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747X May Not Be What You Think...  
User currently offlineBoeing747-400 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Posted (15 years 6 months 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 2781 times:

As of now, Boeing has no plans of building a 787 or a total new airplane. Now we hear rumors about Boeing to not go ahead with the PROPOSED 747X in plan. I think Boeing may have a completly different airplane behind their sleeve in preparation for the A3XX. The A3XX has been in serious discussion for years, and Boineg has kept a close eye on that. But I think the reason for Boeing to not be so public about their new 747 is because they have something else in preparation. I believe they have redesigned the 747 in order for the A3XX. The 747X is an easy way to tell the public about Boeing's plan. I think Boeing is to launch the 747X very soon, but will it be a stretched version of the 744? Thats my point of the topic, Boeing does have a new 747 in plan for the A3XX, I assure you on that. But it just might not look like today's 747. Boeing is honored so much because of the 747, and now the 777 plays a big role in this too. Boeing does not want to end 747 production in 10 years, 20 years, or even 30 years because the 747 makes them so honored and famous. I'm here to tell you that the 747X that you will see on Boeing's website may not look like that. I think Boeing has been designing an "almost" total new plane, it will still be named the 747, but if you showed it to some person who doesn't know anything about aviation, they wouldn't reconize it as a 747. I know Boeing would not let Airbus take over the market, the PROPOSED 747X would not be a good solution to the A3XX, and I think Boeing knows that. The plane that Boeing does launch in fight with the A3XX, may be the PROPOSED 747X, or it may look completely different and much bigger, but it will still be the 747.

Any thoughts on this?

40 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
User currently offlineAhlfors From Canada, joined Oct 2000, 1347 posts, RR: 4
Reply 1, posted (15 years 6 months 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 2577 times:

Umm.... how about looking at some of that info on Boeing's website. The 747X will be a super-modern, streched, extended range 747, if it is ever launched. It basically has all the qualifications of the plane you are describing, except that a 747X looks like a huge 744.

User currently offlineBoeing747-400 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 2, posted (15 years 6 months 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 2543 times:

Yes, I agree, but I don't think that is all that Boeing has done...

User currently offlineMagyar From Hungary, joined Feb 2000, 599 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (15 years 6 months 5 days 12 hours ago) and read 2514 times:

Just a question about this super secret Boeing VLA (alias 747X). What is
the point developing a commercial plane in secret? If nobody knows about
it or rather what it is capable, who is going to buy it? Or rather why anyone
or any airline would buy anything without studying it for monthes? And if you
let airlines know about this secret VLA everybody will know about it within
no time (especially Airbus).
I think you just watched too many James Bond movies!


User currently offlineWatewate From Canada, joined Nov 2000, 2284 posts, RR: 1
Reply 4, posted (15 years 6 months 5 days 12 hours ago) and read 2502 times:

Agree with Magyar. We're not talking about a stealth bomber here. They need to know what airlines want and Boeing has shown a tremendous amount of respect for their opinions and needs during the developmental stages of 777. I think it'll be foolish on Boeing's part to keep it to themselves. If it was kept secret all this time, it probably hasn't gone past the initial phase of development anyways. Shareholders demand answers- and even an initial prospectus of such an airplane requires significant financial resources. I think you're right in some respects- 747X may look different from today's 747. But it won't be as radical as A3XX. Boeing knows there no room for 2 plane makers fighting for A3XX market. That's why DC and Lockheed killed themselves. They'll do the fiscally responsible thing- and that is improving upon their current platform.

User currently offlineBoeing747-400 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 5, posted (15 years 6 months 5 days 11 hours ago) and read 2483 times:

To surprise Airbus??


Anyway, you all had very good points.

I do think that whatever it is, it will give the A3XX a real battle.

User currently offlineCba From United States of America, joined Jul 2000, 4534 posts, RR: 2
Reply 6, posted (15 years 6 months 5 days 11 hours ago) and read 2475 times:

I think the 747X is an interim solution to the A3XX. Airbus is taking a huge risk, spending tons of money developing the A3XX. Boeing quickly cranked out an inexpensive but worthy design of a stretched and modernized 747. If the A3XX does really well, Boeing will most likely come out with a new aircraft, which they probably have designed now, but won't go ahead with it until they're sure it's worth it. If the A3XX fails, and there isn't a market for super jumbos, then Airbus will likely go bankrupt. Boeing however, will be fine.

User currently offlineBoeing747-400 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 7, posted (15 years 6 months 5 days 10 hours ago) and read 2461 times:

Very good post there Cba!

I agree!

I think the reason for not launching the new 747s is to see whether the A3XX will do ok. Then Boeing can't make a make a mistake in launching the 747X.



