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Checklist787
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Re: How is the Boeing 747-8 a good freighter but a bad passenger craft?

Tue Jan 14, 2020 8:15 am

speedbird52 wrote:
AirbusOnly wrote:
Wouldn't a converted A 340-600 a good freighter with huge capacity? Still nobody tried to convert it...are there 340 freigthers anyway? Ok...4 engines, but 747 also got them...

The A340 suffers from the same problem with the A330 in having a less than favorable cross section for cargo


I think he meant the length/strech of the fuselage. The A340-500 / -600 was far from the A330s in terms of CAPABILITY CAPACITY and THRUST engines...
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JayinKitsap
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Re: How is the Boeing 747-8 a good freighter but a bad passenger craft?

Tue Jan 14, 2020 8:26 am

speedbird52 wrote:
WPvsMW wrote:
JayinKitsap wrote:
It took a while for the aviation world to realize the [first] VLA era was over.


There will be a second VLA era, IMO. Probably elliptical hulls, big twins.

The thing a lot of point to point evangelists miss is that even though smaller more efficient planes allow you to fly from London to Portland, that doesn't mean people will magically stop wanting to fly from London to Chicago. In fact, most of the population growth in the next few years is set to be in the megacities. And you can only increase frequency by so much before the airport runs out of space. Sure, you can expand airports, but how long can you realistically expect to keep making airports bigger and bigger? The A380 and 748 were the wrong planes at the wrong times. I can easily see a market for 748 size planes sometime this decade, albeit the aircraft would have to offer much better fuel economy.


WP- would widening the 777 by 1 seat in a clean sheet oval be better than staying that width? Not sure.

There will be VLA's in the future, but out 20+ years or more.

Speedbird- good points, but a solution is to get the average size plane increased to cover this growth. The average size passenger load is in the 180-200 per flight because 3/4 of the market is NB's. If we could get that to 300, the system capacity increases by 50% without adding any flights. A new clean sheet A300 designed for a 5K range would do well at increasing the average flight size.
 
lutfi
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Re: How is the Boeing 747-8 a good freighter but a bad passenger craft?

Tue Jan 14, 2020 8:46 am

JayinKitsap wrote:
speedbird52 wrote:
WPvsMW wrote:

There will be a second VLA era, IMO. Probably elliptical hulls, big twins.

The thing a lot of point to point evangelists miss is that even though smaller more efficient planes allow you to fly from London to Portland, that doesn't mean people will magically stop wanting to fly from London to Chicago. In fact, most of the population growth in the next few years is set to be in the megacities. And you can only increase frequency by so much before the airport runs out of space. Sure, you can expand airports, but how long can you realistically expect to keep making airports bigger and bigger? The A380 and 748 were the wrong planes at the wrong times. I can easily see a market for 748 size planes sometime this decade, albeit the aircraft would have to offer much better fuel economy.


WP- would widening the 777 by 1 seat in a clean sheet oval be better than staying that width? Not sure.

There will be VLA's in the future, but out 20+ years or more.

Speedbird- good points, but a solution is to get the average size plane increased to cover this growth. The average size passenger load is in the 180-200 per flight because 3/4 of the market is NB's. If we could get that to 300, the system capacity increases by 50% without adding any flights. A new clean sheet A300 designed for a 5K range would do well at increasing the average flight size.


Or airlines just put the ticket price up. Flights to LHR tend to cost more than flights to CDG because LHR is slot restricted. This probably means more profit for the airlines than investing in bigger aircraft - in fact BA have been at the forefront of moving to smaller aircraft with large business class cabins pushing the yield up.
 
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Re: How is the Boeing 747-8 a good freighter but a bad passenger craft?

