I wouldn't be surprised if Boeing Kept the tooling to build these at a later date.
I really don't think so. They'd probably build white tails instead and convert them to AF1 standard at a later date. Not as cost-effective as building some modifications in from the start, but still a whole lot cheaper than mothballing a production line to maybe (if the AF doesn't change its requirements, e.g. regaring the number of engines) a few more years down the line.
People seem to underestimate the cost of mothballing a production line, moving its workers elsewhere and then re-training those workers (if available) a few years later while also re-opening the mothballed production line. Multiply this times a hundred for the various suppliers who'd have to do something very similar for the various 747-specific parts.
Even for an AF1, the cost would be absolutely prohibitive.
They will not lose this order to airbus
Of course not. Airbus aren't even competing, either.
and if they want a 747 they are going to get a 747
In this case - sure, because it's easy enough to do by simply building a few white tails, or rushing the order through in time to make sure they're the last 747s built (should it come to that). Once the line is closed for good, though, they aren't going to get a new-built 747 any more than they're going to get a new-built 757 or 2707.
On a side note - interesting how much less of a public statement about the A380 (to not even mention a similar statement from Airbus themselves) would clock up a few dozen replies in a matter of minutes, while here, a.net hardly even shrugs.
Arguably, though, the impact of ending the 747 line is going to be bigger for Boeign than ending A380 production would be for Airbus. Reason being that Boeing is in a forward-loss position on the 747. The 747-8 programme accounting quantity is 1,555 now, i.e. Boeing still hasn't actually seen the full effect of 747-8 development cost on its balance sheet. They've so far sold less than one tenth of that programme accounting quantity. Airbus, on the other hand, already took the main hit during development of the A380, so ending A380 production would have much less effect on their balance sheet (although it won't be zero, of course).
Last edited by anfromme
on Wed Jul 27, 2016 8:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.