User currently offlineWidebody From Ireland, joined Aug 2000, 1152 posts, RR: 8
Reply 8, posted (15 years 6 months 5 days 10 hours ago) and read 2455 times:

Cba, B747-400.......

To think that Boeing have already designed a new aircraft to compete with the A3XX is so ridiculous it makes me cry!!! Do you know how many engineers, tests, even companies, it takes to design a new aircraft? Are you telling me Boeing has designed a brand new aircraft, hiding hundreds of engineers in an underground bunker somewhere, maybe AREA 787?!! Are you telling me Boeing has designed a brand bew aircraft without any communication with the thousands of companies it takes to design such an aircraft??!! And are you telling me that the Boeing design philosophy for the 777 of including the airlines in the design process has suddenly reversed??

Boeing's stance to me is not as foolproof as it seems....whether Boeing like it or not, if they decide to build a VLA, it will probably cost them the same as it has Airbus, about $12 billion, though Boeing will have had the added cost of building an interim solution, costing $4 billion.....and while the world waits for this Boeing VLA, Airbus will probably have raked up enough orders question the viability of a Boeing VLA.....

User currently offlineBoeing747-400 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 9, posted (15 years 6 months 5 days 9 hours ago) and read 2437 times:


No, that's not exactly what I'm saying. I'm saying that the 747X that does roll out of the hangar may not look and be like the 747X pictured. I didn't say at all anything about a totaly new plane, like a 787. The 747X could look a lot different than pictured, after all, there's only a few pictures of it anyway, so we may not know the REAL looks and design of it until it is launched. I described possibilities of the 747X besides the one pictured at Boeing's website.

User currently offlineWidebody From Ireland, joined Aug 2000, 1152 posts, RR: 8
Reply 10, posted (15 years 6 months 5 days 9 hours ago) and read 2429 times:

It would take a huge amount of testing and time to change the basic shape of the 747......when dealing with an object this big moving through the air, aerodynamic qualities are very important, as Airbus have learnt from the A3XX.......many, many wind tunnel test would have to be carried out before the basic change could be changed.......I really don't believe Boeing could have all this done already.........the A3XX is costing $12 billion...if Boeing decide to change the shape of the 747X, then their costs could approach this figure..........don't forget, Boeing would have to match the 20% reduction in operating costs promised by Airbus, which in itself is going to cost an awful amount of money.......

User currently offlineAJ From Australia, joined Nov 1999, 2406 posts, RR: 24
Reply 11, posted (15 years 6 months 5 days 9 hours ago) and read 2424 times:

One of the contenders for the final B747 design in the mid nineteen sixties looks nigh on identical to the A3XX, without the massive engines. These 'radical' new designs are not that radical!
Food for thought.  

User currently offlineWidebody From Ireland, joined Aug 2000, 1152 posts, RR: 8
Reply 12, posted (15 years 6 months 5 days 8 hours ago) and read 2419 times:

Agreed, but the testing to get such a design to production is phenomenal.......testing Boeing couldn't have done already......

User currently offlineMagyar From Hungary, joined Feb 2000, 599 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (15 years 6 months 5 days 8 hours ago) and read 2413 times:

Just two thoughs. What if Boeing comes out with a new VLA but the
market cannot support both this and the A3XX and both company
get bancrupt? Then do we go back to ocean liners and railway  ?

Second, Boeing actually can save a lot not to come out first with a VLA!
They can learn from the A3XX designs, errors and experiences. Much
like in the case of A330/340 and B777!

However, if there is market only for one VLA, then not coming out
first can backfire!


User currently offlineTWAneedsNOhelp From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 14, posted (15 years 6 months 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 2399 times:

This plane Qantas just ordered, the Longer Range 747-400 is or is not a part of the 747X family?


User currently offlineAerosol From Germany, joined Oct 2000, 566 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (15 years 6 months 5 days 6 hours ago) and read 2390 times:

In my opinion Boeing is doing a good job not to develop a completely new airplane. I read in an article that the development of the advanced 744 is the result of a new company culture which is one of the things that came which the merger (Boeing/McDD). That new company culture's aim is to create shareholder value. Every investment is checked carefully if there`s a market and to make it as profitable as possible. Of course the development of a new plane is expensive and very risky. The article I read can be found on www.fortune.com and is called Boeing VS. Boeing
An interesting development is the Boeing BBW (Blended Body Wing), which could be the next really new aircraft that Boeing is going to develop. Currently they are doing studies if the revelutionary design will be accepted by the passengers (e.g. no windows, the only way you can look outside is through the TV). Pictures and an article about it can be found on:



User currently offlineSndp From Belgium, joined Feb 2000, 553 posts, RR: 2
Reply 16, posted (15 years 6 months 5 days 6 hours ago) and read 2389 times:

