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SEPilot
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How much range is too much?

Sat Jun 22, 2019 1:19 pm

As airliner efficiency has improved, practical range has increased. There have also been three models built that were specifically designed to push range beyond what were then the practical limits, the 747SP, the A345, and the 77L. None of them sold well, but the 77L was used as the basis for the successful 77F and hence cannot be considered a failure. The most spectacularly successful long range plane is undoubtedly the 77W, which seems to have found a sweet spot between range and payload. Interestingly, the A380 offered about the same useful range. And now the 787-9, even though it is more efficient, is offering about the same range, as will the 779 according to current information. But the A359 is offering about 500nm more, and the A3510 is offering about 1000nm more. The A350 is already doing routes that were uneconomic with previous generation airliners, such as SIN-EWR and MNL-JFK. The 778 is also going to be trading payload for range, and at this point there are questions as to whether or not it will be built. So the question is what is the sweet spot for range for the current generation. The 787 is selling better than the A350; is it strictly because of price or did Airbus build too much range into the A350 at the cost of efficiency?
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par13del
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Re: How much range is too much?

Sat Jun 22, 2019 1:36 pm

If the product requires a minimum number of pax to be viable, then it becomes just as important to view the population centers, their wealth distribution to determine whether a market exist. The 777L was more efficient and capable as the A340-500, but the carrier could not dump the burden of financing to switch frames, no other competitor chose to enter that route so was that an artificial barrier?
The SYD-LHR is touted as the holy grail of ULH, the 777L can do it with a payload that the carriers say is not viable.
I prefer to look at the narrow body line, as their range increases more a/c are sold, so should the parties be looking at how much further you can push a narrow body frame, other than having to move about, the airlines have done a very good job of providing max amenities to those pax who pay and minimal amenities to those who don't, all on the same a/c. So other than the physical need to move to avoid DVT, what do Y pax really need on a long haul flight that mandates it must be a wide body?
May not be the response you are looking for, but when we talk about range, the pax we always look at are those in the upper price range because our infrastructure is designed to be costly, but we are now moving more Y pax long haul than ever before, the number of pax in the 10 across 777W dwarfs those in J and up.
 
LDRA
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Re: How much range is too much?

Sat Jun 22, 2019 1:47 pm

5500nm full payload (pax + cargo), or 7000nm pax only payload
 
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lightsaber
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Re: How much range is too much?

Sat Jun 22, 2019 1:49 pm

Range has a cost. The cost per flight of a 787-10 is barely more than a 787-9. The PIPs in work will shift orders to the larger model.

The same is true of the MAX-10. If we can get beyond tribalism, a realistic mindset expects a smooth EIS. Once there is an engine PIP, I expect a boost in sales analogous to the 737-900ER after its engine PIP.

The xLR and hopefully NMA will drop the costs of many missions. So planes with too much cost to provide range that isn't required must be moved to their optimal missions.

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PatrickZ80
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Re: How much range is too much?

Sat Jun 22, 2019 1:51 pm

SEPilot wrote:
The most spectacularly successful long range plane is undoubtedly the 77W, which seems to have found a sweet spot between range and payload. Interestingly, the A380 offered about the same useful range.


True, both aircraft have more or less the same range but the difference is that the A380 has this range due to larger fuel tanks. In other words, in order to fly the same distance the A380 burns more fuel than the 77W. That wouldn't be a problem if all seats were occupied, in that case the fuel burn per seat on the A380 could still be lower than the 77W. But this rarely happens, usually there are a number of empty seats. In that case, a smaller plane could be more viable since it can carry the same amount of passengers with a lower fuel burn. It only reduces the number of empty seats.
 
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cathay747
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Re: How much range is too much?

Sat Jun 22, 2019 2:12 pm

You pose a most interesting question. I would venture to say that trading payload for range from the standpoint of losing CARGO payload but not pax + bags works for these new ultra-long-haul routes because I can't see much if any cargo demand on such routes. So if B & A can design airplanes which will be able to carry an economically viable pax load + their bags + all the necessary reserves for diversions, etc. on SYD-LHR/JFK year-round in both directions, I'm thinking that's about the most range needed. Because what you're asking also poses the question of "how much range do we NEED?" and it seems to me that SYD-LHR/JFK is about as far as necessary. SYD-LHR is longer at 10,573sm. according to Great Circle Mapper. So an 11,000sm. range should be enough to cover a nonstop route between just about anywhere that's viable IMHO.
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MIflyer12
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Re: How much range is too much?

