CX747
Topic Author
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Is Fedex Going To Get The 747-400F?

Thu Nov 09, 2000 7:36 am

There has been a rumor swirling around the forum during the last week or so that FEDEX is going to order 747-400Fs or has already ordered the aircraft but have not announced it yet. Those with information on the subject please come forward!!!!

In my personal opinion I believe that it would be a good move for them. The 747-400F could better handle some of their "heavier" routes and with Boeing looking to bridge the 747 production gap until the 747Xs begin to roll down it, Fedex could get a very good deal $$$ wise.
"History does not long entrust the care of freedom to the weak or timid." D. Eisenhower
 
woodsboy
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RE: Is Fedex Going To Get The 747-400F?

Thu Nov 09, 2000 8:24 am

No Way will FedEx get 747-400Fs, they totally dont fit into the type of business FedEx does. The 747-400F is designed and best utilized for HEAVY cargo, like what big 747-400F operators like Atlas, Cargolux, Singapore carry. Typically FedEx cargo is not heavy and made up mostly of small packages- in bulk this type of freight is not heavy, it is bulky. You dont make any money flying lightweight frieght (relatively speaking) on a big 4 engined airplane. FedEx has scores of DC-10s awaiting conversion to freighters, enough to keep them in widebody cargo haulers for a good 20 years. And you can bet that as soon as MD-11s start to get phased out of passenger service FedEx (and Lufthansa) will snap them up to augment their already large MD-11 fleets. It would make no sense to add the 747-400F to a fleet that is totally composed of big MDs and looks to be composed of MDs for a long while.

The reason Lufthansa went with the MD-11 is that it can carry 3/4 the load of a 747, farther and for 35% less fuel, and with a 2 person flightdeck (all of LHs 747s are -200s).

They wont be looking to add a new widebody type till the DC-10s and MD-11s are being retired and since they are all pretty new aircraft, we wont be seeing that anytime soon.
 
Guest

RE: Is Fedex Going To Get The 747-400F?

Thu Nov 09, 2000 8:30 am

Nooooo, the MD-11 can't fly as far as 747, doesn't save fuel either, becuase the 747 can carry more cargo, further.
 
Guest

RE: Is Fedex Going To Get The 747-400F?

Thu Nov 09, 2000 8:31 am

Nooooo, the MD-11 can't fly as far as 747, doesn't save fuel either, becuase the 747 can carry more cargo, further.
 
Mason
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RE: Is Fedex Going To Get The 747-400F?

Thu Nov 09, 2000 8:36 am

I totally dissagree. I am sorry I don't have any information relating to a FedEx order, but I think the 747F would be a great move for them. They used to operate 747-200Fs, but I believe they have all been disposed of. The 747 can carry more cargo than an MD-11, and are easier to load. The 747s would most likely be used on Asian services, as the -200s were flown to HKG. I do agree that FedEx is eager to convert its DC-10s into MD-10s, and to aquire more MD-11s. Sorry I could not be of more help.

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woodsboy
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RE: Is Fedex Going To Get The 747-400F?

Thu Nov 09, 2000 8:43 am

The MD-11 can easily fly farther than a fully loaded 747-200 and at significant savings in fuel. The MD-11 has more belly cargo capacity (in volume) than a 747-200 or 400 thus giving it an advantage when used by FedEx. When the cargo is lighter, the plane can fly further. I have n doubt that a 747-400F has more range but I am not so sure that a fully loaded 747-400F (up at MTOW) has the range of a MD-11 (ER) carrying a typical FedEx load which is so much lighter.

Lufthansa was loosing their shirt by flying their 747-200s 3/4 full with loads that were more suited to the MD-11. From Fairbanks the MD-11 can easily reach Seoul, fully loaded with a headwind and the 747-200 could not, they almost always required a stop in Osaka or Tokyo for fuel. Also, in the summer the 747-200s had quite a time taking off fully loaded necessitating them to download fuel; the MD-11 has no problem even in very warm conditions, fully loaded. Unless you have a heavy 747 load then the MD-11 makes more sense.

Remember that a second hand MD-11 is about 1/3 the cost of a new 747-400F.
 
woodsboy
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RE: Is Fedex Going To Get The 747-400F?

