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flyingclrs727
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Re: B-747SP

Thu Aug 09, 2018 8:33 pm

NameOmitted wrote:
As I understand it, the development of the SP involved working out the aerodynamics of having the second passenger deck end over the wings. This led to a relatively inexpensive stretch of the passenger deck for the -300 and beyond.

As such, it was not so much an orphan made obsolete by the -200B or -400, but an integral part of the eventual success of the -400.


Yes, it opened up long range routes that the 747-400 later took over, and it created a benchmark for Boeing's 747-400 design team to match for designed range. The aerodynamic tweeks developed for the SP ended up being used on the 300 and 400.
 
citationjet
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Re: B-747SP

Thu Aug 09, 2018 8:33 pm

American 767 wrote:
The highest altitude a subsonic jet has ever flown at is 45000ft which is the altitude record for the 747SP. Commercial flights usually don't go above 41000ft.


That statement is not true at all. Many "subsonic jets" are certified to operate above 45,000 ft. There are numerous business jets certified for 51,000 ft max altitude. This requires them to fly to those altitudes during certification flight testing. I personally have been above 45,000 ft in a Cessna Citation X.
A quick look at some FAA Type Certificate Data Sheets shows the following business jets are certified to 51,000 ft
Cessna Citation X (750)
Lear 24D, 25F, 28, 55, 31, 60
Gulfstream V

I am sure there are many others.
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IAHWorldflyer
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Re: B-747SP

Thu Aug 09, 2018 8:48 pm

citationjet wrote:
IAHWorldflyer wrote:
Why did Braniff International buy 2 frames of the SP's back in the late '70's? I know they were trying to start up a Pacific network, but their flights stopped in HNL on the way to HKG, so not sure why they needed the range.


"Braniff took delivery of two Boeing 747SPs (Special Performance) in 1979. The 747SPs were used on D/FW - Los Angeles to Hong Kong flights. In 1980, Singapore and Korea were added."

"According to the October 1979 "Flying Colors" Braniff magazine, Braniff had originally ordered the 747sp to fly between Dallas and Houston to Bahrain, U.A.E. This would have been the "oil route." They also received approval to fly to Tokyo. These routes never transpired. "

http://www.braniffpages.com/1965/1965.html

I don't believe the HKG flights stopped in HNL. I will check my old timetables. Also Braniff initially used the SP on the LA to Santiago, Chile route.
According to the above link, Braniff ordered 4 747SPs in total. N603BN, N604BN, N606BN and N608BN. (N608BN was never delivered).



I just checked the October of 1979 Braniff timetable on Departed Flights and they list the LAX-HKG flights as 2 stop through HNL and GUM. I don't know if they ever operated nonstop between LAX and HKG, but the SP certainly had the legs to do that.
 
LY777
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Re: B-747SP - Was it economically viable for their operators?

Thu Aug 09, 2018 9:11 pm

What was the SP range? How long could it fly nonstop?
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Velocity7
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Re: B-747SP

Thu Aug 09, 2018 9:20 pm

QF did indeed place them all over the network towards the end of their time. I was a regular on the QF51/52 BNE-SIN-BNE rotation in the mid-late 90's and the SP was almost exclusively utilised on that route. I also recall it regularly flew between 41-43,000ft for the entire 8 hour journey - something up until that time I'd never experienced.
QF also had that unusual galley set up on the lower deck where the galley extended down the aircraft on the right hand side which I always thought was an odd use of space - it took up some of the best real estate on the aircraft!
 
citationjet
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Re: B-747SP - Was it economically viable for their operators?

Thu Aug 09, 2018 9:28 pm

LY777 wrote:
What was the SP range? How long could it fly nonstop?


5,830 nmi (10,800 km; 6,710 mi)
Google is your friend: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boeing_747SP
Boeing Flown: 701,702,703;717;720;721,722;731,732,733,734,735,737,738,739;741,742,743,744,747SP;752,753;762,763;772,773.
 
Ryanair01
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Re: B-747SP - Was it economically viable for their operators?

Thu Aug 09, 2018 9:41 pm

From what I understand the commercials were not great, but that for 12-13 years there were lucrative routes which only the 747SP could fly, so the costs were partly offset by higher average fares. I did a dissertation on the sale of Pan Am's Pacific Division in 1985 and interviewed several of their Vice Presidents. General consensus was that that 747-SP was a short term solution to a long term opportunity.