If the 747x we know from the pictures is not the one which will look like the one that will maybe roll out of the hangar one day, then there are two possibilities:
OR the airlines know the 747x we know and Boeing shows them something which is not the real one, which is stupid and thus impossible,
or Boeing shows the airlines the real one, which we do not know, propose it to them in competition with the A3XX but the airlines have at the moment still ordered the A3XX (SIA, Qantas, Air France, ....) and not the 747x.
So, whatever aircraft they are developing, they are not able to get orders for it. And in the case of Qantas, this does not only mean they lost this battle, they gave Airbus the opportunity to enter the Qantas fleet, which is difficult to do but once it is done, Airbus has an advantage with its cockpit communality.

User currently offlineWorldTraveller From Germany, joined Jun 1999, 624 posts, RR: 5
Reply 17, posted (15 years 6 months 5 days 4 hours ago) and read 2379 times:

But to which airlines does Boeing want to sell its NLA in, say, 2010?

All carriers in need for more capacity would have ordered the A3XX by then.

The order battle is going on RIGHT NOW, and it seems the A3XX is doing quite well.

I think Boeing will at least go ahead with the B747-400X and the B747X (not B747X stretch) and sell them to airlines like AirNZ, South African, Air India, JAL, ANA...

the WorldTraveller

User currently offlineSdate747 From United States of America, joined Oct 2000, 272 posts, RR: 0
Reply 18, posted (15 years 6 months 5 days 4 hours ago) and read 2375 times:

As slick as the A3XX design looks, I am sad to say that the airline business is transitioning to smaller planes and shorter hops, since air travel is becoming cheaper and more accessible around the world. Just look at the explosion in the RJ marketplace - both Bombardier (Canadair) and Embraer will tell you that meeting market demand is a challenge for them. The 747 is a tried and tested product. The A3XX is not. And although Airbus may finally be able to say they make the world's largest passenger airliner, the beauty, elegance and heritage of the 747 line of planes is hard to match. The 747X is the perfect solution. It will come reasonably close to the A3XX in terms of payload and capacity, but will still be conservative from a R&D standpoint. And we all know that budgets and profits dictate plane design. In the end, the 747X will be Boeing's only answer to A3XX, and we will only appreciate their wisdom in doing so some 20 years from now, looking back at this period in civil aviation.


User currently offlineRuscoe From Australia, joined Aug 1999, 1865 posts, RR: 2
Reply 19, posted (15 years 6 months 5 days 1 hour ago) and read 2355 times:

I think Boeing want Airbus to committ to the A3XX.
When it is too far down the path to be cancelled, and Boeing know the performance figures, they will simply produce a better one. Furthermore, all the money and human resources tied up in the A3XX project is going to seriously effect Aibus's ability to respond to future Boeing initiatives in other aircraft markets.

User currently offlinePerthGloryFan From Australia, joined Oct 2000, 751 posts, RR: 0
Reply 20, posted (15 years 6 months 5 days 1 hour ago) and read 2356 times:

Perhaps Bowing(   ) will leave the VLA market to AI and go for something different - perhaps they'll resurrect the Boeing 2707!
Ok, kiddies check that one out.
10 smilies to the first one to remind us what the 2707 was - entries accepted only from those born after 1975.

User currently offlineTWA717_200 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 21, posted (15 years 6 months 5 days 1 hour ago) and read 2352 times:


I could tell you, but I was born in '69.

User currently offlineEg777er From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2000, 1844 posts, RR: 13
Reply 22, posted (15 years 6 months 5 days ago) and read 2351 times:

I was born in '82 and could tell you exactly what the 2707 is/was, but I won't spoil it.

Now, to business.

I think that the 747X will fail. This is not because of petty nationalism (although I am European) which surfaces so often in these forums.

Airlines do not buy aircraft. They invest in them. For example, you invest in spares, engines, training, maintenace facilities etc.

Whoever buys A3XX or 747X commits to spend a lot of money with either Airbus or Boeing for the life of the airframe. Ditto with engine manufacturers.

Now, put yourself in the position of a major airline, such as SQ or QF, or even BA. You need more capacity - in the case of BA, you're running 5 747-400s, mostly full, a day between LHR and JFK and this 'fragmentation' thing that all the analysts have been debating is simply not happening. You need a 550 seater.

You have two choices - the A3XX-100 or the 747X-Stretch.

The performance etc. is about equal. Ditto list price, give or take a few mill. (I'm simplifying here).

With both aircraft you'll have to invest in the following:

Pilot training - coz their similar, but not alike to thier brothers, the A340 & 777.
Spares - coz things will go wrong eventually.
Hangars - they're both too big to fit your present ones.
Cabin crew training - got to know how to work the Cappucino machine!
Engines - need power, obviously.
Engine maintenance and spares.

