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Future Of The 747  
User currently offlineThrust From United States of America, joined Sep 2003, 2690 posts, RR: 10
Posted (7 years 5 months 1 week 2 days 15 hours ago) and read 10399 times:

Just wondering how much longer the 747 has to grace the skies with most of the airlines who have ordered the A380, etc, because I haven't a clue, and I'm honestly not so sure if for all of them who have ordered the A380 that it means the 747 is on its way out of their fleet. It just doesn't seem to me like the A380 will be able to fill the demand for all the 747 routes of LH, etc....it just seems far too big for a lot of the 747's routes and other aircraft seem too small for those routes. The most feasible replacements might be an A346/773ER combo but I'm not sure that's gonna cut it. Also it doesn't really seem as though there is a true replacement out there for it. The A380 just doesn't seem to be as big a threat to the 747 as it was initially made out to be. I guess my overall question is should we expect every 744 with the passenger carriers who have ordered the A380 right now to be gone within 8 years or sooner or are there planes to keep them operating along with the A380? THe 748 honestly doesn't seem to be selling very well, last time I checked... that's why I haven't really talked about it much. Help would be appreciated.


Fly one thing; Fly it well
38 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineFuturecaptain From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 1, posted (7 years 5 months 1 week 2 days 15 hours ago) and read 10349 times:

Well, seeing as the plane is still being built and will be built through at least most of the next decade I'd say we have another 30-50 years to see the 747 "grace the skies." The freighter it seems will definately last longer than the pax version but neither the pax or F are on their way out yet.

User currently offlineStitch From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 31123 posts, RR: 85
Reply 2, posted (7 years 5 months 1 week 2 days 14 hours ago) and read 10298 times:
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As a passenger plane, it should continue to serve for decades between the 747-400s delivered in the late 1990s and early 2000s and the 747-8Is to be delivered at the end of this decade and the beginning of the next.

As a freighter, I expect we will see 747s in the skies through mid-century.


User currently offlineZKSUJ From New Zealand, joined May 2004, 7108 posts, RR: 12
Reply 3, posted (7 years 5 months 1 week 2 days 14 hours ago) and read 10290 times:

Quoting Thrust (Thread starter):
THe 748 honestly doesn't seem to be selling very well, last time I checked... that's why I haven't really talked about it much

The 748 IMHO will sell well in future when airlines start to replace their 744 fleet. For many airlines, the 777 is 'too small' but their routes do not justify a jump to the 380. By then, the 748 would be a better choice than 346/777 combo IMO due to the 777/346 being of age. The 748 to date has 70+ orders in comaprison to the 380's 140+. But you must remember that the 748 was only on the market for 2 years while the 380 has been for 7 years. using that logic, the 748 will overtake the 380 eventually.

So I'd say that as a personal opinion, the 747 has many good years ahead of it yet...


User currently offlineZvezda From Lithuania, joined Aug 2004, 10511 posts, RR: 64
Reply 4, posted (7 years 5 months 1 week 2 days 14 hours ago) and read 10239 times:

Past performance doesn't necessarily indicate future trends. There are a couple of reasons to doubt that currently flying aircraft, such as the 747 will stay in service as long as aircraft now being retired. One is the price of fuel. The recent large increases in fuel prices increase the pressure to replace aircraft with more fuel-efficient models. Another is environmental pressure. Most of all, we're now in a transition from metal structures to CFRP structures that will soon leave metal airliners uncompetitive.

Quoting Thrust (Thread starter):
should we expect every 744 with the passenger carriers who have ordered the A380 right now to be gone within 8 years or sooner or are there planes (sic) to keep them operating along with the A380?

I think that 8 years from now there will still be a few 747-400s in passenger service, but their replacements (787-10s, A350-1000s, 777-300ERs, 747-8I SuperJumbos, and WhaleJets) will have already been ordered. The last one will probably be converted to a freighter well before 2020.


User currently offlineJet-lagged From United States of America, joined Mar 2002, 874 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (7 years 5 months 1 week 2 days 12 hours ago) and read 10133 times:

Quoting Zvezda (Reply 4):
I think that 8 years from now there will still be a few 747-400s in passenger service, but their replacements (787-10s, A350-1000s, 777-300ERs, 747-8I SuperJumbos, and WhaleJets) will have already been ordered. The last one will probably be converted to a freighter well before 2020.

