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747s: How Many & Where Are They?  
User currently offlineAviateur From United States of America, joined Apr 2004, 1360 posts, RR: 11
Posted (5 years 4 months 2 weeks 19 hours ago) and read 15704 times:

Interesting: According to Air Transport World, there were 962 Boeing 747s actively flying as of April, 2009.

That's more than any other widebody aircraft by a considerable margin. Compare to the 767 (901), 777 (766), A330 (592) or A340 (348).

There are slightly more 757s and MD80s in the air (999 and 997 respectively). Otherwise, only the 737 and A320 series have more examples flying.

Some people will find those numbers hard to believe, because we just don't see that many 747s here in the U.S.

Mostly you see them in the Asia/Pacific markets. The transpacific market isn't nearly as fragmented as the transatlantic market. It is more concentrated, with large numbers of passengers on comparatively fewer city-pairs. This lends itself to larger aircraft. As does the fact that distances in this theater tend to be much longer. Over the Atlantic, you can operate a 757, 767, or A330. These aircraft don't have the range for most transpacific routes, and/or lack the economies of scale to be profitable.

Having said that, plenty of 747s still call at JFK. I'm based at Kennedy and see them all the time: Singapore, British Airways (two or three daily), Lufthansa, JAL, Virgin, Air China, KLM, El Al, Korean, Qantas, Atlas Air... Not as many as there used to be, but still a good number. When Pan Am and TWA were in their heydays, it wasn't uncommon to watch six or seven 747s take off * in a row. *

Boeing still has orders for 102 747s, including several for the new 747-8, still under development.

And it's still one of the most elegant and best-looking jetliners ever built.

More on my feelings about the 747's aesthetics here....
http://www.airliners.net/aviation-articles/read.main?id=104


PS


Patrick Smith is an airline pilot, air travel columnist and author
24 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineAA737-823 From United States of America, joined Mar 2000, 5947 posts, RR: 11
Reply 1, posted (5 years 4 months 2 weeks 17 hours ago) and read 15609 times:



Quoting Aviateur (Thread starter):
Boeing still has orders for 102 747s, including several for the new 747-8, still under development.

They'd all have to be for the -8 series; 747-400 production has terminated.


Anyhow, I'm quite surprised by these numbers! It's generally challenging to fly on a 747 as an American anymore. NW doesn't send them across the Pond, and UA only on certain routes. And for those of us with frequent flyer accounts, we're bound to certain alliance members, many of whom have switched to 777 or Airbus services.


User currently offlineLightsaber From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 13552 posts, RR: 100
Reply 2, posted (5 years 4 months 2 weeks 15 hours ago) and read 15421 times:
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First of all, thank you for the numbers. Not what I expect from a thread title ending with a '?' Kudos!

Quoting Aviateur (Thread starter):
Interesting: According to Air Transport World, there were 962 Boeing 747s actively flying as of April, 2009.

You do well to point out that is more than any other widebody. But its still sad to see its dropped below a thousand. That is remarkable considering how long the 747 has been flying and that 'only' 1416 have been built.

Quoting Aviateur (Thread starter):
That's more than any other widebody aircraft by a considerable margin. Compare to the 767 (901), 777 (766), A330 (592) or A340 (348).

For the 767:
762: 128 (made)
762ER: 121 (with some 762's converted to 762ER's)
763: 104
763ER: 535+ (still being delivered)
763F: 50+ (still being delivered)
764ER: 38 (there is no non-ER 764)

I would expect that of the 767's, practically all 763's and all 764's are flying. or ~723 of 901 are 763/764's. Most of the 762ER's are probably flying too. But of the 178 not accounted for, I suspect few are 762's, in particular the JT9D. Ok, enough off thread, but interesting.

Which brings into question, what types of 747's are still flying?
With 962 flying:
741: 167 built
741B: 9 built
741SR: 29 (short range, the first 747D)
747SP:45 (long range, the 'short' 747), as of 2008, only 10 in service
742: 393 built in various versions
743: 83 built
744: 694 built (have the last ERF's been delivered?)

