Thrust
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Future Of The 747

Sun May 20, 2007 7:44 am

Just wondering how much longer the 747 has to grace the skies with most of the airlines who have ordered the A380, etc, because I haven't a clue, and I'm honestly not so sure if for all of them who have ordered the A380 that it means the 747 is on its way out of their fleet. It just doesn't seem to me like the A380 will be able to fill the demand for all the 747 routes of LH, etc....it just seems far too big for a lot of the 747's routes and other aircraft seem too small for those routes. The most feasible replacements might be an A346/773ER combo but I'm not sure that's gonna cut it. Also it doesn't really seem as though there is a true replacement out there for it. The A380 just doesn't seem to be as big a threat to the 747 as it was initially made out to be. I guess my overall question is should we expect every 744 with the passenger carriers who have ordered the A380 right now to be gone within 8 years or sooner or are there planes to keep them operating along with the A380? THe 748 honestly doesn't seem to be selling very well, last time I checked... that's why I haven't really talked about it much. Help would be appreciated.
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futurecaptain
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RE: Future Of The 747

Sun May 20, 2007 8:01 am

Well, seeing as the plane is still being built and will be built through at least most of the next decade I'd say we have another 30-50 years to see the 747 "grace the skies." The freighter it seems will definately last longer than the pax version but neither the pax or F are on their way out yet.
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Stitch
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RE: Future Of The 747

Sun May 20, 2007 8:39 am

As a passenger plane, it should continue to serve for decades between the 747-400s delivered in the late 1990s and early 2000s and the 747-8Is to be delivered at the end of this decade and the beginning of the next.

As a freighter, I expect we will see 747s in the skies through mid-century.
 
ZKSUJ
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RE: Future Of The 747

Sun May 20, 2007 8:42 am

Quoting Thrust (Thread starter):
THe 748 honestly doesn't seem to be selling very well, last time I checked... that's why I haven't really talked about it much

The 748 IMHO will sell well in future when airlines start to replace their 744 fleet. For many airlines, the 777 is 'too small' but their routes do not justify a jump to the 380. By then, the 748 would be a better choice than 346/777 combo IMO due to the 777/346 being of age. The 748 to date has 70+ orders in comaprison to the 380's 140+. But you must remember that the 748 was only on the market for 2 years while the 380 has been for 7 years. using that logic, the 748 will overtake the 380 eventually.

So I'd say that as a personal opinion, the 747 has many good years ahead of it yet...
 
zvezda
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RE: Future Of The 747

Sun May 20, 2007 9:04 am

Past performance doesn't necessarily indicate future trends. There are a couple of reasons to doubt that currently flying aircraft, such as the 747 will stay in service as long as aircraft now being retired. One is the price of fuel. The recent large increases in fuel prices increase the pressure to replace aircraft with more fuel-efficient models. Another is environmental pressure. Most of all, we're now in a transition from metal structures to CFRP structures that will soon leave metal airliners uncompetitive.

Quoting Thrust (Thread starter):
should we expect every 744 with the passenger carriers who have ordered the A380 right now to be gone within 8 years or sooner or are there planes (sic) to keep them operating along with the A380?

I think that 8 years from now there will still be a few 747-400s in passenger service, but their replacements (787-10s, A350-1000s, 777-300ERs, 747-8I SuperJumbos, and WhaleJets) will have already been ordered. The last one will probably be converted to a freighter well before 2020.
 
Jet-lagged
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RE: Future Of The 747

Sun May 20, 2007 10:29 am

Quoting Zvezda (Reply 4):
I think that 8 years from now there will still be a few 747-400s in passenger service, but their replacements (787-10s, A350-1000s, 777-300ERs, 747-8I SuperJumbos, and WhaleJets) will have already been ordered. The last one will probably be converted to a freighter well before 2020.

It is odd to think that, within 10 years time or so, we will be looking at passenger 744's and automatcially think, "that's kind of an out-of-date airplane.".
 
Ken777
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RE: Future Of The 747

Sun May 20, 2007 10:49 am

Quoting Jet-lagged (Reply 5):
It is odd to think that, within 10 years time or so, we will be looking at passenger 744's and automatcially think, "that's kind of an out-of-date airplane.".

