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Why Was The 747-SP Developed?  
User currently offlinePiedmontINT From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 376 posts, RR: 0
Posted (8 years 10 months 3 days 13 hours ago) and read 10353 times:

Hey everyone, I have been wondering; why was the 747-SP built and what are some of it's advantages and disadvantages? I always thought it was overkill to have a shrunken 747 for the number of pax it carried and while some people love the way it looked, i always thought it looked kind of goofy. Any input would appreciated!

48 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineEMBQA From United States of America, joined Oct 2003, 9364 posts, RR: 11
Reply 1, posted (8 years 10 months 3 days 13 hours ago) and read 10330 times:

Quoting PiedmontINT (Thread starter):
I have been wondering; why was the 747-SP built

Long Range....!!



"It's not the size of the dog in the fight, but the size of the fight in the dog"
User currently offlineSlarty From Canada, joined Sep 2005, 342 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (8 years 10 months 3 days 13 hours ago) and read 10313 times:

An acquaintance of mine took it from New York to Hong Kong in the early 80's. I think it was the only aircraft that could have done that route in one stop? Not sure ... so don't flame me toooooo much!  Smile

User currently offlineATLFlyer323 From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 614 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (8 years 10 months 3 days 13 hours ago) and read 10311 times:

Quoting PiedmontINT (Thread starter):
Hey everyone, I have been wondering; why was the 747-SP built

For rich companies/ governments to use a private planes instead of a little jet.  Silly Example: The 747sp at CAK.

Quoting PiedmontINT (Thread starter):
i always thought it looked kind of goofy

I totally agree with you there.

~Brandon



Everyday, the fluffy temptation of wheat!
User currently offlineCanadianNorth From Canada, joined Aug 2002, 3389 posts, RR: 9
Reply 4, posted (8 years 10 months 3 days 13 hours ago) and read 10290 times:

shorter fuselage = less weight. This was done for two main reasons. #1 a lighter aircraft burns less fuel so you can go farther with the fuel you have and #2 if the MTOW stays the same you can pack more fuel onto it.

So basicly yeah it was to increase range.



CanadianNorth



What could possibly go wrong?
User currently offlineMariner From New Zealand, joined Nov 2001, 25004 posts, RR: 85
Reply 5, posted (8 years 10 months 3 days 12 hours ago) and read 10281 times:
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Quoting ATLFlyer323 (Reply 3):
For rich companies/ governments to use a private planes instead of a little jet.   Example: The 747sp at CAK.

One of the most successful 747SP routes was Pan Am - LAX/SYD non-stop.

At the beginning, no one else had the aircraft, so no one else could fly the route non-stop.

Later, Qantas used the 747SP very successfully on flights to South Africa.

cheers

mariner



aeternum nauta
User currently offlineA5XX From Canada, joined Apr 2005, 245 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (8 years 10 months 3 days 12 hours ago) and read 10257 times:

The 747SP was one of the most beautiful airplane ever built imho.  

It's sad to see them go....one by one.

I miss the SP, just like I miss the L1011.

Yves.

[Edited 2005-09-27 01:08:01]


we are the boeing... resistance is futile...You will be assimilated
User currently offlineSlarty From Canada, joined Sep 2005, 342 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (8 years 10 months 3 days 12 hours ago) and read 10235 times:

Found this in our own backyard, which explains a little more ...

http://www.airliners.net/info/stats.main?id=98


User currently offlineKtachiya From Japan, joined Sep 2004, 1792 posts, RR: 2
Reply 8, posted (8 years 10 months 3 days 12 hours ago) and read 10230 times:

I believe that the most frequent argument that I hear for it was PanAm to start the NRT-JFK services non-stop. This is before better engines like the JT9D advanced versions were built. So at that time, the 747-200B were unable to do the route. But for instance when NH entered int'l service to the states in 1986 to IAH from NRT, the 747-200B engines had evolved enough so that they could get there.

Hence only 45 airframes (somewhere around there) made.

That is the argument on Japanese aviation magazines frequently seen.



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 offlinePlanenutz From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 9, posted (8 years 10 months 3 days 12 hours ago) and read 10194 times:

The 747SP's allowed South African Airways to operate flights non-stop to Europe during the apartheid years, when airspace sanctions meant they couldn'y fly over much of the African continent.

