While I'm not a full-time aviation nut like many of you, what I do observe from reading these posts and news articles about Boeing is that do not make decisions to invest resources in a new product lightly. For them to making this much noise about a 747ADV, I'm thinking that they more or less have done alot of homework and can see that the market is there. There are many airlines with large fleets of 747-400's that may not want to take a risk of trying to fill a 550 seat plane everyday and would like to keep the 747, but with advance features and a few extra seats for flexibility or space to enhance their premium class offerings on long-haul flights.
Everyone keeps talking about the Sonic Cruiser. Prior to 911, I remember reading that AA
were ready to take the first 3 year's production off the line. So, there was a market, but 911 and high fuel costs changed the dynamic so they decided not proceed. Sounds like prudent decision making to me. What's the problem?
I think that the 747ADV is a go and it will be very successful if they can price it right, which the key. Boeing needs to get away from this "we are a premium product and deserve a premium price" marketing strategy. It's obviously not working, airlines and management seem to be interested in what the fleet purchase is going to look like on the books today, not 20 years from now. If they really think that their products deserve a premium, then they should guarantee a buyback say 5-10 years down the line at a fixed price at the time of sale. Put your money where your mouth is, or change your strategy.