Tue Jan 14, 2020 9:03 am

lutfi wrote:
JayinKitsap wrote:
speedbird52 wrote:
The thing a lot of point to point evangelists miss is that even though smaller more efficient planes allow you to fly from London to Portland, that doesn't mean people will magically stop wanting to fly from London to Chicago. In fact, most of the population growth in the next few years is set to be in the megacities. And you can only increase frequency by so much before the airport runs out of space. Sure, you can expand airports, but how long can you realistically expect to keep making airports bigger and bigger? The A380 and 748 were the wrong planes at the wrong times. I can easily see a market for 748 size planes sometime this decade, albeit the aircraft would have to offer much better fuel economy.


BA have been at the forefront of moving to smaller aircraft with large business class cabins pushing the yield up.

Have they though? Yes, BA downsized a bit from the 744s, but practically every airline has. Looking at their current widebody orders, all are what I would consider "big planes". 4 77W (In addition to the current 12), 18 779, 14 A35K (in addition to the current 4) and if you really stretch the definition of "big", 12 78Js. Compared to many other flag carriers that seem to be leaning towards A359 and 789 sized aircraft, I would say BA are buying towards the bigger end.
 
timh4000
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Re: How is the Boeing 747-8 a good freighter but a bad passenger craft?

Tue Jan 14, 2020 9:37 am

DfwRevolution wrote:
TWA772LR wrote:
Its not a bad passenger aircraft, it just had bad timing.


That’s a distinction without a difference.

The same can be said of all 3 and 4 engine aircraft. For many years, through the 70's and 80' the queen
pretty much owned the ultra long pax flights. Although there were still the 707 which in its later renditions flying routes such as LAX-FRA. there were also some nearly capable 3 holes, but the DC10 got off to a rough start and someone more knowledgeable than me can say why the L-1011 didn't have a greater impact on the ultra long market.

The 747's 1st true competition among the 2 engines was the 777. It was, is and will still be a formidable aircraft for at least the next few decades.

Now there are several aircraft that can match its range and can do so far cheaper. Others have stated why it is still a freighter champ and will continue to be for many years. Maybe not THE best freighter, but will be among them.

The big 3 and 4 engine aircraft all had their time cut short in fairly drastic fashion. With exception to the A380 all the others have served well for decades before becoming converted freighters or just scrapyard material.

Airbus is a smart worthy airline builder and for it to miss the market isn't a show of Airbus making a bad decision or simply rolling the dice with the amount of money invested in it. AND in its first few years there were several airlines who were buying them up as much as they could. It was also about the same time that the 747-8i and 8f was being drawn up and then released. That is how quickly the market changed. The A380 and the 747-8i are wonderful planes. But, just not suited for today's market when there are several twin engine aircraft that can match if not exceed what those two planes can do as far as distance goes. And can do so far cheaper from a fuel economy standpoint as well as a maintenance standpoint.

We still have probably a half dozen years of 747 pax service, decades of freighter, charter and government service. The A380 through attrition hard to tell... again I'll concede my knowledge to others on here, but my guess is about 10 years of A380 service.

Neither the 747 or the 380 were failures. Just victims of rapid changes in the market even the market experts didn't see coming.
 
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Re: How is the Boeing 747-8 a good freighter but a bad passenger craft?

Tue Jan 14, 2020 9:41 am

muralir wrote:
My question is, if the economics of the passenger version of the 747-8 are so bad, how is it continuing to be produced as a freighter? Generally speaking, it seems that new freighters tend to also be successful passenger planes e.g. 777, 767, etc.


Lack of competition. The pax B748 is rivaled by the more economical B773, B77X or A350, all not available as freighters where the next option would be a B77L Cargo.
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Re: How is the Boeing 747-8 a good freighter but a bad passenger craft?

Tue Jan 14, 2020 11:06 am

Jay, I don't think one seat more per row would justify a redesign. Three seats would do it, maybe two. Redesign means new wings and new hull, which means a complete redesign.
 
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Re: How is the Boeing 747-8 a good freighter but a bad passenger craft?

Tue Jan 14, 2020 12:06 pm

AirbusOnly wrote:
Wouldn't a converted A 340-600 a good freighter with huge capacity? Still nobody tried to convert it...are there 340 freigthers anyway? Ok...4 engines, but 747 also got them...