With only a few 744 hull losses, I suspect most are flying. I know of a few stored, but only up to a few dozen at most. That implies ~300 of the older versions are flying! That is impressive.

Quoting Aviateur (Thread starter):
There are slightly more 757s and MD80s in the air (999 and 997 respectively). Otherwise, only the 737 and A320 series have more examples flying.

Interesting to think about... There is a reason 1,000 sales in the aviation world is considered a huge threshold. Very few aircraft reach it. Its sad the 757/MD80 have dropped below 1,000 operating, but that's the economy/time of these airframes.

Lightsaber



Societies that achieve a critical mass of ideas achieve self sustaining growth; others stagnate.
User currently offlineN14AZ From Germany, joined Feb 2007, 2840 posts, RR: 25
Reply 3, posted (5 years 4 months 2 weeks 12 hours ago) and read 15221 times:



Quoting Aviateur (Thread starter):
Boeing still has orders for 102 747s, including several for the new 747-8, still under development.

Considering this picture they are pretty far with the development: http://www.flightglobal.com/blogs/flightblogger/747-8fslant.jpg  Wink

Quoting Aviateur (Thread starter):
Having said that, plenty of 747s still call at JFK. I'm based at Kennedy and see them all the time: Singapore, British Airways (two or three daily), Lufthansa, JAL, Virgin, Air China, KLM, El Al, Korean, Qantas, Atlas Air... Not as many as there used to be, but still a good number. When Pan Am and TWA were in their heydays, it wasn't uncommon to watch six or seven 747s take off * in a row. *

It's the same in LHR. When I was there in April I thought this must be a training centre for B 777s: Air India, Air Canada, Air New Zealand, PIA, ANA just to name a few - all previous 747 operators.

Nice thread, best regards
N14AZ


User currently offlineMEA-707 From Netherlands, joined Nov 1999, 4360 posts, RR: 35
Reply 4, posted (5 years 4 months 2 weeks 12 hours ago) and read 15176 times:

These figures are a bit too high, I think they didn't count some of the aircraft recently stored but still owned by airlines. On airlinerlist.com we come at around 860 aircraft flying, probably less as stort term parkings are not always registered. The exact figure is impossible to know but I think 850-860 at the most.


nobody has ever died from hard work, but why take the risk?
User currently online747classic From Netherlands, joined Aug 2009, 2234 posts, RR: 14
Reply 5, posted (5 years 4 months 2 weeks 12 hours ago) and read 15131 times:

Also a lot of 747-400 freighters are recently parked in the desert due the present economic downturn.
The older classic versions are stored and/or scrapped when they reach a major maintenance threshold.
(C or D-check)



Operating a twin over the ocean, you're always one engine failure from a total emergency.
User currently offlineFlywrite From United Kingdom, joined Jul 2009, 195 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (5 years 4 months 2 weeks 11 hours ago) and read 14986 times:
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Out of Production List - Western Jet Airliners book was published in June and has the following summaries:

747-100
22 Active, 6 Preserved, 42 WFU/Stored/In Parts

747-200
138 Active, 6 Preserved, 157 WFU/Stored/In Parts

747-300
45 Active, 30 WFU/Stored/In Parts

747SP
19 Active, 1 Preserved, 10 WFU/Stored/In Parts

May be slightly out of date by now, but gives you an idea. Also lists where each frame is at if anyone needs specific info?


User currently offlineSpr773 From India, joined Jun 2008, 163 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (5 years 4 months 2 weeks 10 hours ago) and read 14924 times:

SQ seems to be reducing their 747s....any idea where they are going ? They must be taken up by lot of people due to the good maintainence and care SQ has taken of their 747s...I think the A310s of SQ are still flying with AI

User currently offlineMCOflyer From United States of America, joined Jun 2006, 8691 posts, RR: 16
Reply 8, posted (5 years 4 months 2 weeks 7 hours ago) and read 13416 times:



Quoting Flywrite (Reply 6):

Excelent post. Thank you for providing detailed information. Do you know the 744 stats?

