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UA B744 3 Engine Ferry Flight SYD-SFO Operation...  
User currently offlineN600RR From United States of America, joined Feb 2006, 171 posts, RR: 0
Posted (8 years 6 months 3 weeks 2 days 15 hours ago) and read 6967 times:


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After having suffered engine damage due to a bird strike on take-off from SYD, UA ship N175UA returned to SFO operating as a 3 engine ferry flight. See links below for discussion and other pics.

First Report Thread

Follow-Up Thread w/pics

What sort of preparation, maintenance, etc. would have been done to secure the inoperable engine for the ferry flight in order to prevent further damage to it, or damage to the aircraft?

For example, would anything have been done to prevent windmilling, since damage seems to have been to several fan blades and the inlet cowling? Is there a special locking mechanism already in place? Would the inlet have been covered?

Additionally, would there have been any special precautions taken as to the other 3 engines, or to the aircraft itself, before departure? During the flight?

Would there have been any special crew requirements or concerns? Or would this be just another day at the office?

Thanks in advance!

    

[Edited 2006-06-06 04:07:41]


"And the fluffy white lines that the airplane leaves behind are drifting right in front of the waning of the moon" -Cake
43 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineUA777222 From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 3348 posts, RR: 11
Reply 1, posted (8 years 6 months 3 weeks 2 days 13 hours ago) and read 6923 times:

Quoting N600RR (Thread starter):
For example, would anything have been done to prevent windmilling, since damage seems to have been to several fan blades and the inlet cowling? Is there a special locking mechanism already in place? Would the inlet have been covered?

Additionally, would there have been any special precautions taken as to the other 3 engines, or to the aircraft itself, before departure? During the flight?

Would there have been any special crew requirements or concerns? Or would this be just another day at the office?

I'm new to this forum so I would hope that my input would be taken as just that;

I don't think they would cover anything as it would require drag. I don't think locking anything would be neccessary for the blades as again a still object would just generate more drag. I don't think the blades would move at a speed that is fast enough to be of any concern during the flight.

I would think that outside of some really hard left rudder, maybe different route planning, and a little more caution, that the flight would be normal. N175UA's sister ship 174 suffered an engine failure and diverted to ATL. The departure is pictured below. A three engine departure too.


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Thanks!

Matt



"It wasn't raining when Noah built the ark."
User currently offlineRendezvous From New Zealand, joined May 2001, 521 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (8 years 6 months 3 weeks 2 days 10 hours ago) and read 6888 times:

No that doesn't seem correct.

On a light aircraft a stopped propeller gives you less drag than a windmilling propeller. Also, when Qantas ferries the RB211 underwing on their 747-400's, they lock parts of it etc before they fly.

Besides, you don't really want a damaged engine and fan rattling away across the middle of the Pacific with limted places to stop if need be do you?


User currently offlineDC-10Tech From United States of America, joined Jun 2001, 298 posts, RR: 2
Reply 3, posted (8 years 6 months 3 weeks 2 days 10 hours ago) and read 6879 times:

Quoting N600RR (Thread starter):
What sort of preparation, maintenance, etc. would have been done to secure the inoperable engine for the ferry flight in order to prevent further damage to it, or damage to the aircraft?

For example, would anything have been done to prevent windmilling, since damage seems to have been to several fan blades and the inlet cowling? Is there a special locking mechanism already in place? Would the inlet have been covered?

The inop engine would have its N1 blades locked in place to prevent windmilling. Without oil pressure, an engine can be damaged internally from excessive windmilling.

I'm not sure if this procedure applies to a 3 engine ferry, but on three engined aircraft, when ferrying on two engines, those engines must have a borescope inspection completed on them before the aircraft can fly.



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User currently offlineKaddyuk From Wallis and Futuna, joined Nov 2001, 4126 posts, RR: 25
Reply 4, posted (8 years 6 months 3 weeks 2 days 10 hours ago) and read 6872 times:

Quoting UA777222 (Reply 1):
I don't think they would cover anything as it would require drag. I don't think locking anything would be neccessary for the blades as again a still object would just generate more drag. I don't think the blades would move at a speed that is fast enough to be of any concern during the flight.

