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Quad Engine Market, How Big Is It?  
User currently offlineSsublyme From United States of America, joined Dec 2008, 515 posts, RR: 0
Posted (5 years 6 months 2 weeks 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 4529 times:

Was thinking about twins and quads and thought, Boeing doesn't really have an offer anymore. Granted they've got the 748, it really hasn't sold as a passenger variant. Airbus on the other hand has the A340 & A380. Outside the hot & high locations, is there any other market for the quads? Did Boeing cede that market to Airbus? If so how large a market is there for quads?

32 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineDUALRATED From United States of America, joined May 2008, 1001 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (5 years 6 months 2 weeks 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 4505 times:

Small market at best, notice how the "quads" have not been great sellers of late.


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User currently offlineAirNZ From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 2, posted (5 years 6 months 2 weeks 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 4491 times:



Quoting DUALRATED (Reply 1):
Small market at best, notice how the "quads" have not been great sellers of late.

Can you define 'small market' though please? Indeed, the rest of the post surely then contradicts the 748F being a great success.


User currently offlineDocLightning From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 19275 posts, RR: 58
Reply 3, posted (5 years 6 months 2 weeks 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 4479 times:

Well, there's a nice, safe, non-controversial topic!  duck 

There is an answer to your question, but we will not know it for a few years at least.

Boeing, not exactly a company of idiots (even if they're acting like it), decided that the market was too small to merit developing a true 744 replacement. They found the 767 market to be most amenable to upgrade by increasing both range and efficiency on a 767-size plane so that it could perform long-range missions.

Airbus, not exactly a company of idiots (even if they have been known to act like it), decided that the market was big enough to justify the A380 project. They decided that there was a market for VLA's because of increasing congestion and likelihood of increasing number of slot-controlled airports.

The 787 is selling like hotcakes. They broke 1,000 a bit back, no? So Boeing was right. And Airbus is definitely attacking the 777 market, so there is a market in that mid-size range.

But on the other hand, the A380 isn't doing that shabbily, either. I'm not sure if it's broken even yet, but it is garnering orders and it's a young program. It's not the explosion out of the gate that the 787 is, but it seems as if A made a calculated bet and stands to win it. The A380 may not be the 747. It may not make huge amounts of money. But they think it will make money, and as long as it's in the black, it's a success.

The 748 is simply not the right plane. The advantages for CASM just aren't there like they are for the A380. It can do a few things the A380 can't (like operate into SXM, AFAIK), which makes it a good VIP and niche aircraft, but it was realy pitched as a freighter with a pax. by-the-way version.

And LH seems to think they can make money with it. Perhaps if they show they can, with a very short waiting time, other airlines will jump in. But I doubt it will be even as successful as the 743.

Is Boeing out of the VLA market forever? Forever's a long time. But I think the A380 will be getting ready for replacement the next time Boeing offers such a size class. Going head-to-head with Airbus with a costly and time-consuming all-new design at this stage would only be a guaranteed two-sided loss; neither side could possibly make money off the market that does exist.


User currently offlineDocLightning From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 19275 posts, RR: 58
Reply 4, posted (5 years 6 months 2 weeks 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 4455 times:

Of course I went ranting on about VLA's.

I think that, for the most part, the only market currently requiring quads is the South Polar region. If the ETOPS regulations are relaxed to allow trans-antarctic flights, then there will be no advantage to a quad over a twin of the same size.

The only planes that would be quads would be those that were so big they would HAVE to be. I think a trijet is somewhat less likely because of sheer size of the engines, mounting one in the tail is going to be a tough thing to do aerodynamically.


User currently offlineAirNZ From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 5, posted (5 years 6 months 2 weeks 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 4418 times:

Excellent post Doc, very interesting and well explained!

User currently offlineAirvan00 From Australia, joined Oct 2008, 747 posts, RR: 1
Reply 6, posted (5 years 6 months 2 weeks 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 4418 times:

How many airlines fly twins over the Tibetan plateau? BKK and HKG to Europe? I haven't found any yet. It appears to be the domain of 744, 340, and MD11's

User currently offlineOsiris30 From Barbados, joined Sep 2006, 3186 posts, RR: 26
Reply 7, posted (5 years 6 months 2 weeks 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 4398 times:

Bigger than a toaster and smaller than a blimp?

Sorry, but that's just too hard and too general a question to answer. For what market? For what time period? I mean we talking Civ Pax, Cargo, Mil (and then what group, bomber, fighter, transport). Prop, Jet, etc., etc., etc.

