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Would The 747 Exist Without The C-5A Competition?  
User currently offlineJAM747 From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 550 posts, RR: 1
Posted (7 years 4 months 3 weeks 17 hours ago) and read 5907 times:

Would the 747 have existed without the C-5A large military transport competition? Many of us know that it was this competition which inspired Boeing to build the 747 as it had done alot of research into a large aircraft. Lockheed won this competition and become the builder of the C-5A . I often wonder if this competition did not exist if Boeing would have ventured on building such a large commercial aircraft at that time. Did Lockheed ever consider building a large commercial transport based on the C-5A research to compete with the 747, or were they do busy with full filling the order for the military? Could a new competition to produce a C-5A replacement inspire the Y3 design or other future large commercial Transport?

20 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineLemurs From United States of America, joined Mar 2005, 1439 posts, RR: 4
Reply 1, posted (7 years 4 months 3 weeks 16 hours ago) and read 5862 times:

In a word: yes. It wasn't the military heavy-lift program that gave birth to the 747, it was the demands of Pan Am, who wanted a big people mover that would entirely dwarf the previous generation ships. Read the genesis of the 747 program in Joe Sutter's book. He was the lead designer for the airplane. The book is called "747" strangely enough.


There are 10 kinds of people in the world; those who understand binary, and those that don't.
User currently offlineTrijetsRMissed From United States of America, joined Oct 2006, 2325 posts, RR: 7
Reply 2, posted (7 years 4 months 3 weeks 15 hours ago) and read 5818 times:

The 747 would still exist, but would have debuted much later. By losing the military contract to the Lockheed C-5, Boeing was able to divert all of its focus to what would become the 747. Had Boeing won the military contract, the manufacturer would have been pre-occupied with the military transport aircraft, and the pax version would not have entered service until the mid-late 70's. If this had happened, the DC-10 & L-1011 surely would have been greater successes.


There's nothing quite like a tri-jet.
User currently offlineXT6Wagon From United States of America, joined Feb 2007, 3390 posts, RR: 4
Reply 3, posted (7 years 4 months 3 weeks 14 hours ago) and read 5751 times:

Please search, its been well covered. The people who worked on the C5 program and the people who worked on the 747 were completely different. The people who worked on the military program were either on the SST, on the 737, or on one of the many contracts for military or scientific projects of a lesser nature.

The 747 was in FACT the 3rd ranked program at Boeing till shortly before it flew, used only very Junior or young engineers, and was first conceptualized as a NARROW BODY double passenger deck plane.

In short the 747 had 0% commonality in thought, idea, action, personnel, or parts with any prior military aircraft. (ok so they stole the military's new fangled high-bypass engine for the 747). It was the 3rd ranked aircraft program of the time, and of minimal to no risk. It was developed for PanAM. It was NOT the cause of any financial problems at Boeing.

Any other myths I missed?


User currently offlineN1120A From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 26361 posts, RR: 76
Reply 4, posted (7 years 4 months 3 weeks 14 hours ago) and read 5715 times:

Quoting TrijetsRMissed (Reply 2):
If this had happened, the DC-10 & L-1011 surely would have been greater successes.

Probably not. The 747 spawned those aircraft as well as the A300, 767 and all other widebodies. Remember, the L-1011 and DC-10 were developed because of American's request for a smaller widebody than the 747.



Mangeons les French fries, mais surtout pratiquons avec fierte le French kiss
User currently offlineRampart From United States of America, joined Aug 2005, 3103 posts, RR: 6
Reply 5, posted (7 years 4 months 3 weeks 14 hours ago) and read 5709 times:

Quoting JAM747 (Thread starter):
Did Lockheed ever consider building a large commercial transport based on the C-5A research to compete with the 747,

Yes, I have seen drawings of a civilian version of a Lockheed C5. I can't recall where, it was a book though. Here's an article from Time Magazine, ca. 1968, mentioning Lockheed's intention to offer a "1000 seat" airliner, the "L-500". No pictures in the article, but I found a web site here where someone made a C-5 model in civilian colors, to give you an idea. There's also a former discussion on A.net: C5....An Airliner? (by Thomasphoto60 Jun 19 2006 in Civil Aviation)

Would've been massive! Way before it's time in need, and by the time it was needed, way behind the times.

-Rampart


User currently offlineSangas From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 6, posted (7 years 4 months 3 weeks 12 hours ago) and read 5650 times:

Here's a brief excerpt from Randy Baseler's interview of Joe Sutter, the Boeing engineer who spearheaded the design and construction of the 747:

Quote:
R: While we're on the freight subject, I think there's a common misperception that the 747 originally came out of the competition for the C-5 military transport.