As explained to me the later 747-200s could reach Japan from JFK and LAX, all be it with a payload hit. However the 747-SP was the only aircraft capable reaching anywhere south of Japan from the continental US (e.g. Hong Kong, Australia). So non-stop frequency gave them a competitive advantage in those markets for premium passengers, hence the SP was very premium heavy.

However the 747-400 12-13 years later made the 747-SP uneconomic on ultra long haul. Pan Am knew they couldn't finance a new 747-400 fleet and that would leave them toast on the Pacific in a few years. So I guess in their analysis it wasn't that economic a model.
 
Max Q
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Re: B-747SP

Thu Aug 09, 2018 10:39 pm

flyingclrs727 wrote:
NWAROOSTER wrote:
Northwest Airlines considered buying a few 747SP aircraft to use on the New York Tokyo route. But Boeing finally improved the 747-200B and equipped it with Pratt & Whitney JT9D-7Q engines and then the 747-200B could fly the route non stop. It did did require blocking off some coach seats but it could also then fly other routes without payload restrictions. Northwest bought the 747-251B aircraft and skipped the 747SP. :old:


The higher gross weight 200B's also had better residual values, because the extra fuel tanks could be removed and could be used as ordinary 200B's or converted to freighters once the 400's became available. The increased gross weight made them great for freighter conversions.



Why would there be any need to remove
extra fuel tanks ?



The later 200B models had additional reserve tanks but these were installed in the wings


Perhaps you were thinking they were auxiliary tanks in the hold
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Max Q
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Re: B-747SP - Was it economically viable for their operators?

Thu Aug 09, 2018 10:48 pm

GalaxyFlyer wrote:
The highest altitude a subsonic jet has ever flown at is 45000ft which is the altitude record for the 747SP.


Tell that to Lear, Gulfstream, Global crew and passengers, please. All certified and flown up to F510. And certainly the U-2 is subsonic.

GF



Not the altitude record for the SP anyway



During route testing before certification Boeing flew an SP non stop from New York to Tokyo with a representative passenger load, final cruise altitude attained was
FL 490


It was not certified to fly that high but was
capable of doing so and legal to while still
in ‘experimental category’
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citationjet
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Re: B-747SP

Fri Aug 10, 2018 12:12 am

IAHWorldflyer wrote:
I just checked the October of 1979 Braniff timetable on Departed Flights and they list the LAX-HKG flights as 2 stop through HNL and GUM. I don't know if they ever operated nonstop between LAX and HKG, but the SP certainly had the legs to do that.


I just checked my January 7, 1980 BN timetable. LAX to HKG was not nonstop. Depending on day of the week the LAX to HKG flight stopped in either Guam, Guam and HNL, or Seoul. By October 26, 1980 there were no Pacific destinations except Hawaii. Looks like BN only served Asia between October of '79 and sometime after January '80. I agree that BN probably never operated nonstop between LAX and HKG.
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ltbewr
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Re: B-747SP - Was it economically viable for their operators?

Fri Aug 10, 2018 12:15 am

IIRC, didn't UA run a few SP's for EWR-Tokyo/Hong Kong non-stop services in the late 1980's into the early 1990's?
 
Overthecascades
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Re: B-747SP - Was it economically viable for their operators?

Fri Aug 10, 2018 12:45 am

citationjet wrote:
LY777 wrote:
What was the SP range? How long could it fly nonstop?


5,830 nmi (10,800 km; 6,710 mi)
Google is your friend: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boeing_747SP


Thanks For the link. Even spent some time reading the incident of CI006 involving an SP having free fall of tens of thousands of feet. Dramatic!
 
flyaustralian12
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Re: B-747SP - Was it economically viable for their operators?

Fri Aug 10, 2018 12:51 am

from memory QF used their SPs into WLG short runway & it allowed them to fly SYD/LAX/SYD nonstop for 1st time. Correct me if I'm wrong.

QF did have some industrial problems with crews, as think at time, LAX/SYD was the longest sector QF flew.
 
Cunard
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Re: B-747SP - Was it economically viable for their operators?

Fri Aug 10, 2018 1:43 am

Overthecascades wrote:
citationjet wrote:
LY777 wrote:
What was the SP range? How long could it fly nonstop?


5,830 nmi (10,800 km; 6,710 mi)
Google is your friend: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boeing_747SP


Thanks For the link. Even spent some time reading the incident of CI006 involving an SP having free fall of tens of thousands of feet. Dramatic!


And if you use Google ''again''and probably YouTube your see that there is an hours documentary regarding this incident called Aircrash Investigation China Airlines Flight CI006 Panick Over The Pacific.
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United1
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Re: B-747SP - Was it economically viable for their operators?

Fri Aug 10, 2018 2:05 am

ltbewr wrote:
IIRC, didn't UA run a few SP's for EWR-Tokyo/Hong Kong non-stop services in the late 1980's into the early 1990's?


UA did use the 74L on EWR-NRT but they never flew EWR-HKG until the merger with CO. They inherited 11 74Ls from PA in 86 with the Pacific division purchase.

UA did fly, for a very short time, JFK-HKG with a 744...
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cpd
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Re: B-747SP

Fri Aug 10, 2018 2:35 am

727200 wrote:
And they were also BIG TIME gas guzzlers


All planes of those times were gas guzzlers in relative terms compared to what we expect today.

But I don't believe it was especially poor compared with others of the time. Sure, it took less passengers - but it was designed to fly very long distance routes that few other planes could manage.
 
Xcarrier
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Re: B-747SP - Was it economically viable for their operators?

Fri Aug 10, 2018 9:24 am

flyaustralian12 wrote:
from memory QF used their SPs into WLG short runway & it allowed them to fly SYD/LAX/SYD nonstop for 1st time. Correct me if I'm wrong.

QF did have some industrial problems with crews, as think at time, LAX/SYD was the longest sector QF flew.


Yes, I recall the first SP operation into WLG featuring on the front page of the staff newspaper (QF News?) at the time.
 
strfyr51
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Re: B-747SP - Was it economically viable for their operators?

Fri Aug 10, 2018 10:37 am

whem Unied bought the Pan Am Pacific Division the Tramsfer came with 2 B747-221's 8 B747 SP-21's and 2 Ex Braniff B747SP-27's (We eventually sold the SP27's to the Dubai Air Wing, Overhauled the SP-21's, Junked the 2 -221's the SP's served us well until the B747-422's came on bord and we Retired or sold all the SP21's including the 2 833,000 LB MGWt B747-222B's we bought to fly JFK-NRT. which we sold to Northwest. We replaced all of them with 34 B747-422's and 2 -451's (via NW) Ours were 877K mgwt.. They flew all the Routes the SP's had flown with a full Boat. They came equipped with the PW JT9D-7R4G Engine.
 
strfyr51
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Re: B-747SP - Was it economically viable for their operators?

Fri Aug 10, 2018 10:40 am

strfyr51 wrote:
whem Unied bought the Pan Am Pacific Division the Tramsfer came with 2 B747-221's 8 B747 SP-21's and 2 Ex Braniff B747SP-27's (We eventually sold the SP27's to the Dubai Air Wing, Overhauled the SP-21's, Junked the 2 -221's the SP's served us well until the B747-422's came on bord and we Retired or sold all the SP21's including the 2 833,000 LB MGWt B747-222B's we bought to fly JFK-NRT. which we sold to Northwest. We replaced all of them with 34 B747-422's and 2 -451's (via NW) Ours were 877K mgwt.. They flew all the Routes the SP's had flown with a full Boat. They came equipped with the PW JT9D-7R4G Engine.
Let me |Amend that. The B747-222B's came with the JT9D7R4G, all the B747-400's Had the PW4056 engines installed.
 
strfyr51
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Re: B-747SP - Was it economically viable for their operators?

Fri Aug 10, 2018 10:51 am

The United B747-SP's flew SFO-SYD, LAX-SYD, SFO PEK and SFO HKG. The !22's flew SFO-NRT, SFO-SEL SFO-HNL-AKL as their longest legs.
They were Great airplanes and we sold 1 SP-21 to NASA for the Flying Telescope.Which I understand they Still fly.
 
Max Q
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Re: B-747SP - Was it economically viable for their operators?

