Retrofit 747s?

Tue Mar 23, 1999 12:48 am

The Boeing Company (Long Beach Calif.)on Friday the 19th rolled out the first MD-10 freighter.
"MD-10" is the designation given to modified DC-10s that incorporate the Boeing Advanced Common Flightdeck (ACF). The MD-10 instrument panel layout is identical to the Boeing MD-11. Additionally, pilots can receive a single certification to operate both airplanes.

The MD-10 program is managed by Boeing Airplane Services, a new Boeing business offering engineering retrofit packages, avionics upgrades, passenger-to-freighter conversions, interior reconfigurations, recovery and repair services, and airplane performance improvements for all Boeing commercial airplanes. Boeing Airplane Services also provides technical consulting and general contracting support for airlines.

If Boeing Airplane Services is now offering improvements for all Boeing aircraft, is there any word of any airlines that have in mind of updating their 747-200s and/or 747-300s, with -400 type technology such as glass cockpits, winglets, engines, landing gear etc?

If so how many aircraft are those airlines thinking about updating?

What are your views on updating aircraft such as DC-10s and 747s?

I personally think it is a great way to give a little more life to perfectly good aircraft, think about what many said on the Concorde topic- give them better updated engines and let them keep on flying...I would like to think the same applies to the 747s.

New York

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RE: Retrofit 747s?

Tue Mar 23, 1999 1:12 am

I personally think it is a great idea. The aircraft is becoming more efficient by moving to a two man flight deck. KLM's 747-300s are having glass cockpits installed but sticking with the three man crew. I think that British Airways should do this to their 747-200s.
"History does not long entrust the care of freedom to the weak or timid." D. Eisenhower

RE: Retrofit 747s?/CX747

Tue Mar 23, 1999 3:30 am

Good point CX747 about KLM;
They already have many of their 747-200 aircraft modified with "stretched" upper decks like the -300s it only makes sense that they would continue to modify and update good aircraft.
It would be great if Alitalia, since Alitalia and KLM have formed a Very close alliance, also went along with the idea of updating it's 747-200s...however I havn't herd anything from Alitalia that would hint towards that direction... I guess we will wait and see what happens.
I do think that airlines that have the -200s such as British Airways, Virgin, Alitalia, United etc. should at least consider updating these aircraft as this should be less costly than buying a brand new one.

New York

RE: Retrofit 747s? (747SP)

Tue Mar 23, 1999 5:30 am

A refurbish 747SP (A6-SMR) from the Government of Dubai (United Arab Emirates) is the only so far to receive a modernized "glass cockpit" conversion as in the 747-400. Lufthansa Technik completed the project at its Humburg facility.
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Tue Mar 23, 1999 6:55 am

I know, I stated that the KLM "Glass Cockpits" still have the flight engineer.
"History does not long entrust the care of freedom to the weak or timid." D. Eisenhower
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Tue Mar 23, 1999 3:41 pm

Keep them flying!

We know its possible, because there are a few examples of aircraft updated. Okay, but don't just stop at flight decks. If we stuck new engines on as well, although it would cost a lot more it would mean the aircraft would offer much better efficienies.

Consider this, Take a DC-10. Stick CF6-80s on it. The same that are used in the 747 and 767. Not to mention A310s etc. Then, we could have a common flight deck for all 747 classics, and DC-10s etc. Effectively giving us cross crew quilifications, and engine comanility. And with the improvements in efficiency you get, Aircraft like the DC-10 could fly longer range flights than they do now.

I saw a photo once of an exective configured 707-300.
The aircraft had a glass flight deck installed. Somebody told me that it was bassed on the 744 flight deck. I couldn't tell you for sure, but the principal could include these aircraft too, allowing cross crewing for frieghters.
There are a lot of possiblities here that i think should be investigate. Aircraft used for passenger service might need a coulple of improvements in the cabins though, just to stop them looking too out of date.

RE: Retrofit/Luke

Tue Mar 23, 1999 9:54 pm

I agree totaly