J: Of all the commentary thrown at me, that's the one that I dislike the most, because there's no truth to it. The only thing that the 747 got out of the C-5 was the development of the high-bypass ratio engine. And we couldn't even use the engine developed for the C-5, because it's a high-winged, cumbersome, slow airplane. That engine didn't have enough power to fly the .85 Mach number of the 747. It was a different manufacturer's engine that was developed for the 747. So the concept of the high-bypass ratio engine was developed from the C-5, but that's the only thing the C-5 gave to the 747.

http://boeingblogs.com/randy/archive...06/08/father_still_knows_best.html


User currently offlineTrijetsRMissed From United States of America, joined Oct 2006, 2325 posts, RR: 7
Reply 7, posted (7 years 4 months 3 weeks 12 hours ago) and read 5618 times:

Quoting N1120A (Reply 4):
Probably not. The 747 spawned those aircraft as well as the A300, 767 and all other widebodies. Remember, the L-1011 and DC-10 were developed because of American's request for a smaller widebody than the 747.

Probably so, because if the 747 was not on the market the void would need to be filled. The DC-10 was requested by AA, the Tristar concept, however, was already on the table. The L-1011 would have been manufactured regardless if a 747 was designed first, and if the L-1011 went on the market than surely Douglas would still follow with the DC-10. Boeing 747 or not, the early 1970's were going to be the dawn of the widebody era.



There's nothing quite like a tri-jet.
User currently offlinePilot21 From Ireland, joined Oct 1999, 1384 posts, RR: 2
Reply 8, posted (7 years 4 months 3 weeks 12 hours ago) and read 5600 times:

Quoting XT6Wagon (Reply 3):
The 747 was in FACT the 3rd ranked program at Boeing till shortly before it flew, used only very Junior or young engineers, and was first conceptualized as a NARROW BODY double passenger deck plane.

Are you 100% sure on the narrowbody bit? I ask because I read the B747 book, a long time ago now, and remember that the mandate from Pan Am to the Boeing Engineers was to basically build it with the mindset that it would become a cargo aircraft in a few yrs, once the SST project came to fruition.

Juan Trippe actually felt that supersonic transport would be the way of the future, so he told Boeing to build him a people carrier, that would be adaptable to a cargo aircraft within 10yrs, hence the widebody main deck, and the cockpit raised above it to allow for quick and easy loading and unloading of cargo pallets onto the main deck. (The engineers also played with a B747 design that had the cockpit below the main deck, like the Super Guppy)

I am happy to be proved wrong on the narrowbody, but I just don't remember that bit being mentioned. (or taken seriously at least)



Aircraft I've flown: A300/A310/A320/A321/A330/A340/B727/B732/B733/B734/B735/B738/B741/B742/B744/DC10/MD80/IL62/Bae146/AR
User currently offlineXT6Wagon From United States of America, joined Feb 2007, 3390 posts, RR: 4
Reply 9, posted (7 years 4 months 3 weeks 11 hours ago) and read 5566 times:

Quoting Pilot21 (Reply 8):

I am happy to be proved wrong on the narrowbody, but I just don't remember that bit being mentioned. (or taken seriously at least)

thats what all the initial drawings were... The 747 was the result of Sutter and team INVENTING the widebody. Before that it was single isle was the "only way" to do it, so thats why PanAm wanted the double decker, so that they could double the passengers w/o flying a 300ft hot dog. While 20/20 hindsight is great, I think they would have ended up with a widebody no matter who ran the program, its just that they managed to nail the upper limit for the market quite well with the initial size of the 747.

I think people don't realise just how revolutionary the 747 was. Its like going from flying around in a 737 to suddenly the plane is bigger than the boarding area you came out of.... Coupled with fast cruise speed, very efficient if not terribly reliable high bypass engines, and unheard of size it was as revolutionary as the 707 was.

Of course that didn't stop the 747 from putting a good many airlines under thanks to poor impulse control and trying to use them for everything possible.


User currently offlineEI321 From Iraq, joined Jul 2009, 0 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (7 years 4 months 3 weeks 10 hours ago) and read 5527 times:

Quoting JAM747 (Thread starter):
Would the 747 have existed without the C-5A large military transport competition?

Im certain it would, although I suspect it may have been smaller, similar in size to the DC10, and maybe a trijet. Many airlines that bought original 747s found the aircraft to be quite large, but needed its range. Perhaps this contributed towards the 747SP conception. Some of the older 741s and 742s were eventually replaced by smaller aircraft like A330, A340 & 777.