The blades are locked out to stop windmilling as DC-10tech has said, the oil system in a jet engine is pressurised and with no pressure, you have no oil... this can damage the engine (Which is why there is more to a mid-air shutdown than most people think...)

Expect a longer than normal flight time and due to this, expect to burn way more fuel than normal (if memory serves me correctly, in the region of about 20-25% more fuel & flight time)

You wont be able to climb as high and you wont be able to fly as fast.

On the takeoff roll, you will throttle up the mirrored good engines (if #3 is out, throttle up 1 and 4 first) bringing #2 up as you advance down the runway (Untill the rudder kicks in).

There is alot of preperation work to be done and you have to get permission from all the countries you overfly before you can leave...



Whoever said "laughter is the best medicine" never had Gonorrhea
User currently offlineStealthZ From Australia, joined Feb 2005, 5746 posts, RR: 44
Reply 5, posted (8 years 6 months 3 weeks 2 days 9 hours ago) and read 6869 times:
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Not sure all my detail is correct but this is what I beleive happened in this case.
After a day or so of inspections of the A/C in question UA conducted some taxi tests to determine, I beleive, the level of vibration of the damaged engine. After that I had heard the fan was removed before the ferry flight.
QF did this with a "5th engine" ferry to SIN recently as well as placing a cover over the core section to further protect it.

The A/C was ferried to SFO by a Test/Maint flight crew.

Cheers



If your camera sends text messages, that could explain why your photos are rubbish!
User currently offlineTristarSteve From Sweden, joined Nov 2005, 4071 posts, RR: 33
Reply 6, posted (8 years 6 months 3 weeks 2 days 6 hours ago) and read 6839 times:

Quoting DC-10Tech (Reply 3):
The inop engine would have its N1 blades locked in place to prevent windmilling

How do you do that?
I have always removed the fan blades and placed a blank over the intake to the core engine. This on RB211 on Tristar and B747.

Quoting Kaddyuk (Reply 4):
Expect a longer than normal flight time and due to this, expect to burn way more fuel than normal (if memory serves me correctly, in the region of about 20-25% more fuel & flight time)

I dont agree with the increased burn. The problem with an engine out ferry flight is that on departure you are severly restricted in MTOW due to having to calculate a V1 speed when the second engine fails. This restricts a B744 to around a 6 hour flight.
On the Tristar you could not get a V1! The fuel was restricted to about 18tons on a -22b and 25tons on a -524 engined aircraft. The lack of V1 meant that if another engine failed on rotation, then the aircraft could not climb! Bit scary sitting on the flight deck knowing that the 5 of you were relying on my boroscope checks of the good engine!


User currently offlineAvioniker From United States of America, joined Dec 2001, 1109 posts, RR: 11
Reply 7, posted (8 years 6 months 3 weeks 2 days 4 hours ago) and read 6791 times:

Depending on the engine the fan blades may be removed or secured. To secure the fan there is a kit (which may be locally assembled from appropriate parts) that resembles straps that are a cross between tie-downs and seat belts. The straps are secured in such a way as to prevent rotation of the fan. There is also an intake plug/fairing available but the drag saving and frequency of use don't justify the cost. We rented one once and it took two days to get it and cost a fortune. the only reason we used it was one of the overflight countries wouldn't allow us to pass over with the fan tied down and we didn't want the Turbine Shaft spinning.
The other three ferrys I've been involved with, we secured the fan on the JT9 with the straps and went home for a new engine.
The burn was higher, by the way (but then again we were in a hurry).



One may educate the ignorance from the unknowing but stupid is forever. Boswell; ca: 1533
User currently offlinePhilSquares From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 8, posted (8 years 6 months 3 weeks 2 days 3 hours ago) and read 6775 times:

After doing a significant number of engine out ferries, here's what happens.

1) The aircraft's remaining engines are boroscoped, the engine oil filters are removed and checked.

2) The inop engine has the fan blades removed and a plug inserted, or the fan blades are immobilized by use of several different approved methods. Normally, the fan blades will be removed and a plywood plug bolted to the fan hub.

3) The aircraft manufacturer and applicable aviation authorities, in this case FAA since it's an N registered aircraft will authorize a ferry flight with very specific restrictions on the required crew.

