Lufthansa’s A340-600 “Cargo Maintain” Bogs

If you consider passenger planes with two decks, the Airbus A380 and Boeing 747 most likely come to thoughts. Nonetheless, there’s one different airplane in service with two passenger decks, however not within the conventional sense.

I’ve talked about this quirky setup on the weblog in passing, although on a current transatlantic flight I made a decision to take some photos of the ability, and figured it will be a enjoyable matter to debate.

Lufthansa’s A340-600s have decrease deck bogs

Lufthansa has a small fleet of Airbus A340-600s. These planes have been grounded through the pandemic, and Lufthansa was planning on retiring them, however ended up bringing them again as a result of tempo at which worldwide journey demand recovered.

A handful of those jets at the moment are again in service, and are based mostly in Munich (I not too long ago reviewed Lufthansa’s A340-600 top quality). As an avgeek, I completely adore the A340-600. It’s such a horny and distinctive airplane — it’s lengthy, skinny, and has huge engines. Amazingly sufficient, it’s the second longest passenger airplane in service, after the 747-8 (yep, it’s longer than the A380 and 747-400).

Lufthansa Airbus A340-600

From a passenger expertise standpoint, this airplane has one characteristic you received’t discover on another plane — there are bathrooms on the decrease deck, which is in any other case the place the cargo maintain is positioned.

The A340-600 has 5 doorways on either side of the plane (10 whole). In the course of the economic system cabin, close to the fourth set of doorways, you’ll see a staircase main down a stage.

Lufthansa Airbus A340-600 seatmap

This tends to catch some folks off guard, since most individuals have by no means seen plane bathrooms beneath the passenger cabin.

Lufthansa Airbus A340-600 staircase to bathrooms

There’s a gate by the steps, simply to ensure folks don’t by chance fall.

Lufthansa Airbus A340-600 staircase to bathrooms
Lufthansa Airbus A340-600 staircase to bathrooms

When you’re on the backside of the staircase, you’ll discover 5 bathrooms.

Lufthansa Airbus A340-600 decrease stage bathrooms
Lufthansa Airbus A340-600 decrease stage bathrooms
Lufthansa Airbus A340-600 decrease stage bathrooms
Lufthansa Airbus A340-600 decrease stage bathrooms

These bathrooms are all fairly common and unremarkable, aside from the truth that they’re not on the identical stage because the passenger cabin.

Lufthansa Airbus A340-600 bathroom

These are the one 5 bathrooms you’ll discover within the premium economic system and economic system cabins, as the principle deck of the airplane in any other case simply consists of seats and galleys. I do marvel what occurs for these with mobility points, given the dearth of accessibility afforded by this setup. Can these passengers use the premium cabin bathrooms, or…?

Why don’t we see this on extra jets?

I’m curious if any OMAAT readers have extra background on how precisely these decrease stage bathrooms got here to be. Airways are hyper centered on maximizing cabin area, because it permits them to maximise income, so that is an modern idea.

On the floor, having bathrooms not be on the identical stage because the passenger cabin appears sensible, because it permits the airline to maximise cabin area. But it surely’s additionally fascinating that Lufthansa’s A340-600s are the one planes in service which have this characteristic.

Admittedly there aren’t many A340-600s left in service in any other case, however many features of the fuselage are related on all A330 and A340 plane.

So I ponder how the economics of this play out:

  • Is it fairly costly to put in these bathrooms on the decrease stage, which is why this hasn’t been accomplished on most plane? Or are the seats that should be eliminated to create the staircase additionally a significant consideration (on the A340-600, six seats needed to be eliminated)?
  • Is the massive concern the affect this has on the flexibility to place precise cargo within the cargo maintain? Most passenger plane are restricted by weight fairly than quantity in the case of the cargo they’ll keep it up lengthy haul flights
  • Have been these decrease stage bathrooms an innovation from Lufthansa, was Airbus behind this, or another firm?

In an trade the place airways appear to comply with each other so intently, I’m stunned that this has simply been put in on these jets, and never any others.

Backside line

Lufthansa’s A340-600s have a singular characteristic, whereby the entire economic system bogs are positioned on the decrease stage, the place the cargo maintain is. In the course of the economic system cabin you’ll discover a staircase, which leads right down to an space with 5 bathrooms.

Whereas minor within the scheme of issues, I’ve all the time been fascinated by this facility, and I’m curious if anybody has extra background.

What do you make of Lufthansa’s particular decrease deck bogs on the A340?

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