Now, the man from Airbus says:

"We have a new design. It'll go on flying for the next 30 years (hey, the 747 has, so why not the A3XX?) so whatever you buy/build now, you will be making an investment for the next 30 years - perhaps even 50"

Then, the man from Boeing says:

"We have a tried and tested design. However, if Boeing747-400 goes anywhere near it, it'll be trashed in 8 years time for a totally new design."

So with Airbus the investment in the aircraft you need NOW will last 30 years - and for Boeing 8.

This is why IMHO Boeings 'wait and see attitude' may please the shareholders now, but it will come back and cost them dear.

User currently offlineUdo From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 23, posted (15 years 6 months 5 days ago) and read 2354 times:

Some comments here make me laugh loudly...

Does anybody really think Boeing can just open the hangar in 2010, present an aircraft better then the A3XX and win back all lost orders? Maybe you should add that they already plan a new large field where they can store all the A3XX which they will buy back from the airlines in a deal similar to the SIA-A340-B777 switch...

Come on, who should Boeing sell a new VLA to in 2010 when all the majors airlines will have the A3XX in operation? Even if Boeing can present a completely new aircraft they couldn't sell it easily to A3XX operators. We don't talk about old chairs which get replaced by new chairs, we talk about aircraft which cost several hundreds of dollars per unit!
But I never believe that Boeing would launch a new VLA as it would be too expensive and too risky to plan an aircraft for a market which will be in the hands of Airbus.
I think some of you don't see the reality. Airbus has gone a long way to be able to offer and build the A3XX, so Boeing just cannot come, see and be successful with less efforts. Right now, very important majors have already ordered the A3XX and other will follow. Time runs out for Boeing that is a fact.
And I think they cannot do anything against it as presenting a better aircraft, and especially a completely new aircraft ist just nopt possible. Not today and not in three years. Maybe they just failed to realize that there IS a market for such a VLA? Too bad...


User currently offlineOxygen From Hong Kong, joined Sep 1999, 675 posts, RR: 1
Reply 24, posted (15 years 6 months 4 days 21 hours ago) and read 2329 times:

Nice imagination, Boeing747-400 !
Hope your dream would come true in your dreams !

25 Post contains images RIX : 747X doesn't look to be a "real" answer to A3XX, it is only another offer for another market niche, and can be a real success itself (despite slow sta
26 UA777 : I do believe Boeing realizes that it would be suicide to invest in a new aircraft to replace the venerable 747. I believe that the 747 will find a new
27 UA777 : I do believe Boeing realizes that it would be suicide to invest in a new aircraft to replace the venerable 747. I believe that the 747 will find a new
28 Widebody : I think you have to realise that 40% of Boeing civil avaition profits have come from the 747, simply bacuse they've been able to set a price, and no o
29 Post contains images RIX : A loss is when you invest and can't sell. Boeing has NO LOSSES on VLA market. I very doubt Boeing has 40% of its profits from 747 (at least without fr
30 Post contains images Teahan : Some people really make me laugh! Just to tell you all that the Qantas B747X order was not a new order but rather a conversion of B747 400 options: No
31 TWAneedsNOhelp : Is the Longer Range 747-400 that Qanatas just ordered the other day a member of the 747X family? Anyone know?
32 Post contains images RIX : How funny to see these pictures in "747X May Not Be What You Think..." thread - that's what makes ME laugh!
33 RIX : Yes, 747-400X is a member of new 747 family. Actually, see www.boeing.com, "With the Nov. 28, 2000, launch of the new Longer-Range 747-400, all refere
34 Post contains images OH-LGA : LOL @ RIX... true true But seriously for Boeing it's not looking too hot at the moment, I mean that Qantas order was probably one of the worst slap-in
35 Widebody : 40% of Boeing profits do come from the 747, simply because it is the only aircraft on which they have no competition, therefore, they do not ever need
36 Post contains images RIX : Great reasoning... then why only 40%, not 80%? BTW, I was wrong saying 747 is of the least demand, but 21 order of almost 600 this year... 40% of prof
37 Widebody : The 40% figure is one from about 4 years ago, so I guess it is different nowadays with the introduction and success of the 777.....however, when the n
38 RIX : "Boeing took the wrong choice" - that's quite possible. At least, as I said before, for me 747X looks to be a niche aircraft and, yes, may be a succes
39 Tullamarine : I think it's a bit cute of Boeing to call the 744LR part of the 747X range. Realistically it is an add on to the existing 744 range. The design change
40 KonaB777 : The only interior that comes even close to the 777 in terms of aesthetics & smoothness is the A320s (at least United's). Incorporating the 777 style i
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