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747 upper lounge

Posted: Mon May 29, 2017 2:43 pm
by leghorn
It is widely accepted that the 747 isn't economic versus other widebody planes now.
Much of that would be due to the additional engines under each wing but does anyone know how much of it is due to the extra drag and weight of the upper deck.
Has this every been dealt with in anything published.

Modern planes may be more efficient but they don't capture the imagination like a 747 does.

Re: 747 upper lounge

Posted: Mon May 29, 2017 3:01 pm
by tjh8402
I think the problem is less the existence of the upper deck and more the fact that it isn't the whole length of plane, and the accompanying massive crown space above the rest of the cabin. Might've helped vs the A380 to have it be full length but wouldn't have helped against the twins, as the A380's relative failure shows.

Re: 747 upper lounge

Posted: Mon May 29, 2017 3:08 pm
by leghorn
I'm more interested in it on account of the 20 to 24 seats it fits in on the lower floor forward of the nose wheel thanks to the pilot sitting up higher.
Also, I suspect the first class passengers sitting in their own first class "carriage" was or is an incentive to paying for a 1st class fare.
I know that the use of the upper deck and forward cabin wasn't exclusively reserved for the plutocrats and varied from carrier to carrier and generation to generation of 747 but 1st class on a 747 sounds like something more special than on a single deck widebody..

Re: 747 upper lounge

Posted: Mon May 29, 2017 5:07 pm
by WPvsMW
The upper deck of a 747 is my all time favorite airborne space, and the versions on NW with spiral staircases created a "C-suite" feel. The storage bins below the windows, pilots coming out to chat, extra bottles of wine distributed to upper deck pax after landing in NRT. The good old days.

Re: 747 upper lounge

Posted: Mon May 29, 2017 8:05 pm
by pasu129
The issue isn't 747's dome space issue, it is more of the engine fuel consumption. Mind you, 747 is originally designed as a freighter only, and the elevated cockpit area helped with nose loading, PAX 747 is actually an after thought (ask Mr. Joe Sutter himself!), A380 is the original design as a PAX aircraft and freighter A380 would have never worked since the 2nd level is too high off the ground and creates structural difficulties to make it viable.

Now you see all over the world how 747F keep trucking on (even with some classics) and A380 is dominated by one carrier only.

With that said, 747 upper deck is still on of my favorite place to be on an aircraft. LH's 744 upper deck is phenominal, even VS' version has some magical feelings to it.

I said it once and I'll say it again, being on a narrowbody (747's upper deck) crossing the pond is something I always cherish.

Re: 747 upper lounge

Posted: Mon May 29, 2017 9:11 pm
by TigerFlyer
No question the 747 upper deck is the best seat in the sky. I've had the privilege of spending a few hundred hours there. It's no longer a "lounge". The piano bars are gone.

Stretching the upper deck from the 100/200 series resulted in minimal weight and drag penalty in the 300/400 series.

It is a shame that Boeing didn't just re-engine the 744 and tweak the wing. There wasn't a market for VLA's and Boeing should have followed its own better judgment than following Airbus into that segment of the market. The A380 should not have been certified on the basis of asthetics alone :).

Re: 747 upper lounge

Posted: Mon May 29, 2017 9:50 pm
by Varsity1
The 747 had a good run. Twins are the future though.

Re: 747 upper lounge

Posted: Mon May 29, 2017 11:00 pm
by SFOThinker
I am fortunate enough to have experienced an upper deck configured as a lounge, on a UAL 747 between Honolulu and San Francisco. If I recall correctly, ît was in 1976. It was supposed to be a cocktail lounge, it seemed to me: couch-like seating and room to move around. There was no piano bar (I believe Continental had a piano bar on some DC 10s). An FA served snacks and the liquor was flowing, including Hawaiian drinks. I remember being served an avocado half stufffed with baby shrimp as one of the snacks, so it was pretty decent food.
The lounge was available to first class passengers and we all had assigned seats below.

Re: 747 upper lounge

Posted: Tue May 30, 2017 1:28 am
by tofur
I remember working the upper deck cabin on the 747's. You either loved it or hated it. I enjoyed it very much as you were constantly busy. At Wardair we had 16 passenger seats and a lounge with couches where all passengers from the main deck were welcome to visit throughout the flight and have a cocktail. As you can imagine it was very popular! Of course we had to limit the number of passengers and the time spent there but it was overwhelmingly a hit. Passengers would come to the airport to check in hours and hours before to select a seat in the upper deck.

At times I wistfully look back and yearn for those days. Breakfast flights featured complimentary mimosas.Two complimentary bar services and hot towels before lunch or dinner. Linen table cloths, Royal Doulton china, entrees consisting of filet mignon offered rare, medium or well done, salmon wellington, roast chateaubriand or chicken cordon bleu, the dessert cart with an English sherry trifle or black forest gateau, the assorted cheese and biscuit basket and fresh fruit. All accompanied with complimentary wines and liqueurs. This was our economy class!

Times have changed. We now have a vast variety of inflight entertainment, wifi, lie flat suites in business class, espresso and cappuccino makers This is progress, although as I said, I yearn for those days past. I must admit that passengers seem to have adapted to the changes better than some of us "old school" cabin crew. That being said, it makes us ever so mindful of the fact that we know how much has been taken from passengers over the years and we go out of our way to try and make things right. So proud of my Wardair colleagues that I still fly with today!