Thu Nov 09, 2000 9:08 am

FedEx disposed of its 747-200s because they lost money on every flight. Most of the -200s they operated were converted -200 pax planes and didnt have the nose door making them no easier to load than any other side-door only aircraft. Remember, as nice as the nose door is for loading, you cant put anything through the nose that is taller than the ceiling uder the cockpit making it of limited use. Go onboard a LH 747-200 and you will see that almost every pallet position is filled with cargo that would never have been able to be loaded through the nose.

Another note about loading a 747 through the rear cargo door- ask anybody who has ever maneuvered an upper deck loader around back there meer feet from the trailing edge of the wing (not to mention that it sweeps way back right into your path) and the canoes that stick out 5-8 feet beyond that! When you look at that, loading a DC-10, MD-11, 767-200F, 757-200F is ALOT easier.
 
fxra
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RE: Is Fedex Going To Get The 747-400F?

Thu Nov 09, 2000 6:42 pm

COUple things, I've heard these rumors about the 744 for a few months, read the other posts to see about that, i think everything was pretty much covered.

FedEx used the 747-200 up until about 3 years ago, maybe 4 when it was finally retired. Those planes inherited from Tigers were notoriously bad on the maintenance and up keep. But we bulked them out easily.

Yes FedEx does heavy/bulky cargo like everyone esle., our primary focus however is the small packages. And on the average most planes bulk out befotre reaching max weight. SOme one mentioned that FedEx has plenty of wide bodies sitting in the desert waiting for conversion. This is true, but these are almost ALL DC-10-10's, They can't hold a lot of weight or fly all that far, Trans con with about 120,000 and thats about it. These aircraft are not designed for trans pacific or trans atlantic operations. SO, they would not fill the gap that a 747-400 would.

MD-11's typicly (if i recall) carry about 70,000lbs less than a 744. The 744 have a significantly increased range wuiyth higher payloads than a MD-11.

Oh, and from personal experience, I'd rather load/unload an 744 any day over an MD-11. That powered drives on the topside of a 744 are a blessed thing. Especially when, offloading a MD-11, its an uphill climb with a 8,000 pallet. As far as clearence with a main deck loader... don;t remember that much of a problem (compared to other aircraft.. the A310.. about 2 feet and you take out an engine).

Personally, I think FedEx is gonna need something bigger than the MD-11, and right now theres only a 747 and the possible A3XX... but then again, the rumor mill says we got 12 744's sitting out somewhere on the west coast getting the final touches... Just like they said FedEx was going to buy Atlas... I'll beleive it when i see a white and purple 744 pull up at my ramp.
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SM92
Posts: 105
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Everything Might Be In Place

Fri Nov 10, 2000 4:39 am

I read that Memphis (which is the hub of FedEx) has recently opened what they call a "World Runway." This is a longer runway I believe and will be used to aid in international or heavy lift flights. I'm not sure if this is just for FedEx or for an expansion of international fights for Northwest Airlines as well (MEM is a NWA hub). But could this runway have been built for use of 747s in MEM? With the 747, could FedEx not fly from MEM to Japan nonstop? Or how about MEM to Sydney? What do you think? Does the new runway at MEM mean 747s for FedEx? Also what does it mean for NWA?
 
FDXmech
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RE: Is Fedex Going To Get The 747-400F?

Fri Nov 10, 2000 5:11 am

Fedex flies from KIX (Kansai) to MEM nonstop on FDX flt 18. Its an approx 12hr flt but with the MD11 its not nearly maxed out with freight due to fuel considerations. Pilots I've talked with say the 747-400 is going to happen and is beyond just speculation, its just a couple years down the road when the loads can justify the type.
You're only as good as your last departure.
 
SM92
Posts: 105
Joined: Wed Nov 01, 2000 7:17 am

Any Specifics?

Sat Nov 11, 2000 5:37 am

Is there any estimated time frame? And would it likely be a 747-400F? Or could it possible even be a 747x or even A3xx? Or are those two jets overkill? Would those even fit in the FedEx MEM hub? If FedEx does get a 747-400, what are the likely routes?

Are there any FedEx pilots who have anything other than speculation?
 
fdxtech
Posts: 39
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RE: Any Specifics?

Sat Nov 11, 2000 7:42 am

The exact number that is being said is eight 747-400's. no they will not be new. fred smith will not buy new aircraft unless the deal he is getting is worth it ex. a300-600, md-11's. they were practically given to fed-ex by the manufacturer. he owns every retired dc-10 that belonged to united and american, it is so much cheaper to convert those aircraft then to purchase one brand new 747-400. its going to be afew years before all the specifics are said and done, but fed-ex is defenitely going for the bigger lift.
 