Sat Jun 22, 2019 2:36 pm

What are people willing to pay for a non-stop? What premium do cargo companies see for delivering cargo three hours earlier? SYD-LHR has long been discussed as the holy grail of ULH routes. Maybe NYC-SYD is viable. It's going to be a very, very short list. Without enough of a premium on enough routes, on a few carriers able to buy enough frames to get economies of scale, while having enough carriers buying the type to justify the design & tooling, the aircraft won't get built. It's why Qantas is seeing mild derivatives for Project Sunrise, not purpose-built aircraft: it's not Pan Am of 1966.
 
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flyingclrs727
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Re: How much range is too much?

Sat Jun 22, 2019 2:42 pm

PatrickZ80 wrote:
SEPilot wrote:
The most spectacularly successful long range plane is undoubtedly the 77W, which seems to have found a sweet spot between range and payload. Interestingly, the A380 offered about the same useful range.


True, both aircraft have more or less the same range but the difference is that the A380 has this range due to larger fuel tanks. In other words, in order to fly the same distance the A380 burns more fuel than the 77W. That wouldn't be a problem if all seats were occupied, in that case the fuel burn per seat on the A380 could still be lower than the 77W. But this rarely happens, usually there are a number of empty seats. In that case, a smaller plane could be more viable since it can carry the same amount of passengers with a lower fuel burn. It only reduces the number of empty seats.


And a 77W can carry more cargo along with those feet passengers.
 
tayser
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Re: How much range is too much?

Sat Jun 22, 2019 2:48 pm

cathay747 wrote:
You pose a most interesting question. I would venture to say that trading payload for range from the standpoint of losing CARGO payload but not pax + bags works for these new ultra-long-haul routes because I can't see much if any cargo demand on such routes. So if B & A can design airplanes which will be able to carry an economically viable pax load + their bags + all the necessary reserves for diversions, etc. on SYD-LHR/JFK year-round in both directions, I'm thinking that's about the most range needed. Because what you're asking also poses the question of "how much range do we NEED?" and it seems to me that SYD-LHR/JFK is about as far as necessary. SYD-LHR is longer at 10,573sm. according to Great Circle Mapper. So an 11,000sm. range should be enough to cover a nonstop route between just about anywhere that's viable IMHO.


I get how everyone focuses on Australian East Coast to London/Eastern North America, but what about South America to North/East Asia? From Gcmap:

AU-EU/NA
MEL LHR 9,127 nm
MEL JFK 9,015 nm
MEL YYZ 8,774 nm
MEL CDG 9,046 nm
MEL AMS 8,927 nm
MEL FRA 8,805 nm
MEL IAD 8,831 nm
MEL ATL 8,419 nm

South America - North/East Asia
GRU NRT 9,984 nm
GIG PEK 9,352 nm
SCL ICN 9,934 nm

Another possible way to look at the overall question, how big would the market be for such long range jets amongst airlines?

We all know who's stated they want to do MEL/SYD/BNE to LHR/NYC but the more enticing possibility would be the big European & North American carriers getting in on the same game... AF/KLM from CDG and AMS to MEL/SYD/BNE/AKL, LH from FRA or MUC to MEL/SYD/BNE/AKL AC from YYZ to MEL/SYD/BNE/AKL, UA from EWR or IAD to MEL/SYD/BNE/AKL, DL from ATL to MEL/SYD/BNE/AKL etc.
 
kalvado
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Re: How much range is too much?

Sat Jun 22, 2019 2:56 pm

As for population centers.. There is a fairly interesting concept of ocean and land hemispheres:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Land_and_ ... emispheres
A lot of population and wealth is concentrated in a part of land hemisphere - North America, Europe.
Australia/New Zealand, South America and Southeast Asia are the most distant areas in this perspective, and should be the driving force for ULH. Some of those areas cannot afford ULH; and ULH demand may go up once more wealth comes to the area and travel demand grows.
 
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lightsaber
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Re: How much range is too much?

Sat Jun 22, 2019 3:16 pm

tayser wrote:
cathay747 wrote:
You pose a most interesting question. I would venture to say that trading payload for range from the standpoint of losing CARGO payload but not pax + bags works for these new ultra-long-haul routes because I can't see much if any cargo demand on such routes. So if B & A can design airplanes which will be able to carry an economically viable pax load + their bags + all the necessary reserves for diversions, etc. on SYD-LHR/JFK year-round in both directions, I'm thinking that's about the most range needed. Because what you're asking also poses the question of "how much range do we NEED?" and it seems to me that SYD-LHR/JFK is about as far as necessary. SYD-LHR is longer at 10,573sm. according to Great Circle Mapper. So an 11,000sm. range should be enough to cover a nonstop route between just about anywhere that's viable IMHO.


