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Why Not A Full Double Decker 747?  
User currently offlinekl692 From Canada, joined Feb 2006, 676 posts, RR: 0
Posted (2 years 2 months 3 days 3 hours ago) and read 28272 times:

I have been wondering about this a lot lately, why didn't Boeing made the 748! a full double Decker like the A380. Makes me wonder if they would have been able to sell a lot faster consider how well the A380 is doing. So why didn't Boeing made the 748I a double Decker?

Lets here it.


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95 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlinephxa340 From United States of America, joined Mar 2012, 890 posts, RR: 1
Reply 1, posted (2 years 2 months 3 days 3 hours ago) and read 28304 times:

Quoting kl692 (Thread starter):
how well the A380 is doing

The A380 has secured 257 orders , of which at least 5 are on shaky ground (Kingfisher). It is simply not that large of a market. While the 747-8i has definitely not been a stellar seller, the engineering costs were limited compared to what it would have cost to completely reengineer it to make the second level extend all the way to the back.


User currently offlinelonghauler From Canada, joined Mar 2004, 4980 posts, RR: 42
Reply 2, posted (2 years 2 months 3 days 3 hours ago) and read 28289 times:

I have seen drawings and engineering studies from Boeing of a full length double-deck B747 for about 30+ years. Likely it is feasible, and if any airline wanted it, I am sure it would have been built. It would seem no one wanted it.

Yes, the A380 is a success. Can you ever envision Airbus though, selling as many A380s, as Boeing has sold B747s?



Never gonna grow up, never gonna slow down .... Barefoot Blue Jean Night
User currently offlinePC12Fan From United States of America, joined Jan 2007, 2442 posts, RR: 5
Reply 3, posted (2 years 2 months 3 days 3 hours ago) and read 28134 times:

It's an apple to oranges thing, but as my wife has said (IMO one of the greatest quotes ever) we're still talking about fruit.

They would be two entirely different animals. A double decker 747 wouldn't nearly have the range of the A380 and would have been schooled by it. If Boeing wanted to truly compete with the A380, they would have. But they have proven themselves correct that there is room for only one aircraft in that market. If they dove into that pool, they would have shot themselves in the foot, big time. Boeing truly made the right move and put pride aside.

The 747 may have been overtaken as the biggest airliner of the skies, but she is still the Queen.

[Edited 2012-07-15 19:27:39]


Just when I think you've said the stupidest thing ever, you keep talkin'!
User currently offlineStitch From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 30978 posts, RR: 86
Reply 4, posted (2 years 2 months 3 days 3 hours ago) and read 28096 times:
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Quoting kl692 (Thread starter):
I have been wondering about this a lot lately, why didn't Boeing made the 748! a full double Decker like the A380?

Because the 747 airframe is not designed for it and I would honestly not be surprised that if Boeing approached the FAA and/or EASA, one or both agencies would refuse to certifiy it if Boeing submitted such a plane.


User currently offlinepoLOT From United States of America, joined Jul 2011, 2184 posts, RR: 1
Reply 5, posted (2 years 2 months 3 days 2 hours ago) and read 27885 times:

Quoting Stitch (Reply 5):
Because the 747 airframe is not designed for it and I would honestly not be surprised that if Boeing approached the FAA and/or EASA, one or both agencies would refuse to certifiy it if Boeing submitted such a plane.

I assume you mean certify it as a derivative?

[Edited 2012-07-15 20:06:17]

User currently offlineStitch From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 30978 posts, RR: 86
Reply 6, posted (2 years 2 months 3 days 1 hour ago) and read 27668 times:
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Quoting poLOT (Reply 6):
I assume you mean certify it as a derivative?

Some 747 features - such as seating with only one set of exits (nose and forward upper deck) - are allowed only because they were grandfathered in to the original 747 certifications. If Boeing made too many changes, the new model might not be allowed those grandfatherings and would have to be certified to current standards.


User currently offlinepanpan From United States of America, joined Dec 2005, 104 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (2 years 2 months 3 days 1 hour ago) and read 27597 times:

Quoting PC12Fan (Reply 4):
It's an apple to oranges thing, but as my wife has said (IMO one of the greatest quotes ever) we're still talking about fruit.

How is it that your wife doesn't post herself? Seems to me she's a genius.


User currently offlineHBGDS From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 8, posted (2 years 2 months 2 days 12 hours ago) and read 23002 times:

In his book on the 747, Joe Sutter notes that he and his team thought it absurd to go full double-decker because of the logistics on the ground would have made it very complicated to handle, and there just was no demand for that. When the 741 arrived, it was TOO big for several projected markets, notably the US domestic one. Why bother build something hard to sell?

