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Why Did The 747SP Die Out?!  
User currently offlineGh123 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Posted (7 years 12 months 3 days ago) and read 6947 times:

Could someone please explain to me why this fantastic plane died out?

It had excellent range, capacity and serious speed. It also filled in the gaps between the 747 and smaller aircraft.

But why did it die out?

Bad fuel consumption?

[Edited 2006-12-22 01:21:15]

30 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineZeke From Hong Kong, joined Dec 2006, 9229 posts, RR: 76
Reply 1, posted (7 years 12 months 3 days ago) and read 6937 times:

Engine technology caught up with the aircraft, people went for the extra capacity and range (743) rather than the smaller capacity and range.

We see the same on the market at the moment between the 748 and 380....time will tell.



We are addicted to our thoughts. We cannot change anything if we cannot change our thinking – Santosh Kalwar
User currently offlineDeltadude From United States of America, joined Sep 2004, 135 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (7 years 12 months 3 days ago) and read 6940 times:

It had four engines versus 3 (L-1011 and DC-10) and later 2 (767). It was popular with airlines that operated big fleets of 747-100 and in the middle east.

User currently offlineDeltadude From United States of America, joined Sep 2004, 135 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (7 years 12 months 3 days ago) and read 6933 times:

here's some good information: http://747sp.com/

User currently offlineTeamAmerica From United States of America, joined Sep 2006, 1761 posts, RR: 23
Reply 4, posted (7 years 12 months 3 days ago) and read 6901 times:

Quoting Zeke (Reply 1):
Engine technology caught up with the aircraft, people went for the extra capacity and range (743) rather than the smaller capacity and range.

We see the same on the market at the moment between the 748 and 380....time will tell

Hi there, Zeke. Welcome back! smile 

If we believe Boeing's claims, trip costs for the B748i will be lower than for the A380. The B747SP offered range but without any advantage in trip costs compared to later 747's, and with the 747-400 the range advantage was gone. Once the 744 was in production the SP was no longer offered. The case is not the same with the B748i v. A388.



Failure is not an option; it's an outcome.
User currently offlineGh123 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 5, posted (7 years 12 months 3 days ago) and read 6892 times:

Why didn't they develop it?

User currently offlineAvObserver From United States of America, joined Apr 2002, 2474 posts, RR: 9
Reply 6, posted (7 years 12 months 2 days 23 hours ago) and read 6884 times:

I agree it was/is a fantastic plane but in addition to the reasons above, it didn't compare well, economicswise, to the long-range trijet DC-10/L-1011 variants it was being pitted against. Boeing considered making the -SP a trijet, too but the extra cost of developing new engine variants and a tail engine fitting was prohibitive. As the -200B's range was increased, most of the rationale for the -SP evaporated. Too bad, it was truly a "special performer"; the fastest U.S.-built commercial airplane next to Cessna's Citation X business-jet. It was a great experiment, however, and taught Boeing a lot about the ins and outs of building niche-market derivatives.

User currently offlineJfk777 From United States of America, joined Aug 2006, 8492 posts, RR: 6
Reply 7, posted (7 years 12 months 2 days 23 hours ago) and read 6830 times:
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AS the 747-200B's engine approached 53,000 pounds of thrust each, JFK to Tokyo was possible by 742's. Jal and NW and later UA flew the route woth P&W 742's before the 744 came to be. IF it was not for the SP would the 744 come to be? Lots was learned from the 47 SP's made for the 744.

User currently offlineWerkur767 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 8, posted (7 years 12 months 2 days 23 hours ago) and read 6798 times:

New technoligies updated, more improvements came, and more fuel efficiency is the topics the airlines wanted.

In near future, we'll see sad newsm the 767 family will die, because the 787 will be the future. In this world, of updated tech, we'll see many sad news of old aircraft being replaced for new ones.

Werner from GRU.


User currently offlineZeke From Hong Kong, joined Dec 2006, 9229 posts, RR: 76
Reply 9, posted (7 years 12 months 2 days 23 hours ago) and read 6783 times:

Quoting TeamAmerica (Reply 4):
If we believe Boeing's claims, trip costs for the B748i will be lower than for the A380.

Of course it will, so will a 737, just like the 747SP had a lower trip cost then a 747-200B or 747-300, we see where the market went.

Boeing would have kept the 747SP line open if their was demand, and we see where Boeing went, to a higher capacity, higher cost aircraft to give the market what they wanted.

Airlines dont mind higher trip costs if they can get capacity, it means more revenue capacity. Comes a stage when airlines cannot cut cost anymore to generate profits, or fly smaller aircraft when demand exists, they also need to increase revenue.

