Trvlr
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747X - Starting Soon?

Tue May 16, 2000 5:00 am

"Stretched 747 Could Start Soon - BoeingUpdated 1:18 PM ET May 15, 2000Current quotes (delayed 20 mins.)
BA 37 -3/16 (-0.50%) WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A stretched Boeing Co. (BA.N) 747 could become an official project later this year, company chairman Phil Condit said Monday while insisting it would be a market-based decision rather than a response to the 555-seat A3XX plans of archrival Airbus Industrie ARBU.CN.
"If I had to bet right now, I would say: 'Yes, it will probably see the light of day,"' said Condit of a longer version of the company's 416-seat 747.
"We are doing the preliminary work now, it could be a program as early as this year, more likely next year, but that will depend again on market timing," he told Reuters on the sidelines of an Economic Strategy Institute forum on globalization.
Boeing, which continues to believe the market for super-large airplanes is relatively small, saw Dubai's state-owned Emirates Airline step forward last month as the first firm customer for the Airbus A3XX.
Provided it gets sufficient customers, Airbus has set its sights on official launch of its project in late 2000 with delivery of the initial A3XX by late 2005.
But Condit said a decision on a stretched 747 will be based on discussions with key airlines, and not on what Airbus does. "It will be our judgement as to whether or not the market is adequate and we can get a reasonable return," he said.
Condit said the trend in the airliner market was still toward relatively smaller point-to-point aircraft, rather than giant aircraft to service hub-to-hub needs.
"So while we think there is a market, we don't think it is huge." said Condit.
A stretched Boeing 747 would offer airlines an advantage over a new aircraft type, Condit said. Carriers would save on crew training expenses and maintenance equipment.
The new 747 variant could be flying by the middle of this decade," Condit said...."

So if the 747X gets started, It will fly at the same time as the A3XX. No doubt there will be a big race between them if both launched!!

Aaron G.
 
WorldTraveller
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RE: 747X - Starting Soon?

Tue May 16, 2000 5:22 am

Boeing does a good job if it goes ahead with the 747X. But no one can tell me that this is not a reaction to the A3XX!!

I think the 747X would be a short-term solution only (like the 747-300 maybe) since they'll come up with a double-decker design as well if the A3XX is a success.

The questions remains: will it be too late for an 787 (whatever they might call it) if it comes out in 2008 or so?
If Airbus has won most major airlines to have the A3XX by then, there won't be a market for Boeings new superjumbo anymore!

Any thoughts (free from politics/superiority claims please)?

Regards,
the WorldTraveller
 
CX747
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RE: 747X - Starting Soon?

Tue May 16, 2000 5:28 am

While I agree that some customers may be lost to the A3XX being launched earlier than the 787, look at the 777 program. It was the last 300 seater launched but is the best seller.
"History does not long entrust the care of freedom to the weak or timid." D. Eisenhower
 
WorldTraveller
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RE: 747X - Starting Soon?

Tue May 16, 2000 6:06 am

You're right, but I think both planes are best-sellers, the 777 having a small lead over the A333/343. The difference is that the 300 seat market is much larger than the 400+ market (over 1100 orders for the 777/330/340 alone).
I don't think that the market will be that big for a superjumbo, so maybe the first one in this market might be the winner (although the first one has the highest risk, too).

Regards
 
CX747
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RE: 747X - Starting Soon?

Tue May 16, 2000 6:10 am

Also, many airlines have already voiced their displeasure with the double deck configuration of the A3XX along with other problems. Boeing could capitalize on the mistakes with a better super jumbo.
"History does not long entrust the care of freedom to the weak or timid." D. Eisenhower
 
DeltaAir
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RE: 747X - Starting Soon?

Tue May 16, 2000 6:27 am

One needs to remember that slow and steady sometimes wins the race. Boeing will probably wait and lay back to see what mistakes Airbus makes, then capitalize on them. They did this with the 777. Also the FAA would have a problem with evacuation times on the A-3XX, so who knows.
 
Hamlet69
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RE: 747X - Starting Soon?

Tue May 16, 2000 10:05 am

Before the '97 Asian Crisis, all the potential designs Boeing leaked to the press were single-decks. If Boeing does go ahead with the 787 (or at least, if its a SuperJumbo, not a 737/757 replacement) I don't think it will look anything like the A3XX. If it does come out, it will start where the A3XX leaves off.
I see it this way; Airbus launches the A3XX to usurp Boeing's monopoly with 744. Differing versions seat 400-650. As a fill-in for small market demand, Boeing launches 747X, seating between 450-550. Once this market matures, and more airlines (US & European majors) demand these behemoths, Boeing launches 787: Single deck, triple-aisle titan (& common cockpit to 777 & 747X), with various versions seating between 550 (direct A3XX-100 competitor but with greater range) and anywhere from 700-900 for Japanese domestics. This happens sometime between 2010 and 2020.

