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Boeing To Shelve 747X

Thu Mar 29, 2001 8:48 pm

Just had a look on PPrune, they're discussing an article from Reuters which seems to suggest Boeing may shelve the 747X in favour of developing a higher speed plane for 150-200 passengers, with a range of around 9000 miles, anyone else heard anything?

RE: Boeing To Shelve 747X

Thu Mar 29, 2001 9:31 pm

See additional link :


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RE: Boeing To Shelve 747X

Thu Mar 29, 2001 9:35 pm

I can confirm that Boeing are planning a double delta-wing aircraft in the seating mentionned above, capable of flying HKG-JFK or SYD-LHR non-stop and vice versa. Cathay is one of the airlines that is on the advisory board. This aircraft would cruise at around Mach 0.97-0.98. This straight from the mouth of our DFO (Director of Flight Operations). He also said that Boeing were no longer 'actively marketing' the 747x. If airlines wanted it, then they could approach Boeing and they would build it, but Boeing is not pestering the airlines to have a look.
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RE: Boeing To Shelve 747X

Thu Mar 29, 2001 10:14 pm

I may be talking out the wrong end here but I read somewhere that Boeing no longer wanted to market the aircraft as a family member of the 747. This would mean that many more changes could be made and there would be far less commonality the the existing 747 derivatives. One thing mentioned was a whole new avionics package and the Use of 777 style windows.
If I understand this correctly it sounds like the 787 could be in the offering and certainly explains why Boeing has lost interest in pushing the 747X series.
This article may however have been way out of date so I wont put my reputation on it.
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No Market For Large Airliners?

Thu Mar 29, 2001 10:40 pm

Ha! So boeing reckons there is no market for VLAs. then why Airbus launched the A380??? Boeing is being silly! I think Boeing is losing the plot here.
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RE: No Market For Large Airliners?

Thu Mar 29, 2001 11:16 pm

This sounds interesting but
20XX description sounds like a 767-777 killer more than any A380 killer to me. Apart from the 10 billion development cost it will be interesting to see projected purchase price and seat-mile costs.
Another point: speedier trans-Atlantic flights are meaningless on overnight flights. And this plane still won't be fast enough to do more than 1-1.5 roundtrips a day. Worth any extra purchase, seat, fuel costs?
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Fri Mar 30, 2001 1:18 am

I think you're the one missing the plot. Let's look at what we know: 1) Development of a new VLA costs $12 Billion U.S. minimum. Airbus is spending this amount. How many orders so far with gigantic discounts (as an SIA executive alluded to A380 pricing BELOW 744 prices!!!), 66!!!! Let's say there are a lot more airlines ordering for their VLA needs and the number swells to 100, 200, even 300!!! Will they make money? Not at 300 especially in light of the enormous discounts given on 100% of the book of business sold so far. 2) How big is the market? Since Airbus has already committed to spending the money and developing the A380, how many VLA's could Boeing possibly sell? I can promise you it wouldn't be enough to make up the investment, much less make a profit, especially in light of the fact there will be 2 manufacturers competing which further pressures profits downward or eliminates them completely. 3) In light of this, Boeing said they would be interested in development of the current 747 using current advanced technologies which would result in equalling the A380 seat mile costs!! This would cost $4 Billion U.S. The Reuters newswire has some airline execs saying they are interested in the 747X (as it is called), but Boeing is not pushing it. NOW WHY WOULD BOEING NOT BE AGGRESSIVELY MARKETING (PUSHING) THE 747X???? Simple, they don't think they can make money in that market. If Boeing thinks it can make money building an aircraft, then they will do it. It's that simple. Buidling planes is no different than any other industry. You have to engage in a profitable activity in order to survive. Let's just look at is as Boeing has saved $4 Billion (for sure) in 747X development costs which can be put into development of actual new technology which breaks new ground, unlike the A380 and 747X which were just further refinements of current layouts and technology. Boeing and Airbus decisions are not childs play, unlike many discussions on this forum.
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RE: Boeing To Shelve 747X

Fri Mar 30, 2001 1:23 am


I have an Airbus flame I would normally type here but will hold off on it.
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RE: Boeing To Shelve 747X

Fri Mar 30, 2001 1:43 am

That leaves a potential monopoly kind of for Airbus.

It is a bad and a good move in my eyes.

Bad as potential 747X customers are going to be crying. Poor UAL, BA, and the rest of em. Also, this could have been a great competition chance for Boeing and AI.