SM92
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RE: Any Specifics?

Tue Nov 14, 2000 2:05 am

I've heard that there are DC-10s and other planes FedEx has in the desert just waiting to be pulled into use. Why would they buy a 747 if they had these in waiting? Would a 747 be used for greater range, or for more capacity/greater lift ablility?
 
na
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RE: Is Fedex Going To Get The 747-400F?

Tue Nov 14, 2000 2:23 am

I´ve always wondered why this gigantic freight carrier shouldn´t be able to fly 747 Freighters with profit. Where is the difference to UPS´ business who are flying 747s for long now and who are currently seeking to replace their about 30 year-old 747-100Fs (mostly ex American) with newer 747 Classic-Freighters built in the 80s (-200s and/or -300s)?
It would really make sense for Fedex to buy 747-400Fs. Or do they avoid the kind of business that asks for bigger Freighters than the MD-11Fs. And if so, why?
 
fdxtech
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RE: Is Fedex Going To Get The 747-400F?

Tue Nov 14, 2000 4:30 am

being involved in the maintenance aspect we always hear silly comments like - fred smith does not like four engine airplanes. the company has done a 360 degrees from the way it operated a few years back, maybe the 747 was not the right plane for the business, our md-11's are being loaded to capacity every night, they are our biggest money maker, when one md-11 does not fly fred smith knows about it. fed ex feels that the asian market is going to be the future for cargo transportation and i am sure all aspects of what 747's can do economically are being explored, that is why we only hear that a small amount of 747-400's are being bought, memphis airport just completed the world runway, i am sure that is part of the future fleet plans for fed ex.
 
SM92
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What About A3xx Instead Of 747-400F

Fri Nov 17, 2000 5:17 am

I've heard rumors and read on some web sites that FedEx might be a launch partner on the A3xx. This would seem to cancel any notion of a 747. Would that plan even be able to fly into the MEM hub? It would seem that to get an A3xx FedEx would have to buy new, but would any chance at a 747-400F be used? Also, if it were to be a 747-400F, would they load it through the nose of the plane? Thoughts on that? Any rumors?
 
chiawei
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RE: Is Fedex Going To Get The 747-400F?

Fri Nov 17, 2000 6:27 am

I do not believe that Fed Ex would ever buy large freighter such as 747. Fed Ex is not involved in transporting heavy and bulky items. Hence the front nose cargo door is really of no use to Fed Ex.

Plus on fed ex flights space is more of a problem rather than weight, hence 744's heavier TOW has no real meaning either.

I think that an A300-600ST would fit perfectly for Fed Ex if Fed Ex would want to place order for new aircraft. Since 80% of the time fex ed flight would max out on space rather than weight.
 
UPS Pilot
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Chiawei, And The A3xx

Fri Nov 17, 2000 11:18 am

Chiawei,
I don't know were you got your information about Fed Ex not transporting "Heavy" or "Bulky" cargo. I have seen at ANC alot of heavy palletised freight coming and going thru Fed Ex aircraft to and from Asia. I can say I have seen quite a bit also in the lower 48. While they are in the parcel and letter business they do offer cargo service and space for forwarders along with UPS.

The A3xx has been looked at by Fed Ex, and Atlas. No decision has been made on orders though. UPS was approached by Airbus but UPS declined to order the aircraft at this time.
Boeing will capitalize on existing 747-400's and convert them to the SF "Special Freighter" designation in the future as some 744's are being sold in favor of new 777's. This presents Boeing with a great opportunity. Boeing offers a buy back to a carrier if they order the 777 and then they either sell a used 747-400 passenger or convert it to a freighter to resell. The latter of the two is more likely since the 744 freighter order book is more full than the passenger version.
I would say that the converted 744 would be loaded thru the side cargo door in the aft wing section. This due to a large cost to fit a front loading nose door on an existing airframe and to allow the loading of 10' tall pallets and cargo. Front load 747's have an 8' restriction on cargo loaded thru the nose. Past the upperdeck area the cargo height is 10' max.

Now a question for the Fed Ex guys about the stored DC-10's. I have seen many AA DC-10's parked on the back side of McCarran Intl. These aircraft were bought by Fed Ex. It looks though that some are being parted out. I seem to recall quite a few missing engines and such. Is Fed Ex parting these aircraft for the existing DC-10 fleet and using others for MD-10 conversions?

I do see a 747 in the future of Fed Ex if Asia grows as much as they say it will!