ContinentalEWR From United States of America, joined May 2000, 3762 posts, RR: 12
Reply 1, posted (15 years 4 months 1 week 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 986 times:
Probably not for a while. Virgin has 8 747-200's in service, most of which
are refurbished recently. Many will continue to be converted to cargo jets,
which is what is happening with many of the -300's.
The 747-200 entered service in 1976 and was substituted with the -300
in 1982, so I would say the -200's will continue to fly through 2006.
Woodsboy From United States of America, joined Mar 2000, 1037 posts, RR: 2
Reply 2, posted (15 years 4 months 1 week 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 981 times:
Dont count on the 747-200 going away anytime soon, most will certainly still be around by 2006, thats not too far away. The supply of new build 747s is quite low right now so there is no reasonable subsitute yet with a capacity that can meet the 747s. If you look at the entire fleet of 747s, -100s,200s,300s,400s just a tad under 90% of them are still flying. That 10% includes those that have been scrapped, written off (crashed) and are in storage. The only direct replacement for the 747-200 freighter is the 747-400F there are precious few of those compared to -100 and 200s that were either built new or converted to freighters.
The MD-11F is the only other freighter than can compare to the 747 freighter although as we know it is still not as large. It can however operate much more efficiently over similar stage lengths and was regarded as a likely candidate to replace ageing 747Fs. But as we know that program is also dead so they only other widebody freighter being built is the Airbus A300-600 and if we can call the 767 a widebody it can also be counted but both the Airbus and the 767 are roughly half the size of a 747.
I bet we see 747-200s flying around for 20+ more years, at least until either they become too innefficient to operate, suffer some kind of fatigue that older aircraft sometimes have or a replacement of similar size is introduced- perhaps a 777-200F?
Remember there are a lot of 727-100s/200s still out there flying around, the oldest of which predate the oldest 747-100s by 6-7 years, not to mention all the DC-9 10s,15s,30s and 40s still out there. Old airplanes dont go away they just get converted to freighters!
Na From Germany, joined Dec 1999, 11294 posts, RR: 9
Reply 3, posted (15 years 4 months 1 week 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 948 times:
Its just 10 years ago that the last passenger 747-200B was built, so given that many of them will be converted to freighters in the next decade you´ll still see more than 100 of them flying after the year 2010.
The robust 747 has an average life-span of more than 25 years, many saw or will see even 30 years or more of service. There´s simply no competitor.
The 747-400F is too expensive for most Cargo-airlines.
Prebennorholm From Denmark, joined Mar 2000, 6889 posts, RR: 54
Reply 4, posted (15 years 4 months 1 week 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 941 times:
The very last 747-200 built were "Air Force One" - both of them - VC-25 in the US Air Force.
Considering that the old Air Force One, B707-300 (VC-137) was doing good service for over 30 years, and most likely does good service with another task today - after 40 years - then it will not surprise me if the "new" AF Ones are still flying in 2040 or 2050. Maybe at that time they have got another task, but they will not be worn out.
It will also last very long time until the last 747-100 retires. Just think about the NASA Space Shuttle carriers.
There seems to be only one thing which can retire an airliner: Noise restrictions.
Those old airliners from the early sixties which have been successfully reengined with stage 3 compliant engines, when will they retire? DC-8-7x? B727-100QF with RR engines? They will probably keep on going for the next 10-15 years. We will see airliners fly which were 25 years old when their pilot was born...
Always keep your number of landings equal to your number of take-offs