IMHO, the SP died for that reason.



We are addicted to our thoughts. We cannot change anything if we cannot change our thinking – Santosh Kalwar
User currently offlineN1120A From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 26784 posts, RR: 75
Reply 10, posted (7 years 12 months 2 days 22 hours ago) and read 6685 times:

Quoting Zeke (Reply 1):
Engine technology caught up with the aircraft, people went for the extra capacity and range (743) rather than the smaller capacity and range.

The 743s range wasn't close to that of the 747SP and it didn't sell all that well.

Quoting Zeke (Reply 1):
We see the same on the market at the moment between the 748 and 380....time will tell.

That isn't even close to the same thing. The 747SP was an overbuilt shrink using the same engine technology as its parent. The 748 is a growth of an existing design using ultra-forward engine technology, engine technology the A380 isn't using.

Quoting TeamAmerica (Reply 4):
If we believe Boeing's claims, trip costs for the B748i will be lower than for the A380.

Of course trip costs will be lower. The serious claim Boeing is making is that CASM will be lower.

Quoting Zeke (Reply 9):
Airlines dont mind higher trip costs if they can get capacity, it means more revenue capacity

Airlines DO mind higher trip costs for two reasons. First, it means you outlay less and have less risk. Second, if those higher trip costs can't be overcome by a lower CASM, then there is no point in taking the risk in the first place, as the revenue flow will be countered by higher per seat costs.



Mangeons les French fries, mais surtout pratiquons avec fierte le French kiss
User currently offlineZeke From Hong Kong, joined Dec 2006, 9229 posts, RR: 76
Reply 11, posted (7 years 12 months 2 days 17 hours ago) and read 6418 times:

Quoting N1120A (Reply 10):
Airlines DO mind higher trip costs for two reasons. First, it means you outlay less and have less risk. Second, if those higher trip costs can't be overcome by a lower CASM, then there is no point in taking the risk in the first place, as the revenue flow will be countered by higher per seat costs.

You introduced CASM, talking about CASM, just trip costs, the 388 will have the lowest CASM of any aircraft flying when it enters service. I am yet to anything independent to confirm the comparison of the 748 to 388 CASM, and I dont think we will until Boeing freeze the design.

Trent 1700 technology will end up in the Trent 900, RR have a history of doing this in the past. Dont expect GE to stand still either to let RR increase its market share.

This week we saw two airlines getting more 388s, and LH getting 20/20 748s, and SQ saying t is not interested in the 748 (which I think will end up with SQC). If one were to believe what some are saying, LH had to get 748 to get the delivery timetable they wanted, i.e. it was a flow on from the 388 production stuff up.



We are addicted to our thoughts. We cannot change anything if we cannot change our thinking – Santosh Kalwar
User currently offlineJfk777 From United States of America, joined Aug 2006, 8492 posts, RR: 6
Reply 12, posted (7 years 12 months 2 days 10 hours ago) and read 6157 times:
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Pan Am, China Airlines, South African, Braniff, CAAC(Air China) and Saudia were the main first line customers of the SP. Pan Am liked it for JFK to Tokyo and SFO to HKG as well as Australia nonstop from California. China ir loved it for nonstop Taipei to LAX/SFO. SAA for its ability to fly around the African continent to Europe. Saudia fro its nonstop capabilty from Saudi Arabia to JFK. CAAC purchased the SP, they has 3, since PAN AM had it. PA must know the best so they copied them.

User currently offlineTeamAmerica From United States of America, joined Sep 2006, 1761 posts, RR: 23
Reply 13, posted (7 years 12 months 2 days 9 hours ago) and read 6061 times:

Quoting Zeke (Reply 9):
Airlines dont mind higher trip costs if they can get capacity, it means more revenue capacity.

"Revenue capacity"? Leave capacity out of it...they don't mind higher trip costs if they can get more revenue. They mind very much if the excess capacity is unused. You said:

Quoting Zeke (Reply 1):
people went for the extra capacity and range (743) rather than the smaller capacity and range.

Which is true, all else being equal. But in the case of the A388 v. B748i all else is not equal. Airlines will not accept higher trip costs simply to get more capacity.

Quoting Zeke (Reply 11):
If one were to believe what some are saying, LH had to get 748 to get the delivery timetable they wanted, i.e. it was a flow on from the 388 production stuff up.

No doubt some are saying lots of things, but I accept LH's word when they said the B748i was the right size for their needs. I also infer that the price was right as well. smile 



Failure is not an option; it's an outcome.
User currently offlineZeke From Hong Kong, joined Dec 2006, 9229 posts, RR: 76
Reply 14, posted (7 years 12 months 2 days 9 hours ago) and read 5973 times:

Quoting TeamAmerica (Reply 13):
Which is true, all else being equal. But in the case of the A388 v. B748i all else is not equal. Airlines will not accept higher trip costs simply to get more capacity.

