N79969
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Lufthansa Urges Boeing To Stretch 747

Wed Feb 26, 2003 12:35 am

According to today's Aviation Daily, LH wants Boeing to stretch the 744 to extend the 747s market potential another 20 years. They would like to see a 450-seat 747 (versus LH's which seat 400) that is more environmentally and maintenance friendly.
 
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RayChuang
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RE: Lufthansa Urges Boeing To Stretch 747

Wed Feb 26, 2003 12:40 am

Fat chance that's going to happen.  Smile

I think LH should be prodding Airbus to develop the shortened A380-700 as a true 747-400 successor instead--after all, LH is going to get the A380-800.
 
DIA
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RE: Lufthansa Urges Boeing To Stretch 747

Wed Feb 26, 2003 12:42 am

Not surprised. I would love to see it, but how likely is this one.

Do you have a link?

DIA
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DIA
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RE: Lufthansa Urges Boeing To Stretch 747

Wed Feb 26, 2003 12:45 am

Maybe a stretched 747 would be more viable than a shortend A380. Maybe that's their thinking. How would the weights and prices compare?
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N79969
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RE: Lufthansa Urges Boeing To Stretch 747

Wed Feb 26, 2003 12:47 am

Sorry, I do not have a link for you. The Aviation Daily is a pricey publication and they do not post current issues on the internet.

I think there is a decent chance that Boeing would do it. They have no plans to get rid of the 747 and they will eventually upgrade it. LH has 30 744 aircraft so there would be some advantages for them continue with the type.

As far as a A380-700, goes it seems like that airplane would have a real problem with weight. As I imagine it, it would have the -800 wing and undercarriage with fewer fuselage frames. Of course, that is pure speculation.

Shrinks do not perform all that well in general but stretches seem to work.
 
Navion
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747 Much Lighter Than A380

Wed Feb 26, 2003 12:56 am

It might make sense to stretch the 744 rather than shrink the A380 as the A380 has so much more installed weight. The 747 and A380 are not interchangeable as so many of us like to think. Even with the A380's newer technology, it is still hauling around 100 tons more weight (on average) which costs a lot. A stretched 744 would still likely weigh less than a shortened A380. I'd like to see some details.
 
N79969
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RE: Lufthansa Urges Boeing To Stretch 747

Wed Feb 26, 2003 1:00 am

 
DIA
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RE: Lufthansa Urges Boeing To Stretch 747

Wed Feb 26, 2003 1:23 am

Thanks for the link. Looks pretty serious to me. Wow. . .that would be great if Boeing pursues this.

Interesting stuff about the airline alliances and the RJ search too. That looks good/interesting enough for a seperate post.

DIA
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na
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RE: Lufthansa Urges Boeing To Stretch 747

Wed Feb 26, 2003 1:34 am

Nice read. Its clever not to go 100% Airbus, because that makes an airline vulnerable. Also this article outlines the key problems of the 744 in todays and even more tomorrows market. A bit too near to the A346/773ER, to bit too far away from the A380. The next 747 needs to be right in the center to make sense.
I agree with Navion regarding the shrink/stretch issue. Shrinks never worked in an economics-driven market. Shrinks of the 777 and the A330 were rejected, the 747SP a flop, the 762 is no hotseller since a long time. And the A380 shrink doesn´t look promising if you ask me.
 
CX747
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RE: Lufthansa Urges Boeing To Stretch 747

Wed Feb 26, 2003 1:39 am

If you think about it, what LH is asking Boeing to do is not that difficult. Stretching the aircraft is possible, and going over it with a comb to increase its maintenance friendly capabilities is not to difficult. Also, LH is happy with the current operating costs so there doesn't need to be a new wing or new engine.
"History does not long entrust the care of freedom to the weak or timid." D. Eisenhower
 
DIA
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RE: Lufthansa Urges Boeing To Stretch 747

Wed Feb 26, 2003 1:46 am

They already have the new engine too. I forget what it was called, but it was the offering on the 747-400QERF, or something like that. An ultra-environmentally-friendly engine. Everyone laughed at how many letters followed 747-400. . .

