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Will We See UA's Possible Order Of 77W?  
User currently offlinespeedbird0125 From United States of America, joined Mar 2008, 184 posts, RR: 0
Posted (1 year 9 months 2 weeks 6 days 7 hours ago) and read 1907 times:

I wonder if there's any chance that UA will order 77W in the near future. Their 777s are mostly 77A or 772ERs. I guess UA needs to add newer version of 777 such as 77L or 77W to their fleet to compete with DL or AA's recent order of 77W. Maybe UA is doing pretty well with their 777s now but I just want to see their brand new 77W with sharp raked winglets. What do you guys think? Is it going to happen soon?

58 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently onlineStitch From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 30910 posts, RR: 87
Reply 1, posted (1 year 9 months 2 weeks 6 days 7 hours ago) and read 1935 times:
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I see no reason. They have a large 747-400 fleet that has just undergone cabin refurbishment and will comfortably take them into the latter part of this decade when they have multiple newer-generation aircraft options to use as replacements.

User currently offlineLAXintl From United States of America, joined May 2000, 25170 posts, RR: 48
Reply 2, posted (1 year 9 months 2 weeks 6 days 7 hours ago) and read 1934 times:

Chance - absolutely.

But there is a chance they might go for larger A350s, 748, or even A380.

However the 77W is the lower risk, and easier integration of the bunch.

I'm sure Mr. Boeing has a nice proposal on the desk of someone at UA.  
Quoting Stitch (Reply 1):
They have a large 747-400 fleet that has just undergone cabin refurbishment and will comfortably take them into the latter part of this decade when they have multiple newer-generation aircraft options to use as replacements.

I don't know how you define "comfortable", but the 744s are becoming an ever larger operational liability.
Just look at the new schedules with the type being pulled from ORD and other markets to be centered out of SFO solely now (except LAX-SYD & HNL-NRT) to aid with reliability.



From the desert to the sea, to all of Southern California
User currently onlineStitch From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 30910 posts, RR: 87
Reply 3, posted (1 year 9 months 2 weeks 6 days 6 hours ago) and read 1927 times:
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Quoting LAXintl (Reply 2):
I don't know how you define "comfortable", but the 744s are becoming an ever larger operational liability.

UA knew they needed them to last until the end of the decade (until the A350-900s could start arriving) so I expect that is why they invested in the new cabins and whatever heavy maintenance checks might have been needed to keep them in operation.



Quoting LAXintl (Reply 2):
Just look at the new schedules with the type being pulled from ORD and other markets to be centered out of SFO solely now (except LAX-SYD & HNL-NRT) to aid with reliability.

The 747-400 only makes sense on routes you can consistently fill it with passengers. Also, between uprating the MTOW on the pmUA 777-200ERs and the addition of pmCO 777-200ERs (which already had higher MTOWs), the need for the 747-400 on a range basis is no longer as acute so UA can now pull them out of ORD (at least during the low season).


User currently offlineBlueSky1976 From Poland, joined Jul 2004, 1876 posts, RR: 4
Reply 4, posted (1 year 9 months 2 weeks 6 days 6 hours ago) and read 1924 times:

No. 77W order will not happen.

777-8X or -9X on the other hand... is entirely different story. I actually expect UA to be the launch customer of this model.



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User currently offlinebrilondon From Canada, joined Aug 2005, 4216 posts, RR: 1
Reply 5, posted (1 year 9 months 2 weeks 6 days 5 hours ago) and read 1919 times:

I expect a UA order for the 77W to come just after the order for the A380.


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User currently offlinekaitak From Ireland, joined Aug 1999, 12436 posts, RR: 37
Reply 6, posted (1 year 9 months 2 weeks 6 days 5 hours ago) and read 1922 times:

To be honest, as much as I'd love to see a 77W flying for UAL, I suspect the time has past. UA has A359s on order and a top up could come in the shape of an A350-1000 order, though I think the 777X will be of great interest to them. UA will certainly enjoy playing the two against each other ...

