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Japanese Domestic 747 - A Miracle?  
User currently offlineMozart From Luxembourg, joined Aug 2003, 2204 posts, RR: 13
Posted (10 years 3 weeks 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 8788 times:

I just spent 10 days in Japan, and of course I have made some observations on aviation there. I absolutely wanted to fly on one of those high density domestic 747s but then "unfortunately" my ITM-NRT flight on ANA was a 747-400 in intercontinental config, so that I ended up in one of their very nice First Class Suites (very much like the UA Suites).

Still, things I wonder about:

- how on earth can they turn around those big birds in so little time? Less than one hour for a 777 or a 747, that looks like a miracle to me. Just deboarding 500 or so pax must take an eternity!
- how can they have a 20 minute check-in deadline for flights of 500 or so people? If everyone turns up "just in time", how can they board everyone and still leave on time
- what are the technical modifications that have been made on the 747s and 777s, given that they typically do longer trips. Do their brakes cool off sufficiently fast? Can their gear and tyres stand so many take-offs and landings? What other complications arise from doing numerous short hops with a plane designed for long haul?
- what exactly is behind the aircraft code "74R" - I know it stands for short range, but what, other than many many seats, makes this version different from other 747s?

In any case, I was deeply impressed.

22 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineGigneil From United States of America, joined Nov 2002, 16347 posts, RR: 85
Reply 1, posted (10 years 3 weeks 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 8718 times:

I know it stands for short range, but what, other than many many seats, makes this version different from other 747s?


747-400Ds have no horizontal stab tank and no winglets.

N


User currently offlineSspontak From United States of America, joined Aug 2004, 477 posts, RR: 2
Reply 2, posted (10 years 3 weeks 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 8712 times:

In the short range versions of the 747 and 777, do they add one additional seat per row? 747 11 seats instead of 10, 777 10 instead of 9?


Go Delta!
User currently offlineGigneil From United States of America, joined Nov 2002, 16347 posts, RR: 85
Reply 3, posted (10 years 3 weeks 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 8706 times:

Some people do fit 10 across on their 777, I am not sure if the Japanese domestic ones are.

I don't know of any operator with 11 abreast seating on their 747s.

Rumor had it, at one point, that QF had a few A380 floor plans drawn up with 3-5-3 on the main deck.

N


User currently offlineMozart From Luxembourg, joined Aug 2003, 2204 posts, RR: 13
Reply 4, posted (10 years 3 weeks 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 8620 times:

Hang on, when it says "74R" in the timetable, does it stand for the 747-400D? Or is that for a short range version of the 747-200?

User currently offlineDesertJets From United States of America, joined Feb 2000, 7802 posts, RR: 16
Reply 5, posted (10 years 3 weeks 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 8543 times:

Besides suggesting Japanese efficiency, I would suspect that there is very little in terms of baggage on board these flights. Which would certainly speed up the turnaround by not having to unload and load a large number of pallets.


Stop drop and roll will not save you in hell. --- seen on a church marque in rural Virginia
User currently offlineArkhem From Ghana, joined Jul 2004, 128 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (10 years 3 weeks 4 days 3 hours ago) and read 8443 times:

Mozart,

74R is a B747SR meaning either -100SR or -300SR passenger plane I suppose.

http://www.airlinecodes.co.uk/acrtypes.htm

The 74R and 74J both have beefed up structures to handle high frequency cycling and much lower MTOW, someone correct me if I am wrong. I'm guessing they have less tankage than a regular pax model seeing as their range is so much less, just look at the boeing data sheets.

http://www.boeing.com/assocproducts/aircompat/747.htm

arkhem


User currently offlineKtachiya From Japan, joined Sep 2004, 1796 posts, RR: 2
Reply 7, posted (10 years 3 weeks 4 days 2 hours ago) and read 8303 times:

The information that I can give here is the

74R stands for the 747SR. Short Range. This aircraft is based on the -100, but there are a few modifications. I heard in rumor that they don't need the Satcom, I mean the -400D. In terms of structure, I heard that the brakes have a cooling fan because their turn around time is so short.

