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Revelation
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Key 747 Factories Shut Down

Wed Nov 20, 2019 10:07 pm

Interesting article at https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles ... ed-factory

Seems the factory that makes 747 fuselage sections has shut down and related contents are being auctioned off.

Another factory that makes other parts is soon to follow.

The vendor, Triumph, has worked ahead to produce parts for the 18 remaining UPS 748Fs on order.

Barring a miracle order, it seems the UPS frames will be the last ones made.
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Stitch
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Re: Key 747 Factories Shut Down

Wed Nov 20, 2019 10:35 pm

Back in 2017, Triumph's contract with Boeing on the 747-8 was scheduled to end in mid-2019, so sounds like they did not come to an agreement to extend it further. Triumph was already at a forward-loss at a production rate of 1.5 frames per month and Boeing is now at one-third that.

As the article noted, when Triumph originally planned to shut down 747 component production in 2015 due to (at the time) lack of sales, Boeing planned to take over Triumph's production and move it to a facility in Macon, Georgia. I assume Boeing still has that option if they feel it is warranted, but I also could see them having quietly done a "last call" for orders and not having received any hard interest, have decided to wind down production with the current backlog.
 
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FLALEFTY
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Re: Key 747 Factories Shut Down

Wed Nov 20, 2019 10:40 pm

Being retired from a management-level position in the military aerospace business, I know that once the main contractor starts winding down orders to major suppliers, then the end of that program is near. As a former boss of mine used to say, "Remember, all programs end."

Frankly, I was surprised that Boeing went ahead with the 748 program, which was a slap in the face to their market analysts who accurately predicted that the VLA market was around 500 frames. Instead Boeing snuck a drink from Airbus' Spiked Kool Aid Punch analysis that incorrectly forecasted the market for VLA's at over 1,000 frames.

Technically and performance wise the 748 seems to be a fine airplane. I'm sure the 748F's will serve for years to come, but the few 748i's will likely be considered candidates for parting-out and scrapping when their next heavy checks come due.
 
Okie
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Re: Key 747 Factories Shut Down

Wed Nov 20, 2019 11:04 pm

Revelation wrote:
The vendor, Triumph, has worked ahead to produce parts for the 18 remaining UPS 748Fs on order.


What about the two 748's to replace AF1?
Do not see them indicated in your 18 count.

Okie
 
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scbriml
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Re: Key 747 Factories Shut Down

Wed Nov 20, 2019 11:08 pm

Okie wrote:
Revelation wrote:
The vendor, Triumph, has worked ahead to produce parts for the 18 remaining UPS 748Fs on order.


What about the two 748's to replace AF1?
Do not see them indicated in your 18 count.

Okie


Those were stored frames that had already been produced some time ago.
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phljjs
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Re: Key 747 Factories Shut Down

Wed Nov 20, 2019 11:11 pm

Okie wrote:
Revelation wrote:
The vendor, Triumph, has worked ahead to produce parts for the 18 remaining UPS 748Fs on order.


What about the two 748's to replace AF1?
Do not see them indicated in your 18 count.

Okie


Aren't they using the two ex-Transaero 748s to replace AF1? If so, the airframes are already built, they just need to be modified.
 
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Re: Key 747 Factories Shut Down

Wed Nov 20, 2019 11:28 pm

Yes, famously the frames were going to be new ones (and there was talk of three of them) but the new President personally interceded and now they will be two frames originally built for Transaero, ironically (or not) a Russian airline.

The closing of the vendor's factory is another sign that the Queen of the Skies is a pretty elderly dame these days, sigh.
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kanban
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Re: Key 747 Factories Shut Down

Thu Nov 21, 2019 12:41 am

reading the article's details, the Triumph action began some time ago if they are already at an empty factory and minimum bid stickers. However the key tooling is Boeing owned and may be on a slow train to Everett for storage... that does not equate to installing and use.
 
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Re: Key 747 Factories Shut Down

Thu Nov 21, 2019 1:26 am

I'm sorry, but I feel that the 748 is the most beautiful version of the most elegant jumbo jet. It will be a profoundly sad day when no version of the 747 is being produced any longer.
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Dominion301
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Re: Key 747 Factories Shut Down

Thu Nov 21, 2019 1:56 am

Revelation wrote:
Interesting article at https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles ... ed-factory

Seems the factory that makes 747 fuselage sections has shut down and related contents are being auctioned off.