User currently offlineLAXintl From United States of America, joined May 2000, 25170 posts, RR: 48
Reply 7, posted (1 year 9 months 2 weeks 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 1922 times:

Quoting Stitch (Reply 3):
UA knew they needed them to last until the end of the decade (until the A350-900s could start arriving) so I expect that is why they invested in the new cabins and whatever heavy maintenance checks might have been needed to keep them in operation.

Unfortunately that plan is not holding up. The 744 fleet is becoming a growing reliability handicap, and quite a nuisance to the new management team at UA.

Quoting Stitch (Reply 3):
The 747-400 only makes sense on routes you can consistently fill it with passengers. Also, between uprating the MTOW on the pmUA 777-200ERs and the addition of pmCO 777-200ERs (which already had higher MTOWs), the need for the 747-400 on a range basis is no longer as acute so UA can now pull them out of ORD (at least during the low season).

Also unfortunately the move to center 744 ops at SFO was not based on market demands, but based on reliability issues and clearly spelled out so the company memos. Along with it goes the ORD 744 crew base permanently.

Without these ongoing issues we would see the 744 at IAH or EWR already, but stretching the fleet out would only leave room for further failure.


So I ultimately suspect something interim will happen as the 744 fleet wont last till post 2018.

Stay tuned as they say !

[Edited 2012-11-13 11:35:05]


From the desert to the sea, to all of Southern California
User currently offlineRoseflyer From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 9612 posts, RR: 52
Reply 8, posted (1 year 9 months 2 weeks 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 1920 times:

The 77W is great for airlines that need widebodies in the near term for growth. UA's short term widebody needs should be taken care of by 787 deliveries. They should have 10 by the end of next year. With the domestic 14 2-class 767-300s being moved to international duties, that more than counteracts the loss of 10 762s being retired. UA in the near term should be ok. In 5 years or so, they should actively be taking A350s and 787s, so their midterm needs are also taken care of.

UA doesn't need airplanes in the near term, so the advantage of the 77W isn't that useful to UA. The 747s and 767s may be less efficient and aging, but they don't need replacement ASAP. UA can pick and choose the best airplane for their fleet from all the options. That includes 77W, A330, 787-8/9/10, A358/9/10, 777X and A380. I don't think that an airline like United which keeps their airplanes in service until they get parked in the desert would be best suited by purchasing 77Ws right now. In 20 years the 77W will be considered a fuel hog, and UA only has to wait a few more years to get the next generation of widebodies.



If you have never designed an airplane part before, let the real designers do the work!
User currently onlineStitch From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 30910 posts, RR: 87
Reply 9, posted (1 year 9 months 2 weeks 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 1920 times:
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Quoting LAXintl (Reply 7):
So I ultimately suspect something interim will happen as the 744 fleet wont last till post 2018.


Well if the 747's can't last past 2018, that effectively negates the rumors of a UA A350-1000 order, since those can't arrive before 2018.

And that would make the 777-300ER the only available option. There are 7 UFOs ordered in 2011 and 2012... Maybe Boeing will lease them some 77Ws in exchange for UA to become a 777-9X launch customer.

[Edited 2012-11-13 12:29:07]

User currently offlineSonomaFlyer From United States of America, joined Apr 2010, 1777 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (1 year 9 months 2 weeks 6 days 3 hours ago) and read 1919 times:
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Quoting Stitch (Reply 9):
Well if the 747's can't last past 2018, that effectively negates the rumors of a UA A350-1000 order, since those can't arrive before 2018.

And that would make the 777-300ER the only available option. There are 7 UFOs ordered in 2011 and 2012... Maybe Boeing will lease them some 77Ws in exchange for UA to become a 777-9X launch customer.

The addition of the 787's and conversion of the domestic 767's gives UA a lot of operational flexibility with their existing fleet. They have 50 787's on firm order with it likely they will have a mix of -9's and possibly -10's plus the options they hold. They also have 25 firm orders for the 359 which can be converted to the 351 if they wish.