Then the world would be full of 737BBJs as they have the range, less capacity, and lower trip costs. Reality is different.

What is the motivation of SQ and QF then ?

When LH order more 380s, what will you say then ?

Quoting TeamAmerica (Reply 13):
LH's word when they said the B748i was the right size for their needs. I also infer that the price was right as well.

And you have a direct quote for this gem of a statement ?

What was the price 75 mil a frame ?

Launch customer must have almost been real cheap.....(sorry standard throw away line used by many B cheerleaders here regarding 380 customers).



We are addicted to our thoughts. We cannot change anything if we cannot change our thinking – Santosh Kalwar
User currently offlineTeamAmerica From United States of America, joined Sep 2006, 1761 posts, RR: 23
Reply 15, posted (7 years 12 months 2 days 9 hours ago) and read 5918 times:

Quoting Zeke (Reply 14):
Then the world would be full of 737BBJs as they have the range, less capacity, and lower trip costs. Reality is different.

That's nonsense. I said airlines won't opt for capacity unless they believe it will be used.

Quoting Zeke (Reply 14):
What is the motivation of SQ and QF then ?

They believe they can fill those A388's profitably. I also believe the price is right. smile 

Quoting Zeke (Reply 14):
When LH order more 380s, what will you say then ?

You imply that I don't believe LH will order more A388's, but I expect they will exercise some options. They will likely also buy some more B748i's.

Quoting Zeke (Reply 14):
And you have a direct quote for this gem of a statement ?

Yes. Let's start with the Boeing press release: http://www.boeing.com/news/releases/2006/q4/061206a_nr.html "The 747-8 is a perfect complement to our fleet in the 400-seat category and environmental initiatives," said Nico Buchholz, senior vice president, Corporate Fleet, Deutsche Lufthansa AG. "Environmental protection and sustainability, underpinned by investment in innovation, are integral elements of our corporate strategy. The 747-8 represents the essence of this strategy and closes a capacity gap regarding aircraft size between our 300- and 550-seat aircraft in our future fleet."

Quoting Zeke (Reply 14):
Launch customer must have almost been real cheap.....(sorry standard throw away line used by many B cheerleaders here regarding 380 customers).

Not "almost" real cheap, just real cheap. I'd bet LH got a hell of deal on the B748i, but I've got no proof. Launch customer pricing for the A380 was certainly attractive as well. Nothing unusual about such deals.



Failure is not an option; it's an outcome.
User currently offlineDeltaJet757 From United States of America, joined Sep 2006, 243 posts, RR: 0
Reply 16, posted (7 years 12 months 2 days 3 hours ago) and read 5429 times:

The engine technology was moving on and getting more and more advanced as time went by. Also it had 4 engines compared to the 767 which only had 2 which meant lower operating costs and less maintenence. There was compitition with the DC-10 and the L-1011, both long range.

Quoting AvObserver (Reply 6):
It was a great experiment, however, and taught Boeing a lot about the ins and outs of building niche-market derivatives.

Kind of like the 736. Niche A/C not so popular in the big picture/mainstream market.

-DeltaJet757



FLY DELTA JETS
User currently offlineSevenforeseven From France, joined Nov 2005, 164 posts, RR: 0
Reply 17, posted (7 years 12 months 2 days 2 hours ago) and read 4744 times:

It was made for South African Airways so that the aircraft could overfly African nations opposed to the Dictatorship in SA. Now (or a few years ago) the South African shoe is on the Africans foot most "South Africans" have moved to the asylum capital of the world (UK) and the B747SP is no longer needed. PERIOD!

User currently offlineThrust From United States of America, joined Sep 2003, 2691 posts, RR: 10
Reply 18, posted (7 years 12 months 2 days 2 hours ago) and read 4692 times:

Quite simple. It offered too little capacity and too much range, plus the world did not really need to be as globally connected back then. The SP came out far too early for its time. The 767, and later the 777, usurped the merits of the S.P., as did the 747-400. The 767 offered SP capacity on transatlantic flights, and the 747-400 offered the capacity demanded on the long-haul flights the SP was capable of performing. The project was a disaster simply because Boeing had to sacrifice passenger capacity to increase the range. The 747-400 was such a success because it was basically what should have been designed instead of the SP in the first place...it increased range while increasing/maintaining the capacity of the standard 747.