4) On the 744, your weights are so low, performance is predicated on losing a second engine, that you can generally climb to the mid 300's.

Ironically, the fuel burn on 3 engines is just about the same as it is on 4. The windmilling engine produces more drag than the plugged engine.

Any questions???


User currently offlineGordonsmall From UK - Scotland, joined Jun 2001, 2184 posts, RR: 21
Reply 9, posted (8 years 6 months 3 weeks 2 days 3 hours ago) and read 6771 times:

Quoting PhilSquares (Reply 8):
Any questions???

Just one.  Wink

What's the procedure for getting the wing 'clean' on the climbout?

I can't imagine the 747 is going to cope well losing a second engine (especially two on the same side) with the flaps hanging out, but at relatively light weights I expect it would cope fairly admirably with a clean wing and a decent airspeed.

Do you level off early (500ft?) and clean up, or is it a standard take-off/initial climb routine?

Gordon.



Statistically, people who have had the most birthdays tend to live the longest.
User currently offlinePhilSquares From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 10, posted (8 years 6 months 3 weeks 2 days 3 hours ago) and read 6762 times:

Quoting Gordonsmall (Reply 9):
What's the procedure for getting the wing 'clean' on the climbout?

I can't imagine the 747 is going to cope well losing a second engine (especially two on the same side) with the flaps hanging out, but at relatively light weights I expect it would cope fairly admirably with a clean wing and a decent airspeed

Takeoff is at 10 flaps, so the loss of another engine isn't a big deal. At 1000' the clean-up process begins. However, on the 727, it was a different story. You started cleaning up as soon as you were airborne and accelerating. Even at the lightest weights, you didn't have a whole lot of extra power.


User currently offlineHKGKaiTak From Australia, joined Jun 2005, 1050 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (8 years 6 months 3 weeks 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 6632 times:

Quoting StealthZ (Reply 5):
The A/C was ferried to SFO by a Test/Maint flight crew.

What routing did they use and was this a direct flight? From the other replies here it seems to me like it's not possible for them to put the fuel they need to go the distance with just 3 engines? Or did I interpret wrongly?

Ta.



4 Engines 4 LongHaul
User currently offlineStarlionblue From Greenland, joined Feb 2004, 17185 posts, RR: 66
Reply 12, posted (8 years 6 months 3 weeks 1 day 16 hours ago) and read 6602 times:

Quoting Rendezvous (Reply 2):
On a light aircraft a stopped propeller gives you less drag than a windmilling propeller.

Yes but can't you feather those props? Feathering is a low drag config. You can't feather a fan in a turbofan.



"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots."
User currently offlineKLM685 From Mexico, joined May 2005, 1577 posts, RR: 18
Reply 13, posted (8 years 6 months 3 weeks 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 6518 times:

Quoting Kaddyuk (Reply 4):
There is alot of preperation work to be done and you have to get permission from all the countries you overfly before you can leave...

So in this case, the famous BA that had an engine failure at take off from LAX and decided to continue to London, wouldn't the authorities have not given them permission to overfly their countries with a 3 engined aircraft?



KLM- The Best Airline in the World!
User currently offlineN8076U From United States of America, joined Jun 2006, 425 posts, RR: 9
Reply 14, posted (8 years 6 months 5 days 14 hours ago) and read 6075 times:

BA did this during an otherwise normal scheduled flight full of passengers, right?

The difference with a 3-engined ferry flight is proper preparation of the broken/3 good engines, no cargo or pax, and a flight test crew at the controls rather than the normal crew.

One time several years ago, Air China had an engine failure (no obvious outward signs) on their 747 inbound to SFO. They didn't say anything and then tried to leave on 3. Apparently someone noticed as it tried to leave after pushback, and that someone called the tower. The tower denied them takeoff clearance. So yes, they were denied permission to overfly the USA.  Wink

Chris



Don't blame me, I don't work here...
User currently offlinePhilSquares From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 15, posted (8 years 6 months 5 days 11 hours ago) and read 6053 times:

Quoting N8076U (Reply 14):
BA did this during an otherwise normal scheduled flight full of passengers, right?