Anyhow, someone here has got to remember the exact name and engine.
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CX747
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RE: Lufthansa Urges Boeing To Stretch 747

Wed Feb 26, 2003 1:50 am

You have to wonder what kind of economic improvement the new engines being worked on by GE, P&W and RR will have on the 747-400s bottom line.

I find it interesting that an airline moving towards Airbus widebodies has asked Boeing to improve the 747. You would figure that they would make due with the A340-600s and the A380s. Could this show that their is indeed a market between the 777/A340 class and the A380?
"History does not long entrust the care of freedom to the weak or timid." D. Eisenhower
 
777236ER
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RE: Lufthansa Urges Boeing To Stretch 747

Wed Feb 26, 2003 1:55 am

And so begins the mindless and pointless speculation  Insane

One of the things that has destroyed the chances for 747 stretches in the past has been the lack of airline enthusiasm, especially from key players like BA. If the airlines want Boeing to make it they will. This isn't something as trivial as the 717-300.

As for engines, a stretch and MTOW increase would nicely suit Trent 500s, new CF6s and new PW4000s, all of which would bring about a tidy fuelburn decrease.
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DIA
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RE: Lufthansa Urges Boeing To Stretch 747

Wed Feb 26, 2003 1:55 am

Boeing has always, and still states, there absolutley is a market between those types, which is why they will keep the 747 alive.
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wingman
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RE: Lufthansa Urges Boeing To Stretch 747

Wed Feb 26, 2003 1:55 am

This kills me. I can see Boeing spending $4-5B doing this and then having LH tell them they'll be ordering the 380 anyway. Guys, LH will not order new Boeing commercial aircraft as long as Airbus has something even remotely close. They are just taunting Boeing with this request, it's a form of executive German humor. Kind of funny in a way.
 
na
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RE: Lufthansa Urges Boeing To Stretch 747

Wed Feb 26, 2003 2:05 am

Wingman, you´re wrong. LH is a correct company with lots of positive experience with Boeing. They won´t fool Boeing for the sake of it.
Sorry, but a brutal, reckless businessstyle fits more to the US rather than it is a German way of deal.
I had another, personal lesson on this just today.
 
N79969
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RE: Lufthansa Urges Boeing To Stretch 747

Wed Feb 26, 2003 2:08 am

I could see LH buying if Boeing actually goes forward. They were bugging Boeing to keep building MD-11. And I do not think the Boeing board would approve any real expenditures unless it had some orders lined up and some deposits in hand.


 
JAL
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RE: Lufthansa Urges Boeing To Stretch 747

Wed Feb 26, 2003 2:17 am

It would be great to see Boeing develop a stretch 747-400, but will Boeing do it?
Work Hard But Play Harder
 
N79969
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RE: Lufthansa Urges Boeing To Stretch 747

Wed Feb 26, 2003 2:22 am

I think Boeing will make minor adjustments to the 744 until the A380 is launched. After they find out what is wrong with the 380, then they will probably invest in a serious overhaul of the 747 to play on any 380 shortcomings. 747 pricing has historically been on the monopolistic side. Boeing has room to chop prices and that would further undermine the economics of the 380.

 
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yyz717
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RE: Lufthansa Urges Boeing To Stretch 747

Wed Feb 26, 2003 2:26 am

Boeing will produce any derivative/stretch to market demand. If LH puts its money where its mouth is and is willing to launch a stretched 744 order, I'm sure Boeing will listen.

I dumped at the gybe mark in strong winds when I looked up at a Porter Q400 on finals. Can't stop spotting.
 
DIA
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RE: Lufthansa Urges Boeing To Stretch 747

Wed Feb 26, 2003 2:34 am

And so begins the mindless and pointless speculation

Just to add on to our mindless and pointless speculations that seem to interest a lot of us to keep coming back to use A.net the way it is intended to be used. . .

I agree with N79969. But would it be too long of a wait for the A380? If Lufthansa is asking now, how long would Boeing wait before producing a 747stretch? If they decide to do it and other airlines jump on board, there would not be any reason to wait for the money to start pouring in. . .would there be?