User currently offlineAA94 From United States of America, joined Aug 2011, 596 posts, RR: 2
Reply 9, posted (2 years 2 months 2 days 12 hours ago) and read 22451 times:

Quoting phxa340 (Reply 1):
The A380 has secured 257 orders , of which at least 5 are on shaky ground (Kingfisher). It is simply not that large of a market. While the 747-8i has definitely not been a stellar seller, the engineering costs were limited compared to what it would have cost to completely reengineer it to make the second level extend all the way to the back.

This is my thought as well. Sure, the A380 has enough orders to be considered a successful aircraft, but I don't think there is room for two different a/c types in the A380's market. If an airline needs the kind of capacity that the A380 brings to the table, then they likely would have ordered it already. I simply don't think that a double-decker 747 would bring anything new to the "huge jet" market.

Further, even though the A380 has enjoyed success, it will never sell along the lines of the 747, IMO. There were more than 1,400 747s built. Can you imagine seeing that number (or even close to that number) of Whalejets flying around?

Just my   .



Choose a challenge over competence / Eleanor Roosevelt
User currently offlineAmerican 767 From United States of America, joined May 1999, 3790 posts, RR: 12
Reply 10, posted (2 years 2 months 2 days 11 hours ago) and read 21344 times:
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Likewise one could say why not an A380 with only one full deck and a hump, I mean an upper deck taking only part of the fuselage length.


Ben Soriano
User currently offlinebikerthai From United States of America, joined Apr 2010, 2130 posts, RR: 4
Reply 11, posted (2 years 2 months 2 days 10 hours ago) and read 20662 times:

And as most here will agree, the 747-8 will be most successful as a F variant. The extra deck does nothing to cargo operation other than provide room for 3 stars ping pong balls.:D

bt



Intelligent seeks knowledge. Enlightened seeks wisdom.
User currently offlinerailker From Canada, joined Aug 2006, 171 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (2 years 2 months 2 days 9 hours ago) and read 19684 times:

IIRC, that IMAX film they made from that footage of the 787 First Flight had some mention of the 747's "alternative concepts" when they first built it, can't recall if they were just sketches or whatnot, but I remember there being a version with the hump in the back, a full double decker, etc.

User currently offlinemogandoCI From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 13, posted (2 years 2 months 2 days 9 hours ago) and read 19584 times:

Quoting AA94 (Reply 9):
Sure, the A380 has enough orders to be considered a successful aircraft, but I don't think there is room for two different a/c types in the A380's market.

Does the 200-something A380 sales even recoup the R&D costs + delay compensation ? If not, I hardly call it successful.

Possibly the only way for A380 to be profitable over the life of its program is if Airbus launch multiple future derivatives with minimal dev costs (388LR, 389, 388LRF etc). Just A388 alone, I'm not so sure.


User currently offlinedennys From France, joined May 2001, 888 posts, RR: 1
Reply 14, posted (2 years 2 months 2 days 8 hours ago) and read 18946 times:

The MC Douglas MD12X should have been rethought by Boeing . Not to mension the so finer aerodynamism look of this MD12X Project !

User currently offlineAesma From France, joined Nov 2009, 6651 posts, RR: 11
Reply 15, posted (2 years 2 months 2 days 8 hours ago) and read 18863 times:

Quoting American 767 (Reply 10):
Likewise one could say why not an A380 with only one full deck and a hump, I mean an upper deck taking only part of the fuselage length.

Because there is a reason for the hump on the 747, and it was not to carry passengers. The A380 was not always a double decker, but it was always intended to carry more passengers than anything else.



New Technology is the name we give to stuff that doesn't work yet. Douglas Adams
User currently offlineJoeCanuck From Canada, joined Dec 2005, 5462 posts, RR: 30
Reply 16, posted (2 years 2 months 2 days 8 hours ago) and read 18815 times:

Considering the 748 was overweight, underpowered and late upon EIS, I can't imagine what would have been the result if Boeing would have gone with a full length upper deck...though I still think that the 748 just isn't a significant enough improvement over the 744 to really make it worth the effort.

It seems it was the most they could do and not suffer having to recertify the aircraft as a whole, but still not enough. I doubt the 748 will ever recoup its investment.



What the...?
User currently onlineoykie From Norway, joined Jan 2006, 2751 posts, RR: 4
Reply 17, posted (2 years 2 months 2 days 8 hours ago) and read 18825 times:

Kaktus digital did a nice concept of a Boeing double deck, that looks more like a 777 than a 747. this looks nice!