User currently offlineYOWza From Canada, joined Jul 2005, 4864 posts, RR: 15
Reply 10, posted (8 years 10 months 3 days 10 hours ago) and read 10091 times:

Why are there so few of them flying now, I guess newer metal is more economical.

To the Saffies on A.net my friend Sean told me Thabo's getting an ex SA SP for his personal use, any truth in that?

YOWza



12A whenever possible.
User currently offlineIkramerica From United States of America, joined May 2005, 21474 posts, RR: 60
Reply 11, posted (8 years 10 months 3 days 10 hours ago) and read 10035 times:

SPs allowed sultans and monarchs to fly anywhere in the world nonstop (since they weren't heavily loaded as private planes).

On a more realistic note, the SP opened up routes like SFO-HKG, LAX-SYD, etc.

One thing that made the SP look extra short was that just like on the 735/6, the tail got bigger as the plane shrunk, because the wingspan was greater than the fuselage length and it lead to stability issues.

That said, flying in the back of the Y section on a Pan-Am SP from SFO-HKG was not a great experience. There was a constant pendulum like yaw period in turbulent skies, and with limited radar, the pacific ocean lead to a lot of that. flying on QF, I didn't experience that because I was in business, right over the wing.

But at 275 three class long range configuration, it's still a bit bigger than 772 size for a typical carrier. Same in two class. Just much, much more costly to fly.  Wink



Of all the things to worry about... the Wookie has no pants.
User currently offlineHZ747300 From Hong Kong, joined Mar 2004, 1656 posts, RR: 1
Reply 12, posted (8 years 10 months 3 days 10 hours ago) and read 10002 times:
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Speaking from my memory as a child while my parents were working for Saudia.

At the time, it was needed, but the technology became obsolete fairly quickly as the range was matched by the 747-300 then 747-400. Now it looks nice as a private plane. It has the look and feel of a 747SP, without the perceived boastfulness ("Hey look at me") that comes with owning your own A346 or 747-400.



Keep on truckin'...
User currently offlinePhilSquares From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 13, posted (8 years 10 months 3 days 10 hours ago) and read 9947 times:

The SP was developed at the request of airlines, PA specifically, for a longer range version of the 747.

At the time, the primary powerplant was the PW JT9-7A. That airframe/powerplant combination couldn't make JFK-NRT, LAX-SYD non stop, so the decision was made to builld the SP. Lighter operating weight, same fuel capacity, lower payload. (IIRC Saudia used the RB-211 on their SP)

However, during the development several things occured. First GE/RR entered the scene with the CF6 and RB-211. These engines offered a dramatic improvement on SFC. PW introduced the JT9-7Q which like the GE/RR engines offered similar improvement on SFC (range).

Boeing stuck with the development and certification of the SP and then introduced the 747-200B with the other engine combinations. The 2B had options which incluced a 2/3 reserve system which added about 400NM range to the aircraft. There was also an increase of the MTOW from 800,000lbs to 820,000 and a further increase to 833,000lbs. These improvements then allowed the 200B to do JFK-NRT all year with no payload restrictions and SYD-LAX with some payload restrictions.

Just to clairfy, the 300 was no real improvement over the 200B. It had a higher empty weight and the same MTOW, thus it has a smaller payload available when compared to the 200B.


User currently offlineStarlionblue From Greenland, joined Feb 2004, 16993 posts, RR: 67
Reply 14, posted (8 years 10 months 3 days 10 hours ago) and read 9923 times:

Quoting Ikramerica (Reply 11):
One thing that made the SP look extra short was that just like on the 735/6, the tail got bigger as the plane shrunk, because the wingspan was greater than the fuselage length and it lead to stability issues.

You are right that the fin was bigger on the SP, but this was not quite due to a wingspan issue in itself. Quite simply, with a shorter fuse the moment arm is less (consider your lever physics; force x length of lever) so to counteract this the fin has to be larger. In the same way the fin on the 330 is larger than on the 342/343.

So an engine out situation would need a bigger fin on the SP.



[Edited 2005-09-27 03:40:25]

[Edited 2005-09-27 03:42:31]


"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots."
User currently offlineThomasphoto60 From United States of America, joined Jan 2000, 3922 posts, RR: 23
Reply 15, posted (8 years 10 months 3 days 10 hours ago) and read 9924 times:

Quoting Ktachiya (Reply 8):
But for instance when NH entered int'l service to the states in 1986 to IAH from NRT, the 747-200B engines had evolved enough so
that they could get there.