The 744's are a liability and they will get rid of them as soon as can be justified given the investment in refurbishments and maintenance. I just don't see the value in ordering the 77W (which means they'd wait 18-24 months to receive) and the capital costs associated with them when they have 75 firm wide body orders already on aircraft which will work just great for their route structure.


User currently offlineFriendlySkies From United States of America, joined Aug 2004, 4105 posts, RR: 5
Reply 11, posted (1 year 9 months 2 weeks 6 days 3 hours ago) and read 1918 times:

Quoting LAXintl (Reply 7):
So I ultimately suspect something interim will happen as the 744 fleet wont last till post 2018.

I wouldn't be so sure...they are isolating them to a maintenance base essentially, and the aircraft are about as old as the oldest 777s. I think they will probably try to shift a few more to spares to help with reliability issues, and perhaps they could even shift some 777s to 744 routes as more of the 763 and 764 mods come online.

The only other realistic option would be a ~5 year lease on 20 or so 773ERs, which I suppose is possible but would probably cost more than it's worth.

Does anyone know why these aircraft have become so unreliable? Does it have anything to do with moving the heavy checks to HKG?


User currently onlineStitch From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 30910 posts, RR: 87
Reply 12, posted (1 year 9 months 2 weeks 6 days 3 hours ago) and read 1920 times:
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Quoting SonomaFlyer (Reply 10):
I just don't see the value in ordering the 77W...

Neither do I, but that was based on an assumption that the 747-400 fleet would remain through the transition to the 787 and A350, which LAXintl appears to be implying will not be the case.


User currently offlinefun2fly From United States of America, joined Dec 2006, 1038 posts, RR: 1
Reply 13, posted (1 year 9 months 2 weeks 6 days 3 hours ago) and read 1918 times:

Quoting Stitch (Reply 9):
Well if the 747's can't last past 2018, that effectively negates the rumors of a SA)">UA A350-1000 order, since those can't arrive before 2018.

And that would make the 777-300ER the only available option. There are 7 UFOs ordered in 2011 and 2012... Maybe Boeing will lease them some 77Ws in exchange for SA)">UA to become a 777-9X launch customer.

Why not 10 or so 77W's on a EK type 10-12 year lease? Allows for exit mid 2010's when ample supply of 77X or A351 are around.

Now back to facts, are any more of the 744's leased and does anyone know the lease expiration plans for the 744's?

Interesting to find this in the Q3 10Q - not sure what that means:

6-1162-RCN-1888 Use of Aircraft – Boeing 747-800 and 787 Flight Test Training SA 53


User currently online817Dreamliiner From Montserrat, joined Jul 2008, 2331 posts, RR: 1
Reply 14, posted (1 year 9 months 2 weeks 6 days 3 hours ago) and read 1924 times:

I would like to see them order a few 77Ws, even for a short term lease, especially if they used the livery they have on the 787  . But like many others have said, its likely not to happen with the number of A350s and 787s they already have on order. Remember also that the A350 was intended to be (not sure if it still is) the 747 replacement. Plus I can see them being a potential operator of the 777X in the future. 


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User currently offlineSXDFC From United States of America, joined Dec 2007, 2320 posts, RR: 21
Reply 15, posted (1 year 9 months 2 weeks 6 days 3 hours ago) and read 1924 times:

I am surprised no one else seemed to mention that Boeing video that surfaced a few months back showing a 77W wearing the UA "787 Scheme".. Certainly would be nice to see..


ALL views, opinions expressed are mine ONLY and are NOT representative of those shared by Southwest Airlines Co.
User currently online817Dreamliiner From Montserrat, joined Jul 2008, 2331 posts, RR: 1
Reply 16, posted (1 year 9 months 2 weeks 6 days 3 hours ago) and read 1919 times:

Quoting SXDFC (Reply 15):
I am surprised no one else seemed to mention that Boeing video that surfaced a few months back showing a 77W wearing the UA "787 Scheme".. Certainly would be nice to see..