Quoting XT6Wagon (Reply 3):
The 747 was in FACT the 3rd ranked program at Boeing till shortly before it flew, used only very Junior or young engineers, and was first conceptualized as a NARROW BODY double passenger deck plane.

Were boeing planning to use a 'double' 707 fuselage for this? Vickers had a very similar design for the VC10 once, a double decker version. I remember Airbus were looking at the possibility of mating two A340 fuselages side by side for the A3XX but dropped the idea quite early in the 90s.

Quoting XT6Wagon (Reply 3):
In short the 747 had 0% commonality in thought, idea, action, personnel, or parts with any prior military aircraft.

Its hard to know where the idea presumption from, but if you look at the pictures of the Boeing freighter you can understand why people presume this. It has a very different wing configuration and tail fin, but the rest of the aircraft looks very like the 747.


User currently offlineSEPilot From United States of America, joined Dec 2006, 6823 posts, RR: 46
Reply 11, posted (7 years 4 months 3 weeks 10 hours ago) and read 5521 times:

Quoting XT6Wagon (Reply 3):
It was NOT the cause of any financial problems at Boeing.

This is a bit ludicrous to say as the development cost was more than the net worth of Boeing at the time. True, there were other successful projects going but if the 747 had flopped Boeing would have been bankrupt without question.



The problem with making things foolproof is that fools are so doggone ingenious...Dan Keebler
User currently offlineXT6Wagon From United States of America, joined Feb 2007, 3390 posts, RR: 4
Reply 12, posted (7 years 4 months 3 weeks 10 hours ago) and read 5475 times:

Quoting SEPilot (Reply 11):
This is a bit ludicrous to say as the development cost was more than the net worth of Boeing at the time. True, there were other successful projects going but if the 747 had flopped Boeing would have been bankrupt without question.

Boeing had just gotten flattened by the SST project, of which they stupidly paid for the last 2-3 years out of their own pocket with no government support. Couple that with the massive expenses for that very same program that wasn't paid for during the years Uncle Sam was picking up part of the tab.... In effect the whole company's net worth crashed and burned with that one project. To blame the 747 for Boeings problem is like blaming a new high paying job for making you poor before you had the job.

Quoting EI321 (Reply 10):
Its hard to know where the idea presumption from, but if you look at the pictures of the Boeing freighter you can understand why people presume this. It has a very different wing configuration and tail fin, but the rest of the aircraft looks very like the 747.

And you look like a monkey if I take a bad enough photo, should I assume your mom is a monkey then? I mean you do have two arms, two legs, and a head on top... Same thing as a monkey eh? A sketch showing a high wing 4 engine plane isn't anything. In real terms NONE of the engineering would even be the same. Next the big hint is the fact that the head of the 747 program was a young man who was working on the aerodynamics of the 737 as it was being first conceived. Put the engines under the wing instead of a T tail + fuselage mounted engines like everyone else thought was the "right way". Then PanAm called and he got the "spare" people and the "spare" facilities. He DIDN'T get any senior engineers. He DIDN'T get any data, drawings, etc from the military program. He DIDN'T start with a high wing, large load floor double decker like the C5 competition. His people kept drawing double passenger decks over the normal underfloor configuration. And yes it would have looked like someone sliced a 707 and stuck in another floor between the top and the bottom.


User currently offlineSEPilot From United States of America, joined Dec 2006, 6823 posts, RR: 46
Reply 13, posted (7 years 4 months 3 weeks 9 hours ago) and read 5439 times:

Quoting XT6Wagon (Reply 12):
To blame the 747 for Boeings problem is like blaming a new high paying job for making you poor before you had the job.

I did not say the 747 was responsible for Boeing's problems in that period; I said that if it had flopped they would have been bankrupt, which remains true. It would have been true without the SST and all the other problems, simply because of the incredible amount of money spent on it. But it didn't flop and ended up saving the company from the things that did, like the SST. But to say it wasn't a risk is nonsense. It was a huge risk, but it paid off.



The problem with making things foolproof is that fools are so doggone ingenious...Dan Keebler
User currently offlineEI321 From Iraq, joined Jul 2009, 0 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (7 years 4 months 3 weeks 9 hours ago) and read 5415 times:

Quoting XT6Wagon (Reply 12):
Quoting EI321 (Reply 10):
Its hard to know where the idea presumption from, but if you look at the pictures of the Boeing freighter you can understand why people presume this. It has a very different wing configuration and tail fin, but the rest of the aircraft looks very like the 747.

And you look like a monkey if I take a bad enough photo, should I assume your mom is a monkey then?