My God, I just can't get enough of my own speculations! Insane

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N79969
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RE: Lufthansa Urges Boeing To Stretch 747

Wed Feb 26, 2003 2:34 am

It cannot be just LH. LH won't want to be the sole purchaser and Boeing will not want to rely on one customer for a potentially expensive variant. Particularly a customer that has a penchant for shopping in Tolouse almost all of the time these days. Several big 747 operators will have to show interest before this plane comes to fruition in my opinion: JL, SQ, BA, LH, QF, NH, KL, KE, and so on. Perhaps not all of these companies but Boeing will need to get serious interest from several of them for several planes each.
 
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yyz717
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RE: Lufthansa Urges Boeing To Stretch 747

Wed Feb 26, 2003 2:39 am

Boeing will not want to rely on one customer for a potentially expensive variant.

I disagree. LH is a well-respected intl carrier. Boeing would produce a derivative for LH with a sizeable order. The 753 & 764 were developed with only 1 and 2 launch customers respectively. The 73G was also approved with only 1 launch customer.

I dumped at the gybe mark in strong winds when I looked up at a Porter Q400 on finals. Can't stop spotting.
 
N79969
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RE: Lufthansa Urges Boeing To Stretch 747

Wed Feb 26, 2003 2:46 am

A few years ago MH and TG both expressed interest in some new 747 variant and Boeing refused to proceed because of insufficient interest. MH and TG are pretty good Boeing customers. I think you can differentiate the 753, 764, and 73G from a potential 747 stretch.

753- this was a few fuselage frames extra and could be built on the same line. Large potential customer base of 757 operators around. Probably sort of cheap to develop

73G- The line was due for an upgrade to compete with the A320 line. I think Boeing could invest with confidence that they could easily sell these airplanes. There is a big market for 737/320 size aircraft

764- Sort of like the 753. They stretched an existing airframe. They technology developed in this project is being applied elsewhere: raked wingtips on 773er/772lr.

747 stretch- This segment of the market is relatively small. Not too many carriers require 747 aircraft. They could be hard to resell. It would be expensive and risky.

 
CX747
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RE: Lufthansa Urges Boeing To Stretch 747

Wed Feb 26, 2003 3:30 am

I think you liked Clinton because he played right into your hands. Basically, screw American interests for the sake of the International Community ( or should I say E.U.)

Obviously there would have to be more interest in this aircraft for Boeing to go forward. What about JAL, CX, SIA, QF?
"History does not long entrust the care of freedom to the weak or timid." D. Eisenhower
 
racko
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RE: Lufthansa Urges Boeing To Stretch 747

Wed Feb 26, 2003 3:41 am

LH has always stated that they will continue to buy from both manufacturers because it puts you in a better position for negotiations.

Why should they fool Boeing? Neither EADS nor the evil German government holds a stake in them, and LH owes them nothing. LH just wants the best solutions they can get, and 2 healthy manufacturers which compete with each other are surely better for them than just one which dictates the prices.

And I highly doubt that a stretched 747 would cost 5 billion, with that money they're almost halfway through to build a new aircraft from scratch, 1-2 bn is more realistic.

I don't think the Cargo 742s need replacement in the nearer future. They're paid off, and now just make money. Freigth doesn't complain about old planes, and buying new planes for hundreds of millions just for a one-digit improved efficiency is useless.

About Chrysler, you should be happy that Daimler rescued them and now teaches them how to run a car company properly. There's a reason why Chrysler does so much better since Dieter Zetsche is at the steering wheel. Reliability has improved greatly in the last 2 years.
 
Triple Seven
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RE: Lufthansa Urges Boeing To Stretch 747

Wed Feb 26, 2003 3:53 am

N79969,

Back in 1996 MH signed an order for 5 747-500X and 10 747-600X in Farnborough. Boeing did not take MH and TG order as launch order because Boeing prefers carriers like BA, SQ, CX, QF etc. As we know non of them ordered thus the -500X/600X was cancelled.
 
N79969
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RE: Lufthansa Urges Boeing To Stretch 747

Wed Feb 26, 2003 4:17 am

Triple Seven,

Interesting. I guess prestige is a bigger factor than I thought. But I still think they need volumes before they will commit. A 5-plane order is not enough to launch a type just because it is LH or SQ unless there is potential for a lot more orders. (e.g. 5 firm/ 20 options) Boeing probably needs to see the potential to completely replace existing 744s in a fleet before committing. If the stretch is just added in small numbers to augment a 744 fleets, then it may not be worth the risk for Boeing.