The -400D standing for 400 domestic is the newer version of the domestic 747's. But they only have a few minor modifications from the int'l configured 400. So if they get some change to the internal structure and have winglets put on, they can fly international. There have been ANA -400's that were modified into international configuration and then flew domestic again.

Hope this helps



Flown on: DC-10-30, B747-200B, B747-300, B747-300SR, B747-400, B747-400D, B767-300, B777-200, B777-200ER, B777-300
User currently offlineCrossChecked From United Kingdom, joined Sep 2004, 257 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (10 years 3 weeks 4 days 1 hour ago) and read 8159 times:

No airline offers 11-abreast seating on the 747 and as far as I know, only Emirates offer 10-abreast seating on the 777.

Take a look at the November issue of Business Traveller Magazine. It's got a fabulous airline comparison chart featuring all of the majors! Well worth a read.



Cabin crew, doors to manual and cross check.
User currently offlineArkhem From Ghana, joined Jul 2004, 128 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (10 years 3 weeks 4 days ago) and read 8086 times:

only Emirates offer 10-abreast seating on the 777

China Southern does 3-4-3 also.


User currently offlineDa man From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 887 posts, RR: 12
Reply 10, posted (10 years 3 weeks 4 days ago) and read 8016 times:

I remember reading in a book by Peter Gilchrist on the 747 that the 747-100SR has the same range as a normal -100 so they can fly international routes if required by the airline.


War Eagle!
User currently offlineCarpethead From Japan, joined Aug 2004, 2975 posts, RR: 3
Reply 11, posted (10 years 3 weeks 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 7913 times:

TG 772 & NH 773 offer 10-abreast seating.

The modifications of 744D from 744 are cooling fans on the brakes, strengthened landing gear, and no winglets. There are probably some more minor differences, but these are the major ones.

Also 744D have less galley and toilet space, so some interior modifications are necessary when NH re-configured their original 744D to 744 and then back to 744D. The two aircraft that had this modifications done where JA8955 & JA8957. The latter which is now in new Pokemon colors.

By the way, 500 pax do not show up at the last minute!

Boarding of fully loaded 744D can take only 15 minutes.


User currently offlineDon From Japan, joined Jun 2003, 274 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (10 years 3 weeks 3 days 19 hours ago) and read 7739 times:

There are no meal service to speak of onboard many JAL/ANA domestic flights, only drinks service. So there are very few catering supplies to be loaded and unloaded. Also no food service means less cleaning to be done in the passenger cabin. Anyway cabin crew walks with a garbage bag towards tha last stages of a flight and do their best collect all the rubbish.

All that and the fact that very few passengers check in bags means very fast turnaround times of 35-40 minutes even for a 747 or 777.

Also many domestic 747s have brake cooling fans and gear bay cooling inlets for cooling inflight. Since landing weights are somewhat lower than international flights due to lower baggage weights and lack of heavy galleys, brake energy diisipated is lower.

But you always get accumulated brake energy due to many landings in a shorter time. Also the both JAL and ANA schedule flights to the same destinations around the same STD and are in a constant battle to beat the other guy. So the pilots tend taxi fast and after landing try to clear the runway as soon as possible resulting in overheated brakes.


User currently offlineM404 From United States of America, joined Nov 2003, 2229 posts, RR: 5
Reply 13, posted (10 years 3 weeks 3 days 16 hours ago) and read 7600 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Disciplined society that views "just on time" as simply rude and bad business.

Smaller average body size.

How many exits are utilized at these possibly specially designed gates?



Less sarcasm and more thought equal better understanding
User currently offlineMozart From Luxembourg, joined Aug 2003, 2204 posts, RR: 13
Reply 14, posted (10 years 3 weeks 3 days 13 hours ago) and read 7380 times:

Thanks to all for this information full of insights!