Dont know why your so sensitive about it, I'm just looking for some information. Can you point me to a reliable reference please, as theres a lot of conflicting information floating around about the 747s beginnings.

Quote:

The design competition was between Boeing (which entered its initial designs for the Model 747, before it was incorporated as a commercial passenger carrier), Douglas and Lockheed-Georgia.

http://www.theaviationzone.com/factsheets/c5.asp

Quote:

The 747 comes to mind as an example of our need to have data and accessible for long periods of time. Originally conceived in the early 1960s as an entry to the C5 competition

http://www.mscsoftware.com/support/library/conf/auc97/p00397.pdf

I dont know who to believe any more!


User currently offlineSEPilot From United States of America, joined Dec 2006, 6823 posts, RR: 46
Reply 15, posted (7 years 4 months 3 weeks 9 hours ago) and read 5405 times:

Quoting EI321 (Reply 14):
Can you point me to a reliable reference please, as theres a lot of conflicting information floating around about the 747s beginnings.

I would say the most reliable source would be Joe Sutter, who was chief engineer of the 747 program. He wrote a book, "747", about it, and I highly recommend it. He states unequivocally in it and in the interview linked in reply 6 that the only thing they got from the C5A competition was the concept of the high-bypass engine. If you want to believe anything else you have to call him a liar.



The problem with making things foolproof is that fools are so doggone ingenious...Dan Keebler
User currently offlineJAM747 From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 550 posts, RR: 1
Reply 16, posted (7 years 4 months 3 weeks 7 hours ago) and read 5311 times:

Quoting N1120A (Reply 4):
No pictures in the article, but I found a web site here where someone made a C-5 model in civilian colors, to give you an idea. There's also a former discussion on A.net: C5....An Airliner? (by Thomasphoto60 Jun 19 2006 in Civil Aviation)

Thanks, I think if Lockheed was to build a 747 competitor it would not have the high wings like the C-5A but look like the 747 or MD concept the MD12. I would like to have a C-5 model like you mentioned, it would be an interesting addition to my collection.


User currently offlineNoWorries From United States of America, joined Oct 2006, 539 posts, RR: 1
Reply 17, posted (7 years 4 months 3 weeks 7 hours ago) and read 5236 times:

Quoting XT6Wagon (Reply 9):
Quoting Pilot21 (Reply 8):

I am happy to be proved wrong on the narrowbody, but I just don't remember that bit being mentioned. (or taken seriously at least)

thats what all the initial drawings were... The 747 was the result of Sutter and team INVENTING the widebody. Before that it was single isle was the "only way" to do it, so thats why PanAm wanted the double decker,

One inetersting aspect of this covered in the book was that no one had the courage to tell Juan Trippe that widebody was the way to go rather than double-decker as he wanted, so Boeing built a mock-up of the double decker in Seattle and flew Trippe out to look at it. Upon seeing it, he realized that double-deck was a big mistake and bought into the widebody approach.


User currently offlineRampart From United States of America, joined Aug 2005, 3103 posts, RR: 6
Reply 18, posted (7 years 4 months 3 weeks 1 hour ago) and read 5035 times:

Quoting JAM747 (Reply 16):
Thanks, I think if Lockheed was to build a 747 competitor it would not have the high wings like the C-5A but look like the 747 or MD concept the MD12. I would like to have a C-5 model like you mentioned, it would be an interesting addition to my collection.

The civilian C5 I saw, mentioned in the Time article, had the high wings, and resembled the models I linked. It was primitive!

Odd, but your reply to my statement came out as being attributed to N1120A.

-Rampart


User currently offlineJAM747 From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 550 posts, RR: 1
Reply 19, posted (7 years 4 months 2 weeks 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 4930 times:

Thanks for all your replies , I ahve learn't alot about the 747 which I did not know before. Of all the books that have been written about the 747, it seems the book by Joe Sutter is the most credible since he helped designed the plane. I will be sure to get one . I wish there was still a a tv station which offered programs or documentary on the history of different commercial aircrafts.

User currently offlineTeamAmerica From United States of America, joined Sep 2006, 1761 posts, RR: 23
Reply 20, posted (7 years 4 months 1 week 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 4633 times:

Apparently the pictures I posted don't open for everyone...but the links are correct (I see them...). You can view them at the source on the NASA Langley website: http://oea.larc.nasa.gov/PAIS/Partners/C_5.html

It's worth a look. The photos are conclusive; the Boeing CX-HLS design was high-wing and humpless. You can see the Boeing heritage in the wings and tail, but it's not a 747.  no 



Failure is not an option; it's an outcome.
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