In short I can say this with some confidence: For maintenance reasons, if no other, the fewer the engines the better for airlines (*those 3-holers could be a PITA for maintenance, but they were always weird, even if cool).



I don't care what you think of my opinion. It's my opinion, so have a nice day :)
User currently offlineSsublyme From United States of America, joined Dec 2008, 515 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (5 years 6 months 2 weeks 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 4355 times:

Nice response DocL.  thumbsup 

Quoting Osiris30 (Reply 7):
Sorry, but that's just too hard and too general a question to answer. For what market? For what time period? I mean we talking Civ Pax, Cargo, Mil (and then what group, bomber, fighter, transport). Prop, Jet, etc., etc., etc.

Not really that general. I'm talking about civil.


User currently offlineStitch From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 30401 posts, RR: 84
Reply 9, posted (5 years 6 months 2 weeks 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 4335 times:
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Quads certainly have their benefits. An A340-600 lifts more payload then a 777-300ER, it just burns more fuel doing it. But that extra payload has proven to be a money-maker for airlines like IB, VS, SA and LH even with the higher fuel bill.

As for the 747-8, I am starting to think that Boeing let the 787's success get to their heads and thought if they made the 747 with some 787 parts, it would magically work where all the previous models (747-X, 747-X Stretch, 747-400X, 747-400QXLR) all did not.


User currently offlineOsiris30 From Barbados, joined Sep 2006, 3186 posts, RR: 26
Reply 10, posted (5 years 6 months 2 weeks 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 4335 times:



Quoting Ssublyme (Reply 9):

Not really that general. I'm talking about civil.

Ok, what time period though, are you thinking 10 years, 20 or 50? Are you considering cargo or just pax? There are a lot of variables and hence no right answer (just look at the difference in forecast between Boeing and Airbus over the next 20 years for VLA, regardless of engine count).

At the end of the day, less engines is cheaper. If Boeing/Airbus/Whoever can do it with 2 instead of 4 they will, every time. I think for the civil market we are in the twilight for the quad. Unless there is a massive shift to a new technology that makes smaller engines *significantly* more efficient than their larger brethren the trend will be twins (singles are too risky or you can bet the next 737/320 would be one big single engine).



I don't care what you think of my opinion. It's my opinion, so have a nice day :)
User currently offlineGarethW From New Zealand, joined Apr 2006, 308 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (5 years 6 months 2 weeks 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 4332 times:



Quoting Airvan00 (Reply 6):
How many airlines fly twins over the Tibetan plateau? BKK and HKG to Europe? I haven't found any yet. It appears to be the domain of 744, 340, and MD11's

AF CDG-HKG-CDG & NZ HKG-LHR-HKG off the very top of my head. AY recently changed equipment type on HEL-HKG-HEL from M11 to 343 for reasons other than numbers of engines (efficiency, in-cabin product etc). I'm sure some of TG's European bound flights are 777s.

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 3):
Boeing, not exactly a company of idiots (even if they're acting like it), decided that the market was too small to merit developing a true 744 replacement. They found the 767 market to be most amenable to upgrade by increasing both range and efficiency on a 767-size plane so that it could perform long-range missions.

Well said, and I would go further and suggest that the 744 remains competitive provided the price of oil stays at reasonable levels (below $50-60 per barrel), given that new twins & A380s are expensive, whereas most airlines own their 744s. Therefore, the 748 is a victim of Boeing's own success with the 744.

Rgds,

GW



How good is it?
User currently offlineStitch From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 30401 posts, RR: 84
Reply 12, posted (5 years 6 months 2 weeks 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 4323 times:
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Quoting Osiris30 (Reply 11):
I think for the civil market we are in the twilight for the quad.

Depends. If larger and heavier planes become common, like the BWB, those will need to be at least trijets and likely quads even with each engine pushing 150,000lbs or more of thrust.


User currently offlineOsiris30 From Barbados, joined Sep 2006, 3186 posts, RR: 26
Reply 13, posted (5 years 6 months 2 weeks 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 4323 times:



Quoting Stitch (Reply 10):
As for the 747-8,

Going to go a bit off topic here, but two points of order:

So long as the 748 program makes money (even if it's all freighters), even if it's $1, then it's worth it, just to put pricing pressure on the 380.

The above is likely exactly Boeing's logic/reasoning behind the 748 as well, whether or not they would ever admit such publicly.