Fly one thing; Fly it well
User currently offlineSupa7E7 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 19, posted (7 years 12 months 2 days 1 hour ago) and read 4467 times:

Think of it this way. The 747SP was an early 777-200ER that burned an insane amount more fuel than today's 777 does. So today, there is no way anyone would want to feed this thirsty beast. Unless they are rich oil monarchs.

User currently offlineJfk777 From United States of America, joined Aug 2006, 8492 posts, RR: 6
Reply 20, posted (7 years 12 months 2 days 1 hour ago) and read 4282 times:
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The SP had its time other better birds came later. But don't pan it, it served Boeing well as a derivative it sold 47. The R&D value it provided for later 747's was invaluable. The 744 came when it did because the P&W 4000 and GE CF6-80C2 were ready to go in 1988.

User currently offlineTrijetsRMissed From United States of America, joined Oct 2006, 2395 posts, RR: 7
Reply 21, posted (7 years 12 months 2 days ago) and read 4163 times:

Quoting AvObserver (Reply 6):
Too bad, it was truly a "special performer"; the fastest U.S.-built commercial airplane next to Cessna's Citation X business-jet.

I believe this belongs to the Convair 880/990.



There's nothing quite like a trijet.
User currently offlineEI321 From Iraq, joined Jul 2009, 0 posts, RR: 0
Reply 22, posted (7 years 12 months 2 days ago) and read 3777 times:

Quoting TeamAmerica (Reply 4):
If we believe Boeing's claims, trip costs for the B748i will be lower than for the A380.

Of course they will, its a smaller plane! CASMs and associated costs will be the real issue.


User currently offlineTeamAmerica From United States of America, joined Sep 2006, 1761 posts, RR: 23
Reply 23, posted (7 years 12 months 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 3671 times:

Quoting EI321 (Reply 22):
Of course they will, its a smaller plane! CASMs and associated costs will be the real issue.

You missed my point. Trip costs become relevant when we are discussing excess capacity. You don't buy the bigger plane just because it's bigger. You have to have confidence that the extra capacity will increase your net revenues. If you can't sell the seats profitably, lower CASM is not realized.



Failure is not an option; it's an outcome.
User currently offlineGemuser From Australia, joined Nov 2003, 5806 posts, RR: 6
Reply 24, posted (7 years 12 months 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 3540 times:

Gees this thread has developed a surprising amount of heat! Some of this has been covered above but not all.

The SP was basically a 742B with more fuel tankage and a shorter fuselage (ie less seats) so its costs were almost as high as the 742B, but it carried less pax, so each pax had to contribute more to revenue for the airline to make money. So why build it? Because the extra tankage and shorter fuselage gave it considerably more range than a standard 742B, which in turn meant more non stop point to points could be offered and that is a saleable product to airlines. So airlines that could use the range AND get extra revenue from that range brought the plane. OK that turned out to be only 47 examples, but R&D was cheap, the only redesign was the vertical fin, the project probably make a modest amount of money for Boeing.

The SP's life was basically cut short by the 744, which could match its range, with the capacity of the full 742B, so airlines could now get the range without needing the extra revenue per pax the SP needed. Which would you buy??? [Note: This is the same argument going on at the moment about ULR operations]

As a sidelight QF operated the SP for the other advantage its lower weight gave, amazing airfield performance! QF operated them across the Tasman into WLG in NZ which is a very short field for wide bodies, in fact I dont think it sees wide bodies today on a regular basis. I never got to see it a WLG, but I did see it take off out of CNS once bound for SYD, so it had stuff all fuel on board, the damm thing looked like it climbed as fast as an F111 as it shot off in the wide blue yonder.

Gemuser



DC23468910;B72172273373G73873H74374475275376377L77W;A319 320321332333343;BAe146;C402;DHC6;F27;L188;MD80MD85
25 Yyz717 : The 747SP recorded virtually all of its sales in the late 1970's. All SP's (except for 1) were built in 1981 or earlier. The last SP had its first fl
26 JetJeanes : I was just looking at a newspaper article from 1975 introducing the sp. It was a great aircraft. AA flew one in and gave us all a tour of the plane an
27 Yyz717 : The AA purchase of 2 used SP's was a stop-gap measure to add some sorely needed long haul capacity for their new DFW-NRT route and new LHR authority.
28 N1120A : Theoretically. Further, the main question is whether it will do it within an acceptable range band. The A388's problems go well beyond production tim
29 77411 : Dont forget QF between LAX and SYD. I worked them in the 80's and some days westbound flights would get close to having to leave bags off due to weig
30 Yyz717 : JAL actually opted for the DC-10-40 for NRT-JFK route, refueling in ANC. Initially, anyway. AA also used the SP's on JFK-LHR.
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