NO....

Completely different situation. The BA flight experienced the engine surge after V1. A 3 engine ferry is done with the knowledge you will make a 3 engine takeoff.


User currently offlineN8076U From United States of America, joined Jun 2006, 425 posts, RR: 9
Reply 16, posted (8 years 6 months 5 days 10 hours ago) and read 6034 times:

Hmm, don't know why you wrote what you did:

Quoting PhilSquares (Reply 15):
Completely different situation. The BA flight experienced the engine surge after V1. A 3 engine ferry is done with the knowledge you will make a 3 engine takeoff.

Where did I say that the BA thing was a ferry flight? I only asked if what KLM685 said had occured was an otherwise normal scheduled flight with pax, and that was a rhetorical question anyways, as I knew the answer:

Quoting KLM685 (Reply 13):
So in this case, the famous BA that had an engine failure at take off from LAX and decided to continue to London, wouldn't the authorities have not given them permission to overfly their countries with a 3 engined aircraft?

He didn't call it a ferry flight either. I know they didn't intentionally take off with three, and that a failure occured en-route. Then I wrote:

Quoting N8076U (Reply 14):
The difference with a 3-engined ferry flight...

So apparently I already made the point that the BA debacle wasn't a ferry flight, and pointed out the differences between what BA did and an actual ferry flight. But if I wasn't clear enough, I apologize.

Chris



Don't blame me, I don't work here...
User currently offlineA350 From Germany, joined Nov 2004, 1101 posts, RR: 22
Reply 17, posted (8 years 6 months 5 days 6 hours ago) and read 6011 times:

But after all, it's a big advantage of a quad that you can just ferry it home after such an engine damage. Bringing a twin home seems to consume far more money and time since you have to bring the spare engine, the tools and the staff to the stranded a/c.

A350



Photography - the art of observing, not the art of arranging
User currently offlinePhilSquares From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 18, posted (8 years 6 months 5 days 4 hours ago) and read 5997 times:

Quoting N8076U (Reply 14):
BA did this during an otherwise normal scheduled flight full of passengers, right?

The difference with a 3-engined ferry flight is proper preparation of the broken/3 good engines, no cargo or pax, and a flight test crew at the controls rather than the normal crew.

Seems to me right there! As most countries are ICAO members, there is no approval required by every country that's going to be overflown. The three engine ferry is done within the MM of the airline manual. However, if there are political considertations that require an overflight permit that's a different story. But in the case of the BA LAX-LHR flight the flight was flown within the confines of the FAR and CAAS regulations and there was nothing any agency could have done.

With reference to the Air China at SFO, a reference would be good, ohterwise I find a little hard to beleive.


User currently offlineN8076U From United States of America, joined Jun 2006, 425 posts, RR: 9
Reply 19, posted (8 years 6 months 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 5930 times:

PhilSquares, still don't know what the hell you're talking about, so I am going to drop the subject right here.

As for any reference to the Air China incident, you'll have to take my word for it, as www.airchina-really-did-this.net doesn't exist yet, and it wasn't a publicized event, as they didn't get "caught" in the true sense of the word. But if you have no experience in dealing with them, then I can understand if you find it hard to believe. Those that have dealt with them, especially 15+ or so years ago, will know it's not that hard to believe. I was working there when it happened, worked with the guy (that called the tower) for several years, and there probably was some sort of documentation somewhere way back when it happened. I'm sure there is for the engine change UA performed on that aircraft, after it sat for two days, waiting for a new engine to be flown in on another Air China 747 combi, and a record of the pushback, and receipt and offload after the so-called failed engine start (although none of that proves that they knew about the engine failure beforehand, and only proves that an engine failed). Whether one could actually find any of that paperwork is another story. As far as the FAA is concerned, the pilots said they couldn't get that engine started, and were trying to as they continued their taxi to the runway, rather than the truth, so what really happened was swept under the carpet anyways, and will "go to the grave" with any of the individuals involved.

Now, if a respected carrier like BA had an engine failure during takeoff of a 10+ hour flight and decided to continue on 3 for what amounts to the entire distance, is it such a stretch that a what-was-then barely ex-communist airline might try the takeoff with 3?