Another factory that makes other parts is soon to follow.

The vendor, Triumph, has worked ahead to produce parts for the 18 remaining UPS 748Fs on order.

Barring a miracle order, it seems the UPS frames will be the last ones made.


It’s tough to say as that represents 3 years worth of production. It isn’t far-fetched to see new freighter orders within the next two years.
 
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Re: Key 747 Factories Shut Down

Thu Nov 21, 2019 2:53 am

FLALEFTY wrote:
Being retired from a management-level position in the military aerospace business, I know that once the main contractor starts winding down orders to major suppliers, then the end of that program is near. As a former boss of mine used to say, "Remember, all programs end."

Frankly, I was surprised that Boeing went ahead with the 748 program, which was a slap in the face to their market analysts who accurately predicted that the VLA market was around 500 frames. Instead Boeing snuck a drink from Airbus' Spiked Kool Aid Punch analysis that incorrectly forecasted the market for VLA's at over 1,000 frames.

Technically and performance wise the 748 seems to be a fine airplane. I'm sure the 748F's will serve for years to come, but the few 748i's will likely be considered candidates for parting-out and scrapping when their next heavy checks come due.


I could see LH buying up remaining frames. Their business case for them is clear---keep first class but with a smaller Y section. They were the major carrier who bought the B748 on a business case.

As for the future Air Force One, those are stored UN frames that were not taken up.
 
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CarlosSi
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Re: Key 747 Factories Shut Down

Thu Nov 21, 2019 4:23 am

When will the tooling be completely destroyed c:< ?
 
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Re: Key 747 Factories Shut Down

Thu Nov 21, 2019 4:56 am

The 747, and for that matter, the A380, were doomed for pax usage when it became clear that ETOPS a/c with 2 engines were safe for transoceanic flights. Unless something changes to challenge that perception, I don't think they are coming back. Even if there is a massive downturn in aviation where many routes are abandoned and frequencies are collapsed into larger aircraft, the 777 can handle most scenarios that were at one time assigned to a 747.
 
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Re: Key 747 Factories Shut Down

Thu Nov 21, 2019 5:44 am

Is there a known timeframe for the AF! replacement aircraft to be reinforced, refitted & restored to Presidential aircraft standards? Who will be the engine manufacturer? Are they gping to use the current engines or change to a preferred vendor? I know none of this & find it interesting.
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Re: Key 747 Factories Shut Down

Thu Nov 21, 2019 9:04 am

RWA380 wrote:
... Who will be the engine manufacturer? Are they gping to use the current engines or change to a preferred vendor?...

747-8 does not offer engine options. It's GE only. Unless a decision is taken to create a unique engine situation for VC-25B. That would be very expensive to do, and more expensive to operate and maintain.

Seeing that previously ordered 747 for VC-25A and E-4 programs are all equipped with GE engines, I would be surprised if USAF demands engine change away from GE, to another vendor.

Otherwise, the news of liquidation of a key factory in the supply chain is very grim indeed, for 747-8 program.
Before, any additional orders were probably very welcome -- trickling in, marching in droves, or any combination thereof. Once that factory shutters, the only acceptable orders probably will need to be large enough, to justify rebirth of production elsewhere. That's a very tall order (pun intended)...
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Re: Key 747 Factories Shut Down

Thu Nov 21, 2019 9:18 am

aemoreira1981 wrote:
I could see LH buying up remaining frames.


Apparently they are also looking to purchase a bridge in Brooklyn.
 
ltbewr
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Re: Key 747 Factories Shut Down

Thu Nov 21, 2019 9:23 am

So production of the 747 ends with a whimper and not a bang. I am quite sure the supplier companies and Boeing itself can use the space and equipment for newer models with much higher demand. I bet Boeing can't wait to convert the 747 line to the 777 or 787 production once certain modifications to the AF 1's are done. Some specialized tooling will be retained for repair parts, but for the most it will be sent for some reuse or recycling.
 