Yes I remember that, was quite nice to see IMO. Would be great to see one painted in the livery for real though.



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User currently offlineLufthansa From Christmas Island, joined May 1999, 3213 posts, RR: 10
Reply 17, posted (1 year 9 months 2 weeks 6 days 2 hours ago) and read 1922 times:

Some of the talk of the 747 needing replacement can actually be done by the 787.
At least in the south pacific, we could see instead of LAX/SFO-SYD-MEL both LAX and SFO getting melbourne direct and possibly even Brisbane as well, negating some of the need. That being said, There is definitely heading east still a market for it. If you can fill it, its cost are still low, so if United have a few spare sitting around SFO and not pushing them to the max all the time, it should be fine. One or two go tech, there's always another there waiting to take over.

Although Id say on routes to places like hong kong there is a business case for them, they might not bother with anything larger than the A350, but since that one is coming fully expect the -1000 to end up at UAL.


User currently offlineN62NA From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 4454 posts, RR: 7
Reply 18, posted (1 year 9 months 2 weeks 6 days 2 hours ago) and read 1915 times:

Quoting LAXintl (Reply 2):
he 744s are becoming an ever larger operational liability.
Just look at the new schedules with the type being pulled from ORD and other markets to be centered out of SFO solely now (except LAX-SYD & HNL-NRT) to aid with reliability.
Quoting LAXintl (Reply 7):
Without these ongoing issues we would see the 744 at IAH or EWR already, but stretching the fleet out would only leave room for further failure.

I don't think there ever really was much of a chance that UA would run 744s out of EWR. For some reason, nobody does (except for the one LH flight). Kind of strange when just across the river you have JFK which sees quite a few 744 and A380 operations.


User currently offlineRoseflyer From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 9612 posts, RR: 52
Reply 19, posted (1 year 9 months 2 weeks 6 days 2 hours ago) and read 1917 times:

Quoting fun2fly (Reply 13):
Why not 10 or so 77W's on a EK type 10-12 year lease? Allows for exit mid 2010's when ample supply of 77X or A351 are around.

The board of directors would never agree to putting that much debt on the balance sheet and then amortizing it away. That would commit the airline to posting paper losses every quarter.

If they tried to lease them, the lease rate would be so high that UA would need 95% load factors to cover their ownership/acquisition costs. With the way UA structures its balance sheet, it has some of the lowest airplane ownership costs in the industry. US accounting rules aren't friendly to replacing airplanes like how Ryanair, Emirates or Singapore do.



If you have never designed an airplane part before, let the real designers do the work!
User currently offlinePHX787 From Japan, joined Mar 2012, 7474 posts, RR: 18
Reply 20, posted (1 year 9 months 2 weeks 6 days 1 hour ago) and read 1918 times:

Quoting Stitch (Reply 1):
I see no reason. They have a large 747-400 fleet that has just undergone cabin refurbishment and will comfortably take them into the latter part of this decade when they have multiple newer-generation aircraft options to use as replacements.
Quoting LAXintl (Reply 2):
But there is a chance they might go for larger A350s, 748, or even A380.

I see larger A350s and possibly 748i's in the future; but the A380??? That's a huge stretch to me.

If the 77x gets off the ground well enough, maybe UA would order it as a 772 replacement.



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User currently offlinecaptainstefan From United States of America, joined May 2007, 426 posts, RR: 0
Reply 21, posted (1 year 9 months 2 weeks 6 days 1 hour ago) and read 1917 times:

Quoting LAXintl (Reply 7):
and quite a nuisance to the new management team at UA.

Kinda like how the new management team has become a nuisance to most of the 'coworkers'?   