I think that you mean IAD, not IAH. Sadly, NH (nor JL) ever considered an IAH route.

SA, took delivery of an 'SP' from Everett in the 1976, flew it nonstop to CPT and still had 2 hours worth of fuel left later. I believe that this record was held until the A340 was introduced in the 90s.

http://www.747sp.com/NewsDetail.asp?id=17

Thomas



"Show me the Braniffs"
User currently offlineIRelayer From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 1073 posts, RR: 2
Reply 16, posted (8 years 10 months 3 days 10 hours ago) and read 9900 times:

Also IranAir used them to inagurate THR-JFK N/S and some other long range routes. They remain in the fleet b/c of the lack of available aircraft, but they are pretty uneconomical to fly. Not like IranAir cares about economics. I wonder how long the sole remaining SP will be with IR. Those airframes (especially the classics) are getting really old.

-IR

[Edited 2005-09-27 03:42:23]

User currently offlineTrolley Dolley From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 17, posted (8 years 10 months 3 days 10 hours ago) and read 9858 times:

Another reason they were developed was to try and provide fleet commonality with the existing 747's so that airlines wouldn't migrate to DC10s etc. (Hmm, go figure PA who ended up operating all sorts of 747's, the DC10 and L1011!) The economics and improved performance of the later 747 classics put an end to that idea.

While the 747SP had long legs, it also had great short field performance. QF initially used them into the short field ports like Wellington, New Zealand or Townsville, Australia.

Small correction, QF used the 747SP for many years on the route to Zimbabwe, when flights to South Africa were not allowed due to sanctions. By the time apartheid ended, the route had been upgraded to full sized 747's.


User currently offlineIkramerica From United States of America, joined May 2005, 21474 posts, RR: 60
Reply 18, posted (8 years 10 months 3 days 10 hours ago) and read 9845 times:

Quoting Starlionblue (Reply 14):
You are right that the fin was bigger on the SP, but this was not quite due to a wingspan issue in itself.

Sure it is. If the wingspan were shorter, the tail would not need to be as tall. Same thing on a sailboat with the rudder. Decreased fuselage moment contribution is the result of shortening the fuselage but not the wingspan. We're talking ratios here, not absolutes.



Of all the things to worry about... the Wookie has no pants.
User currently offlineStarlionblue From Greenland, joined Feb 2004, 16993 posts, RR: 67
Reply 19, posted (8 years 10 months 3 days 9 hours ago) and read 9831 times:

Quoting Ikramerica (Reply 18):
Quoting Starlionblue (Reply 14):
You are right that the fin was bigger on the SP, but this was not quite due to a wingspan issue in itself.

Sure it is. If the wingspan were shorter, the tail would not need to be as tall. Same thing on a sailboat with the rudder. Decreased fuselage moment contribution is the result of shortening the fuselage but not the wingspan. We're talking ratios here, not absolutes.

Well, yes and no. It's because the engines are wing mounted. If they had been tail mounted there would have been little need for a larger fin. If you have an engine out situation on the SP it needs a larger fin than on the other marks.



"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots."
User currently offlineTrex8 From United States of America, joined Nov 2002, 4692 posts, RR: 14
Reply 20, posted (8 years 10 months 3 days 9 hours ago) and read 9820 times:
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even TPE-SFO was pushing it for an early 742 which was why CI purchased them

User currently offlinePhilSquares From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 21, posted (8 years 10 months 3 days 9 hours ago) and read 9811 times:

Starlion blue is correct. The larger vertical stabilizer is for the engine out performance. I only had about 500 hours in the SP and I do remember dutch yaw was very pronounced in the aircraft also. I can remember walking down to the back of the main deck and really being able to feel the yaw.

I have been trying to remember the yaw damper system on the SP if it was the same as the "normal" size 747s. However, those brain cells have long since died! Plus it's now about 4 am in AMS!


User currently offlineHiflyer From United States of America, joined Nov 2004, 2167 posts, RR: 3
Reply 22, posted (8 years 10 months 3 days 9 hours ago) and read 9757 times:

One item that impressed me was that the SP carried more weight in fuel than the aircraft itself weighed. Always wondered what would an SP do with a 400 wing and motors as far as range.