KH



Never be afraid to stand up for who you are.
User currently offlineFlywrite From United Kingdom, joined Jul 2009, 195 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (5 years 4 months 2 weeks 7 hours ago) and read 13124 times:
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Sorry no, the book doesn't cover the -400 since they were still being produced at the time of printing I believe (is production definitely over now?)

User currently offlineFlyglobal From Germany, joined Mar 2008, 613 posts, RR: 3
Reply 10, posted (5 years 4 months 2 weeks 7 hours ago) and read 13124 times:



Quoting Aviateur (Thread starter):
And it's still one of the most elegant and best-looking jetliners ever built.

Agree! Can't wait to see the 747-8i - expect something very beautiful.

I have the hope: as all are talking about bad economy now and like to spread catrastophy scenario at this time, I believe that there will be another boom and people may want to fly more again. Airlines will be keen on large aircraft and we may see the time where airlines will buy 747-8i instead of 777 (especially when Boeing will not upgrade it in the next 3-5 years) or A350XWB.

The VLA market will grow again, I am sure and the 747-8i will get a fair share, even if the A380 may get the most.

But for sure: the 747-8i will be the (!) beauty of the beauties.

regards

Flyglobal


User currently offlineManfredj From United States of America, joined Mar 2007, 1132 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (5 years 4 months 2 weeks 5 hours ago) and read 12383 times:

Fun post. Gives all us 748 fans a chance to repeat our belief that there is still a great market for the 747 passenger version. The classics (now the 744 as well) will need to be replaced at some point, and I think the 748 will be the aircraft of choice if it proves profitable when Lufth. gives it a go.

Quoting N14AZ (Reply 3):
http://www.flightglobal.com/blogs/flightblogger/747-8fslant.jpg

Awesome!! Now where are those GEnx's???

[Edited 2009-08-17 07:33:29]


757: The last of the best
User currently offlineMEA-707 From Netherlands, joined Nov 1999, 4360 posts, RR: 35
Reply 12, posted (5 years 4 months 2 weeks 5 hours ago) and read 11957 times:



Quoting Manfredj (Reply 11):
and I think the 748 will be the aircraft of choice if it proves profitable when Lufth. gives it a go.

While I wished you were right, the problem here is that, except for Lufthansa, the top-20 passenger 744 operators have already chosen replacements for their 744s, be it A-380, 77W, A-330/350 etc. Even the ones without a clear VLA choice yet, like CX, UA are not very likely to order them.



nobody has ever died from hard work, but why take the risk?
User currently offlineFalstaff From United States of America, joined Jun 2006, 6181 posts, RR: 31
Reply 13, posted (5 years 4 months 2 weeks 4 hours ago) and read 11649 times:
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Quoting AA737-823 (Reply 1):
NW doesn't send them across the Pond,

They do in the summer. I know they fly DTW-AMS. I was on one on that route last year and a friend of mine was on one on that route this year.
http://i204.photobucket.com/albums/bb309/NWA747/phone1031.jpg
At AMS, July 2008 after trip from DTW.



My mug slaketh over on Falstaff N503
User currently offlineUnitedFA07 From United States of America, joined Apr 2009, 109 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (5 years 4 months 2 weeks ago) and read 9894 times:



Quoting MEA-707 (Reply 12):

How do you know what UA will and will not order? Have a crystal ball? UA makes some crazy decisions! I'd love to see the 747-800 in the UA livery, and hope too!  airplane 

 wave 


User currently offlineMEA-707 From Netherlands, joined Nov 1999, 4360 posts, RR: 35
Reply 15, posted (5 years 4 months 2 weeks ago) and read 9821 times:



Quoting UnitedFA07 (Reply 14):
Have a crystal ball?