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User currently offlineakelley728 From United States of America, joined Dec 1999, 2191 posts, RR: 5
Reply 22, posted (1 year 9 months 2 weeks 6 days 1 hour ago) and read 1915 times:

Quoting LAXintl (Reply 7):
Unfortunately that plan is not holding up. The 744 fleet is becoming a growing reliability handicap, and quite a nuisance to the new management team at UA.
Quoting SonomaFlyer (Reply 10):
The 744's are a liability and they will get rid of them as soon as can be justified given the investment in refurbishments and maintenance.

What is the root cause of these reliability issues? I don't hear of such issues with DL's 744 fleet.


User currently offlineSonomaFlyer From United States of America, joined Apr 2010, 1777 posts, RR: 0
Reply 23, posted (1 year 9 months 2 weeks 6 days 1 hour ago) and read 1913 times:
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Quoting FriendlySkies (Reply 11):
Does anyone know why these aircraft have become so unreliable? Does it have anything to do with moving the heavy checks to HKG?

I don't think it has so much to do where the heavy checks are performed. Keep in mind UA's 744's are older so require more maintenance anyway due to the number of cycles each aircraft has flown. Some were also stored for a period of time. Finally, there were some maintenance items deferred during UA's bankruptcy that had to be addressed.

They did put $$ into refurbishing the interiors of these aircraft. Their F and J class cabins are pretty much industry standard. In Y class, its very basic but they still fill the aircraft. I'm sure UA knows how long they need to fly the a/c to make back the money invested in heavy checks and refurbishment. I believe they are due to retire one 744 sometime next year.

With all 744's based at SFO, it will be easier to give these older a/c regular maintenance attention and have a spare close at hand if an issue occurs at SFO with a scheduled aircraft.

There really isn't a business case now for the 77W. If they were ordered a few years ago (say 2005 or 06), it would be a perfect transition aircraft for their upcoming 359 order. Unfortunately, UA was not in a position to order the 77W at the optimal time.


User currently offlineusairways85 From United States of America, joined Nov 2001, 3402 posts, RR: 7
Reply 24, posted (1 year 9 months 2 weeks 6 days 1 hour ago) and read 1919 times:

Quoting Roseflyer (Reply 8):
UA doesn't need airplanes in the near term, so the advantage of the 77W isn't that useful to UA. The 747s and 767s may be less efficient and aging, but they don't need replacement ASAP. UA can pick and choose the best airplane for their fleet from all the options. That includes 77W, A330, 787-8/9/10, A358/9/10, 777X and A380. I don't think that an airline like United which keeps their airplanes in service until they get parked in the desert would be best suited by purchasing 77Ws right now. In 20 years the 77W will be considered a fuel hog, and UA only has to wait a few more years to get the next generation of widebodies.

Spot on. The 77W was the 744 replacement for the past 5 years and probably for the next 5-10 years, depending on how the 350 program goes. In the near term UA is only retiring the 762s and will continue to take 787 deliveries. When UA really needs new widebodies in 10-15 years the 77W will essentially be the 744 of the time