Sat Aug 11, 2018 9:02 am

It’s a fascinating, unique aircraft and holds a special memory for me


My first flight on one was Pan Am’s non stop from HKG to SFO in 1981



Exciting times



As delightfully nerdy as this site can be no one ever gets fed up with
talking about the awesome -SP



And rightfully so
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Max Q
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Re: B-747SP - Was it economically viable for their operators?

Thu Aug 16, 2018 4:47 am

strfyr51 wrote:
whem Unied bought the Pan Am Pacific Division the Tramsfer came with 2 B747-221's 8 B747 SP-21's and 2 Ex Braniff B747SP-27's (We eventually sold the SP27's to the Dubai Air Wing, Overhauled the SP-21's, Junked the 2 -221's the SP's served us well until the B747-422's came on bord and we Retired or sold all the SP21's including the 2 833,000 LB MGWt B747-222B's we bought to fly JFK-NRT. which we sold to Northwest. We replaced all of them with 34 B747-422's and 2 -451's (via NW) Ours were 877K mgwt.. They flew all the Routes the SP's had flown with a full Boat. They came equipped with the PW JT9D-7R4G Engine.



Were the two 747-221’s freighter versions ?
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eta unknown
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Re: B-747SP - Was it economically viable for their operators?

Thu Aug 16, 2018 5:26 am

Note on QF California nonstops: the SP inaugural route was SYD-SFO, not SYD-LAX. I believe they also sometimes subbed on the QF1 SYD-SIN-BAH-LHR flight in the mid 80's.
 
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flyingclrs727
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Re: B-747SP - Was it economically viable for their operators?

Thu Aug 16, 2018 5:33 am

strfyr51 wrote:
The United B747-SP's flew SFO-SYD, LAX-SYD, SFO PEK and SFO HKG. The !22's flew SFO-NRT, SFO-SEL SFO-HNL-AKL as their longest legs.
They were Great airplanes and we sold 1 SP-21 to NASA for the Flying Telescope.Which I understand they Still fly.


Actually it was 2 SP's that were sold to NASA for the SOFIA infrared telescope. One was parted out for spares especially SP specific parts for SOFIA. The empennage was used as a mockup of the empennage of the intact plane for development of the modifications necessary to interface the telescope to the airframe.
 
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Re: B-747SP - Was it economically viable for their operators?

Thu Aug 16, 2018 7:58 am

I remember flying on a Qantas 747SP between Sydney and Wellington. Although a "small" Jumbo, it certainly dwarfed the 737s of NAC
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albertocsc
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Re: B-747SP - Was it economically viable for their operators?

Thu Aug 16, 2018 10:33 am

At least for Tajik Air, it seems it was not really viable (I read last week an interesting article about their 747SP).

Now Las Vegas Sands owns it.
 
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cathay747
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Re: B-747SP

Thu Aug 16, 2018 12:02 pm

BN747 wrote:
BoeingGuy wrote:
BN747 wrote:

The AA 747SP saw ops to Gatwick and Brussels then shifted to Tokyo Narita. Then the MD11s arrived and the 747SPs shown the runway.

...and agreed, TWA never op’d Japan routes on a scheduled basis. They had plenty of MAC charter fly’s thru/to Tokyo-Haneda, Yokota Air Base and Kadena Air Base, Okinawa..flew on those myself.
BN747


Actually TWA did have scheduled Pacific routes and serve Okinawa in the early 1970s. There was also another thread on this awhile back. I think it was something like SFO-LAX-HNL-GUM-OKA-HKG. Maybe TPE was in there too. Was flown on a 707-320B.


We are talking Japan routes, not Pacific. Okinawa does technically qualify for Japan svc. But that’s like Jin Air servicing Hawaii and saying Jin Air serves the USA...a yes and a no type answer.

However, your transpacific routing is correct. TWA did also come to Taipei-Sunshan (I got that pic) as well.

BN747


Japan routes are Pacific; one does fly across to the Pacific to get there. And yes, Okinawa is service to Japan, given that it's one of their prefectures, like Hawaii is a U.S. state, and so yes, Jin Air serves the USA; there is no "yes and no type answer" about this, unless you don't consider Hawaii as a U.S. state for some reason.