Yes, but the 748i will still be fresh and few pax will realize the difference.

Thrust, you're still in university, but I think it is safe to say that there will still be 747s of some ilk flying somewhere when you retire. Maybe one day Boeing will make it composite, just to provide a front loading freighter, with a few pax versions as an add on. Would take one big autoclave to cook the barrels with the upper deck!  Big grin
 
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mke717spotter
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RE: Future Of The 747

Sun May 20, 2007 11:18 am

Its just to bad that the 748 won't have winglets like the '400 version.
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ZKSUJ
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RE: Future Of The 747

Sun May 20, 2007 12:57 pm

Quoting Mke717spotter (Reply 7):
Its just to bad that the 748 won't have winglets like the '400 version

True I do like the winglets that the 744 has. However I'm sure the raked style is better suited economically and aerodynamically.
 
sparkingwave
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RE: Future Of The 747

Sun May 20, 2007 1:39 pm

Boeing is marketing the 747-8 as a great way to replace and upgrade 747-400 fleets that will be their way out in the next couple of years. I believe the 747-8s will allow Boeing extra time, over the life of these new aircraft (around 20 years) to design something completely new and better. Probably in the 2030 timeframe, Boeing could design a new jumbo that will offer:

-complete fuselage/wing carbon fibre composite construction that will be more efficient and stronger
- next-generation bleedless engines with another 20-30% gain in efficiency and noise reduction
- Use of 2 or 3 engines max per aircraft
- blended wing body design to allow more cargo capacity
- One-pilot cockpit with 2030-generation avionics technology and automated flight systems
(pilotless cockpit for freight/cargo versions of this aircraft)

I'm sure there will be plenty of other innovations, but those are the ones that I'll guess at for now.
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mke717spotter
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RE: Future Of The 747

Sun May 20, 2007 2:00 pm

Quoting SparkingWave (Reply 9):
One-pilot cockpit

Personally it'd make me kind of uneasy if there's only one pilot on the aircraft...especially something that big. Plus, it'd be pretty boring for that lone pilot sitting all by himself for the long flight. However that's still way down the road so I'm just gonna enjoy things as they are now!
Will you watch the Cleveland Browns and the Detroit Lions on Sunday? Only if coach Eric Mangini resigned after a loss.
 
zvezda
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RE: Future Of The 747

Sun May 20, 2007 2:48 pm

Quoting Ken777 (Reply 6):
Thrust, you're still in university, but I think it is safe to say that there will still be 747s of some ilk flying somewhere when you retire.

That seems very unlikely.

Quoting Ken777 (Reply 6):
Maybe one day Boeing will make it composite, just to provide a front loading freighter, with a few pax versions as an add on. Would take one big autoclave to cook the barrels with the upper deck!

If Boeing were to make a composite 747-sized airliner, it wouldn't be a 747. This is the Y3 concept. Building it would be a huge business risk. I don't think there would be much chance of a good RoI.
 
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flyingclrs727
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RE: Future Of The 747

Sun May 20, 2007 2:59 pm

Quoting Zvezda (Reply 11):
If Boeing were to make a composite 747-sized airliner, it wouldn't be a 747. This is the Y3 concept. Building it would be a huge business risk. I don't think there would be much chance of a good RoI.

What if the 747 replacement were a BWB design that also could have variants that could be used as a C-5 replacement?
 
zvezda
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RE: Future Of The 747

Sun May 20, 2007 3:27 pm

Quoting Flyingclrs727 (Reply 12):
What if the 747 replacement were a BWB design that also could have variants that could be used as a C-5 replacement?

There is much reason to believe that a BWB would work very well for both military and civilian cargo. There is not so much reason to believe that it would work well as a passenger airliner. The need to make very gentle turns, the lack of windows, and evacuation considerations all weigh against it.
 
Thrust
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RE: Future Of The 747

Sun May 20, 2007 4:35 pm

Thanks for the kind replies. More are welcome, I'd like to be as certain about this as possible because before I asked this question I was looking at all the 747 photos on a.net and thinking to myself how much longer am I going to see this? Before I posted this I was under the impression there wouldn't be any passenger 747s left by the time I reached 40 (I'm 20 now). More input from more people would be appreciated, though I am grateful for what I've gotten so far. I'm at least glad I may have more reason to be optimistic.