It is odd to think that, within 10 years time or so, we will be looking at passenger 744's and automatcially think, "that's kind of an out-of-date airplane.".


User currently offlineKen777 From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 8329 posts, RR: 9
Reply 6, posted (7 years 5 months 1 week 2 days 12 hours ago) and read 10079 times:

Quoting Jet-lagged (Reply 5):
It is odd to think that, within 10 years time or so, we will be looking at passenger 744's and automatcially think, "that's kind of an out-of-date airplane.".

Yes, but the 748i will still be fresh and few pax will realize the difference.

Thrust, you're still in university, but I think it is safe to say that there will still be 747s of some ilk flying somewhere when you retire. Maybe one day Boeing will make it composite, just to provide a front loading freighter, with a few pax versions as an add on. Would take one big autoclave to cook the barrels with the upper deck!  Big grin


User currently offlineMke717spotter From United States of America, joined Dec 2005, 2458 posts, RR: 5
Reply 7, posted (7 years 5 months 1 week 2 days 11 hours ago) and read 10020 times:

Its just to bad that the 748 won't have winglets like the '400 version.


Will you watch the Cleveland Browns and the Detroit Lions on Sunday? Only if coach Eric Mangini resigned after a loss.
User currently offlineZKSUJ From New Zealand, joined May 2004, 7108 posts, RR: 12
Reply 8, posted (7 years 5 months 1 week 2 days 10 hours ago) and read 9928 times:

Quoting Mke717spotter (Reply 7):
Its just to bad that the 748 won't have winglets like the '400 version

True I do like the winglets that the 744 has. However I'm sure the raked style is better suited economically and aerodynamically.


User currently offlineSparkingWave From South Korea, joined Jun 2005, 671 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (7 years 5 months 1 week 2 days 9 hours ago) and read 9879 times:

Boeing is marketing the 747-8 as a great way to replace and upgrade 747-400 fleets that will be their way out in the next couple of years. I believe the 747-8s will allow Boeing extra time, over the life of these new aircraft (around 20 years) to design something completely new and better. Probably in the 2030 timeframe, Boeing could design a new jumbo that will offer:

-complete fuselage/wing carbon fibre composite construction that will be more efficient and stronger
- next-generation bleedless engines with another 20-30% gain in efficiency and noise reduction
- Use of 2 or 3 engines max per aircraft
- blended wing body design to allow more cargo capacity
- One-pilot cockpit with 2030-generation avionics technology and automated flight systems
(pilotless cockpit for freight/cargo versions of this aircraft)

I'm sure there will be plenty of other innovations, but those are the ones that I'll guess at for now.



Flights to the moon and all major space stations. At Pan Am, the sky is no longer the limit!
User currently offlineMke717spotter From United States of America, joined Dec 2005, 2458 posts, RR: 5
Reply 10, posted (7 years 5 months 1 week 2 days 9 hours ago) and read 9840 times:

Quoting SparkingWave (Reply 9):
One-pilot cockpit

Personally it'd make me kind of uneasy if there's only one pilot on the aircraft...especially something that big. Plus, it'd be pretty boring for that lone pilot sitting all by himself for the long flight. However that's still way down the road so I'm just gonna enjoy things as they are now!



Will you watch the Cleveland Browns and the Detroit Lions on Sunday? Only if coach Eric Mangini resigned after a loss.
User currently offlineZvezda From Lithuania, joined Aug 2004, 10511 posts, RR: 64
Reply 11, posted (7 years 5 months 1 week 2 days 8 hours ago) and read 9757 times:

Quoting Ken777 (Reply 6):
Thrust, you're still in university, but I think it is safe to say that there will still be 747s of some ilk flying somewhere when you retire.

That seems very unlikely.

Quoting Ken777 (Reply 6):
Maybe one day Boeing will make it composite, just to provide a front loading freighter, with a few pax versions as an add on. Would take one big autoclave to cook the barrels with the upper deck!

If Boeing were to make a composite 747-sized airliner, it wouldn't be a 747. This is the Y3 concept. Building it would be a huge business risk. I don't think there would be much chance of a good RoI.