Good, as Boeing will be investing in NEW technology, like the delta (although it's still a tube), and it will look nice and fly faster and be techonologically advanced. I think AIrbus hasn;t prepared for this so this will get Boeing into a Niche marcket

Is SIA on teh development team?
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Mulally Announcement

Fri Mar 30, 2001 1:57 am

Alan Mulally, President and CEO of BCAG will make announcement at noon PST today.

Stay tune.
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RE: Boeing To Shelve 747X

Fri Mar 30, 2001 2:37 am

IMHO, this was a logical move due to several reasons:

1. 747X received a big blow in the form of SQ, QF and FedEx opting for the A380. which left almost no room for profit to be made on the project.

2. Boeing has for long time promoted the point-to-point concept rather than the hub-to-hub. So by offering faster non-stop service between LHR-SYD, this new M95 airplane will in fact compete with the A380s used on the same route (SQ, QF, EK and others).

3. Boeing needed a boost of confidence that could be gained by building a brand-new radical design, which would help them to maintain their image.

The big question stays: will the increase of fuel burn per seat of the new M95 plane be compensated by the time /crew /utilization savings offered? Not much data so far. We'll have to wait and see.
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RE: Boeing To Shelve 747X

Fri Mar 30, 2001 3:16 am

Good point. However, what about the amenities?

The bars? The well bigger toilets and that

Yes the 787 will be faster, but will it be that much better.

More detailed explaniatoin later.

Later is now.

I think that Boeing has made a wise diecision. Although I am worried about the prospect of a plane on the SIN - LHR route being faster than the A380.

What would you choose?

Good luck to Boeing. I like competition, between B and A anyway!

What sort of range would this plane have, and how many pax?????

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RE: Boeing To Shelve 747X

Fri Mar 30, 2001 3:17 am

Wow! This IMHO represents a bold move by a typically conservative Boeing. Signalling that they think they can attack the middle market while Airbus is busy at the top end.

Will this be a good move? Only time will tell, Boeing & Airbus are now persuing increasingly diverging strategies. Hopefully we will continue to see two major players in the large commercial aircraft market.

All aviation fans have to relish the thought of an all new, unconventional trijet. Can't wait for Boeing to release more details.


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RE: Boeing To Shelve 747X

Fri Mar 30, 2001 3:28 am

I'm not surprised that Boeing is shelving the 747X project.

The reason is simple: United Airlines, Northwest Airlines, Japan Airlines, All-Nippon Airways, Korean Air, Air China, and Cathay Pacific Airways--the most likely customers for the 747X series--are currently NOT interested in this plane.

I think they would rather want a smaller jet that can fly long routes in less time. This is why I think it appears that the Yellowstone project may be past the initial concept stage and could be headed for the serious development stage, in fact could even get the Boeing 787 moniker as early as the Paris Air Show this coming June.
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RE: Boeing To Shelve 747X

Fri Mar 30, 2001 3:35 am

i think it is a fact that fuel burn rises non-linearily with speed. so heighten the speed by ten percent would perhaps heighten the fuel burn by twenty percent depending on speed.

so boeing will have to come up with earth shaking improvements with respect to drag or weight to work against higher fuel burn. otherwise there will be a range problem or a price problem. and think of rising oil prices.

there are three examples in the history of jet aviation that show that extra speed does not lead to success but to bankruptcy: convair CV880/990, TU-144, Concorde.


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RE: Boeing To Shelve 747X

Fri Mar 30, 2001 4:54 am


The reason why the Convair 880/990, Tu-144 and Concorde were no so fuel-efficient was the fact their basic engine design were not conducive to efficient operation.

The modern high-bypass turbofan's basic layout, the improvements in combustor technology, the improvements in front fan design, and application of sophisticated microprocessor controls on engine functions have drastically reduced seat-mile costs in terms of fuel burn.

The Yellowstone project Boeing is now working on is based on improvements in high-bypass engine designs that will allow the plane to fly Mach 0.95-0.97 with essentially the same fuel burn of current widebody jets.
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RE: Boeing To Shelve 747X

Fri Mar 30, 2001 5:31 am

Would it be possible for Boeing to make the plane go above Mach 1? IF the plane was sent on transatlantic or transpacific flights, over the ocean it would be possible for the plane to cruise over the speed of sound, and then drop down to Mach .95 over land. I am not sure if this would be even possiblew with the engines Boeing wants to use, but it would possibly help as a selling point.
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RE: Boeing To Shelve 747X

Fri Mar 30, 2001 7:03 am


And I can name three cases where increased speed DID lead to success and phenomenal profitability: