Here she is – my favorite A340 variant of them all! I’ve been really anxious to publish these templates because the A340-600 contains pretty much everything I like in a big airliner: four very large engines, a long fuselage, and very well balanced proportions. Some may argue with me a bit on the proportion thing, but I think the extra-long fuselage with those four big Rolls Royce engines looks fantastic from any angle. I’ve heard it referred to as “the flying pencil” (the Boeing 757-300 has the honor of being referred to that as well), but that makes no difference to me. Flying pencil or not, she’s still a beauty!
Creating this template wasn’t too difficult, mostly since it borrows a large majority of components from the -500. The biggest difference (besides the added length) is the window and boarding door configuration. The -600 has four full size boarding doors, while the -500 has only three. Both have one emergency exit door. Other than that, was simply a matter of stretching a little here, pulling a little there, and repositioning components like sensors and landing gear to the appropriate positions.
There’s something special about these large four-engined airliners that no other type of aircraft has ever been able to replicate, and it’s a shame that we are at the end of an era with this sort of thing. The aviation industry has moved on to large twins (two-engine aircraft) for cost and efficiency purposes and it’s likely that we’ll never see another four-engined airliner again. Of course Airbus could continue to develop variants of the A380 over time, but there are very few airlines in this world who have been able to make large quads work within their fleets. It’s simply too much airplane for most markets, so only time will tell how much longer we’ll see four-engined airliners flying across the skies above.
Anyway, I’m still up in the air (ha!) about which airliner template to focus on next. The Airbus A320 NEO seems like it would be a good option due to how popular it has become, but…I’m not ashamed to admit that it’s not very exciting and I’d prefer to work on something with a bit more style. How about a Concorde? Or DC-8?? I can’t imagine there would be too many of you anxious to download templates for those, so the NEO may be the one. We’ll see…