User currently offlineFlyingclrs727 From United States of America, joined Apr 2007, 733 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (7 years 5 months 1 week 2 days 8 hours ago) and read 9739 times:

Quoting Zvezda (Reply 11):
If Boeing were to make a composite 747-sized airliner, it wouldn't be a 747. This is the Y3 concept. Building it would be a huge business risk. I don't think there would be much chance of a good RoI.

What if the 747 replacement were a BWB design that also could have variants that could be used as a C-5 replacement?


User currently offlineZvezda From Lithuania, joined Aug 2004, 10511 posts, RR: 64
Reply 13, posted (7 years 5 months 1 week 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 9704 times:

Quoting Flyingclrs727 (Reply 12):
What if the 747 replacement were a BWB design that also could have variants that could be used as a C-5 replacement?

There is much reason to believe that a BWB would work very well for both military and civilian cargo. There is not so much reason to believe that it would work well as a passenger airliner. The need to make very gentle turns, the lack of windows, and evacuation considerations all weigh against it.


User currently offlineThrust From United States of America, joined Sep 2003, 2690 posts, RR: 10
Reply 14, posted (7 years 5 months 1 week 2 days 6 hours ago) and read 9640 times:

Thanks for the kind replies. More are welcome, I'd like to be as certain about this as possible because before I asked this question I was looking at all the 747 photos on a.net and thinking to myself how much longer am I going to see this? Before I posted this I was under the impression there wouldn't be any passenger 747s left by the time I reached 40 (I'm 20 now). More input from more people would be appreciated, though I am grateful for what I've gotten so far. I'm at least glad I may have more reason to be optimistic.

[Edited 2007-05-20 09:53:33]


Fly one thing; Fly it well
User currently offlineZvezda From Lithuania, joined Aug 2004, 10511 posts, RR: 64
Reply 15, posted (7 years 5 months 1 week 2 days 5 hours ago) and read 9581 times:

Quoting Thrust (Reply 14):
I posted this I was under the impression there wouldn't be any passenger 747s left by the time I reached 40 (I'm 20 now).

Twenty years from now, there might or might not still be some 747-400s flying as freighters -- certainly not in passenger service. There will probably be 747-8s flying twenty years from now as freighters -- perhaps even a few in passenger service.


User currently offlineMop357 From United States of America, joined Mar 2007, 85 posts, RR: 0
Reply 16, posted (7 years 5 months 1 week 2 days 3 hours ago) and read 9312 times:

Quoting Mke717spotter (Reply 10):
Quoting SparkingWave (Reply 9):
One-pilot cockpit

Personally it'd make me kind of uneasy if there's only one pilot on the aircraft...especially something that big. Plus, it'd be pretty boring for that lone pilot sitting all by himself for the long flight. However that's still way down the road so I'm just gonna enjoy things as they are now!

I am not a fan of having one pilot in the cockpit of a 747 either. Suppose the lonely pilot falls asleep. Pilots have fell asleep during flight before. know everyone is trying to pinch corners to save money but I think thats just taking it too far. That would be similar to airplanes flying routes on 1 engine to save gas.


User currently offlineOA260 From Ireland, joined Nov 2006, 27122 posts, RR: 60
Reply 17, posted (7 years 5 months 1 week 2 days 3 hours ago) and read 9126 times:

Quoting Jet-lagged (Reply 5):
It is odd to think that, within 10 years time or so, we will be looking at passenger 744's and automatcially think, "that's kind of an out-of-date airplane.".

Yes the 744's are still very nice AC to fly in and I hope they are around for years to come.

Quoting Mke717spotter (Reply 7):
just to bad that the 748 won't have winglets like the '400 version

Yes I think the same also, it doesnt look right to me without the winglets. I remember when they first came out , it was such a unique thing.


I see the 748 and A380 both doing well. Different airlines will want different AC so there is a place for both. I see the A380 taking over the Australian routes though from Europe anyway and with EK ordering so many it will be interesting to see where they use them.


User currently offlineSparkingWave From South Korea, joined Jun 2005, 671 posts, RR: 0
Reply 18, posted (7 years 5 months 1 week 2 days ago) and read 8316 times:

Quoting Mop357 (Reply 16):
I am not a fan of having one pilot in the cockpit of a 747 either. Suppose the lonely pilot falls asleep. Pilots have fell asleep during flight before. know everyone is trying to pinch corners to save money but I think thats just taking it too far. That would be similar to airplanes flying routes on 1 engine to save gas.