25 something : That is exactly what I was thinking. What airports does UA operate 744s into and are they slot restricted? (to increase frequency on smaller metal).
26 Stitch : At the moment, the A350-1000's EIS is penciled in for 2017. The A350-800 is penciled in for 2016, but as customers continue to convert and/or defer d
27 LAXintl : Like I said, believe things have come to a head especially with the 744 fleet scheduling handicap crimping things rather sooner and faster then ever w
28 SonomaFlyer : I don't think UA needs to wait till 2018 to get their 359's. I thought they were scheduled to get them in 2016 assuming the a/c isn't badly delayed. T
29 LAXintl : Keep in mind getting enough frames (A359 if you wish) to replace 24 744s is not a single year event -- likely take 3. So even if the A359 are indeed a
30 strfyr51 : Where did you get the IDEA that the 744 is a liability??! And the A380?!? are you kidding? If the 747 is a liability then the A380 would NOT be any a
31 zeke : I think only a small chance. Do we know if they actually are, or is the lack of investment into maintenance starting to show. UA is one of those airl
32 PHX787 : The 77W sure, but the 380?????? On which routes? IMO, US Airlines didn't order the 380 because of the frequency over capacity ratio. Especially with
33 zeke : Do you understand what the sentence "could operate with aircraft smaller than an A380 or 77W very easily" means, it means smaller aircraft.
34 LAXintl : UA's own management. Its a growing reliability headache, while its also been a profitability headache with limited use across the network.
35 FlyCaledonian : What have the engines been uprated to?
36 AAIL86 : I wasn't aware that DL has ordered 77W .... has this recently happened?
37 STT757 : The poster was referring to the 77L for DL, not the 77W. The only US carrier with 77Ws on order is AA.
38 Stitch : I'm guessing 90,000 lbf (400 kN), assuming the MTOW has been raised to 656,000 lb (297,550 kg).
39 Post contains images PHX787 : Whoops! My bad! 1 AM and about to pass out when I wrote that
40 Roseflyer : Here’s my opinion. The 747 is a liability in that it is very expensive to operate. It’s crew, fuel and airport costs are very high. It’s hard t
41 jfk777 : IS a new 77W with financial payments that much cheaper then a full depreciated and owned 744 ? BA and Lufthansa love their 744's, only JAL scrapped t
42 Stitch : Depending on the age of the airframe and the terms, UA is looking at probably paying $12-20 million a year for a 777-300ER lease. UA's oldest 747-400
43 brilondon : The 77W has been in production for a while. I just rode in one from NRT last week. You are talking about the 77X project maybe?
44 American 767 : The GE90-115B can deliver over 100000 lbs of thrust. It's on Boeing's website. It is the most powerful engine ever designed in the history of civil a
45 817Dreamliiner : Yes but UA has 200ERs not LRs. The GE90-115B is only applicable on the longer ranged 777s i.e. the 77W and 77L, which UA dont have.
46 VC10er : The day the last United 747 leaves the fleet will be a sad day for me. IMHO United is a 747 airline, not many left for US carriers. Delta's handful aq
47 Post contains images Stitch : UA's 777s are also powered by the Pratt & Whitney PW4090. (And yes, I know CO's 777s are powered by the GE90, but they max out at the GE90-94b at
48 Post contains images 817Dreamliiner : I know, I didnt forget about them
49 AA767LOVER : Now, what I find rather interesting is UA 895 is going to operate 777's from HKG-SIN - is that a tag on, or is UA actually using a 777 from SFO-HKG an
50 AA767LOVER : UA could get the 77L for their EWR and ORD flights to HKG, but keep the 772 for SFO-HKG. The 744s are in horrible shape, so old, the IFE is way outdat
51 COSPN : 23 744s to Operate out of LAX and SFO ??? seems too many !! ORD-HKG/NRT will be 777 ??? Will KIX and TPE-SFO go 744 ???
52 LAXintl : ORD-HKG is becoming a 777. SFO-HKG remains 744 Yes. KIX goes to a 744 on June 6, 2013 and TPE gets the 744 later in October.
53 Post contains images UnitedTristar : Not to be technical but a Boeing family member hasn't been in charge since Bill Boeing was forced by the airmail act of 1934 to sell his beloved Unit
54 sonomaflyer : That was a tongue in cheek expression; humor doesn't always translate well to a forum.
55 The777Man : That sounds very promising! Perhaps UA is waiting for more delays with the A350 so they can cancel that order and order the 77W ? Or perhaps order mo
56 sonomaflyer : The Airbus order was a roll-over order from a cancellation by UA of 320's in the past. UA avoided any penalty by switching to the 359 order. Reportedl
57 The777Man : UA actually had a good chance of leasing/buying some AI 777-200/LRs that would have been great for some 744 replacement routes like LAX/SFO-SYD-MEL. T
58 Stitch : AI wanted too much money for them.
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