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_-Oqf_vOmanM/SlSHkIS_F2I/AAAAAAAAAGQ/vgDdwQlL5kQ/s1600/United_airlines_NLA_V01.JPG



Dream no small dream; it lacks magic. Dream large, then go make that dream real - Donald Douglas
User currently offlinerampart From United States of America, joined Aug 2005, 3138 posts, RR: 6
Reply 18, posted (2 years 2 months 2 days 8 hours ago) and read 18760 times:

Quoting longhauler (Reply 2):
I have seen drawings and engineering studies from Boeing of a full length double-deck B747 for about 30+ years.
Quoting railker (Reply 12):
IIRC, that IMAX film they made from that footage of the 787 First Flight had some mention of the 747's "alternative concepts" when they first built it, can't recall if they were just sketches or whatnot, but I remember there being a version with the hump in the back, a full double decker, etc.

Yes, and early version of the 747 back in the 1960s was configured as a full 2 decks.

Wow, look what I found on Google, an archived A.net page from 2006. Scroll down and there are photos of early 747 models, like the one I'm thinking of.
http://www.airliners.net/aviation-fo...ral_aviation/print.main?id=2686708

-Rampart


User currently offlineBigJKU From United States of America, joined Feb 2007, 881 posts, RR: 11
Reply 19, posted (2 years 2 months 2 days 8 hours ago) and read 18618 times:

Quoting oykie (Reply 17):
Kaktus digital did a nice concept of a Boeing double deck, that looks more like a 777 than a 747. this looks nice!

I find all the double-deckers to be ugly as sin. They all look like beluga whales.


User currently onlineADent From United States of America, joined Dec 2006, 1384 posts, RR: 2
Reply 20, posted (2 years 2 months 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 18225 times:

There was a thread a last year with interesting images: Why No Boeing Full Double-decker Super Jumbo (by ljupco Nov 28 2011 in Civil Aviation) of 747-500x, 747-700X, Boeing NLA, and the mid wing double decker 747.


Even with the 747-700X Boeing was willing to widen the fuselage (and stretch it), rather than a full double-deck.

It looks like the entire aft fuselage would have to be redesigned to accommodate a double deck - then you still have evacuation problems, etc. Might as well go with an all new plane (like the NLA).


User currently offlinemy235 From United States of America, joined Mar 2009, 92 posts, RR: 0
Reply 21, posted (2 years 2 months 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 18164 times:

One simple answer...It would look absolutely positively butt-ugly.

User currently offlineStitch From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 30978 posts, RR: 86
Reply 22, posted (2 years 2 months 2 days 6 hours ago) and read 17398 times:
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Quoting oykie (Reply 17):
Kaktus digital did a nice concept of a Boeing double deck, that looks more like a 777 than a 747.

That is the Boeing NLA (New Large Airplane), which was based on the MD-12X.


User currently offlinePC12Fan From United States of America, joined Jan 2007, 2442 posts, RR: 5
Reply 23, posted (2 years 2 months 2 days 5 hours ago) and read 16691 times:

Quoting panpan (Reply 7):
How is it that your wife doesn't post herself? Seems to me she's a genius.

Thanks very much, but we were having a healthy debate - no really - about another subject.



Just when I think you've said the stupidest thing ever, you keep talkin'!
User currently offlineJoeCanuck From Canada, joined Dec 2005, 5462 posts, RR: 30
Reply 24, posted (2 years 2 months 2 days 5 hours ago) and read 17082 times:

Quoting oykie (Reply 17):

Take that...put a 747 cockpit on the thing and voila...some real, double deckish goodness.



