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How Airlines Used 747sp On The LAX-SFO?

Mon Aug 21, 2006 7:35 am

I have been looking at some old photos of Boeing 747sp out of LAX. I notest that some airlines used to have 747sp fly between LAX and SFO before, they flew across the pacific. For example there was a photo of a CAAC 747sp taking off from LAX and stopping at SFO before going to China. Another example was a Pan AM 747sp that just finished flight 815 from SYD to LAX, but it flew on to SFO on the same flight later. I thought the 747sp was to long range to do short hop. So what other airliner use 747sp on LAX-SFO before going across the Pacific?
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RE: How Airlines Used 747sp On The LAX-SFO?

Mon Aug 21, 2006 7:55 am

Although the 747SP was capable of flying long segments, there is nothing that prevented it from doing short segments......as you pointed out, several airlines used the SP on short tag on segments such as LAX-SFO allowing one airplane service to the final destination. This was before hubs and when fuel prices were a bit more reasonable......airlines would fly large airplanes on tag-on flights all of the time, its not done anymore for a variety of reasons.

Maybe I am missing your point.....there was no technical reason preventing the 747SP from flying a short haul flight, just as there is no technical reason preventing a even ULH airliners from doing short hops. Example - SQ; SQ uses its A345s on certain flights between SIN and JKT inbetween the longhaul segments primarily to allow pilots to maintain an adequate number of take-offs and landings to stay current on the A345.....these short flights do not ""hurt"" the A345s.
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RE: How Airlines Used 747sp On The LAX-SFO?

Mon Aug 21, 2006 8:09 am

QANTAS did LAX-SFO with the SP too.
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RE: How Airlines Used 747sp On The LAX-SFO?

Mon Aug 21, 2006 8:50 am

Quoting Timz (Reply 2):
QANTAS did LAX-SFO with the SP too.

QF also did SYD-WLG with the SP as well. SP stands for Special Performance. What was special about its performance was not just the superlative range (for the time), but the ability to take off and land at hot and high as well as short and rough airports. WLG has an extremely short runway and the SP allowed QF to serve here when they flew an exclusively 747 fleet. WLG-SYD at 2,232 km's is well below the craft's maximum range, but well utilised another aspect of its Special Performance.

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South African is probably the one airline that used it at optimum level. In the days of apartheid, they couldn't over-fly other African nations so to get to Europe was a lot longer. JNB-LHR became nearly 12,000 km's around past Cape Verde rather than today's 9,046 km's. JNB is also a hot and high airport.

come visit the south pacific

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