A.net can be such a great place to learn more...


User currently offlineSevenair From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2001, 1728 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (10 years 3 weeks 3 days 12 hours ago) and read 7284 times:

m404-i agree, its just not very 'japanese' to turn up at the last minute!

User currently offlineJamesvf84 From Switzerland, joined Sep 2003, 129 posts, RR: 0
Reply 16, posted (10 years 3 weeks 3 days 9 hours ago) and read 6624 times:

I would put it down to many factors but the main one would be the Japanese mentality.

The pax come in, know where their seat is put the small hand baggage in the compartment and sit down, fasten their seatbelt and are ready...all within a few minutes of getting on the aircraft!

I have seen this happen and when talking to cabin crew on other airlines they say that the Japanese passengers are a gem as they take so little time to board, there are no pax wanting to change seats, or sit in the wrong row, no complaints, no turning up late etc....

It is a pity that numerous other passengers do not take the hint of how quick boarding can be!

I suppose it is down to the education and culture!


User currently offlineIDAWA From Italy, joined Aug 2004, 303 posts, RR: 0
Reply 17, posted (10 years 3 weeks 3 days 9 hours ago) and read 6527 times:

Last summer I had the pleasure of flying both the 747-SR and the 747-400D.

I was really impressed by their service and I think it has mostly to be explained with their mentality, they are so aimed at efficiency that you can really board 500 Japanese people in ten minutes, believe me.
Furthermore, every flight I made aboard this planes was far from being full, so boarding times were even more reduced.

In matter of aircraft configuration, here's a picture of the 747-SR cabin I took:


MyAviation.net photo:
Click here for bigger photo!
Photo © Marco Carcioffo



My impressions about the aircraft configuration are found in the photo remark:


The 747-SR is a modified 747-100 to accommodate more passengers on short-haul routes in Japan. Note how galleys are much smaller than a normal 741, making space for more seats. Furthermore, there is coach only on main deck, while business class seats are on the upper deck. This brings the total seats to 536, the highest number in a 747 classic.


The 747-400D is similar in space-saving, but it has an all-economy upper deck, while business class is in the nose section:


MyAviation.net photo:
Click here for bigger photo!
Photo © Marco Carcioffo



Personally, I found this domestic 747 service to be absolutely trim, efficient and responsive to anyone's needs. Also, since most planes are half-empty, you can really go to the airport and buy a ticket for next flight, as simple as a train!

I-DAWA.



Flown on: 319, 320, 321, 340, 727, 737, 747, 757, 767, 777, DC9, D10, M11, M80, 146, EM2, BEH, CRJ, DH8, L4T.
User currently offlineClassicLover From Ireland, joined Mar 2004, 4656 posts, RR: 23
Reply 18, posted (10 years 3 weeks 3 days 9 hours ago) and read 6447 times:

I also read somewhere that the SRs were designed to be eventually used as International aircraft eventually.

Apparently this was because they'd accumulate a lot of cycles and low hours flying domestically, then convert the aircraft and run up the hours while doing less cycles.

I don't know where I read that, but I know I did somewhere because I remember thinking it was a good idea!

Trent.



I do quite enjoy a spot of flying - more so when it's not in Economy!
User currently offlineSpacecadet From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 3651 posts, RR: 12
Reply 19, posted (10 years 3 weeks 3 days 8 hours ago) and read 6260 times:

Also, since most planes are half-empty, you can really go to the airport and buy a ticket for next flight, as simple as a train!

I don't know what route you were flying, but half-empty planes in Japan are hardly the norm!



I'm tired of being a wanna-be league bowler. I wanna be a league bowler!
User currently offlineCessna172RG From United States of America, joined Aug 2000, 749 posts, RR: 0
Reply 20, posted (10 years 3 weeks 3 days 7 hours ago) and read 6019 times:

All of my flying in Japan on ANA, JAL, and Skymark has resulted in quite full flights. But, I'm sure (as it is with a particular train that leaves Hakata at a certain time that is usually fairly empty) that every once in a while there is a plane that is semi full.