Chris



Don't blame me, I don't work here...
User currently offlineDavid L From United Kingdom, joined May 1999, 9545 posts, RR: 42
Reply 20, posted (8 years 6 months 4 days 21 hours ago) and read 5920 times:

Quoting N8076U (Reply 19):
PhilSquares, still don't know what the hell you're talking about,

PhilSquares, count to 10! I know what you're talking about and I'm sure plenty of others do.  Smile

Quoting N8076U (Reply 14):
BA did this during an otherwise normal scheduled flight full of passengers, right?

The difference with a 3-engined ferry flight is proper preparation of the broken/3 good engines, no cargo or pax, and a flight test crew at the controls rather than the normal crew.

There's a very strong implication there that the difference is that the BA crew were wrong not to have "proper preparation of the broken/3 good engines, no cargo or pax, and a flight test crew at the controls".

Maybe that's not what you meant but...

Quoting N8076U (Reply 16):
the BA debacle

Hmm...


User currently offlinePhilSquares From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 21, posted (8 years 6 months 4 days 21 hours ago) and read 5914 times:

Quoting N8076U (Reply 19):
Now, if a respected carrier like BA had an engine failure during takeoff of a 10+ hour flight and decided to continue on 3 for what amounts to the entire distance, is it such a stretch that a what-was-then barely ex-communist airline might try the takeoff with 3?

Perhaps you can point out just what CAA reg was not complied with, or maybe even a FAR that wasn't complied with? THERE IS NO MANDATE FOR 3/4 ENGINES TO LAND AT THE NEAREST AIRPORT AFTER AN ENGINE FAILURE.

As far as Air China, personally, I think it's crap. Let's think about this for a minute. Where was the aircraft going? PEK perhaps, I can assure the three engine takeoff performance (which is based on losing another engine) wouldn't be sufficient to allow the fuel/payload required to be loaded on the aircraft. In addition, 15 years ago, as you say, there would have been enough of "oversight" on a daily basis so I doubt that event even took place.


User currently offlineQFFlyer From Australia, joined Jun 2005, 380 posts, RR: 0
Reply 22, posted (8 years 6 months 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 5861 times:

Quoting N8076U (Reply 19):
PhilSquares, still don't know what the hell you're talking about, so I am going to drop the subject right here.

May I suggest you look at previous posts from Philsquares, and do some research before you make comments like this. Furthermore I for one would like to know on what basis you can say this. We know what Philsquares does, would you like to inform us what you do that makes you more of an authority than him?

Cheers


User currently offlineN8076U From United States of America, joined Jun 2006, 425 posts, RR: 9
Reply 23, posted (8 years 6 months 4 days 12 hours ago) and read 5819 times:

I'm sorry for being rude in the wording of any of my previous statements, especially to you, PhilSquares.

Perhaps I misunderstood something along the way, as it seems the point I was trying to make was taken in the wrong way. I'm just here to learn things I don't know, discuss aviation and to share any knowledge I may have on the subject, and I just tried to "add" to the discussion, like everybody else on here. And if anything I wrote was worded poorly, making it seem like I was stating fact rather than my opinion, I apologize for that as well.

As for the Air China thing, forget I even mentioned it.

Chris



Don't blame me, I don't work here...
User currently offlineN8076U From United States of America, joined Jun 2006, 425 posts, RR: 9
Reply 24, posted (8 years 6 months 4 days 8 hours ago) and read 5789 times:

Gentlemen, let's start off fresh, shall we? I would like to keep this thread positive, and I'd like to learn something from it.

Just so we're all on the same page, I have a couple questions and a couple comments.

Do you agree that a foreign carrier, like BA flying out of LAX or Air China flying out of SFO, has to conform to FAA/FAR rules in order to be allowed to fly into or out of the USA? And a U.S. carrier like UA has to conform to JAR rules if they fly to Japan? This is what I understood to be the way it works.

Even though the above may be true, I will agree that the FAA or FARs do not specifically forbid the operation of a 747 on 3 engines, or 2 or 1 for that matter. Yes, each airline has specific procedures for how to carry out a 3 engine ferry flight. And I assume also a scheduled flight that loses and engine. I also don't know if the airline needs to make special arrangements to overfly any country with one engine down.

