UA444 wrote:I still think without the A380 the 747-8 does have some future passenger orders. There are still airlines that have a use for a large plane like that.
Boeing probably couldn't build more than a handful of passenger 747-8s from their spares stock even if an airline did want them (which they do not) due to the suppliers for parts for the Intercontinental have closed up that part of their shops as the last airline delivery was almost two years ago to Korean and over a year ago to a BBJ customer.
PSAatSAN4Ever wrote:In a book I have in storage (yes, I know, I say that a lot!), there are descriptions of "possible new versions of the 747 family after the -400, including the -500X, the -600X, and -700X". Each of them were stretched versions of the -400, stretching the 747 design like it was a DC-8! Further onward below the pictures (I promise I will find my source books one day!), it said, "the stretched versions will feature all-new wing designs", and capacity increases of up to nearly 700 in all-economy, if I remember right.
When the A380 appeared, I remember thinking, "Boeing did the first concept, but either Airbus beat them to the Gargantuan-class civil aircraft OR Boeing looked at the predicted costs versus potential break-even and profit levels, and decided the numbers weren't there and ceded this market to Airbus."
I think after a decade of failed attempts at launching a larger 747 than the 747-400, Boeing just gave up on the idea. The only real reason the 747-8 made it was adopting the 787 engine technology that improved it's usability as a freighter (and yes, I am fully aware Boeing's original sales projections strongly favored the passenger model).
PSAatSAN4Ever wrote:One final question for the community: many 747's were ordered, more for their range than for capacity. Were any A380's purchased for their range rather than capacity?
I would expect not. While the A380-800's range was superlative, the Boeing 747-400ER matched it (at a lower payload) and that frame only sold six. The A340 and 777 already had sufficient range to connect most everywhere anyone wanted to fly and the A380 could not match the range of the A340-500 and 777-200LR (at a viable payload) for true C-Market / ULR routes.