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Re: Key 747 Factories Shut Down

Thu Nov 21, 2019 9:31 am

ltbewr wrote:
So production of the 747 ends with a whimper and not a bang. I am quite sure the supplier companies and Boeing itself can use the space and equipment for newer models with much higher demand. I bet Boeing can't wait to convert the 747 line to the 777 or 787 production once certain modifications to the AF 1's are done. Some specialized tooling will be retained for repair parts, but for the most it will be sent for some reuse or recycling.

Any idea when the last -8 will roll off the line? I missed the last American -200 retirement. I missed the last -8i built. I do NOT want to miss the last 747
 
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Re: Key 747 Factories Shut Down

Thu Nov 21, 2019 9:32 am

ltbewr wrote:
I bet Boeing can't wait to convert the 747 line to the 777 or 787 production once certain modifications to the AF 1's are done.


I think it’s more likely that the space would be used for NMA - if it’s ever launched and if it’s built in Washington.

IMHO, the 777X will not be produced at the rate that 77L/W reached and 787 rate is coming down (remains to see if it will ever go back up again) so I don’t see how Boeing needs the 747 line for either of those frames.
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Re: Key 747 Factories Shut Down

Thu Nov 21, 2019 9:59 am

ltbewr wrote:
So production of the 747 ends with a whimper and not a bang. I am quite sure the supplier companies and Boeing itself can use the space and equipment for newer models with much higher demand. I bet Boeing can't wait to convert the 747 line to the 777 or 787 production once certain modifications to the AF 1's are done. Some specialized tooling will be retained for repair parts, but for the most it will be sent for some reuse or recycling.



Maybe Viking will buy the rights and tooling.... :praise:
 
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Re: Key 747 Factories Shut Down

Thu Nov 21, 2019 10:29 am

Hopefully Trump can cut a last minute deal with Iran to keep the production line open. The Persians are excellent negotiators and are interested in both the 747-8I and the 747-8F. The 747-8 has more range than the 77W.

This is an opportunity that Boeing does not want to miss out on. I could see Iran ordering as many as 20 747s.
 
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Re: Key 747 Factories Shut Down

Thu Nov 21, 2019 11:21 am

blacksoviet wrote:
Hopefully Trump can cut a last minute deal with Iran to keep the production line open. The Persians are excellent negotiators and are interested in both the 747-8I and the 747-8F. The 747-8 has more range than the 77W.

This is an opportunity that Boeing does not want to miss out on. I could see Iran ordering as many as 20 747s.
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Re: Key 747 Factories Shut Down

Thu Nov 21, 2019 11:25 am

What are Amazon's growth plans for their cargo airline? Wouldn't they need plenty of cargo 747s and the line open?
 
76er
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Re: Key 747 Factories Shut Down

Thu Nov 21, 2019 11:38 am

Amazon has no need for a heavy long haul freighter, they seem to be a good candidate for the recently announced 77WBDSPF or whatever it’s called.
I am hoping for outfits like Atlas, CargoLux and the Chinese to come to the 748’s rescue now that it is obvious that the end may be near.
 
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Re: Key 747 Factories Shut Down

Thu Nov 21, 2019 12:29 pm

Well … it's sad but it seems unavoidable. Still hopes for some freighter orders.

FLALEFTY wrote:
but the few 748i's will likely be considered candidates for parting-out and scrapping when their next heavy checks come due.


As a premium heavy configured aircraft the 748i still has a role with LH and other than the A380, they have no issues to fill them. For later on, Boeing needs a basement for the LCF replacement, so there you go. Some airplanes could also end up as firefighter airplanes.
 
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Re: Key 747 Factories Shut Down

Thu Nov 21, 2019 1:07 pm

Dominion301 wrote:
It isn’t far-fetched to see new freighter orders within the next two years.

The real question is would Boeing take such orders now that the infrastructure to build them is dismantled.

Unfortunately the answer is no, it would take huge sums of money to recreate the factory and the skills to operate these old-tech machines that make these parts.

If you consider Boeing probably isn't making a lot of money for the last 12 off the line, consider how much more money they would have to make to build any more.

Then do as Boeing would do and ask if there isn't an easier way to make that much money that does not tie up as many people, as much money and as much space and has more upside than building the last few frames of a fifty year old design.

As above, I'm sure Boeing put out a "last call" and got no takers, now IMO it's too late.

Strato2 wrote:
aemoreira1981 wrote:
I could see LH buying up remaining frames.

