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No Transporter For Boeing

Fri Aug 08, 2003 11:41 pm

In a the recent EAA airshow in Oshkosh, WI, I was able to view the Airbus super transporter, the "Beluga" up close and personal. I was wondering what kind of airplane Boeing uses to transport finished subassemblies from plant to plant ? OR does Boeing not have a need as planes are built start to finish in the same plant ? We were told that the cargo bay of the transporter is even larger than that of An-124. Also wonder if they are going to come out with a freighter version of 777 in future.
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RE: No Transporter For Boeing

Fri Aug 08, 2003 11:55 pm

i doubt that a freigher 777 will come out. the 747 was deisgned to carry freight. that's why it has the hump.

also, from what i know, boeing;s manufacturing is all in washington at boeing field. they don't need to carry stuff between different plants like airbus.
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RE: No Transporter For Boeing

Sat Aug 09, 2003 12:11 am

Actually, Boeing use trains and boats and trucks.... And yes, they do have components to ship around, although probably not quite as large ones as Airbus

Bombardier uses an An-124.

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RE: No Transporter For Boeing

Sat Aug 09, 2003 1:16 am

Ikarus is correct.. final assembly is done in Everett and Renton, WA, but parts are made other places (including Japan).
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RE: No Transporter For Boeing

Sat Aug 09, 2003 2:01 am

The 737 fuselage is assembled in Wichita and transported intact to Renton via rail. The 757 is still shipped in sections.
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RE: No Transporter For Boeing

Sat Aug 09, 2003 8:28 am

Yeah I saw a -400 a few years back in the railyards down by the Argentine District down where 635/70 go thru (got lost trying to find Mickey's Surplus). At the time I was wondering why it was there, as Washington is the other direction.

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RE: No Transporter For Boeing

Sat Aug 09, 2003 9:40 am features photos of the "Boeing Train". Really just a picture of BNSF hauling 737 fuselage assemblies to Renton fron Kansas.

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RE: No Transporter For Boeing

Sat Aug 09, 2003 6:00 pm

Boeing's plant have ocean access so most parts comming over from Japan arrive that way.

American Railroads are designed for larger standard trains then their european counterparts, so shipment of complete cabin sections (737-900) is possible and done that way.

This is one of the reasons why I can't comprehend Airbus having a lower cost of production then Boeing. Ships and Trains are probably the two cheapest forms of transport on the planet.

It must be cheaper then designing, building, operating and maintaing a fleet of four unique aircraft.
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RE: No Transporter For Boeing

Sat Aug 09, 2003 7:42 pm

L-188: Well, the reason why it is cheaper for Airbus is because they cleverly outsourced the designing, building of the 4 aircraft to a custom-founded subsidiary company. That way, Airbus just paid the price of purchasing 4 aircraft and the maintenance, but the design & construction were done in a seperate company that, I believe, no longer exists. Some clever accounting, I suppose.

Now once the planes are there, transporting a large section from here to there is costly, more so than on ship or train, I would guess, but in the overall aircraft production cost it becomes negligible. If Airbus really does have a lower cost base, (which I do not know anything about), then their employees are probably more skilled and productive (read: they have less employees and more automized processes, and train their employees to higher standards so less waste & mistakes occur).

If you hire&fire as Boeing does you can deal with boom&bust quite well for a while, but it the long haul, you are likely to have less skilled employees (because you cannot invest years in their training) and less motivation, so eventually you end up with more employees per plane produced. And the zero-defects thing is harder to achieve, too.

DISCLAIMER: I do not work for Boeing or Airbus nor am I familiar with their books and efficiencies, I am merely stating thoughts & considerations, not based upon any numbers I have available at the moment.


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RE: No Transporter For Boeing

Mon Aug 11, 2003 12:00 am

He beat me to it  Big grin

Whilst in Seattle in 99, I also witessed the 737 fuselage on a railcar.

Being an avid rail and Aviation enthusiast, it was the perfect marraige of two hobbies. search under mirrodie as photographer at another aviation website and you'll see my pics of the 737 flatcar with fuselage.
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RE: No Transporter For Boeing

Tue Aug 12, 2003 12:52 am

i doubt that a freigher 777 will come out.

Actually, Boeing has been toying with a freighter based on the 772LR airframe/engines as an eventual 90T replacement for the MD11F.

Flight International has reported that UPS, LH Cargo, and EK Cargo have demonstrated interest... with the latter reportedly stating its prefered specifications to Boeing in the summer of 2002
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RE: No Transporter For Boeing

Tue Aug 12, 2003 1:05 am

Airbus also sells spare Beluga capacity to the outsize freight market, probably a nice little earner on the side for them.
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RE: No Transporter For Boeing

Tue Aug 12, 2003 2:28 am

For more info on ATI - Airbus Transport International, the commercial airline which is a wholly owned subsidiary of the world's leading aircraft manufacturer Airbus and operating a fleet of 5 A300-600ST designed for special cargo flights on behalf of its mother and third parties, check this link....

PS: For those of you who don't really have a clue about the huge size of the cargo hold of the Beluga....

[Edited 2003-08-11 19:34:18]
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RE: No Transporter For Boeing

Wed Aug 13, 2003 10:47 pm

Does Airbus sell the Beluga?
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RE: No Transporter For Boeing

Thu Aug 14, 2003 1:08 am

Osteogenesis: They were thinking about it - if anyone had been interested, they might have. But who else wants a high volume low weight non-pressurized freighter? The Antonovs and Ilyushins take care of a lot of high volume, high weight capacity, it's only really the bulkiest things that would require a Beluga, and that's too small a niche.

PS: What happened to Cargolifter - the zeppelin they (not Airbus) were talking about a few years ago? Did they go bankrupt (as I would have expected) or are they still working on it?
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RE: No Transporter For Boeing

Thu Aug 14, 2003 1:43 am

The fact that Boeing has to transport 737 and 757 fuselages via rail is one of the reasons why they want the Dreamliner plant to be near a year-round deep water port. I guess having a few yokels along the route playing shooting gallery with the railcars made Boeing rethink Wichita for future projects. Of course the original outsized cargo plane was a Boeing 377 Stratocruiser:

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