I have flown in both ANA's -400D and JAL's -400D. Service is, as mentioned, bare minimums for an airline outside of the USA (however even THIS service is a far cry above many carriers in the states today). JAL's -400D was fine, but ANA provided me with a much better inflight FA service. My experience with both airlines is that ANA is a bit more attentive to passengers, where as JAL can be downright passive at times.

I go to the Fukuoka Airport once a month (due to go there tomorrow in fact, 11/6) to do some spotting and try to get a few good shots (my shots are never good enough for this site, but for others, they are). And, as soon as the -400D's come in (ANA and JAL fly their -400Ds back to back sometimes, which is great to get a "second chance" if you miss the picture), it seems like they just got in before they're taxiing back to the active to depart again. They're on the ground for an hour or less, and that's it. I've watched them from the observation deck at the airport in Fukuoka. The pilots even stay in the aircraft. The pax get out, the service trucks come in, baggage comes out, new bags go in, pax board, the catering truck leaves, tug pushes the plane back, and that's it. Once in a while I'll catch the plane getting fueled. But, they mean business.

As for my seat experiences, I prefer the -400D over JAL's 777-300 domestic, however I did have the chance of flying the daily NRT-FUK flight once, where they suddenly (to my suprise) upgraded me to business class free of charge. This was on a 777-200 outfitted for international flights, and was very very VERY nice! As some people do know, JAL has their new J-class, which is 1,000 yen above your ticket price that you can pay at check in (about 10 USD) to upgrade your seat. Not bad, really, but ANA's Super Seat makes JAL's J-class look like UAL's enhanced Y class seats.

Then again, there is always Skymark, which seats 2-4-2 in a 767...and the seats are smaller than a Northwest DC-9 window seat...myself being an "average" sized American, I can't find myself comfortable in any Skymark seat except for their business class, of which you can upgrade for about 4,000 yen (40 USD) at check in, of which I HIGHLY reccommend. If you buy a Skymark ticket around two months in advance between Fukuoka and Tokyo (or vice versa) it'll only cost you around 1 mon yen (100 USD). If you buy with other carriers (such as ANA or JAL), it'll cost you.



Save the whales...for dinner!!!
User currently offlineMakeMinesLax From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 566 posts, RR: 0
Reply 21, posted (10 years 3 weeks 2 days 21 hours ago) and read 5134 times:

The pax come in, know where their seat is put the small hand baggage in the compartment and sit down, fasten their seatbelt and are ready...all within a few minutes of getting on the aircraft!

This mirrors the experience I had riding the Bullet Train. The station stops were timed at something like 90 seconds without exception. I was with a group of about 50, and we had to load all our luggage into the vestibule in "bucket-brigade" fashion. Once the doors shut, we stowed our bags and settled in. One unfortunate fellow wound up on the wrong side of the door when it closed at one stop, and had to grab the next train.


User currently offlineLrgt From United States of America, joined Jul 2004, 711 posts, RR: 0
Reply 22, posted (10 years 3 weeks 2 days 20 hours ago) and read 5103 times:

500 Seats??? Take a look at Boeing's seating arangement...at 31" pitch, the -400D holds 624Y!!! That is at 10-abrast seating.

...THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS 11-ABREAST IN A 747...NOT POSSIBLE. On the 777, about half are 9-abreast and half are 10-abreat (its cabin is just a few inches narrower than the 747). However, I would not be surprised to see 11-abreast (or even 12) in the A380 lower deck since the seats and aisles in an 11-abreast A380 would SLIGHTLY LARGER as on a common 10-abreast 747. I was very surprised to see the first A380 configurations at 10-abreast, same as 747, being that the 380 is so much wider!



Don't bring up the NW DC9's unless you have to!
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