Na From Germany, joined Dec 1999, 10709 posts, RR: 9 Posted (12 years 8 months 3 weeks 2 days 6 hours ago) and read 1421 times:
Germanys No.1 aviation magazine "Flug Revue" has a very interesting article in its Dec. issue about the future of Boeings top product, the 747.
After visiting Seattle and talking to Boeing managers this is in short what the magazine is writing:
Next step after the 744LR is a refined version of the 747-400, possibly to be named 747"Quiet", modied with cleaned surfaces, new flaps, undercarriage construction, engine cowlings and so on to make it as quiet as the 777 and within the extreme noise regulations to come in near future.
Boeing claims that some airlines have expressed serious interest in that new 744 version that would also explain why demand is slow at the moment. They also say that the 747 is the only program that saw not a single order cancellation during the current crisis. The production plan of the next two years is full.
Noteworthy also that Boeings see´s the GE-engine as having the best potential of further development.
The freighter will be equipped with better loading systems.
Production standardisation will reduce costs and reduce production time of a 747 from 90 days today to 70 days soon (It were 120 days in 1970).
The Boeing officials repeat the statement that the 747 will stay up to 30 years in production from now.
Boeing keeps investiing in their most popular product. That includes a complete rebuild production line where the planes move on a assembly line.
In 2008/9 Boeing might bring out a completely new version of the 747 with new engines and wings (similar to the shelved 745/6 project).
All in all that is the most optimistic article I read about my favorite aircraft in the last years - filled with facts rather than speculations.
F4N From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 1, posted (12 years 8 months 3 weeks 2 days 4 hours ago) and read 1361 times:
Interesting article. It looks like Boeing is attempting to create a market segment between A380 and the big twins. Airbus does not appear to want to shrink the A380 to go there and I don't think we will see twins bigger than A346/773, so it may be a good move on their part to keep the 747 going, especially if the noted changes make significant improvements in performance.
As intersting as A380 is, I'd rather the fleets of the world have more diversity, not less.
Joni From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 2, posted (12 years 8 months 3 weeks 2 days 3 hours ago) and read 1346 times:
Airbus is showing very strong interest in shrinking the A380, specifically to address the market between 773/356 and the A388. However, the shrink-380 might be a bit on the heavy side so Boeing definitely (IMO) has a good chance to keep the 744 going.
Greg From United Kingdom, joined May 2005, 0 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (12 years 8 months 3 weeks 2 days ago) and read 1306 times:
Actually, there is very little written on the shrink proposal--it's, at the very best, only a concept to complete the 'family.' I'm not sure they would even be interested in building it unless the larger model was a success.
The A380 shrink would not be as economical with a wing that big...much like the 747SP. But it would have some kickass range and climb performance.
I think it's the least likely of all the versions....