What the...?
25 tonymctigue : I was just going to ask this question. Clearly the A380 is a technological success just for overcoming the challenges of building an aircraft that la
26 Stitch : The question has been asked literally thousands of times on this forum and the answer is "nobody knows" since the A380 is not even in her first decad
27 kl692 : I am sure it will look a lot better than the whale with flying wings
28 Post contains images nomadd22 : How could you call a beauty like this ugly?
29 bobloblaw : Remember the MD-12??????????????
30 Aesma : There is no cargo version offered. When there was one, it sold. But Airbus decided to postpone it.
31 ebj1248650 : As I recall, the Boeing design that featured the upper deck on the back half of the fuselage was rejected by airlines, notably because they didn't th
32 tonymctigue : Why would postpone something if it was selling? Furthermore, why are Airbus in no immediate rush to resume development of a cargo variant now that th
33 tdscanuck : It's important to remember why the 747 got a second deck in the first place; it had nothing to do with capacity. Boeing (PanAm) wanted a much bigger
34 KDAYflyer : As the great Leahy said himself, they will miss the sales goal for the A-380 by quite a bit this year. The goal was 30 frames. Not enough demand for
35 tonymctigue : That is it exactly. The B747 hump was so that the cock pit did not get in the way of its ability to be loaded through the front. This means that the
36 Aesma : Well, you may have not heard of the problems the A380 program ran into ? The passenger version got delayed, so that delayed the cargo even more. Sure
37 tonymctigue : Sure, the passenger version was delayed but was still winning orders. The A350 has been delayed several times already but is still winning orders. Th
38 VS11 : The reason has been known for quite some time - Boeing didn't/doesn't think the market for Very Large Airplane was large enough to justify the invest
39 Post contains images AirlineCritic : Tony, I think they will have an opening for you in the Airbus factories in solving any remaining problems, quickly The A380 has been plagued by manuf
40 Post contains images tonymctigue : Surely a company the size of Airbus that has the resources to work on more than one project at a time or more accurately, work on two different aspec
41 tokolosh : As already mentioned, the hump of the 747 is there so that the cockpit does not interfere with the front loading of cargo. In the passenger version th
42 135mech : The other issues for the A380F orders being cancelled (I believe) early could have been atleast 2 that come to mind right away... First: the ability
43 135mech : The first airlines that bought them also used them as lounges... Pianos, couches, bars, etc. Then the airlines got the idea to put up oversized seati
44 Stitch : The A380-800F would have likely been deployed between heavy cargo hubs, so the infrastructure costs of adding dual-level loaders to those facilities
45 Post contains images astuteman : I'm not sure when it became essential for airliners to recoup all of their costs within the first decade. Even the 787 won't get remotely close to th
46 mogandoCI : The difference is that the 787 is definitely profitable even assuming 0 new orders, assuming all 800-ish existing orders remain. I wasn't arguing 787
47 Stitch : Twelve years after Authority to Offer was given, the 747 family had secured 316 orders across 8 models. The A380-800 has secured 257 with just one mo
48 ouboy79 : Ding ding ding. The VLA market is fairly small. So Boeing was smart in staying in the lower end of that with a design that will still offer superior
49 Post contains images astuteman : You caught me red-handed mixing orders for the A380 with deliveries for the 787. My bad That said, I'm far from convinced that the 850 orders the 787
50 maddog888 : Boeing would seem to disagree with you. I seem to remember that the 748 got delayed because they ran out of people (engineers? designers?) for the 78
51 redflyer : It's only essential from the standpoint of ROI. No one is going to invest in something if they won't recoup that investment and make a profit for ove
52 N14AZ : 8 models? I don't know when authority to offer was given so I don't know to which year you are refering to (X + 12 years): 1.) B 747-100 2.) B 747-20
53 135mech : What about the 747-300? When did that appear/start?
54 N14AZ : First order for a B 747-300 was in 1980 (Swissair), so I think it was after the 12-years-period-of-time mentioned above.
55 Post contains images oykie : Yes, that is how I found the Kaktus Digital drawings. How much do the MD-12X and the NLA have in common? IIRC the NLA would be longer and have longer
56 Viscount724 : You also have to consider that today's airline market (total passengers) is several times larger than when the 747 was launched. It's not a fair comp
57 Post contains images KELPkid : 1) Break out the SR into -100 and -200 variants (IIRC, it was available on both). Now you have 6 models 2) Break out the Freighter into -100 and -200
58 Viscount724 : There was no factory-built 747-100 freighter. All -100 freighters are converted passenger aircraft.
59 Stitch : And in that same period, the number of international city pairs has also grown by a significant number which has deluted the traffic that flows betwe
60 redflyer : Okay, but all that does is further prove my point and go to the heart of the issue of the commercial viability of the A380 program, which is that it'
61 BasilFawlty : So this topic started with a full double decker question, but I was wondering... Would it be possible to order a 748 pax version with the short upperd