I don't care what you think of my opinion. It's my opinion, so have a nice day :)
User currently offlineStitch From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 30401 posts, RR: 84
Reply 14, posted (5 years 6 months 2 weeks 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 4321 times:
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Quoting Osiris30 (Reply 14):
So long as the 748 program makes money (even if it's all freighters), even if it's $1, then it's worth it, just to put pricing pressure on the 380.

They could have done that with the 747-400 and 777-300ER and saved themselves billions in up-front costs.  Wink


User currently offlineOsiris30 From Barbados, joined Sep 2006, 3186 posts, RR: 26
Reply 15, posted (5 years 6 months 2 weeks 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 4307 times:



Quoting Stitch (Reply 13):
Depends. If larger and heavier planes become common, like the BWB, those will need to be at least trijets and likely quads even with each engine pushing 150,000lbs or more of thrust.

Hence why "I think". I don't see air travel getting much cheaper than it is today, and therefore I don't see a need to haul 1,000 people from point a to point b at the same time. Yes there will always be exceptions to the general statement, *but*, I'll let the sales figures for the 787/350/777 speak for themselves vs. the 748/380.

On a CASM basis the 380 and 748 are superior to all three twin frames, yet, airlines don't see the ability to fill a 380/748 as easily, hence the smaller aircraft being more popular.

And even then, I think if there was a need for truly massive engines, they would be built. Afterall, as a general rule, bigger is better with jet engines (to a point I know, but that point seems to keep getting pushed out with each new 'super' engine, it's not dissimilar to CPUs and getting smaller.)



I don't care what you think of my opinion. It's my opinion, so have a nice day :)
User currently offlineOsiris30 From Barbados, joined Sep 2006, 3186 posts, RR: 26
Reply 16, posted (5 years 6 months 2 weeks 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 4304 times:



Quoting Stitch (Reply 15):
They could have done that with the 747-400 and 777-300ER and saved themselves billions in up-front costs. Wink

Possible. Debatable, but possible. Now, would they have been better off spending the money on a 777NG... that's a much more debatable point  Wink



I don't care what you think of my opinion. It's my opinion, so have a nice day :)
User currently offlineNZ107 From New Zealand, joined Jul 2005, 6394 posts, RR: 39
Reply 17, posted (5 years 6 months 2 weeks 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 4303 times:



Quoting Stitch (Reply 10):
But that extra payload has proven to be a money-maker for airlines like IB, VS, SA and LH even with the higher fuel bill

And then you compare this with how CX has rated it.. There are mixed reactions. I'm sure that there are some situations where the 346 would have its advantages over the 77W but a lot of airlines have headed in favour of the twin.

Quoting GarethW (Reply 12):
NZ HKG-LHR-HKG off the very top of my head

Well currently they're operating the 744 on this route.



It's all about the destination AND the journey.
User currently offlineGarethW From New Zealand, joined Apr 2006, 308 posts, RR: 0
Reply 18, posted (5 years 6 months 2 weeks 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 4295 times:



Quoting NZ107 (Reply 18):
Quoting GarethW (Reply 12):
NZ HKG-LHR-HKG off the very top of my head

Well currently they're operating the 744 on this route.

Currently yes, in the future it will be a 772ER. Sorry I should have clarified.



How good is it?
User currently offlineDUALRATED From United States of America, joined May 2008, 1001 posts, RR: 0
Reply 19, posted (5 years 6 months 2 weeks 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 4190 times:



Quoting AirNZ (Reply 2):
Can you define 'small market' though please?

Small=niche. A niche market is a focused, targetable portion of a market.

By definition, then, a business that focuses on a niche market is addressing a
need for a product or service that is not being addressed by mainstream
providers. You can think of a niche market as a narrowly defined group of
potential customers.



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User currently offlineMEA-707 From Netherlands, joined Nov 1999, 4294 posts, RR: 36
Reply 20, posted (5 years 6 months 2 weeks 19 hours ago) and read 4001 times:

It's not like an airline wakes up and thinks, let's go and buy some quads today.