We're talking here about the time frame of the 747SP; TWA took delivery of their 3 in March, April and May of 1980. TWA had abandoned their Pacific routes (including even domestic service between the Mainland U.S. and Hawaii) long before, as you can see on this Oct. 1977 route map from departedflights website:

http://www.departedflights.com/TW103077.html
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4holer
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Re: B-747SP - Was it economically viable for their operators?

Thu Aug 16, 2018 4:43 pm

Looks like the NASA SOFIA SP is getting ready to fly from Palmdale to Travis right now!
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Re: B-747SP - Was it economically viable for their operators?

Thu Aug 16, 2018 5:20 pm

Max Q wrote:
strfyr51 wrote:
whem Unied bought the Pan Am Pacific Division the Tramsfer came with 2 B747-221's 8 B747 SP-21's and 2 Ex Braniff B747SP-27's (We eventually sold the SP27's to the Dubai Air Wing, Overhauled the SP-21's, Junked the 2 -221's the SP's served us well until the B747-422's came on bord and we Retired or sold all the SP21's including the 2 833,000 LB MGWt B747-222B's we bought to fly JFK-NRT. which we sold to Northwest. We replaced all of them with 34 B747-422's and 2 -451's (via NW) Ours were 877K mgwt.. They flew all the Routes the SP's had flown with a full Boat. They came equipped with the PW JT9D-7R4G Engine.



Were the two 747-221’s freighter versions ?

The two 747-222s were bought new from Boeing as passenger aircraft. They were bought by Northwest Airlines and converted into freighters by Boeing at Wichita Kansas. These were the last 747-200s that Boing converted into freighters. Boeing probably converted them into freighters as part of United's purchase agreement to buy 747-422s. The United pilots contract prevented United to sell any 747s to United States airlines as passenger aircraft. United had bought a few used 747-200s from Qantas which some were sold as passenger aircraft to foreign airlines. United mainly flew 747-100s as they were lighter than the 747-200. Most of the 747s that United were required as part of of their purchase of PanAm's Pacific routes were 747-SPs were junk and United only kept two. :old:
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WildcatYXU
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Re: B-747SP

Thu Aug 16, 2018 6:10 pm

SFOThinker wrote:
I flew CI's 747 SP several times from SFO to TPE, which was at the time the only nonstop from the mainland US to Taiwan.
The SP flew higher than other passenger aircraft - if I recall, 40,000 feet. At that altitude you could see the curvature of the earth. Do any airliners today fly that high?


Yes, they do. The 787 has a slightly lower ceiling than the SP, but you can routinely see them at FL400. Even higher.
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BN747
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Re: B-747SP

Thu Aug 16, 2018 6:32 pm

cathay747 wrote:
BN747 wrote:
BoeingGuy wrote:

Actually TWA did have scheduled Pacific routes and serve Okinawa in the early 1970s. There was also another thread on this awhile back. I think it was something like SFO-LAX-HNL-GUM-OKA-HKG. Maybe TPE was in there too. Was flown on a 707-320B.


We are talking Japan routes, not Pacific. Okinawa does technically qualify for Japan svc. But that’s like Jin Air servicing Hawaii and saying Jin Air serves the USA...a yes and a no type answer.

However, your transpacific routing is correct. TWA did also come to Taipei-Sunshan (I got that pic) as well.

BN747


Japan routes are Pacific; one does fly across to the Pacific to get there. And yes, Okinawa is service to Japan, given that it's one of their prefectures, like Hawaii is a U.S. state, and so yes, Jin Air serves the USA; there is no "yes and no type answer" about this, unless you don't consider Hawaii as a U.S. state for some reason.

We're talking here about the time frame of the 747SP; TWA took delivery of their 3 in March, April and May of 1980. TWA had abandoned their Pacific routes (including even domestic service between the Mainland U.S. and Hawaii) long before, as you can see on this Oct. 1977 route map from departedflights website:

http://www.departedflights.com/TW103077.html


Sorry, but Wrong! I personally flew (took a couple of friends as well) TWA 747, L-1011 svcs from LAX to Honolulu several times from 1982 to 1985.

As for Japan, Tokyo was the only destination AA served with 747SP or MD11 at the time being discussed. Secondly, since you want to be nick-picky about details, that would make DFW-NRT a single route, NOT routes, there were NO routes. A singular service period as far as 747SP deployment. AA would go on later to serve Taipei, Hong Kong from San Jose later on when they had their short term hub ops there at SJC.