Well, that's what they thought about going from 3 pilots to two back in the late 1980s.

Just because there's only one pilot in the cockpit doesn't mean that would necessarily be the only pilot onboard. There will probably be relief pilots, esp. on long-haul flights, as there are now.

By 2030, avionics in the aircraft, as well as on the ground (and in space), combined with brute force computing power in real time, will probably be sophisticated enough to allow pilotless flying, making single-pilot flying at that time something most people might take for granted.



Flights to the moon and all major space stations. At Pan Am, the sky is no longer the limit!
User currently offlinePC12Fan From United States of America, joined Jan 2007, 2453 posts, RR: 5
Reply 19, posted (7 years 5 months 1 week 1 day 20 hours ago) and read 6559 times:

I seriously doubt that you will see the 748i sell like the -400 did, to my dismay. Here's why, I remember when the 747-400 was just in it's infancy of actual service. One airline exec was quoted as saying in an Air Transport World article "it's the only airplane for the job". Airlines were drooling over the range of the 744, but not all necessarily needed the capacity. I'd bet my own money that if the 772ER was available at the same time as the 744, not nearly as many 744's would have been sold.

Sure would have been neat to see both the 772ER and 748i in TWA's last scheme though.  Sad



Just when I think you've said the stupidest thing ever, you keep talkin'!
User currently offlineKaitak744 From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 2392 posts, RR: 3
Reply 20, posted (7 years 5 months 1 week 1 day 20 hours ago) and read 6399 times:

Quoting SparkingWave (Reply 9):
-complete fuselage/wing carbon fibre composite construction that will be more efficient and stronger
- next-generation bleedless engines with another 20-30% gain in efficiency and noise reduction
- Use of 2 or 3 engines max per aircraft
- blended wing body design to allow more cargo capacity
- One-pilot cockpit with 2030-generation avionics technology and automated flight systems
(pilotless cockpit for freight/cargo versions of this aircraft)

How about the more obvious advancements?

-speed
-new type of fuel

^two areas in commercial aviation where no one has made ANY progress in over 50 years.

I think Y3 very well could be faster and non-oil powered.

-
Many people here are putting down the 747-8 because it has not been a hot seller. However, I don't think it is doing poorly at all. Boeing's target customers (British, Cathay, KLM, United, Northwest, South African, Saudi Arabian, ect.) have not yet made ANY major fleet decisions yet. They still could order the 747-8. Now, if these airlines don't go for the 747-8, then there would be a problem for the 747 program.


User currently offlineRunway24R From United Kingdom, joined May 2007, 47 posts, RR: 0
Reply 21, posted (7 years 5 months 1 week 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 5553 times:

The 744s will be around for a long while yet!!

Airlines such as Cathy and Northwest have recently been shelling out money converting their 747-200s into freighters whilst their -400s remain in service. I think its fair to say that their 'new' 747-200F/SCDs will be around for a fair while before they begin to retire them. THEN these airlines will begin to convert their -400s into freighters to replace the -200s.

The first 747-200 flew in 1970 - that's 37 years ago and there are still loads of them in the sky - and not all in the form of freighters - JAL, Transaero, Northwest, etc have pax versions still flying. I would imagine that we will still be seeing the 747-200F in the sky in 20 years time.

Now given the fact that the first 747-400 flew nearly twenty years after the first -200, (as well as being a VERY significant development from the classics), I think it's fair to say that there will be 747-400s (progressively in freighter form) in service for the next 45-50 years.  old 

Also, whilst on the subject of old aircraft, can anyone tell me if long haul aircraft generally last long (in terms of age) before they are scrapped??

For example, take a 747 and a 737. If they are both in the air for 18 hrs per day (to keep the maths simple), the 747 might do 2 sectors (each of 9hrs), whereas the 737 might do 12 sectors (each of 90 mins). I would assume that the 737 will see more wear and tear each day through the high number of takeoff and landings, therefore be scrapped at a younger age? Am I right with this, or are there other complications? Any input would be appreciated.

Cheers, Rob  wave 



A319, A320, A321, A332, A333, A346, 732, 733, 736, 738, 744, 752, 762, 763, 772, 77L, 77W, CRJ700, MD80
User currently offlineKeesje From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 22, posted (7 years 5 months 1 week 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 5291 times:

Quoting SparkingWave (Reply 9):
Boeing is marketing the 747-8 as a great way to replace and upgrade 747-400 fleets that will be their way out in the next couple of years.

