a 52.4 feet (15.97 meters) stretch of the -200. The -600 was developed alongside the shorter A340-500, which would become the longest-range commercial airliner until the arrival of the Boeing 777-200LR. The -200 and -300 models were powered by the 151 kilonewtons (34,000 lbf) CFM56-5C, while the 267-kilonewton (60,000 lbf) Rolls-Royce Trent 500 was the exclusive powerplant for the extended-range -500 and -600 models. The initial A340-200 and -300 variants share the fuselage and wing of the twin-engine Airbus A330 with which it was concurrently designed. The heavier A340-500 and -600 are longer and have larger wings.

Launch customers Lufthansa and Air France placed the A340 into service in March 1993. In September 2011, 379 orders had been placed (not including private operators), of which 375 were delivered. The most common type were the A340-300 model, with 218 aircraft delivered. Lufthansa is the biggest operator of the A340, having acquired 59 aircraft. The A340 is used on long-haul, trans-oceanic routes due to its immunity from ETOPS restrictions; however, with reliability and fuel efficiency in engines improving, airlines have gradually phased out the type in favor of the more economical Boeing 777 twinjet, while Airbus has positioned the larger variants of the Airbus A350 as a successor. Airbus announced on November 10th, 2011 that A340 production had been concluded.

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