That's why I wrote "not very likely". Which means in daily talk 5-20% chance they'll ever fly 748i. I think a reasonable estimate.
UAL 748s would be cool but they seem to shrink mainly and hesitate about any long term order. I think I read here that they only look at the twins as future long haul fleet; 77W, 787 or A-350.



nobody has ever died from hard work, but why take the risk?
User currently offlineHOOB747 From United States of America, joined Nov 2006, 449 posts, RR: 0
Reply 16, posted (5 years 4 months 1 week 6 days 21 hours ago) and read 8948 times:

The thread-poster is a long-time 747 lover, and I am as well. We share the wonderment that the 747 is flown in such high numbers in recent years, because of the long production time-frame. I love 74'7's, and my favorite 747 memory (among many) is watching a line of 8 BA 744's line up for departure from LHR in spring 2007. A beautiful sight.


747 Number One Fan from U.S.A
User currently offlineJfk777 From United States of America, joined Aug 2006, 8517 posts, RR: 6
Reply 17, posted (5 years 4 months 1 week 6 days 20 hours ago) and read 8619 times:
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The 747 had 2 major surges in sales, in teh begining and in the late 1980's when the 744 was launched. The first bunch, the 747-100, was the new thing in town and everyone just had to have them. Even Eastern and Continental ordered then asdid Delta, those airlines transitioned to L-1011 & Dc-10's as the Jumbo was too big for pure domestic flights.

When the 747-400 arrived, it was as if it was 1970 all over again, it wasn't your DAD's 747. This was a new generations Jumbo, Australia was now Nonstop with no stop in Honolulu & Kai Tek was now nonstop from LAX and Chicago. The 744 shrunk the world by making 15 hours nontop flying possible to all. SAA was able to fly JFK to JNB and Miami to CapeTown(both ways) nonstop; I miss watching that baby takeoff in Miami, it took up every fot of the 12,000 runway. Miami has not had such a fligt since.


User currently offlineEgcarter From United States of America, joined Aug 2007, 159 posts, RR: 0
Reply 18, posted (5 years 4 months 1 week 6 days 20 hours ago) and read 8553 times:



Quoting Manfredj (Reply 11):
Awesome!! Now where are those GEnx's???

Last week while in the Seattle area I was driving north on I-405 through Bellevue. I passed a big tractor-trailer combo carrying a GENx engine on the flatbed heading in the direction of Everett...


User currently offlineAviateur From United States of America, joined Apr 2004, 1360 posts, RR: 11
Reply 19, posted (5 years 4 months 1 week 6 days 18 hours ago) and read 8234 times:



Quoting MEA-707 (Reply 4):
These figures are a bit too high, I think they didn't count some of the aircraft recently stored but still owned by airlines. On airlinerlist.com we come at around 860 aircraft flying, probably less as stort term parkings are not always registered. The exact figure is impossible to know but I think 850-860 at the most.

Well, like I said, the ATW stats were current as of April 1. I took the data from ATW's highly respected "World Airline Report" annual issue, published earlier this summer.

It lists 169 747s in storage as of that same date. These are not counted as part of the 962.


PS



Patrick Smith is an airline pilot, air travel columnist and author
User currently onlineKlaus From Germany, joined Jul 2001, 21522 posts, RR: 53
Reply 20, posted (5 years 4 months 1 week 5 days ago) and read 7890 times:



Quoting Aviateur (Thread starter):
More on my feelings about the 747's aesthetics here....
http://www.airliners.net/aviation-ar...d=104

Very nice article. I've always liked your style on Salon.com as well.  Smile

One effect should probably be acknowledged, however: The 747 design could afford some baroque exuberance in its time since it broke new ground and had no immediate challengers, a luxury the newer models since then never shared.

The large number of 747s still in service is primarily a testament to that unchallenged monopoly: It is a relic, but an unchallenged relic which was still good enough to coast along through the decades in the absence of a direct alternative. It shows quite a few signs of an atrophying monopolist letting itself go.

To me it looks a bit like a cadillac with tailfins – it's got its own elegance and undeniable style, but it is a style from another era, with rather different priorities and technologies.

