Well Joey … if I had known you were sitting there waiting for lil ole me to provide some rabbit tur** … aahem … rabbit pearls
of wisdom … I would have “hopped to it” a bit quicker …. I believe the question was …
I know the 777 can be 3-4-3 or 3-3-3, how come the A340 can’t have a 3-3-3 configuration?
Well, so who says it can’t? For your reading pleasure, the following is a quote from an Airbus advertising brochure, describing the “voluminous” 222-inch cross-section cabin used in the A330/340 aircraft…
The A330/A340 are true widebody jetliners, using Airbus’ 222-inch cross-section that has become the fuselage size of choice for airlines worldwide. This highly optimised design offers maximum flexibility to meet changing market trends, and provides full comfort in cabin layouts ranging from six-abreast first and business class to an efficient nine abreast arrangement in economy.
Since I have studied a considerable amount of both lower and higher mathematics in my day, I can almost immediately calculate that “six-abreast” (apparently available in both first class and business class) seating that is available in the twin aisle aircraft is likely to be 2-2-2. Of course, they could make it 1-4-1, but somehow I think that was probably rejected early-on in the design phase. Same holds true for business class – ah … math and calculations, that is. Now. Let’s look at coach, or economy, class. According to the advertisement, Airbus offers an “efficient” nine-abreast seating. Umm … lets see … nine divided by 3 … umm … well, that
would yield the questioned 3-3-3 arrangement, but lets see what else might be logical. They could do 1-7-1 … but I think that would probably find the same fate as the 1-4-1 arrangement in first class. They could do 2-5-2 … that is
better than 1-7-1, but not a lot. So, what’s left? Well, there could be a 4-1-4 arrangement – but that would make less sense than the 1-7-1 arrangement. So, I guess one of the few, sensible arrangements would be the 3-3-3.
Of course, there is no law against them setting seats up in a non-symmetrical manner – after all, they ARE the French! Can anyone visualize a coach seating arrangement of 1-3-5? I can see the adds now …
Airbus. The aircraft that caters to the variances in individual family lifestyles. Providing “together” seating for Loners, for the happily married couple and his mistress, and for the typical European family … Mom, Dad, son, daughter, and Nanny. Airbus. The “togetherness” aircraft company!