BN747
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BoeingGuy
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Re: B-747SP

Thu Aug 16, 2018 6:40 pm

BN747 wrote:
cathay747 wrote:
BN747 wrote:

We are talking Japan routes, not Pacific. Okinawa does technically qualify for Japan svc. But that’s like Jin Air servicing Hawaii and saying Jin Air serves the USA...a yes and a no type answer.

However, your transpacific routing is correct. TWA did also come to Taipei-Sunshan (I got that pic) as well.

BN747


Japan routes are Pacific; one does fly across to the Pacific to get there. And yes, Okinawa is service to Japan, given that it's one of their prefectures, like Hawaii is a U.S. state, and so yes, Jin Air serves the USA; there is no "yes and no type answer" about this, unless you don't consider Hawaii as a U.S. state for some reason.

We're talking here about the time frame of the 747SP; TWA took delivery of their 3 in March, April and May of 1980. TWA had abandoned their Pacific routes (including even domestic service between the Mainland U.S. and Hawaii) long before, as you can see on this Oct. 1977 route map from departedflights website:

http://www.departedflights.com/TW103077.html


Sorry, but Wrong! I personally flew (took a couple of friends as well) TWA 747, L-1011 svcs from LAX to Honolulu several times from 1982 to 1985.

As for Japan, Tokyo was the only destination AA served with 747SP or MD11 at the time being discussed. Secondly, since you want to be nick-picky about details, that would make DFW-NRT a single route, NOT routes, there were NO routes. A singular service period as far as 747SP deployment. AA would go on later to serve Taipei, Hong Kong from San Jose later on when they had their short term hub ops there at SJC.

BN747


Just a nit. I know this is off-topic, but AA never served HKG from SJC. They did do SJC-TPE for six months in 2001, as you stated.

There was as series of about six books published called "The Great Airliner Series". One of them was on the 747SP. All of them were really outstanding, including the 747SP title. I think they are all long out of print. If you can get hold of a copy, do so.

The other titles in this series were the DC-9, DC-8, L-188, 720, and 880/990.
 
jimmy9irons
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Re: B-747SP - Was it economically viable for their operators?

Thu Aug 16, 2018 6:49 pm

Do Syrian airlines still fly their SP? I know Yemenia’s SP was destroyed in the war.
 
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ER757
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Re: B-747SP - Was it economically viable for their operators?

Thu Aug 16, 2018 7:06 pm

I believe UA flew the SP on ORD/SEL for a time. I remember seeing one at gate C-17 (I think that was the gate #) back in the late 80's and seem to recall the message board at the gate saying it was going to Seoul.
One of my favorite airplane pics I shot was at SFO when a Mandarin Airlines 747SP taxied by while I was awaiting my flight to SEA. An unexpected treat to say the least.
 
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flyingclrs727
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Re: B-747SP - Was it economically viable for their operators?

Thu Aug 16, 2018 7:07 pm

I have a question about the PW JT9D engines on most of the 747SP's. Would it be possible or desirable to replace them with PW4000 engines from retired 747-400's on the SP's that will be flying many years into the future like the two PW engine testbed 747SP's and NASA's SOFIA?
 
xxcr
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Re: B-747SP

Thu Aug 16, 2018 7:38 pm

Flighty wrote:
American 767 wrote:
SFOThinker wrote:
I flew CI's 747 SP several times from SFO to TPE, which was at the time the only nonstop from the mainland US to Taiwan.
The SP flew higher than other passenger aircraft - if I recall, 40,000 feet. At that altitude you could see the curvature of the earth. Do any airliners today fly that high?


No you still don't see the curvature at 40000ft. You would have to climb to 55000-60000ft to see the curvature, the only commercial aircraft flying this high was the Concorde, and maybe the TU-144. The highest altitude a subsonic jet has ever flown at is 45000ft which is the altitude record for the 747SP. Commercial flights usually don't go above 41000ft.


Well not to be pedantic, but I've been on a commercially owned passenger airplane above 50000ft before. It was a lot smaller than a 747SP though.



Gulfstreem G550-G650 series are rated to fly above 50,000ft no?

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