 
N79969
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RE: Lufthansa Urges Boeing To Stretch 747

Wed Feb 26, 2003 4:37 am

I would add one more thing. I think Boeing's strategy of launching 744 variants with 'prestigious' customers makes sense. For instance, what SQ does others will follow. Since SQ bought the 380, SQ's big competitors also feel the pressure to get some of their own. It's sort of like the domino theory. That is why Airbus, Boeing, and the engine makers fight so hard and give such big discounts to companies like SQ.

I think the 'prestigious launch customer' theory is not as important in the market for smaller, non-flagship sorts of aircraft.
 
ConcordeBoy
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RE: Lufthansa Urges Boeing To Stretch 747

Wed Feb 26, 2003 5:26 am

Interesting. Lufty also told Boeing that it'd be interested in a 772LRF a few weeks ago as well.....
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AvObserver
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RE: Lufthansa Urges Boeing To Stretch 747

Wed Feb 26, 2003 8:41 am

RayChuang says...

"Fat chance that's going to happen.

I think LH should be prodding Airbus to develop the shortened A380-700 as a true 747-400 successor instead--after all, LH is going to get the A380-800."

If you read the other posts here, consensus is that an A380 shrink would likely be too heavy. I don't think the chances of a 747 stretch are that good but they may be improving. It would neatly fill the gap between the A346 and the A388 and be an economical solution for that pax capacity. Boeing had basically completed design of the recent 747X concept and would need only to add several frames to its' basic unstretched 430 pax capacity to get 450 and still have equal or better range than the 744. A freighter variant would be a natural, too. If another carrier also indicated in interest in such a configuration, it would become a serious possibility. Though I doubt there'd be much interest in a follow-on 500 passenger model, the former 747X Stretch, Boeing might try shopping that around again if the smaller version were launched. It had no chance before due to massive Airbus discounts on the A380 but now that those have mostly evaporated, there might be a chance.


 
747-451
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RE: Lufthansa Urges Boeing To Stretch 747

Wed Feb 26, 2003 9:09 am

Let LH buy from Airbus, not Boeing, as they have been doing.

Chrysler was not loosing money or broke, it was the mostprofitable of the big 3 at the time of its take over. Benz needed a quick and dirty way to make money in the US and that was to buy Chrysler and the very profitable Jeep division. As far as reliability, Chrysler beats many others. As far as boring, uninspired products the C230 comes to mind as do all the chrysler products to emerge since the Benz takeover. Chrysler used to be a dynamic company who brought daring products to market. Now they are as stolid and stodgy as their owners. the days of the Prowler, hemi Cuda and New Yorker are long dead.
 
HlywdCatft
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RE: Lufthansa Urges Boeing To Stretch 747

Wed Feb 26, 2003 10:10 am

I would still love to see those 747-500, 600 and 700s flying that they had proposed a few years back before they cancelled them.
 
ha763
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RE: Lufthansa Urges Boeing To Stretch 747

Wed Feb 26, 2003 11:28 am

CX also expressed interest to Boeing about a streched 747-400XQLR, but with more range.

http://www.airliners.net/discussions/general_aviation/read.main/965311/4/

Also the 767-200 was not a shrink. It was the original model offered.
 
travellin'man
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RE: Lufthansa Urges Boeing To Stretch 747

Wed Feb 26, 2003 4:43 pm

When Boeing press released the 747X (when the A380 was still the A3XX), and before Singapore went with Airbus, Being boasted that they could launch the plane with only one launch customer, and build it with 1-2 billion in investment.

I do find it interesting that they cancelled 1996 orders for stretches, but perhaps, not having any competition in that field, it was easier for them to put pressure on airlines to buy other existing models rather than invest in a whole new line, especially after having just done so for the 777. The A380 gave them a reason to compete.

If the 773ER takes off in orders, and starts eating more into the 747 market, Boeing may want to create a new playing for the 747 to give the program distance from its own (and the A3340's) competition. Stretching it into a new sized market, 450 seats, (where there are no competitors) is an excellent opportunity for them.