User currently offlineKtachiya From Japan, joined Sep 2004, 1792 posts, RR: 2
Reply 23, posted (8 years 10 months 3 days 2 hours ago) and read 9495 times:

Quoting Thomasphoto60 (Reply 15):
I think that you mean IAD

Sorry about that. I was kind of wondering myself when I was writing the reply. Yes, it was IAD not IAH.

Sadly ........... I was wrong ........... sorry



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 offlineKeesje From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 24, posted (8 years 10 months 3 days 2 hours ago) and read 9475 times:

If I remember well the -100 lacked range & the SP was a solution for this.

However Boeing solved this with the -200 and the SP was no longer needed.


25 Post contains images Maersk737 : Bingo And they didn't have to land in "the Middle of Africa" when going to the US. Cheers Peter
26 Mariner : You're right, I'd forgotten the Zimbabwe "connection". cheers mariner
27 Post contains images Kingsford : My favourite bird, soon extinct ! I had the privilege of flying from SYD to CRS on one of it's last flight with QF. An amazing aircraft.
28 ClassicLover : Wrong, wrong, wrong! The 747-100 was in service in 1970. The -200 followed shortly after and then the 200B which entered service in 1971. The 747SP c
29 Springbok139 : I wonder if any country in Africa besides maybe Libya would have even noticed or for that matter been able to do anything about a 747 SP flying over
30 ORD : Another unique aspect of the 747SP, and I'm not if this was only on Pan Am or other airlines as well, was the strange configuration of the galley betw
31 Wedgetail737 : I flew on PA's SP from SFO to LAX on one of my first flights to LAX. That's back when I didn't think the SP was a "real" 747.
32 Cornish : Come to LHR and you can stil regularly see the Syrian Air 747SP operating to and from the airport on the Damascus run.
33 Geo772 : The SP was based on the -100 if my memory serves me correctly and was due to the fact that the early P&W engines were underpowered to give the -100 an
34 SparkingWave : It might be overkill now in 2005. But the world was very different in 1976. Pan Am asked Boeing to make the 747SP, probably because it wanted both th
35 OB1783P : I own a very good book on the subject, written by Brian Baum, but unfortunately out of print ($65 second hand at Amazon!) I once flew on the SP, TWA f
36 ClassicLover : This is completely incorrect as the SP came out several years after the -200B. Qantas got the -200B version in 1971 and was the first airline to get
37 USADreamliner : Aerolineas used to have one SP(LV-OHV).Flying long haul routes with less pax than a 747-200,like Buenos Aires-Madrid-Zurich,Buenos Aires-Lima-Los Ange
38 RayChuang : If I remember correctly, JL looked at getting the 747SP for the NRT-JFK route but improvements in GE CF6 engines and Boeing developing a modified 747-
39 Idlewild : I'm curious. Didn't the ozone scrubbers in the SP's engines offset/counteract the potential range somewhat?
40 Ikramerica : QF and PA both had the long galley. In PA, the 3x2 section was economy. in QF (when i flew it), it was business class, and i don't know if it was 2x2
41 Trex8 : IIRC JL never had any GE powered 747s till the 744.
42 Braybuddy : Couldn't disagree more. It's a wonderful looking plane in this age of monotonous twins. I flew on it once in 1978 from LA to London and loved it. Fly
43 Starlionblue : I think they're keeping their "500 series" for future projects. There is a "400 series" already after all.
44 Braybuddy : Possibly. Then there'll be a 600 series, but somehow I doubt if they'll ever go for a 700 series.
45 TheCheese : Also, remember that overflying the USSR was not allowed when the SP entered into service. The extra range enabled some carriers (and I'm drawing a bla
46 Ikramerica : Well, they still have the 360, 370 and 390 designations which would cover replacements for the 320, 330/40/50, and 380, so if there's a 500 in the fut
47 Post contains images Trolley Dolley : The SP's floor layout with longitudinal galley and rear bulkhead galley, plus toilets totally seperate from the galleys was designed for a smooth pass
48 Post contains links Chazzerguy : Here's a thumbnail explainer of the SP: http://www.747sp.com/Explained.asp
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