[Edited 2007-05-20 09:53:33]
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zvezda
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RE: Future Of The 747

Sun May 20, 2007 5:26 pm

Quoting Thrust (Reply 14):
I posted this I was under the impression there wouldn't be any passenger 747s left by the time I reached 40 (I'm 20 now).

Twenty years from now, there might or might not still be some 747-400s flying as freighters -- certainly not in passenger service. There will probably be 747-8s flying twenty years from now as freighters -- perhaps even a few in passenger service.
 
mop357
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RE: Future Of The 747

Sun May 20, 2007 7:31 pm

Quoting Mke717spotter (Reply 10):
Quoting SparkingWave (Reply 9):
One-pilot cockpit

Personally it'd make me kind of uneasy if there's only one pilot on the aircraft...especially something that big. Plus, it'd be pretty boring for that lone pilot sitting all by himself for the long flight. However that's still way down the road so I'm just gonna enjoy things as they are now!

I am not a fan of having one pilot in the cockpit of a 747 either. Suppose the lonely pilot falls asleep. Pilots have fell asleep during flight before. know everyone is trying to pinch corners to save money but I think thats just taking it too far. That would be similar to airplanes flying routes on 1 engine to save gas.
 
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OA260
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RE: Future Of The 747

Sun May 20, 2007 8:01 pm

Quoting Jet-lagged (Reply 5):
It is odd to think that, within 10 years time or so, we will be looking at passenger 744's and automatcially think, "that's kind of an out-of-date airplane.".

Yes the 744's are still very nice AC to fly in and I hope they are around for years to come.

Quoting Mke717spotter (Reply 7):
just to bad that the 748 won't have winglets like the '400 version

Yes I think the same also, it doesnt look right to me without the winglets. I remember when they first came out , it was such a unique thing.


I see the 748 and A380 both doing well. Different airlines will want different AC so there is a place for both. I see the A380 taking over the Australian routes though from Europe anyway and with EK ordering so many it will be interesting to see where they use them.
 
sparkingwave
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RE: Future Of The 747

Sun May 20, 2007 10:17 pm

Quoting Mop357 (Reply 16):
I am not a fan of having one pilot in the cockpit of a 747 either. Suppose the lonely pilot falls asleep. Pilots have fell asleep during flight before. know everyone is trying to pinch corners to save money but I think thats just taking it too far. That would be similar to airplanes flying routes on 1 engine to save gas.

Well, that's what they thought about going from 3 pilots to two back in the late 1980s.

Just because there's only one pilot in the cockpit doesn't mean that would necessarily be the only pilot onboard. There will probably be relief pilots, esp. on long-haul flights, as there are now.

By 2030, avionics in the aircraft, as well as on the ground (and in space), combined with brute force computing power in real time, will probably be sophisticated enough to allow pilotless flying, making single-pilot flying at that time something most people might take for granted.
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PC12Fan
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RE: Future Of The 747

Mon May 21, 2007 2:30 am

I seriously doubt that you will see the 748i sell like the -400 did, to my dismay. Here's why, I remember when the 747-400 was just in it's infancy of actual service. One airline exec was quoted as saying in an Air Transport World article "it's the only airplane for the job". Airlines were drooling over the range of the 744, but not all necessarily needed the capacity. I'd bet my own money that if the 772ER was available at the same time as the 744, not nearly as many 744's would have been sold.

Sure would have been neat to see both the 772ER and 748i in TWA's last scheme though.  Sad
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kaitak744
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RE: Future Of The 747

Mon May 21, 2007 2:48 am

Quoting SparkingWave (Reply 9):
-complete fuselage/wing carbon fibre composite construction that will be more efficient and stronger
- next-generation bleedless engines with another 20-30% gain in efficiency and noise reduction
- Use of 2 or 3 engines max per aircraft
- blended wing body design to allow more cargo capacity
- One-pilot cockpit with 2030-generation avionics technology and automated flight systems
(pilotless cockpit for freight/cargo versions of this aircraft)

How about the more obvious advancements?