I get how everyone focuses on Australian East Coast to London/Eastern North America, but what about South America to North/East Asia? From Gcmap:

AU-EU/NA
MEL LHR 9,127 nm
MEL JFK 9,015 nm
MEL YYZ 8,774 nm
MEL CDG 9,046 nm
MEL AMS 8,927 nm
MEL FRA 8,805 nm
MEL IAD 8,831 nm
MEL ATL 8,419 nm

South America - North/East Asia
GRU NRT 9,984 nm
GIG PEK 9,352 nm
SCL ICN 9,934 nm

Another possible way to look at the overall question, how big would the market be for such long range jets amongst airlines?

We all know who's stated they want to do MEL/SYD/BNE to LHR/NYC but the more enticing possibility would be the big European & North American carriers getting in on the same game... AF/KLM from CDG and AMS to MEL/SYD/BNE/AKL, LH from FRA or MUC to MEL/SYD/BNE/AKL AC from YYZ to MEL/SYD/BNE/AKL, UA from EWR or IAD to MEL/SYD/BNE/AKL, DL from ATL to MEL/SYD/BNE/AKL etc.

There are several reasons QF is incredibly viable:
1. Quantity of premium passengers
2. Need to bypass their partner (EK or AA to USA) to maximize retention of revenue.

Some of the routes you propose are interesting, but not to partner hubs. As SYD has more premium traffic, I could see more ULH on the 789 or (if bought) A359. But both require PIPs, as more routes open the premium for ULH drops.

South America to Asia lacks sufficient premium demand except maybe GRU-HND. As neat as ULH is, it is people paying a premium that makes it work.

What I see is more flights Australian east coast/New Zealand to partner hubs further into the USA to bias the revenue split in favor of the long haul airline. Hence the 787-10 PIP for Air New Zealand.

ULH aircraft always have a shorter service life. That was true since the 747SP as PIPs result in larger aircraft flying the routes.

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SEPilot
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Re: How much range is too much?

Sat Jun 22, 2019 9:40 pm

This topic has a personal aspect for me. I am married to a Filipina, and through her have met a large number of people from the Philippines living in our rural area, far more than I ever realized were here. And of course all of them have family in the Philippines, and want to visit them and have them be able to come here. Since JFK is the best airport within driving distance that has good connections to MNL (BOS is closer but has worse and more expensive flights) nonstop service to MNL, which PR has recently started with the A350, is seriously attractive especially for unaccompanied children or those with poor English skills. The ability to be able to deliver a loved one at one airport and have them able to fly directly to the other and be met by another loved one is very, very attractive. And PR has the 77W as well but were unable to do it with that. So far the 787 is apparently also unable to do this route (not to say that PR has displayed the slightest interest in it-they seem to be pretty much wedded to Airbus with the exception of the 77W, which I expect them to dump as soon as they can afford to in favor of the A350). Undoubtedly routes like this give an edge to the A350; but in realistic terms how many airlines have such routes they would like to fly nonstop that they could do with the A350 but not the 787 or 779? It seems that on routes within their range both the 787 and 779 beat the A350 on economics, although not by a large margin. So how much of a selling point is the added range going to be?
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frmrCapCadet
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Re: How much range is too much?

Sat Jun 22, 2019 10:38 pm

lightsaber wrote:
Range has a cost. The cost per flight of a 787-10 is barely more than a 787-9. The PIPs in work will shift orders to the larger model.

The same is true of the MAX-10. If we can get beyond tribalism, a realistic mindset expects a smooth EIS. Once there is an engine PIP, I expect a boost in sales analogous to the 737-900ER after its engine PIP.

The xLR and hopefully NMA will drop the costs of many missions. So planes with too much cost to provide range that isn't required must be moved to their optimal missions.

Lightsaber


Won't the PIP also improve the 787-9, and how will the dynamic of the smaller plane with equal economics tends to have higher RASM affect this?
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SIVB
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Re: How much range is too much?

Sat Jun 22, 2019 11:07 pm

Interesting topic... I ask myself the same but with narrowbodies. NEOs and MAXs bring so much more range to the table, but at what point stops being efficient if operating only short/medium routes?
 
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lightsaber
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Re: How much range is too much?

Sun Jun 23, 2019 12:34 am

frmrCapCadet wrote:
lightsaber wrote:
Range has a cost. The cost per flight of a 787-10 is barely more than a 787-9. The PIPs in work will shift orders to the larger model.