Apparently they are also looking to purchase a bridge in Brooklyn.

There have been a few suggestions that LH is contemplating retiring the 748i earlier than planned.

I think the situation is a bit different than A380 since the 747 ecosystem has decades of operation and the freighter fleet is got sufficient mass to keep the consumables in production and the engines have some commonality with the 787 versions but in the end it's darn difficult to be the last operator of an ageing type.
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Re: Key 747 Factories Shut Down

Thu Nov 21, 2019 1:26 pm

Not the most exciting way for its legacy to continue, but the upcoming Avatar Airlines has announced it wants to order up to 30 frames.
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Re: Key 747 Factories Shut Down

Thu Nov 21, 2019 2:15 pm

thewizbizman wrote:
Not the most exciting way for its legacy to continue, but the upcoming Avatar Airlines has announced it wants to order up to 30 frames.

I'm sure Boeing would be happy to sell them some state of the art 779s, rather than end of the line 748Is.

In the end both parties would be better off.
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FrancisBegbie
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Re: Key 747 Factories Shut Down

Thu Nov 21, 2019 2:26 pm

thewizbizman wrote:
Not the most exciting way for its legacy to continue, but the upcoming Avatar Airlines has announced it wants to order up to 30 frames.


Yeah, Boeing will keep a financially struggling line open for a high-risk start-up with a questionable business case. Sounds reasonable.
 
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Re: Key 747 Factories Shut Down

Thu Nov 21, 2019 2:43 pm

ltbewr wrote:
So production of the 747 ends with a whimper and not a bang.

When the final B748 is delivered to UPS, UPS will be operating 41 Boeing 747s simultaneously. I believe this will represent one of the largest 747 fleets ever operated by a single airline at any one time. I find this to be amazing considering it will happen more than 50 years after the type entered service. Not a bad way to go out.
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Re: Key 747 Factories Shut Down

Thu Nov 21, 2019 2:53 pm

flyPIT wrote:
ltbewr wrote:
So production of the 747 ends with a whimper and not a bang.

When the final B748 is delivered to UPS, UPS will be operating 41 Boeing 747s simultaneously. I believe this will represent one of the largest 747 fleets ever operated by a single airline at any one time. I find this to be amazing considering it will happen more than 50 years after the type entered service. Not a bad way to go out.


That doesn't sound right...how many did BA operate at its peak? Wasn't it north of 60?
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ltbewr
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Re: Key 747 Factories Shut Down

Thu Nov 21, 2019 2:57 pm

flyPIT wrote:
ltbewr wrote:
So production of the 747 ends with a whimper and not a bang.

When the final B748 is delivered to UPS, UPS will be operating 41 Boeing 747s simultaneously. I believe this will represent one of the largest 747 fleets ever operated by a single airline at any one time. I find this to be amazing considering it will happen more than 50 years after the type entered service. Not a bad way to go out.


No doubt that the 747 range has been made for over 50 years is amazing, and likely we will see them flying well into the 2040's, giving a lifespan of almost 90 years in service, possibly longer for the VC-25's (into 2060's?, so over 100 years). Likely late production 747's may be in service than almost all A380's.
My comment was about the wind down of production and of component suppliers which has been going on for the last 10 or so years. I was fortunate in 2004 to see the 747 assembly line, even then the 4 aircraft I saw in production were all freighters for foreign airlines. I suspect pax versions will be gone by early 2030's, mainly for a few select routes and as fuel costs go up.
 
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Re: Key 747 Factories Shut Down

Thu Nov 21, 2019 2:58 pm

ltbewr wrote:
flyPIT wrote:
ltbewr wrote:
So production of the 747 ends with a whimper and not a bang.

When the final B748 is delivered to UPS, UPS will be operating 41 Boeing 747s simultaneously. I believe this will represent one of the largest 747 fleets ever operated by a single airline at any one time. I find this to be amazing considering it will happen more than 50 years after the type entered service. Not a bad way to go out.


No doubt that the 747 range has been made for over 50 years is amazing, and likely we will see freighters flying well into the 2040's, giving a lifespan of almost 90 years in service, possibly longer for the VC-25's (into 2060's?, so over 100 years). Likely late production freighter 747's may be in service than almost all A380's.

