Posts: 6633
Joined: Tue May 18, 1999 11:10 am

747-200 Vs. 747SP

Mon Feb 28, 2000 2:04 am

According to my numbers,

The B747-200 first flew in 1970, has a range of 6900nm (with 366 pax).

The B747SP first flew in 1975, has a range of 6650nm (with 276 pax).

These numbers make me ask why the 747SP was built at all. There was an aircraft that had already been flying for 5 years that had slightly more range and greater capacity. These numbers seem to rule out the justification of the -SP for long range flights, as the -200 could fly farther. Maybe it was more for lower capacity then range?
Posts: 256
Joined: Sat Jan 29, 2000 7:58 am

RE: 747-200 Vs. 747SP

Mon Feb 28, 2000 4:25 am

My old reference book shows about the above range for the -200, but is so old it doesn't even mention the SP. But I think maybe your book is in error about the SP. That aircraft was intended to haul fewer people on very long range flights. It carried the same fuel as the -200 (same sized wings, even though flaps have been simplified) but was much lighter due to shortened fuselage and reduction in payload. Same fuel with much reduced weight = longer range.

I'll look up the range of the 747SP tomorrow at work if someone else hasn't by then.
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Joined: Mon Jan 02, 2006 2:20 pm

RE: 747-200 Vs. 747SP

Mon Feb 28, 2000 5:28 am

My book shows the the range of the 747SP is 7,658 miles/12324 km. Length of the -200 is 231 ft o in and the SP is 184 ft 9 in. The SP goes 9 mph faster than the 200 and 100 feet higher. Not much of a difference there.

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Joined: Mon Jan 02, 2006 2:20 pm

RE: 747-200 Vs. 747SP

Mon Feb 28, 2000 5:32 am

Sorry forgot the Range of the -200 it is 7,940 miles like you said longer than the SP according to my book.
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RE: 747-200 Vs. 747SP

Mon Feb 28, 2000 5:37 am

Or perhaps the justification between the two would be performance in hot and humid climates?

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Joined: Sun Feb 27, 2000 4:49 am

RE: 747-200 Vs. 747SP

Mon Feb 28, 2000 6:10 am

My 1973 Observer's book qoutes a range for the 747-200 with reserves of 7,080 miles and with full passenger load of 6,820 miles. Although the official qoutes for the SP seem to be not much greater, I think in operational terms the SP did offer substantial range improvements over the 100's and 200's available in the mid 70's. However, due to their lower passenger numbers, the operating economics were not as good so they only sold to airlines with special requirements, like Pan Am with its long trans-Pacific routes and SAA and Iran Air with their overflight restrictions. The 747SP was actually launched by Boeing as a counter to the new longer range versions of the DC-10. From this point of view it was a failure, the Srs 30 and 40 DC-10's comfortably outselling the SP.
Posts: 156
Joined: Thu Jan 06, 2000 9:19 am

Why Care About Those Numbers

Mon Feb 28, 2000 7:57 am

The range of an aircraft depends on how each ariline configure their aircraft.
How much load it carries, extra fuel tanks, options, weights, etc...
Also depends on, the route itself, weather, runway length, altitude and temperature....
You will see different numbers all over the place. Treat them lightly!

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