Except for a handful of ULH routes or problems getting the right ETOPS for their planned flights or operations from a hot and high airport like JNB with typical popular destinations around 10.000 kms away, which only counts for a handful of aircraft, most airlines will just check the availability of aircraft and what it can do for them for which price.
Emirates, Arik, Etihad and TAM are using their quad A-340s on routes which can be done just as well by A-330s or 777s, but they weren't available at the time they needed them, or they could get a nice deal because the original airline (AC, KF) didn't want them anymore. Now with lower fuel, a 2nd hand A-340 can be a great and more economical alternative for an expensive 777-300ER. So most of these airlines didn't explicitely want a quad but economics and availability issues made them end up with some.
Had a combi version be available, I am sure KLM would have gone for the 747-8.



nobody has ever died from hard work, but why take the risk?
User currently offlineStitch From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 30401 posts, RR: 84
Reply 21, posted (5 years 6 months 2 weeks 15 hours ago) and read 3834 times:
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Quoting MEA-707 (Reply 20):
Had a combi version be available, I am sure KLM would have gone for the 747-8.

If KL has approached Boeing about a combi 747-8 with a commitment of 15 or more frames and Boeing has said "no", I'd be really surprised....and annoyed.

If KL is willing to live with the fixed partition between the passenger cabin and the cargo hold, it can't be that much of an engineering challenge for Boeing to meet the FAA requirements. I mean the FAA is not going to set criteria Boeing cannot meet.


User currently offlineMEA-707 From Netherlands, joined Nov 1999, 4294 posts, RR: 36
Reply 22, posted (5 years 6 months 2 weeks 15 hours ago) and read 3819 times:



Quoting Stitch (Reply 21):
If KL has approached Boeing about a combi 747-8 with a commitment of 15 or more frames and Boeing has said "no", I'd be really surprised....and annoyed



Quoting Stitch (Reply 21):
I mean the FAA is not going to set criteria Boeing cannot meet.

Yes, basically new combi's with adjustable division walls will no longer be certified due to safety concerns after the Heidelberg SAA crash in 1987. The current types can fly on.
That's why you never hear of a post 1990 type like A-330 or 777 being a combi either. Not that the combi market is very big anyway.



nobody has ever died from hard work, but why take the risk?
User currently offlineSeaBosDca From United States of America, joined Sep 2007, 5281 posts, RR: 4
Reply 23, posted (5 years 6 months 2 weeks 15 hours ago) and read 3811 times:



Quoting DocLightning (Reply 4):
there will be no advantage to a quad over a twin of the same size.

Takeoff performance out of hot and high airports, for routes that need more payload and range than an overpowered twin like a 757 or 762ER (or 788) can deliver. Of course, this is a *very* tiny market, consisting of JNB, MEX, and a few smaller South American and Asian airports. The market is so small that the best secondhand A340s of various sizes can probably fulfill its needs for the next 25 years.

Airlines that actually need an A340 fleet for this reason are few: SA, IB, and maybe MX or a larger South American airline (JJ? LA?) if passenger traffic grows.



Most gorgeous aircraft: Tu-204-300, 757-200, A330-200, 777-200LR, 787-8
User currently offlineStitch From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 30401 posts, RR: 84
Reply 24, posted (5 years 6 months 2 weeks 14 hours ago) and read 3725 times:
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Quoting MEA-707 (Reply 22):
Yes, basically new combi's with adjustable division walls will no longer be certified due to safety concerns after the Heidelberg SAA crash in 1987.

I understand that, but I have been told that KL's 747-400M's effectively fly with a fixed partition because they never change it - they always fly with the same number of seats and the same number of pallet positions.

So if this is true, and KL would do the same with the 747-8M, then if they wanted it, I cannot see why Boeing would not build it for them if they wanted enough of them. Since they now fly 17 747-400M's (per Wiki), I would think an order for 15 would be sufficient to justify the R&D costs.


25 Ag92 : Any airport which can handle a Boeing 744 can handle an Airbus 380
26 YULWinterSkies : By rading your thread title, i was under the impression that you specifically referred to engines. Not many recent engines have specifically been desi
27 DUALRATED : Ahh no, not quite.
28 DocLightning : That is not true at all. There are many more airports that can handle a 744 than an A380.
29 Jbernie : Is that based off of the ability of the runways/taxiways to cope with the landing/take off or the the airport terminals/gates handing the passenger n
30 DUALRATED : Yes. And in some cases both.
31 Atomsareenough : indeed; the 744 is a FAA-group V aircraft, and the 380 is a group VI. in the US at least, that means a different set of requirements in terms of sepa
32 Jbernie : I was hoping Ag92 would expand on the statement "Any airport which can handle a Boeing 744 can handle an Airbus 380", obviously many airports can han
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