There is not enough feedstock to make a conversion program commercially viable.
 
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Re: How is the Boeing 747-8 a good freighter but a bad passenger craft?

Tue Jan 14, 2020 12:54 pm

afterburner wrote:
Converted 747s can't have nose cargo door. So, if you need a freighter that can carry oversized cargo, you need to buy a 747 that is built as freighter from the beginning.

That used to be true. The 747-8 was designed from the start to fix that problem. All converted models so far have had it installed.
 
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Re: How is the Boeing 747-8 a good freighter but a bad passenger craft?

Tue Jan 14, 2020 1:00 pm

The 748 is certainly not bad from a passenger point of view. I've done a dozen or so flights on Lufthansa on 748s and I love it!
 
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Re: How is the Boeing 747-8 a good freighter but a bad passenger craft?

Tue Jan 14, 2020 1:44 pm

patrickjp93 wrote:
afterburner wrote:
Converted 747s can't have nose cargo door. So, if you need a freighter that can carry oversized cargo, you need to buy a 747 that is built as freighter from the beginning.

That used to be true. The 747-8 was designed from the start to fix that problem. All converted models so far have had it installed.

I don't understand this. Do you mean there already are pax 747-8s that have been converted to freighters and have nose cargo doors?
 
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Re: How is the Boeing 747-8 a good freighter but a bad passenger craft?

Tue Jan 14, 2020 1:50 pm

Adding a nose door afterwards wouldn't make much sense aside from the structural changes needed. The pax 747-8 has a big hump that limits the cargo's height for a big part of the main deck below.
 
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Re: How is the Boeing 747-8 a good freighter but a bad passenger craft?

Tue Jan 14, 2020 1:53 pm

afterburner wrote:
patrickjp93 wrote:
afterburner wrote:
Converted 747s can't have nose cargo door. So, if you need a freighter that can carry oversized cargo, you need to buy a 747 that is built as freighter from the beginning.

That used to be true. The 747-8 was designed from the start to fix that problem. All converted models so far have had it installed.

I don't understand this. Do you mean there already are pax 747-8s that have been converted to freighters and have nose cargo doors?

Yup. Go check out the 747-8 retirement/conversion thread. I forget if it was Korean or Lufthansa who retired one, but it was fully converted with a nose door and all.
 
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Re: How is the Boeing 747-8 a good freighter but a bad passenger craft?

Tue Jan 14, 2020 1:54 pm

Noshow wrote:
Adding a nose door afterwards wouldn't make much sense aside from the structural changes needed. The pax 747-8 has a big hump that limits the cargo's height for a big part of the main deck below.

They do remove a lot of the floor between the decks when they convert a PAX to a freight version. That's not as big of a problem as you might think.
 
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Re: How is the Boeing 747-8 a good freighter but a bad passenger craft?

Tue Jan 14, 2020 1:54 pm

timh4000 wrote:
DfwRevolution wrote:
TWA772LR wrote:
Its not a bad passenger aircraft, it just had bad timing.


That’s a distinction without a difference.

The same can be said of all 3 and 4 engine aircraft. For many years, through the 70's and 80' the queen
pretty much owned the ultra long pax flights. Although there were still the 707 which in its later renditions flying routes such as LAX-FRA. there were also some nearly capable 3 holes, but the DC10 got off to a rough start and someone more knowledgeable than me can say why the L-1011 didn't have a greater impact on the ultra long market.


The issue Lockheed had with the TriStar was that they were built around the Rolls Royce RB211 as an exclusive engine; Rolls Royce nearly went into bankruptcy in the early 70s building it, and had to be nationalised [passed into state ownership] to save them as a company. By the time Rolls had realigned their R&D budget and were able to provide an engine variant with enough thrust for the long range L1011-500, the 747-200/DC-10-30ER, available with P&W/GE engines, owned the ultra long haul [for that era] market.
 
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Re: How is the Boeing 747-8 a good freighter but a bad passenger craft?