-speed
-new type of fuel

^two areas in commercial aviation where no one has made ANY progress in over 50 years.

I think Y3 very well could be faster and non-oil powered.

-
Many people here are putting down the 747-8 because it has not been a hot seller. However, I don't think it is doing poorly at all. Boeing's target customers (British, Cathay, KLM, United, Northwest, South African, Saudi Arabian, ect.) have not yet made ANY major fleet decisions yet. They still could order the 747-8. Now, if these airlines don't go for the 747-8, then there would be a problem for the 747 program.
 
runway24r
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RE: Future Of The 747

Mon May 21, 2007 4:49 am

The 744s will be around for a long while yet!!

Airlines such as Cathy and Northwest have recently been shelling out money converting their 747-200s into freighters whilst their -400s remain in service. I think its fair to say that their 'new' 747-200F/SCDs will be around for a fair while before they begin to retire them. THEN these airlines will begin to convert their -400s into freighters to replace the -200s.

The first 747-200 flew in 1970 - that's 37 years ago and there are still loads of them in the sky - and not all in the form of freighters - JAL, Transaero, Northwest, etc have pax versions still flying. I would imagine that we will still be seeing the 747-200F in the sky in 20 years time.

Now given the fact that the first 747-400 flew nearly twenty years after the first -200, (as well as being a VERY significant development from the classics), I think it's fair to say that there will be 747-400s (progressively in freighter form) in service for the next 45-50 years.  old 

Also, whilst on the subject of old aircraft, can anyone tell me if long haul aircraft generally last long (in terms of age) before they are scrapped??

For example, take a 747 and a 737. If they are both in the air for 18 hrs per day (to keep the maths simple), the 747 might do 2 sectors (each of 9hrs), whereas the 737 might do 12 sectors (each of 90 mins). I would assume that the 737 will see more wear and tear each day through the high number of takeoff and landings, therefore be scrapped at a younger age? Am I right with this, or are there other complications? Any input would be appreciated.

Cheers, Rob  wave 
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keesje
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RE: Future Of The 747

Mon May 21, 2007 5:25 am

Quoting SparkingWave (Reply 9):
Boeing is marketing the 747-8 as a great way to replace and upgrade 747-400 fleets that will be their way out in the next couple of years.

Boeings Randy T sees the 747 retirement as follows:


source: http://boeingblogs.com/randy/

Analysing the development of the long range 400-500 seat replacement market he concludes
- 60% of the 747 replacement : Asia-Pacific, 30% in Europe, 10% is in North America and the rest of the world.
- the 400-500 seat segment is nearly all replacement.

Randy concludes the 748i is the right replacement for them all.

I think additionally to Randy´s analyses :

- the VLA segment seems all but a replacement market, middle east, the chinese and indian markets come to mind..
- freighter conversion of many 747-400s, extracting extra passenger capasity
- the fact that -8i is about 10-15% larger then the -400, the market is growing 5% / yr in the 2002-2010 period, from which can be concluded size wise the -8i does not exactly match growth as predicted by Boeings CMO..



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AADC10
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RE: Future Of The 747

Mon May 21, 2007 11:40 am

I am not as optimistic about the future of the 747 as some of the other posters. While it has been a great aircraft for many years, it has some flaws, mostly higher fuel burn per seat than the 777. The other problem is airline marketing. There is a marketing value in having the biggest passenger plane in the world. Having the second biggest plane has nothing. Would you rather fly in a 747 or a L-1011? That is why third world airlines like Singapore and Emirates were among the first to snap up the A380. They need to have bigger phallic symbols to make up for their third world origins.

The 747 also has the problem of 17" wide coach seating. All other twin aisle jets (except the future 787 9 abreast) have 18" or even 18.5" wide seats. On a flight of less than 3 hours or so, that is not a big deal but most 747s are used for long haul flights and over 10 hours, that extra inch of elbow room makes a difference.
 
Ken777
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RE: Future Of The 747

Mon May 21, 2007 12:11 pm

Quoting AADC10 (Reply 23):
There is a marketing value in having the biggest passenger plane in the world. Having the second biggest plane has nothing. Would you rather fly in a 747 or a L-1011?

