747400sp
Topic Author
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747 Clasic Modernization Program What Happened?

Wed Oct 03, 2007 2:22 am

Back in 1997, I was reading in FlightInternational about a Boeing 747 classic modernization program. This program was to give 747 classic a two man cockpit and may be modernize other parts of the a/c. I know there was a VIP 747 sp that got this update. KLM said they would up date there 747 classics with this program, but never did. Looking at how the MD10 program help Fed Ex to keep their DC10 longer and how UPS is getting ride of their 747 classic, I think this program would have help UPS keep their 747 classic. It could have help Iberia also, they would have still had there 747s. So what ever happen to this modernization program?
 
Lexy
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RE: 747 Clasic Modernization Program What Happened?

Wed Oct 03, 2007 2:42 am

I would venture a guess the cost is what stopped that from happening. That would be one expensive mod for a 747.
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ikramerica
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RE: 747 Clasic Modernization Program What Happened?

Wed Oct 03, 2007 2:45 am

Quoting Lexy (Reply 1):
That would be one expensive mod for a 747.

Well, a third crew member on a 747 flying 18 hours a day, 350 days a year can easily cost the airline over $1 million a year.

My guess is the A346, 77W and 9/11 are "what happened" to this program.
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columba
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RE: 747 Clasic Modernization Program What Happened

Wed Oct 03, 2007 2:48 am

Quoting Lexy (Reply 1):
I would venture a guess the cost is what stopped that from happening. That would be one expensive mod for a 747.

Like with the MD 10 - another reason might be 9/11 many 747 classic were retired after that. LH retired their fleet of 747-230s earlier than originally planned after 9/11. LH´s classic were pretty new, I believe the last was delivered in 1986.
It will forever be a McDonnell Douglas MD 80 , Boeing MD 80 sounds so wrong
 
Flighty
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RE: 747 Clasic Modernization Program What Happened?

Wed Oct 03, 2007 2:48 am

The 742's high fuel burn rushed its way out of the pax flight business.

The flight engineer just isn't that expensive unless you count it over 15-20 years.

I guess the MD-10 mod by FedEx was done with the expectation of longer operation (plus the economies of doing ~100 frames in quick succession).

For the average 742 operator these days, the 742 is on its way out period. Even the freight operators will be almost all-744 within a few short years. The time is past for this mod program.
 
SEPilot
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RE: 747 Clasic Modernization Program What Happened?

Wed Oct 03, 2007 2:52 am

Quoting Flighty (Reply 4):
The 742's high fuel burn rushed its way out of the pax flight business.

I suspect this is the biggest reason; most of the classics also getting long in the tooth is going to be another factor.
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PanAm747
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RE: 747 Clasic Modernization Program What Happened?

Wed Oct 03, 2007 4:49 am

If the "Classic Modernization" program had been implemented in the 1980's, it might have had some success.

However, as stated above, the 747-100 and 747-200 (and even the -300!) are on the way out. Most are completely phased out of passenger service, and within the next few years the only examples will be flying cargo.

With the virtual phase-out of MD-11's in pax service, the supply of newer cargo airplanes - especially with two-person crews - has increased dramatically. The expense of conversion is too much when a newer airplane is ready to go.

Let us also consider that for many airlines, the 747 is simply too much airplane. The 777 was originally conceived and designed as a DC-10 replacement. Improvements have made it the large-size long-haul airplane of choice. Interestingly, some of the earliest 777's are a bit underpowered and, in my opinion, should be the airplanes that are "modernized". United could get a lot of mileage out of the early models with just a few upgrades.
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Viscount724
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RE: 747 Clasic Modernization Program What Happened?

Wed Oct 03, 2007 12:32 pm

Quoting 747400sp (Thread starter):
I know there was a VIP 747SP that got this update.

This is the 747SP that had the expensive glass cockpit modification in 1996.


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And same aircraft in its first 2 liveries. It was the last 747SP delivered to Pan Am in May 1979. Before Bahrain it spent about 2 years in VIP service in Brunei. The cockpit modification was done during that period.


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