There is a significant gap between the 747 and the 380, and I think a stretch fills it perfectly. I'm sure Boeing is trying to develop consensus between interested carriers like Lufthansa and Cathay, among others. They have been busy floating proposals by carriers all the while, and when they get a few things properly aligned, I think they will go for it. And they may not wait for the A380 launch to do it either.

Also worth noting is that this program could go hand in hand enginewise with the 7E7.
It is not enough to be rude; one must also be incorrect.
 
gigneil
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RE: Lufthansa Urges Boeing To Stretch 747

Wed Feb 26, 2003 4:47 pm

Avobserver-

The A380 is being designed from day one with stretching and shrinking in mind.

All our banter about it being overweight right now won't matter until the day it actually flies.

N
 
aviasian
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RE: Lufthansa Urges Boeing To Stretch 747

Wed Feb 26, 2003 5:13 pm

We could all debate on whether Boeing would act on Lufthansa's request . . . personally, it would be most foolish of Boeing not to do so.

There has certainly been no shortage of airlines wishing to see a growth-version of the very successful (and very popular) Boeing 747 . . . Boeing must stop giving all those sexy multi-alpha-numeric versions and then erase them off the drawing board after a short while.

Too many of these have appeared . . . . and disappeared. If Boeing is waiting for either the chicken or the egg to appear, it would be fried by Airbus Industrie's increasingly comprehensive family of airliners.

Personally, I love a whole lot of planes from both manufacturers (plus a few others) and wish to see Boeing gain some ground in the large capacity airliner market in the long run.

KC Sim
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SailorOrion
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RE: Lufthansa Urges Boeing To Stretch 747

Wed Feb 26, 2003 5:36 pm

Let LH buy from Airbus, not Boeing, as they have been doing.

I really do hope that you will never manage an aircraft manufacturer with this kind of attitude.

Let me first state a few facts before continuing with speculation:
1) There is quite a gap in capacity between the 773/A346 and the A388
2) The 747 fuselage permits Boeing to easily place an aircraft directly in that gap
3) Since quite a bit of the existing 747 can be used, development costs will be much lower than making a new aircraft.
4) There are engines available from different manufacturers, making the aircraft attractive to more customers than a 773ER or an A346.
5) LH is the worlds #1 airline, measured by international RPKs
6) LH is not an all-Airbus operator. They have close to 180 non-airbus aircraft, operate almost 80 B737s and almost 40 B747s.
7) The A380-800 is heavier than expected and has somewhat higher operating costs as initially projected (only about 12% lower than a B744 seat-km wise), which could prove a shrink variant to be uneconomical.

I certainly hope that LH and Boeing are able to launch a B747-500 (lets say streched by about 3,5 meters after the wing (+40 seats Y class) and about 4 meters before the wing (4 F-class and 21 C-class) to 78 meters. If it is possible, Boeing could make use of the space above the cabin (crew rest? additional fuel tank?) and add more usable floor space to the cabin. However, a new center wing box, and maybe a partially redesigned wing might be needed (also a fly-by-wire system is conceivable). This could easily end up in an airplane with a range of the QLR (or more), and 5% to 10% lower operating costs than the current B747-400ER.

SailorOrion

 
747-451
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RE: Lufthansa Urges Boeing To Stretch 747

Thu Feb 27, 2003 6:40 am

I stand by my comment, and no I do not wish to run an aircraft manufacturer.

LH has been purshasing a majority of Airbus products, regardless of whether there is an equivelent Boeing available, since they have chosen to standardize. Though they operate a large number of Boeing planes, they haven't ordered new ones (lately >2001).

Secondly, there is too much to be done to the existing 747 airframe to bring ut up to current levels of technology. A stretch will not suffice since it will need a new wing, wing box, landing gear and stabilizer to handle the additional length and weight as you state. However, whether Boeing does this or makes anew airframe only they will decide and appears not to be forthcoming from all the false starts of a stretch in the past. Engines are not an issue since there will be more made available for the Airbuses as well.
 
RIX
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RE: Lufthansa Urges Boeing To Stretch 747

Thu Feb 27, 2003 7:00 am

Well said, SailorOrion (except #5 - "LH is the worlds #1 airline" sounds really weird to me...). LH is a very serious customer, and in general the future of 747 is right about 450 seats - far enough from 346 and 773 and still not close to 380, even to 380-700 - it will still have about 500 seats.
 
racko
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RE: Lufthansa Urges Boeing To Stretch 747

Thu Feb 27, 2003 7:25 am

"Though they operate a large number of Boeing planes, they haven't ordered new ones (lately >2001)."