Tue Jan 14, 2020 1:59 pm

patrickjp93 wrote:
afterburner wrote:
Converted 747s can't have nose cargo door. So, if you need a freighter that can carry oversized cargo, you need to buy a 747 that is built as freighter from the beginning.

That used to be true. The 747-8 was designed from the start to fix that problem. All converted models so far have had it installed.


Where are you getting this from?

No 748s have been converted to freighters, all are factory built as such.

A swinging nose door is not retrofitable to a passenger bird during conversion and hasn't been done at least since the first -100s, if ever.
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Re: How is the Boeing 747-8 a good freighter but a bad passenger craft?

Tue Jan 14, 2020 2:01 pm

Checklist787 wrote:
TWA772LR wrote:
Its not a bad passenger aircraft, it just had bad timing.

:checkmark:
PhilMcCrackin wrote:
The failure of the 748i was due to the pax market moving away from VLAs and towards mid sized twins.


The 4-engines have been condemned for at least 20 years.

The 777-300ER flouded the market between 2004 and 2015 being a high capacity and alternative twin-engines very close to the 747-400 / -400ER ...

I am convinced that Boeing launched the 747-8 program in a FREIGHTER-PERSPECTIVE.

Selling "Intercontinental" (-8I derivative) was just the icing on the cake even if it was VERY modest ...

To Boeing's credit, they sold quite a few to the carriers who'd need it. British and Lufthansa are caught between a rock and a hard place with the A380 inevitably being phased out and Airbus' longstanding inclination to not pursue a NEO. With LHR, AMS, and FRA being as tight on slots as they are, you need some big movers before the 777-300ER replacement was ready. The only logical choice was the 747-8I.

I'm thinking for the ~2030 freighter market Boeing will re-wing the 747-8F with a twin jet design, probably using the GE9X or a derivative to get better economy of scale from its production. They also really need to sort out an improvement to the 767F to keep the A330 NEO freighter at bay. The potential for an A350 freighter to take on a lot of the 777F and 747F market competitively is fairly high if Airbus can solve the problem of heavy weight on the composite floor beams.
 
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Re: How is the Boeing 747-8 a good freighter but a bad passenger craft?

Tue Jan 14, 2020 2:14 pm

patrickjp93 wrote:
afterburner wrote:
patrickjp93 wrote:
That used to be true. The 747-8 was designed from the start to fix that problem. All converted models so far have had it installed.

I don't understand this. Do you mean there already are pax 747-8s that have been converted to freighters and have nose cargo doors?

Yup. Go check out the 747-8 retirement/conversion thread. I forget if it was Korean or Lufthansa who retired one, but it was fully converted with a nose door and all.

Are you sure? Really, really sure?

LH ordered 20 and took 19. (The 20th was ntu and is still stored - as a passenger aircraft.)

Korean ordered 10 (pax) and still fly all ten. (They also fly the -8F model.)
 
timh4000
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Re: How is the Boeing 747-8 a good freighter but a bad passenger craft?

Tue Jan 14, 2020 2:20 pm

Well there's that. But also you are going to need big planes for what needs to be hauled, which only thr 747, 777 and md-11 can carry
 
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Re: How is the Boeing 747-8 a good freighter but a bad passenger craft?

Tue Jan 14, 2020 2:22 pm

patrickjp93 wrote:
Yup. Go check out the 747-8 retirement/conversion thread. I forget if it was Korean or Lufthansa who retired one, but it was fully converted with a nose door and all.


Can you link to this 747-8 retirement/conversion thread?
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Re: How is the Boeing 747-8 a good freighter but a bad passenger craft?

Tue Jan 14, 2020 2:53 pm

timh4000 wrote:
Well there's that. But also you are going to need big planes for what needs to be hauled, which only thr 747, 777 and md-11 can carry


Such as when Boeing needed to move two (largely) assembled GE9X engines from Ohio to Washington. No 777 freighter could have handled that type of mission. Of course, it had to be done via an Antonov...LOL.
 