Boeings Randy T sees the 747 retirement as follows:


source: http://boeingblogs.com/randy/

Analysing the development of the long range 400-500 seat replacement market he concludes
- 60% of the 747 replacement : Asia-Pacific, 30% in Europe, 10% is in North America and the rest of the world.
- the 400-500 seat segment is nearly all replacement.

Randy concludes the 748i is the right replacement for them all.

I think additionally to Randy´s analyses :

- the VLA segment seems all but a replacement market, middle east, the chinese and indian markets come to mind..
- freighter conversion of many 747-400s, extracting extra passenger capasity
- the fact that -8i is about 10-15% larger then the -400, the market is growing 5% / yr in the 2002-2010 period, from which can be concluded size wise the -8i does not exactly match growth as predicted by Boeings CMO..





User currently offlineAADC10 From United States of America, joined Nov 2004, 2099 posts, RR: 0
Reply 23, posted (7 years 5 months 1 week 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 4099 times:

I am not as optimistic about the future of the 747 as some of the other posters. While it has been a great aircraft for many years, it has some flaws, mostly higher fuel burn per seat than the 777. The other problem is airline marketing. There is a marketing value in having the biggest passenger plane in the world. Having the second biggest plane has nothing. Would you rather fly in a 747 or a L-1011? That is why third world airlines like Singapore and Emirates were among the first to snap up the A380. They need to have bigger phallic symbols to make up for their third world origins.

The 747 also has the problem of 17" wide coach seating. All other twin aisle jets (except the future 787 9 abreast) have 18" or even 18.5" wide seats. On a flight of less than 3 hours or so, that is not a big deal but most 747s are used for long haul flights and over 10 hours, that extra inch of elbow room makes a difference.


User currently offlineKen777 From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 8329 posts, RR: 9
Reply 24, posted (7 years 5 months 1 week 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 4049 times:

Quoting AADC10 (Reply 23):
There is a marketing value in having the biggest passenger plane in the world. Having the second biggest plane has nothing. Would you rather fly in a 747 or a L-1011?

That may be true, but look at how well the 787/777 have sold. Truth is that I'm happy flying any WB plane over a NB - even for short flights. I've yet to fly on a WB I didn't like - I even loved the 10s.

To a large degree, the future of the 748i will rest with airlines like BA and CX. The future of the 748F is already on solid ground.


25 Stitch : Depends on the airline. AA, for example, flies their 767s with 17" seating to allow for larger aisles. Same with DL's domestic 763ERs (and some of th
26 Post contains images Futurecaptain : An L-1011 of course. Can't find many trijets to fly on anymore. Would be a fun experience.
27 Zvezda : The 747-400 has a lower fuel burn per seat than the 777-200ER/LR. The 747-8 will probably have a lower fuel burn per seat than everything except the
28 ZKSUJ : Yes it does burn more gas, but the 744 is still more economical than the 777 in terms of fuel per seat mile. In fact, this nearly 20 year old plane i
29 Post contains images Keesje : In terms of CASM the 744 is doing OK, however very much depends on the seatcount one chooses to use. Operating costs are high.
30 ZKSUJ : Sorry. Forgot to mention it was in a typical config.
31 Post contains images Stitch : L-1011. They didn't call those babies "Whisperjets" for nothing.
32 DeltaDC9 : That is exactly what they were saying in 1969, ironic huh? Not really buying into that. Exactly It is not like the 744 is the only plane with these s
33 Brendows : There is one thing that you never mention when you write that the market is expected to grow by 5% year and triple within the next 20 years - you ass
34 SeJoWa : But wouldn't a hypothetic Y3's frame last for decades? And couldn't manufacturing methods be tailored to match the lower build rates?
35 Post contains images SeJoWa : Marketing is meant to further the success of an attractive product. Like this: We build the biggest passenger plane in the world, are flush with cash
36 Zvezda : Sales in the far future don't help much toward achieving RoI because of the future value of money. A dollar today is worth more than a dollar next ye
37 Viscount724 : "Whisperjet" was only an Eastern marketing name for the 727. It had nothing to do with Boeing. They also called their DC-9s Whisperjets. They referre
38 Post contains images Stitch : Close enough.
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