My comment was about the wind down of production and of component suppliers which has been going on for the last 10 or so years. I was fortunate in 2004 to see the 747 assembly line, even then the 4 aircraft I saw in production were all freighters for foreign airlines. I suspect almost all pax versions will be gone by early 2030's, mainly those kept that long for a few select routes and as fuel costs go up.
 
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Re: Key 747 Factories Shut Down

Thu Nov 21, 2019 3:05 pm

richierich wrote:
flyPIT wrote:
ltbewr wrote:
So production of the 747 ends with a whimper and not a bang.

When the final B748 is delivered to UPS, UPS will be operating 41 Boeing 747s simultaneously. I believe this will represent one of the largest 747 fleets ever operated by a single airline at any one time. I find this to be amazing considering it will happen more than 50 years after the type entered service. Not a bad way to go out.


That doesn't sound right...how many did BA operate at its peak? Wasn't it north of 60?

I said "one of" the largest, not "THE" largest.
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Re: Key 747 Factories Shut Down

Thu Nov 21, 2019 3:41 pm

There is no future for the 747-8F. Boeing has already showed its hand that they intend the 767 and 777 freighter variants to be the main freighter options available. With the KC-46 rolling down the 767 line it helps keep costs in order to make the 767 freighter viable.
 
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Re: Key 747 Factories Shut Down

Thu Nov 21, 2019 4:15 pm

Revelation wrote:
Yes, famously the frames were going to be new ones (and there was talk of three of them) but the new President personally interceded and now they will be two frames originally built for Transaero, ironically (or not) a Russian airline.

The closing of the vendor's factory is another sign that the Queen of the Skies is a pretty elderly dame these days, sigh.


Very sad but like the A380, very necessary steps. I believe the 777X hastened their demise.
 
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Re: Key 747 Factories Shut Down

Thu Nov 21, 2019 4:33 pm

ltbewr wrote:
So production of the 747 ends with a whimper and not a bang.


To be honest, how else could it end? If orders were still flowing in in large numbers, they would not be closing the line down.

One could argue the "bang end" was UPS' two 14-frame orders. Each of those kept the line open when Boeing was fully prepared to shut it down.
 
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Re: Key 747 Factories Shut Down

Thu Nov 21, 2019 4:39 pm

Ronaldo747 wrote:

As a premium heavy configured aircraft the 748i still has a role with LH and other than the A380, they have no issues to fill them. For later on, Boeing needs a basement for the LCF replacement, so there you go. Some airplanes could also end up as firefighter airplanes.


How would you know that LH fills their 748 other than their A380s? There are full or half empty 748 flights, like there are full or half empty A380 flights. It doesn't depend on the plane type, it depends on the time of the year, destination and other factors. What a weird comment..
 
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Re: Key 747 Factories Shut Down

Thu Nov 21, 2019 7:04 pm

flyPIT wrote:
ltbewr wrote:
So production of the 747 ends with a whimper and not a bang.

When the final B748 is delivered to UPS, UPS will be operating 41 Boeing 747s simultaneously. I believe this will represent one of the largest 747 fleets ever operated by a single airline at any one time. I find this to be amazing considering it will happen more than 50 years after the type entered service. Not a bad way to go out.


It will indeed. The only larger fleets I believe were UA, JL and BA.
 
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Re: Key 747 Factories Shut Down

Thu Nov 21, 2019 7:09 pm

FLALEFTY wrote:
Technically and performance wise the 748 seems to be a fine airplane. I'm sure the 748F's will serve for years to come, but the few 748i's will likely be considered candidates for parting-out and scrapping when their next heavy checks come due.


Don't know about the passenger variant, the B748i is worthless on the second-hand market, so why not fly it for 10-15 years before retiring it? In 10 - 15 years the market for parts will still be there, the B748F will be with us for the next 30 odd years because of its unique front-loading capability.
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Re: Key 747 Factories Shut Down

Thu Nov 21, 2019 7:20 pm

https://boeing.mediaroom.com/2001-01-17 ... oeing-747s

Northwest will add its two new 747-400s to its existing fleet of 47 Boeing 747s, which includes 14 of the new-technology 747-400s. Northwest will use its newest 747-400s for capacity growth on its Pacific routes.