They were about to order more 747s before 9/11 together with the A380s, but cancelled this plan after the attacks.
 
747-451
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RE: Lufthansa Urges Boeing To Stretch 747

Thu Feb 27, 2003 7:29 am

"They were about to order more 747s before 9/11 together with the A380s, but cancelled this plan after the attacks."

However, tey did NOT canel orders for the A380; and the 380 will be hit by the same negative downturn in travel that the 744 would.
 
AvObserver
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RE: Lufthansa Urges Boeing To Stretch 747

Thu Feb 27, 2003 8:57 am

Gigneil:
"The A380 is being designed from day one with stretching and shrinking in mind.
All our banter about it being overweight right now won't matter until the day it actually flies."

I'm aware of their plans to shrink it but I'm also aware that shrinks are historically less economical. This is a heavy aircraft, seemingly better optimized for stretching rather than compacting. In an ultra-long range model, they might get away with it. The question would be, even with all of its' new technology, could a 450 seat A380 match the economics of a MUCH lighter 747 stretch? That's a big if, in my book. The A330-200 is a great example of a successful shrink but its' success won't necessarily translate to superjumbo scale. But as you said, we'll have to wait and see.

 
dw747400
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RE: Lufthansa Urges Boeing To Stretch 747

Thu Feb 27, 2003 9:02 am

"The A380 is being designed from day one with stretching and shrinking in mind.

All our banter about it being overweight right now won't matter until the day it actually flies."

The problem being brought up is not so much the initial concerns of the A380 baseline model being overweight, but the fact that the structure designed for a larger plane would simply make a smaller plane very heavy.

The 757, 767, and 777 to name a few were designed with a shrink in mind, but most airlines did not like the operating economics of (for the 777) a 250 seat airplane with a heavy wingbox from a 320 seat airliner.

Stretching effectively increases the size of the airplane for relatively little increase in weight (up to a point). Thus, both the 747 and A380 could probably be stretched to make larger and more efficient airliners fairly easily.

When Boeing built the 747, they designed it with a stretch in mind, and it has two fuselage "break" points where plugs could easily be inserted. The work that has been done in past projects, the 747-400ER, and the 747-400QLR could be very helpful. The QLR, for example, had some modest wing modifications that could be applied to a larger airplane with range similar to an earlier 747-400.

One thing I wouldn't expect is FBW. Updating to an FBW system would be extremely expensive, and one major selling point of a new 747 would be its price tag. Also, FBW isn't very good for commonality with other 747s.

It sounds like a good idea, not to mention a bit more realistic than past proposals (particularly the 747-700). Hopefully it will give the 747 a bit more life.
CFI--Certfied Freakin Idiot
 
SailorOrion
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RE: Lufthansa Urges Boeing To Stretch 747

Thu Feb 27, 2003 7:02 pm

RIX: sorry I was wrong

LH is the largest airline worldwide measure by
1) International Revenue Ton Kilometers (pax + cargo)
2) International Passengers transported
RPM-wise British Airways is still larger

747-451:
The have chosen to standardize
That is why they are still operating B737s and A32S? why they are flying A340-600 and B747-400? Why (including subsidiaries) fly the 757? the 767? MD-11? 747-200? Fly GE engines? RR engines? PW engines? CFMs?

LH has purchased the A380 AFTER 911. Like any other airline, they stood back and let the dust settle and then analyze the situtation. Long range travel at LH currently grows faster than anyone predicted. In 3-4 years, they will need an airplane which is larger than the current B747-400 (which only has about 360 seats in LH layout), but where the A380-800 (about 490 seats in LH I would guess) is too large. They have the B747-400, they like her. Op costs are low, fuel burn too. If Boeing would offer a good stretch, why shouldnt they buy it? It could be ages better than an A380-700. Mind you the -800 is already a relatively short plane. Maybe they go with a number of 772LRF, or launch a 717 familiy, who knows.

SailorOrion

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