62 Stitch : It may be technically possible, but it is not an option.
63 tdscanuck : There is no technical reason it can't be done but you'd have to pay the full cost of designing and certifying the new configuration. The idea would b
64 Post contains images astuteman : "Essential"? Name me a single airliner that has made a positive ROI within 10 years of launch. Sorry. But on A-net this is only ever "essential" for
65 spink : 747SP was ordered in '73, not making the 12 year cutoff. E-4s were post production modifications to standard 747-200s. The SCAs were post customer de
66 bikerthai : Designing airliners require specialty Engineering. You can't just hire a bunch of CATIA drivers from the auto industry when you need to add people. B
67 Post contains links and images WarpSpeed : kl692: Boeing may be thinking along the same lines. The new Flightblogger posted today about a mid-wing 747 concept (looks to be a full double decker)
68 Post contains images redflyer : I believe a number of aircraft models, at least on Boeing's end, have had a postive ROI within 10 years of launch. 727, 737, 757, and 767 come to min
69 redflyer : Looks like Keesje's fantasy "Ecoliner" may finally get some teeth put into it. At least on paper (someone else's and not his).
70 rwessel : Wouldn't that have evacuation problems in the front part of the main deck? I believe one of the current criteria is that everyone has two routes out
71 WarpSpeed : Upon further examination, I got a chuckle from the emergency exit doors in the drawing which, as you note, are not likely compliant with today's stan
72 Post contains images astuteman : Today's deliveries are almost 4 years late. The latest delivery, frame number 77 was originally due to be delivered in Q4 2008 It was actually delive
73 Post contains images Devilfish : LOL.....made my day! The new 747SP!!!
74 Post contains links and images Devilfish : . http://www.flightglobal.com/blogs/fl...n%20rotor-thumb-560x197-160760.jpg The next image seems to be meant for this..... http://www.flightglobal.com
75 TexL1649 : Going (wing mounted) UDF AND going to 500+ passengers ETOPS is a leap that I think many airlines would be hesitant to do. The concept is a bit fascina
76 Post contains images PHX787 : Looks a little plump to me How could that fly?!
77 redflyer : So what you're saying is that in the 12 years since it was launched, the A380 has sold only 257 frames BECAUSE of the delays? Tell me: what in your e
78 Stitch : Yes. Airbus' inability to get A380s out the door keeps the backlog high and delivery positions scarce. This disincentives orders because an intereste
79 Post contains images redflyer : We can all agree that delays lead to delivery sales. What I want to know, though, is how much of the A380's delays have led to the dearth of sales it
80 flipdewaf : One could easily surmise from astutemans numbers: As the orders have been tracking deliveries more or less then we could assume that we would be arou
81 Post contains images sweair : A full Double Decker would be a very bad freighter and the 747 is a freighter more than a passenger aircraft IMO. I still think the Y3 will be a BWB,
82 rcair1 : No. Airbus over estimated the market. (IMO). They continue to do so. The Dec 2009 estimate from Airbus was 1740 VLA. Boeing just 750. (20 year period
83 redflyer : Doubtful. The numbers show that for the first 6 years (through 2006) that the A380 was for sale and before the delays - and it had a monopoly on the
84 Stitch : I'd first note that we should not be including orders for the 747-8 freighter nor VIP birds, so we're looking at 283 units [256+27]. So yes, both Airb
85 flipdewaf : Did it? 744 just vanished? 77W not there? The time when it was difficult to tell how long the airbus delays were going to be? So ther was a backlog o
86 Post contains images redflyer : I could be wrong, but I think the 1600 in Airbus' 20 year projection included all variants, exclusive of VIPs. So the orders are less either way you
87 Stitch : Boeing started with a bullish view on VLA deliveries, but as they found interest in a larger 747 waning, they started to lower their expectations for
88 BigJKU : Overall, given the massive changes in the world economy, those Boeing projections seem to be pretty reasonable and really don't have a huge variation
89 acontador : I think that the question 'why didn't Boeing design the 747 as a full double-decker to begin with' has already been answered in this thread. Now, why
90 BigJKU : Well that and it just won't make sense if they really believe in their market projections. They are in position to win the freighter market exclusive
91 flipdewaf : yes. Also see how when deliveries pick up so do sales. Great, lets get childish about it. My point is that it has been in service for 7 years and ord
92 sweair : In the freighter the top deck comes with a cargo height penalty, so you would want as little top deck space as possible. A full length upper deck woul
93 Post contains images redflyer : It's been in service for only 5 years. If orders have been tracking deliveries and that is the new measure of its commercial viability then that mean
94 flipdewaf : yes, 5 years sorry. It's actually now running at ~26 deliveries per year giving a total of 596. Not bad for an initial break even of 250 although an
95 Post contains images astuteman : And some people seem to feel threatened enough to have to resort to "black-and-white" hyperbole like So Airbus won't sell 1 600 A380's in 20 years. S
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