From an (non-aviation) engineering point of view, the wasted space above the main deck and the tacked-on narrow upper deck always looked weird, sort of unfinished and as a somewhat haphazard design to me, as much as I share your appreciation of its form purely on looks.


No doubt, the current shortened A380-800 can't really compete aesthetically all in all, but the "full-size" model it's been designed to grow up into should be rather elegant in its own way while the "complete" double-deck design has its own aesthetic appeal even today. (And yes, I actually like its nose – shoot me if you must! )

In the tighter market situation it now has to face, the 747 numbers will probably start to decline faster – had the A380 or something like it come a decade or two earlier, Boeing might have brought itself to a replacement design, but they may have ridden their uncontested success a bit too far and too long for their own good.


That said, there can be no doubt that many people have emotional connections to products of technology, and in our minds they get soaked with all the aspirations, personal circumstances and experiences we've had at the time.

Both of us are from a generation that has learned to see the 747 as the ultimate icon of international travel with everything else feeling second-rate by comparison. (As an aviator and as an american I'm sure that your connection to it will go much deeper than mine, of course.)

But I guess younger generations gradually move on; Associations change. At some point even the most interesting design will grow old and tired.

But there can't ever be a replacement for having been the first of its kind, and in great style at that!  bigthumbsup 


User currently offlineVV701 From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2005, 7743 posts, RR: 17
Reply 21, posted (5 years 4 months 1 week 4 days 20 hours ago) and read 7779 times:

Where are they?

Well BA have the largest fleet with 55 operational and a further two relatively recently parked up at CWL with another 6 scheduled to join them soon.

There has been some discussion as to whether the parked aircraft will return to service. My personal guess is that unless the credit crunch deepens significantly or the price of fuel goes through the roof as renewed economic growth creates a fuel shortage, they will if only to give BA sufficient capacity to handle the possible surge in demand for the 2012 London Olympics.

However the oldest are getting quite long in the tooth having flown around 85,000 hours by the end of last year. For example as at 31 December 2008:

G-BNLA: 85,031 hours
G-BNLD: 86,821 hours
G-BNLF: 84,067 hours

However BA operated some of their 742s until they had completed 100,000+ hours.


User currently offlineYVRLTN From Canada, joined Oct 2006, 2560 posts, RR: 0
Reply 22, posted (5 years 4 months 1 week 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 7705 times:

You can still see quite a few 744's at YVR, with KE and NZ recently upgrading from 777's. We also get BA & JL exclusively 744 as well as CX Cargo and BR alternate with the 77W and the odd CA.

CI downgraded to a A343, CX to the 77W and we recently lost seasonal QF service and Oasis HK.



Follow me on twitter for YVR movements @vernonYVR
User currently online747classic From Netherlands, joined Aug 2009, 2234 posts, RR: 14
Reply 23, posted (5 years 4 months 1 week 4 days 12 hours ago) and read 7564 times:



Quoting VV701 (Reply 21):
However the oldest are getting quite long in the tooth having flown around 85,000 hours by the end of last year. For example as at 31 December 2008:

G-BNLA: 85,031 hours
G-BNLD: 86,821 hours
G-BNLF: 84,067 hours

Most demanding are the cycles for the 747, not the flying hours. Because most 747-400 are flown on long sectors they have a relative low cycle count. 747 freighters wear out is far higher due shorter stretches and far higher (especially landing-) weights.



Operating a twin over the ocean, you're always one engine failure from a total emergency.
User currently offlineVV701 From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2005, 7743 posts, RR: 17
Reply 24, posted (5 years 4 months 1 week 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 7286 times:



Quoting 747classic (Reply 23):
Most demanding are the cycles for the 747, not the flying hours.

In principal I do not disagree. However the British Civil Aviation Authority requires all operators of all aircraft on the British register to provide elapsed flying time data which it publishes on its web site, the source of the data in my reply. And this regulatory body does not publish and perhaps does not collect the cycle data. So they see some significance in this data even if it only reflects back to aircraft maintenance.


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