NWA also had more than 41
 
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Re: Key 747 Factories Shut Down

Thu Nov 21, 2019 7:25 pm

What about Dreamlifter, the engine test bed, and other special frames,etc.? I have to see there is a niche upon niche market for a high power aircraft.

I thought with Airbus basically not taking any more A380 orders that we would see a few more 748 orders, maybe some airlines on the edge.

On a less than serious and questionable on if it will take flight note, https://avatarairlines.com/ wants to buy some used 747-400s then buy 747--800s, they better get on it now :)
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Re: Key 747 Factories Shut Down

Thu Nov 21, 2019 7:36 pm

B4REAL wrote:
What about Dreamlifter, the engine test bed, and other special frames,etc.? I have to see there is a niche upon niche market for a high power aircraft.

I thought with Airbus basically not taking any more A380 orders that we would see a few more 748 orders, maybe some airlines on the edge.

On a less than serious and questionable on if it will take flight note, https://avatarairlines.com/ wants to buy some used 747-400s then buy 747--800s, they better get on it now :)


Both GE and RR have upgraded to 744s for testbeds as recently as a few weeks ago, they are fine for several decades.
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Re: Key 747 Factories Shut Down

Thu Nov 21, 2019 7:49 pm

B4REAL wrote:
What about Dreamlifter, the engine test bed, and other special frames,etc.? I have to see there is a niche upon niche market for a high power aircraft.

All these including Dreamlifter are built using frames retired from airline freight/pax service.

See my thread in Tech Ops about a recent YouTube video on Dreamlifter for more details.

It made no sense to Boeing to build up a new 747F then chop it apart to make Dreamlifter, so four used frames were obtained.
Wake up to find out that you are the eyes of the world
The heart has its beaches, its homeland and thoughts of its own
Wake now, discover that you are the song that the morning brings
The heart has its seasons, its evenings and songs of its own
 
morrisond
Posts: 2774
Joined: Thu Jan 07, 2010 12:22 am

Re: Key 747 Factories Shut Down

Thu Nov 21, 2019 8:16 pm

I think the UPS orders may be the last.

They will use the factory space to build a production line for a tight light 7W NMA and use the line to build the first units of an NSA based on the same cross section as well before they transition Renton from 737 to a new combined line as well.
 
ODwyerPW
Posts: 1624
Joined: Thu Dec 09, 2004 6:30 am

Re: Key 747 Factories Shut Down

Thu Nov 21, 2019 8:17 pm

Where will Avatar Airlines get their 747-8s. :duck:
learning never stops.
 
BooDog
Posts: 149
Joined: Fri Nov 09, 2007 1:44 am

Re: Key 747 Factories Shut Down

Thu Nov 21, 2019 8:44 pm

This blows my mind. There is NO substitute for a 747F with a nose door. 40 years from now, companies will be desperately trying to patch these planes together to keep them flying.
B1B - best looking aircraft ever.
 
rbavfan
Posts: 3625
Joined: Fri Apr 17, 2015 5:53 am

Re: Key 747 Factories Shut Down

Thu Nov 21, 2019 8:53 pm

CarlosSi wrote:
When will the tooling be completely destroyed c:< ?


After the 757 issue I'd keep it stored for a while..
 
rbavfan
Posts: 3625
Joined: Fri Apr 17, 2015 5:53 am

Re: Key 747 Factories Shut Down

Thu Nov 21, 2019 8:55 pm

RWA380 wrote:
Is there a known timeframe for the AF! replacement aircraft to be reinforced, refitted & restored to Presidential aircraft standards? Who will be the engine manufacturer? Are they gping to use the current engines or change to a preferred vendor? I know none of this & find it interesting.


748 only has GEnx engines.
 
Starfuryt
Posts: 194
Joined: Tue Jun 03, 2008 2:58 am

Re: Key 747 Factories Shut Down

Thu Nov 21, 2019 9:10 pm

The age of the quadjet is coming to an end. My very first flight was aboard an Il-86, first time across the Atlantic was on a LH 742, first time across the in Indian Ocean was AF 742. First time to Asia was aboard LH 744 (D-ABVL). Finally last time across the Atlantic was aboard LH 748 (D-ABYL):


It will be a sad day when the last one of them rolls off the line.

-Mikhail

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