Wow! Looking into the ol' crystal ball has made me sleepy.  

Hamlet69
Honor the warriors, not the war.
 
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RE: 747X - Starting Soon?

Tue May 16, 2000 10:12 am

Hamlet69 - wouldn't a triple-aisle plane be too big to fit into airports though? Also, wouldn't it be more difficult for evacuation since you would need an entire section of rows in the middle to use exits on each side as well as the rows on the sides of the aircraft? In other words, in a triple-aisle aircraft there would be four sections divided by 3 aisles; two of the sections would have to use exits on one side of the plane, thus slowing evacuation overall down. Why would there be displeasure for a double-decker? Is it because of maintenance difficulties?
 
Hamlet69
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RE: 747X - Starting Soon?

Tue May 16, 2000 12:32 pm

A triple-aisle airplane wouldn't necessarily be too big to fit into airports, as that really depends on weight, wingspan and length, not on how wide the fuselage is. As far as evacuation, I honestly don't know. IIRC, the design I saw had 6 Type A doors on either side, and I believe I read that they had "double-wide" evac slides. In other words, 2 passengers could go in quick succession. I don't know if I am remembering this correctly or not, so maybe someone could help me out. I imagine if such a system exists, the A3XX will probably have it too.
From what I've heard, the biggest problem with double-decker planes is:
A) cargo space. Remember that cargo is very important to airline revenue. The more people you put on a plane, the less cargo room (i.e. more baggage) is available in the hold. Since adding another passenger deck doesn't add another cargo deck, you sacrifice alot of additional revenue. However, Airbus has an excellent record on planes with great cargo carrying abilities, so I'm sure they have this sorted out.
B) evacuation worries. This is two-fold. One issue is the amount of time it takes to evacuate that many people. However, this will be a problem on any SuperJumbo, and is not limited to double-deckers. The other side is possible injuries sustained when evacuating from the upper deck. The next time there is an emergency on any plane, listen carefully. More often than not, nobody gets injured during the incident. However, some fool always manages to break a leg or something going down the slide.   This will be more of a problem when sliding a greater distance (i.e. more speed + harder stop at the end).
The Boeing model I saw eliminates some of these problems. Obviously, the time to evacuate would still be an issue. But since it is only one deck, you would have a standard length slide. The real advantage, however, is lower cargo hold volume. The cross section of the fuselage is an ovoid (egg). Therefore, not only do you have 3-aisles, but the hold accomodates standard LD-3 containers 3 abreast. In fact, the report I read stated that this design has the same volume in its lower hold that a 744F has on its main deck!  

Sorry for the long post. I got a little carried away.  

Hamlet69
Honor the warriors, not the war.
 
CX747
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RE: 747X - Starting Soon?

Sat May 20, 2000 4:17 am

I believe that the aircraft you are talking about had the designation 763-246C?
"History does not long entrust the care of freedom to the weak or timid." D. Eisenhower
 
TWFirst
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RE: 747X - Starting Soon?

Sat May 20, 2000 4:30 am

Read the following post related to this discussion:

http://www.airliners.net/discussions/general_aviation/read.main/225038/
An unexamined life isn't worth living.
 
Ilyushin96M
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RE: 747X - Starting Soon?

Sat May 20, 2000 4:48 am

All this talk about the 747X leads me to ask, under the skin, how much of the original 747 remains? Or is the -400 and will each subsequent model be a complete re-design, bearing only an exterior resemblance to the original 747?

For the most part, it seems to me many airlines would prefer to go with a completely new design, rather than a re-engined, stretched, updated version of an older model. I suppose we'll see when actual orders for the A3XX and 747X begin to come in.
 
CX747
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747-100 Isn't The 747-400.

Sat May 20, 2000 5:05 am

Other than looking similar to one another, the 747-100 and 747-400 have little in common. The 747-400 has a glass cockpit, newer generation engines, a totally redesigned wing along with lighter materials that are stronger. Basically the similarities are skin deep only.
"History does not long entrust the care of freedom to the weak or timid." D. Eisenhower

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