Now I was wondering about whether CO, an airline in which I maintain a financial interest, could possibly send some of their 777s to Everett and turn them into aircraft that wouldn't have to be payload restricted to go to HKG. CO could beat out CX on the New York to Hong Kong route, offering a direct service to a much more convenient location. Then CO could wreck the crap out of SIA and have 777 service all the way to Singapore with -200LR.
I know CO has the GE powerplants and I was wondering if GE might offer some sort of trade-in program for them. There probably is a large demand for GE90 powerplants so GE wouldn't have any problems getting rid of them. All of the rest of the problem is Boeing's.
So how feasible is it to do such a thing? All I see is the addition of extra fuel tanks, re-engining the aircraft, and addition of extra stuff. Is this hard to do when the aircraft goes into one of those heavy maintenance cycles?
Also, BTW, I heard of how Lockheed added fuselage plugs to existing C-141 transports in order to increase the available fuselage space. I was wondering about the feasibility of turning 777-200s essentially into 777-300s if an airline sees that it needs quick capacity.
DesertJets From United States of America, joined Feb 2000, 7813 posts, RR: 16
Reply 1, posted (13 years 11 months 3 weeks 3 days 2 hours ago) and read 1545 times:
In short no. While I am not an aerospace engineer or an A&P, there are several reasons that make such a conversion unrealistic, well actually one COST. The key differences between the ER and LR 777-200 are the new higher output GE-90-110/115 engines, new raked wingtips, extra fuel tankage, new intergral cabin and cockpit crew rest in the "attic" of the fuselage, and the corresponding structural beef-ups to handle the extra weight.
First of all you cannot just swap out one engine for another on a plane. The FAA/CAA/JAA all have very strict rules on engine certifications and a given airframe is certified for only one engine, lets say the PW4090. To swap the 4090 for the GE-90-110 would require a mess of supplimental certifications which equal a lot of money. Plus the related engine control hardware and software would be different enough to increase the cost and certification requirements.
However I cannot think of any reason that the raked wingtips could not be fitted on a non-LR 777, which may yield some marginal increase in efficiency by itself. The extra fuel tankage could be fitted, but then the airframe would need new certifications to handle an increased MGTOW, which is another cost and paperwork nightmare. Plus the plane would still need to extra structural changes to cope with the increased weight.
Basically it does not make sense to highly modify a mostly new plane with a long service life ahead of it. It can be wise to do this to older planes... look no further than the Super 70 DC-8 and the MD-10 programmes. But not to a lightly used 777-200ER.
Stop drop and roll will not save you in hell. --- seen on a church marque in rural Virginia
Chiawei From United States of America, joined Nov 2000, 950 posts, RR: 1
Reply 2, posted (13 years 11 months 3 weeks 3 days 2 hours ago) and read 1529 times:
Actually it is possible. But would it be economical to do so?
Take an example similar to this.
ANA has converted a 747-400D to 747-400 standard before. 747-400D has much less MTOW, and to convert to 747-400 standard required a lot of structure changes as well as new engines (although still the same CF-6 engine with different thrust rating.)