That may be true, but look at how well the 787/777 have sold. Truth is that I'm happy flying any WB plane over a NB - even for short flights. I've yet to fly on a WB I didn't like - I even loved the 10s.

To a large degree, the future of the 748i will rest with airlines like BA and CX. The future of the 748F is already on solid ground.
 
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Stitch
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RE: Future Of The 747

Mon May 21, 2007 12:13 pm

Quoting AADC10 (Reply 23):
The 747 also has the problem of 17" wide coach seating. All other twin aisle jets (except the future 787 9 abreast) have 18" or even 18.5" wide seats. On a flight of less than 3 hours or so, that is not a big deal but most 747s are used for long haul flights and over 10 hours, that extra inch of elbow room makes a difference.

Depends on the airline. AA, for example, flies their 767s with 17" seating to allow for larger aisles. Same with DL's domestic 763ERs (and some of the seating on their international 763ERs and 764ER fleet). DL also uses 17" on their 772ER fleet.
 
futurecaptain
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RE: Future Of The 747

Mon May 21, 2007 12:24 pm

Quoting AADC10 (Reply 23):
Would you rather fly in a 747 or a L-1011?

An L-1011 of course. Can't find many trijets to fly on anymore. Would be a fun experience.  Smile
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zvezda
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RE: Future Of The 747

Mon May 21, 2007 2:42 pm

Quoting AADC10 (Reply 23):
While it has been a great aircraft for many years, it has some flaws, mostly higher fuel burn per seat than the 777.

The 747-400 has a lower fuel burn per seat than the 777-200ER/LR. The 747-8 will probably have a lower fuel burn per seat than everything except the 787-10 and A350-1000.

Quoting AADC10 (Reply 23):
The 747 also has the problem of 17" wide coach seating.

17.2" in standard configuration.
 
ZKSUJ
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RE: Future Of The 747

Mon May 21, 2007 6:55 pm

Quoting AADC10 (Reply 23):
While it has been a great aircraft for many years, it has some flaws, mostly higher fuel burn per seat than the 777

Yes it does burn more gas, but the 744 is still more economical than the 777 in terms of fuel per seat mile. In fact, this nearly 20 year old plane is still up there in this respect mixing it with all the new modern tech aircraft
 
keesje
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RE: Future Of The 747

Mon May 21, 2007 7:19 pm

Quoting Zvezda (Reply 27):
The 747-400 has a lower fuel burn per seat than the 777-200ER/LR. The 747-8 will probably have a lower fuel burn per seat than everything except the 787-10 and A350-1000.



Quoting ZKSUJ (Reply 28):
Yes it does burn more gas, but the 744 is still more economical than the 777 in terms of fuel per seat mile. In fact, this nearly 20 year old plane is still up there in this respect mixing it with all the new modern tech aircraft

In terms of CASM the 744 is doing OK, however very much depends on the seatcount one chooses to use. Operating costs are high.

"Never mistake motion for action." Ernest Hemingway
 
ZKSUJ
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RE: Future Of The 747

Mon May 21, 2007 7:25 pm

Quoting Keesje (Reply 29):

Sorry. Forgot to mention it was in a typical config.
 
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Stitch
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RE: Future Of The 747

Mon May 21, 2007 9:31 pm

Quoting AADC10 (Reply 23):
Would you rather fly in a 747 or a L-1011?

L-1011. They didn't call those babies "Whisperjets" for nothing.  Smile
 
deltadc9
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RE: Future Of The 747

Mon May 21, 2007 9:45 pm

Quoting Jet-lagged (Reply 5):
It is odd to think that, within 10 years time or so, we will be looking at passenger 744's and automatcially think, "that's kind of an out-of-date airplane.".

That is exactly what they were saying in 1969, ironic huh?

Quoting AADC10 (Reply 23):
There is a marketing value in having the biggest passenger plane in the world. Having the second biggest plane has nothing.

Not really buying into that.

Quoting Ken777 (Reply 24):
That may be true, but look at how well the 787/777 have sold

Exactly

Quoting Zvezda (Reply 27):
17.2" in standard configuration.

It is not like the 744 is the only plane with these seats is it?

Quoting Stitch (Reply 31):
They didn't call those babies "Whisperjets" for nothing.