The same is true of the MAX-10. If we can get beyond tribalism, a realistic mindset expects a smooth EIS. Once there is an engine PIP, I expect a boost in sales analogous to the 737-900ER after its engine PIP.

The xLR and hopefully NMA will drop the costs of many missions. So planes with too much cost to provide range that isn't required must be moved to their optimal missions.

Lightsaber


Won't the PIP also improve the 787-9, and how will the dynamic of the smaller plane with equal economics tends to have higher RASM affect this?

If the 787-10 has enough added revenue, then the 789 has too much range. The 789 will gain range. But unless we're discussing PER-LHR, we are discussing small cost reductions or a minor payload improvement.

PIPs favor the longer stretches. For example, the stretch (787-10) has a lack of range for China's East coast to Europe with enough payload. Or New Zealand to IAH until the PIPs.

But if we are talking about more flights Australia from DFW, the 789 will benefit from the PIPs...

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Karlsands
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Re: How much range is too much?

Sun Jun 23, 2019 12:35 am

No range is too much , if you have the equipment and pilot rotation and a profit to make , why would there be a limit. Crew rotations and rest included of course .
 
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CarlosSi
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Re: How much range is too much?

Sun Jun 23, 2019 12:46 am

“Flying gas tanks” are profitable if the passengers can pay for the cargo that’s not.

Good examples include ATL-JNB (77L), and formerly EWR-SIN (a345), however the latter was “costly”, even being all business before retiring for 5 years.

There’s more to it, but that’s one aspect.
 
JohnAudiR18
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Re: How much range is too much?

Sun Jun 23, 2019 1:31 am

Sounds interesting but I think the day, that planes get so efficient, that one can fly 10,000NM of the way around, and be profitable. Will be the ultimate mountain that’s needed to be crossed. Especially if it can be made profitable. With cargo and pax.
 
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hOMSaR
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Re: How much range is too much?

Sun Jun 23, 2019 3:16 am

I say, if it has 20,000 mile range, it’s probably too much.
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JayinKitsap
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Re: How much range is too much?

Sun Jun 23, 2019 4:21 am

I read recently (can't find the link) that with all other things equal for a specific flight, a plane designed for 2,000 miles less range saves 6% of the fuel cost, due to its lighter weight.

The 77W - 77L comparison is excellent. The 77W hit the sweet spot, the 77L has more range at the expense of payload. It barely sold as it cost just as much to fly as the 77W but with a lot less pax. It probably costs 10% more per pax than the 77W.

In fleets, if presented with a decision to replace 50% of the planes with a model more right sized for range, it will begin to happen. This is where the 787-10 is making inroads, it will grow as in flight data is more available.
 
Babyshark
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Re: How much range is too much?

Sun Jun 23, 2019 4:35 am

How about a 3500 mile 100 seater? Seems a bit much, no?
 
texdravid
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Re: How much range is too much?

Sun Jun 23, 2019 4:37 am

The other holy grail is more US cities to Indian secondary metros.

Yes, I know about NYC-BOM/DEL, but nothing about an overconnected North Indian city to a big overrated US city such as NYC excites me. It’s old and been exclusive for too long.

Here’s to increased range for new and exciting routes such as DFW-MAA or DFW-HYD or DFW-BLR.

Two times a week to each South Indian metro from a fast growing, affluent and underrated DFW metroplex. It’s time to break this North Indian exclusivity and chauvinism and the time is now.
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XT6Wagon
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Re: How much range is too much?

Sun Jun 23, 2019 4:52 am

10,800 nm with full payload is the maximum sensible. You can get between any two points on the globe with that.

As far as what you are asking, the advertised range will keep increasing as fuel burn drops even for Aircraft designed for the exact same mission. Advertising with passenger only payloads looks good, but putting in any cargo, heavier seats, etc drops that range. It drops it more miles the more fuel efficient the plane is. So don't be surprised to see whatever replaces the 778/9 having an insane paper range because most airlines will be buying them as "combi" aircraft with heavy cargo payloads to go with the passenger load.
 
DavidByrne
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Re: How much range is too much?

Sun Jun 23, 2019 1:23 pm

frmrCapCadet wrote:
Won't the PIP also improve the 787-9, and how will the dynamic of the smaller plane with equal economics tends to have higher RASM affect this?

