Cfalk From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 2, posted (10 years 3 months 3 days 14 hours ago) and read 2109 times:
It would be nice. But what are the economics of the BC-17? The C-17 was built to a military specification, requiring it to be able to operate in rough conditions, possibly under fire, maybe STOL conditions and perhaps other uniquely military requirements which are not needed in civilian applications with 12000 foot runways and cargo-handling equipment everywhere. I'm sure this has resulted in some compromises which might make the C-17 less efficient than, say, an MD-11.
Flyf15 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 3, posted (10 years 3 months 3 days 14 hours ago) and read 2103 times:
I feel this airplane is a great one, but there are some problems stopping it from being sucessful.
For the same size range, there are a multitude of DC-10s out there. DC-10s that get the job done fine, are cheap to buy, easy to get parts, aswell as many qualified pilots/mechanics/etc out there to operate them.
For the outsized cargo capabilities, there are quite a few An-124s out there that can be rented/chartered for cheap. The companies that fly them specialize in these aircraft and operations so they don't have too big of problems with the above mentioned qualities (pilots, spare parts, ...).
For the very few short/unimproved/challenging runways out there that need big commercial airlift, there are either better ways of getting the cargo there (ship, major airport nearby then truck, etc) or you could always manage to find yourself a civilian C-130 or the like when needed.
As far as being a commercial cargo hauler, there are some problems with this too. It is "short and fat"....very good for outsized cargo, but bad for carrying christmas presents. It and the containers it would take would not mesh at all well with an existing cargo carrier's operation. It has quite a bit of uniqueness to it that isn't necessarily a good thing. High wing, lack of people out in the general population with experience, ....
Overall, I too would like to see this airplane fly commercially, but I doubt it will. Its a expensive military aircraft out to do what existing aircraft available to the commercial market can get done good enough and much cheaper.
HlywdCatft From United States of America, joined Jan 2001, 5321 posts, RR: 7 Reply 4, posted (10 years 3 months 3 days 14 hours ago) and read 2092 times:
**For the very few short/unimproved/challenging runways out there that need big commercial airlift, there are either better ways of getting the cargo there (ship, major airport nearby then truck, etc) or you could always manage to find yourself a civilian C-130 or the like when needed.**
Yeah and freight doesn't care whether the plane has jet engines or props.
AvObserver From United States of America, joined Apr 2002, 2445 posts, RR: 9 Reply 5, posted (10 years 3 months 3 days 13 hours ago) and read 2081 times:
Yes, HlywdCatft, it is. But despite Boeing's marketing of this proposal for a few years already, I've not heard of any interest in it. I think that is likely due to the C-17's high unit cost which would not come down much for the commercial version. I think the BC-17X might wind up as Boeing's most expensive civilian aircraft which would give any potential operator pause. It would have amazing STOL capabilities, a big advantage for many cargo operations but at a high cost. With used 747-Fs that can carry more available for way less, even if they need much longer runways, I see why Boeing may be having a lot of difficulty selling a C-17 derivative.
Srbmod From United States of America, joined Mar 2001, 17297 posts, RR: 51 Reply 6, posted (10 years 3 months 3 days 13 hours ago) and read 2028 times:
The Antonovs the primary a/c used in the outsized cargo market because there really is not any other a/c out there that can do the job other than the Airbus Beluga. Right now, the operators of these large a/c can charge what they want because they know they these customers have no other choice. The Antonovs are of military origin, but yet there are no civilian versions of the western equivalents, the C-141 and C-5. The STOL capability means very little to the outsize cargo market, just the ability to get large items to where the need to go. Boeing will have trouble trying to sell the BC-17 because there is not a market for the a/c, as the demand for a/c capable out handling outsized cargo is being met with little if any delay. There may be an upturn in the demand in a few years, but will Boeing be there to offer the BC-17? As long as military orders keep coming in for the a/c, it will stay in production. Look how many years the C-130 has been in production, nearing 50 years. There is even a L-100J version of the C-130J, but is not currently being marketed by L-M.
CitationX From United States of America, joined Sep 2003, 110 posts, RR: 0 Reply 7, posted (10 years 3 months 3 days 6 hours ago) and read 1931 times:
A few years ago, the USAF and Boeing were trying to interest US cargo airlines in obtaining the BC-17X under the CRAF program. The BC-17s would have been leased (at a government-subsidized rate) from Boeing, the USAF offered to assist with crew training and maintenance, and the USAF also promised enough CRAF cargo work to at least make the BC-17 a break-even proposition. Largely due to the BC-17's high operating costs and difficulties in keeping a separate crew base for them, however, no cargo airline was interested in the offer.
Na From Germany, joined Dec 1999, 10066 posts, RR: 11 Reply 10, posted (10 years 3 months 2 days 16 hours ago) and read 1755 times:
Most Cargo airlines buy secondhand, and the airlines that buy new are often the Cargo-arms of passenger airlines. And these like to operate types that are flown for pax operations as well. Together with the reasons already mentioned (high costs and unusual concept) I don´t think we´ll see such an aircraft flying.
Sad that is, the C-17 is a very beautiful, cute aircraft even in USAF grey. I saw one at a dramatically short take-off today. For me its the most impressive modern aircraft after the 747-400.