Wasnt that the nickname of the 727? I distictly remember Eastern 727s with that on the rear. I also do not recall the L1011 being called that, not saying you are wrong though. Seems odd 2 planes 2 manufacturers using the same nickname. Or was it just Eastern using that on the 727, because it always seemed odd how loud they were given what was on the tail?

Quoting Keesje (Reply 22):
Boeings Randy T sees the 747 retirement as follows:

I think it is important to note that that chart does not contain the 748.

The 748 and 744s will be around a long time seeing that there are 250 in freight service alone and they seem to be perfert for that duty despite their "40 year old design".
Dont take life too seriously because you will never get out of it alive - Bugs Bunny
 
brendows
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RE: Future Of The 747

Mon May 21, 2007 11:32 pm

Quoting Keesje (Reply 22):
the market is growing 5% / yr in the 2002-2010 period

There is one thing that you never mention when you write that the market is expected to grow by 5% year and triple within the next 20 years - you assume that this growth will occur on the existing routes, but that may not be the case.
A likely scenario is that the majority of this growth will be found on thinner routes, between smaller cities. The market has grown a lot since 1989, but has the 744 ended up being too small? For the majority of the routes - no, and that will continue to be the case for most routes in the future too. As long as one of the destinations isn't slot constrained, size won't be a problem.
 
SeJoWa
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RE: Future Of The 747

Mon May 21, 2007 11:52 pm

Quoting Zvezda (Reply 11):
If Boeing were to make a composite 747-sized airliner, it wouldn't be a 747. This is the Y3 concept. Building it would be a huge business risk. I don't think there would be much chance of a good RoI.

But wouldn't a hypothetic Y3's frame last for decades?
And couldn't manufacturing methods be tailored to match the lower build rates?
 
SeJoWa
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RE: Mr. Aboulafia's Advice To Eads On Power 8

Tue May 22, 2007 12:06 am

Quoting DeltaDC9 (Reply 32):
Quoting AADC10 (Reply 23):
There is a marketing value in having the biggest passenger plane in the world. Having the second biggest plane has nothing.

Not really buying into that.

Marketing is meant to further the success of an attractive product. Like this:

We build the biggest passenger plane in the world, are flush with cash due to this smart investment, and want you to know that even our babybuses are conceived in the same spirit of (insert marketing hype). Or this:

We build the biggest passenger plane in the world! It's common knowledge by now how dearly this has cost us, but it's the biggest! Hey, hey!

(Please abstain from flaming for the negative spin, this is merely an exaggerated illustration of reality.) Big grin
 
zvezda
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RE: Future Of The 747

Tue May 22, 2007 12:17 am

Quoting SeJoWa (Reply 34):
But wouldn't a hypothetic Y3's frame last for decades?
And couldn't manufacturing methods be tailored to match the lower build rates?

Sales in the far future don't help much toward achieving RoI because of the future value of money. A dollar today is worth more than a dollar next year.
 
Viscount724
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RE: Future Of The 747

Tue May 22, 2007 4:46 am

Quoting DeltaDC9 (Reply 32):
Quoting Stitch (Reply 31):
They didn't call those babies "Whisperjets" for nothing.

Wasnt that the nickname of the 727? I distictly remember Eastern 727s with that on the rear. I also do not recall the L1011 being called that, not saying you are wrong though. Seems odd 2 planes 2 manufacturers using the same nickname. Or was it just Eastern using that on the 727, because it always seemed odd how loud they were given what was on the tail?

"Whisperjet" was only an Eastern marketing name for the 727. It had nothing to do with Boeing. They also called their DC-9s Whisperjets. They referred to the L1011 and A300 as "WhisperLiner".

By the way, the 727 may have been rather loud outside, but inside the cabin it was significantly quieter than earlier 4-engine jets, even in the rear seats closest to the engines.
 
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Stitch
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RE: Future Of The 747

Tue May 22, 2007 4:48 am

Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 37):
"Whisperjet" was only an Eastern marketing name for the 727. It had nothing to do with Boeing. They also called their DC-9s Whisperjets. They referred to the L1011 and A300 as "WhisperLiner".

Close enough.  Smile