Now, I would assume that BA has some sort of procedure that is to be followed, should there be an engine failure on a 747, after v1. What is that procedure? Apparently, the captain has full authority to do as he sees fit, but I would hope that there would be a directive requiring returning to the most convenient airfield, so long as the mid-way "point of no return" had not been reached and as long as the safety of the aircraft wasn't in question. So is there nothing like this in BA's procedures? It seems that the safety of the hundreds of lives on board would be the primary concern. Going back to LAX seems to me to be the safer alternative than soldiering on all the way to LHR. Does this sound reasonable?

I didn't mean to bash BA in general, as I think they are a world class airline, and wouldn't hesitate to ever fly on them again. I just think the crew of that particular flight used poor judgement, in my opinion.

I'm sure PhilSquares is an aviation authority when compared to me, but I may know a few things he doesn't.  Wink No, I am not a pilot, as I assume he is. I was a mechanic at UA for several years and worked ramp service before that, but I have been out of the aviation industry for 3 or 4 years now. As such, a lot of what I may write at A.net comes from memory, as I have lost access to all the manuals, etc.

Chris



Don't blame me, I don't work here...
25 Post contains links David L : You might want to take a look at these earlier discussions: RE: Engine Failures - The Law Vs The Pilots Decisi (by Julesmusician Nov 14 2005 in Tech
26 Starlionblue : The Captain followed BA procedures. These procedures had been approved by the CAA, no doubt all of it in consultation with Boeing. If the procedure i
27 PhilSquares : 1) Perhaps you could tell, me/us, what gives you the qualifications to even render an opinion? 2) In addition, perhaps you could tell us why you feel
28 N8076U : Since I only rendered my own opinion, I don't see why I must be "qualified" in any way to do so, as it is just that, only an opinion, and doesn't mean
29 Post contains images Starlionblue : Your argument certainly makes sense to me from a "gut feel" viewpoint. However, I would consider two things: - With 3 engines, a 747 has the same eng
30 PhilSquares : Well, I guess I am somewhat dissapointed as I tried to head this conversation off earlier. But never the less, I guess if you fly a 777 across the N.
31 N8076U : No need to be disappointed any longer. I am done beating a dead horse, so consider it headed off. I do appreciate your patience in dealing with me, a
32 Post contains images Starlionblue : Veteran perhaps. Don't know if that's a good thing. Just means I have a lot of time on my hands. I do tend to learn a lot here, and I get slapped aro
33 FlyMatt2Bermud : Does anyone have access to the photo of an Asian Airline 747, whose attempt to perform the procedure above literally went awry. The failure destroyed
34 SuseJ772 : That's hard to believe. I'd like to see a post where that happened. As for the unwritten rules, in Tech Ops you'll find that SlamClick, PhilSquares,
35 Mandargb : Why would they fly to SFO and not LAX ? Cant UA fix their 744s at LAX or any SO CAL airport for that matter ? Or why even fly to US? Cant theydo it so
36 Post contains links and images Starlionblue : Ahem. Thanks and all that. As usual I would like to point out that unlike Captain Click, Captain Squares et. al. I am neither a pilot nor a mechanic
37 N8076U : SFO is where UA has a large maintenance base, all the necessary equipment, and where their engine shop is located, not to mention this is where they
38 SuseJ772 : You always do seem to make that point whenever I compliment you, but for some reason, you also always seem to know what you are talking about as well
39 Gib : RE: 'looney_bin'.... AMEN! It's getting to where I don't even bother going there.
40 AAFLT1871 : Does UA not have the ability to put a 5th pod on to ferry a new engine down and ferry back the damaged one in the same 5th pod?
41 Starlionblue : They might. But this is a pretty costly operation. That would explain why they would rather do the 3-engine ferry. Also on the 747 it's not so much a
42 TristarSteve : Very few B747-400 are fitted with the facility to fit a 5th pod. It was a customer option. As the B744 can take off on three engines with a range of
43 N8076U : Although the UA 747-400s all had the actual attach points for the fifth pod on the wing (the ones with original Boeing paintjobs even had the stencil
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