NZ has plans to serve AKL-EWR (probably, rather than JFK) and has signalled that a GE-powered 789 is how it will be done. I believe this will be achieved with a 6T MTOW bump, though to my knowledge how that will be achieved has not yet been announced. Sounds like they expect 250 seats; the distance is 8810 miles or 7655 nautical miles great circle. QF already flies their 789s a couple of hundred km further on PER-LHR. Seems it’s already a very capable aircraft.
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MIflyer12
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Re: How much range is too much?

Sun Jun 23, 2019 2:26 pm

Karlsands wrote:
No range is too much , if you have the equipment and pilot rotation and a profit to make , why would there be a limit. Crew rotations and rest included of course .


Range costs money. That cost comes in the form of exotic materials to reduce weight, or in extra tanks. Tanks aren't weightless even when empty, and tanks inhibit luggage and cargo room (and revenue).
 
MIflyer12
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Re: How much range is too much?

Sun Jun 23, 2019 2:29 pm

texdravid wrote:
The other holy grail is more US cities to Indian secondary metros.

Yes, I know about NYC-BOM/DEL, but nothing about an overconnected North Indian city to a big overrated US city such as NYC excites me. It’s old and been exclusive for too long.

Here’s to increased range for new and exciting routes such as DFW-MAA or DFW-HYD or DFW-BLR.

Two times a week to each South Indian metro from a fast growing, affluent and underrated DFW metroplex. It’s time to break this North Indian exclusivity and chauvinism and the time is now.


You just need to find enough people willing to pay. Why don't we have S America - East Asia? Because they aren't enough people willing to pay. The tech is relatively easy; both Boeing and Airbus can do this. Making a business case to enough carriers willing to pay and passengers willing to pay is not. Talking about what's technically possible while ignoring the economics is foolhardy.
 
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lightsaber
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Re: How much range is too much?

Sun Jun 23, 2019 2:56 pm

MIflyer12 wrote:
Karlsands wrote:
No range is too much , if you have the equipment and pilot rotation and a profit to make , why would there be a limit. Crew rotations and rest included of course .


Range costs money. That cost comes in the form of exotic materials to reduce weight, or in extra tanks. Tanks aren't weightless even when empty, and tanks inhibit luggage and cargo room (and revenue).

Range also comes at the cost if payload. At some point the revenue only justifies a one stop or partnered routing.

Although a big part of the airline revenue issue is the G650 or Global 7500. The top potential revenue has chosen the faster travel. When you fly business, after you show up at the airport you are on the plane taxing within 20 minutes. Good luck doing that commercial. That is a huge time savings. Business people fly TATL on business jets as it saves them today, with the TSA and all the associated delays, more time than the Concorde could.

It isn't just range, it is range with the top half percent of customers lost.

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TWA772LR
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Re: How much range is too much?

Sun Jun 23, 2019 5:28 pm

I feel like profitable antipodal aircraft range is doable within a generation or 2.
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eeightning
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Re: How much range is too much?

Sun Jun 23, 2019 5:39 pm

“the 747SP, the A345, and the 77L”

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SteelChair
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Re: How much range is too much?

Mon Jun 24, 2019 1:59 pm

LDRA wrote:
5500nm full payload (pax + cargo), or 7000nm pax only payload


I tend to agree with this post.

Over the last 70 years, no factor has been more over emphasized than range imho. The result is that the airplanes are too heavy and have too much capability. And that range capability is rarely used. On any given day, I would love to know what portion of the 77W fleet is using its full range capability. My guess is less than 10%. But the structural weight for the other 90% has to be carried 100% of the time. The result? Inefficiency.

Imagine the efficiency of the 787 if it had been optimized for 5-6,000 mile routes. Perhaps it wouldn't be 40,000 lbs (or more) heavier OEW than a 767. I have always found the range of the 787-8 to be ridiculous.

Who cares about Australia? Don't take that literally, its a wonderful country. But it is lightly populated and is not that economically strong. To me, what should be considered are the distances between major population centers and hubs....which constitute the majority of passenger demand. Near as I can tell, the longest of these might be JFK-PEK (looking to the future) at 6,800 nm. 6,800nm gets many NA-Asia city pairs, EU-Asia tends to be shorter, LHR-HND, HKG are both under 6,000 nm.. Many densely traveled routes are in the 5-6,000 nm range. The ME3 and THY have a huge geographic advantage imho. 5,500-7,000nm is the sweet spot.
 
GalaxyFlyer
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Re: How much range is too much?

Mon Jun 24, 2019 2:11 pm

Babyshark wrote:
How about a 3500 mile 100 seater? Seems a bit much, no?


Well, they also designed and cert’d an 8,000 nm 13-seater!

GF

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