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Re: How is the Boeing 747-8 a good freighter but a bad passenger craft?

Tue Jan 14, 2020 3:00 pm

texl1649 wrote:
timh4000 wrote:
Well there's that. But also you are going to need big planes for what needs to be hauled, which only thr 747, 777 and md-11 can carry


Such as when Boeing needed to move two (largely) assembled GE9X engines from Ohio to Washington. No 777 freighter could have handled that type of mission. Of course, it had to be done via an Antonov...LOL.

Bear in mind just how few of those Antonovs have ever been made and how seldom they get used. It's a very small niche that isn't enough to incentivize Boeing or Airbus to hop into that end of the market.
 
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Re: How is the Boeing 747-8 a good freighter but a bad passenger craft?

Tue Jan 14, 2020 3:01 pm

hOMSaR wrote:
patrickjp93 wrote:
Yup. Go check out the 747-8 retirement/conversion thread. I forget if it was Korean or Lufthansa who retired one, but it was fully converted with a nose door and all.


Can you link to this 747-8 retirement/conversion thread?


I'd guess nope. I'd settle for a simple line number of this mythical unicorn, but I suspect Patrick here is just making things up.
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Re: How is the Boeing 747-8 a good freighter but a bad passenger craft?

Tue Jan 14, 2020 3:05 pm

Per Wikipedia no real orders for a -8 since 2016. There were 3 one identified, and two for the Air Force, but weren't those all white tails? Before suppliers started bailing, we can be fairly sure that Boeing put out a desperate last call, and it appears the results were ....
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Re: How is the Boeing 747-8 a good freighter but a bad passenger craft?

Tue Jan 14, 2020 4:01 pm

dstblj52 wrote:
It has a few advantages, the 747-8F has an MTOW of 975,000 pounds and an OEW of 434,600 pounds, whereas the 777F has an MTOW of 766,800 pounds but an OEW of 318,000 pounds, however, because passenger aircraft tend to run out of seats before they run out of weight on anything but the longest routes so that is not generally a problem, whereas for a freighter they tend to run out of weight before they run out of space so that extra 100,000 pounds of capacity is very useful. It also bears mentioning that the cargo airlines are in general more strictly hub and spoke operations then passenger airlines because a box doesn't care that its itinerary has two stops but a person generally does. Through in the fleet and crew commonality advantages and it will do fairly well.

Excellent post. It gives the main reason 747-8 makes a sub-optimal pax aircraft.

At its heart the 747 is sized to carry enough fuel for its early 747-100 engines to have a useful range as a freighter. This means it needs large heavy fuel tanks and strong landing gear and heavy aero structures needed to carry the forces exerted when doing a max weight take off. The wings also need to be sized to generate enough lift at a relatively slow ground speed to get all this weight off the ground, so they are quite large as well, and given the fuel is stored in the wings, quite heavy too. The high angle of wing sweep chosen for low drag at cruise speed also makes generating lift at take off more of a challenge.

It's hard to remove a lot of this baked in weight, thus as better engines came along much of their advantage was used to gain additional range. As you point out, it still has a lot more capacity than is actually used in its role as a pax airliner. Newer airplanes match the engine performance to the mission and design an air frame that only has to lift the fuel needed to accomplish the desired mission and can assume much better engine fuel performance when doing so. They also sweep the wings less aggressively to help generate lift at slow speeds and modern airfoils still allow for acceptable drag at cruise with less sweep.

Overall I agree with those that wrote that Boeing kicked the can down the road as far as it could with 747 and eventually the space used by the 747 FAL will be needed at KPAE for whatever they do next since the KPAE wing factory is built to do a lot more than 777x wings.
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patrickjp93
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Re: How is the Boeing 747-8 a good freighter but a bad passenger craft?

Tue Jan 14, 2020 4:05 pm

Revelation wrote:
dstblj52 wrote:
It has a few advantages, the 747-8F has an MTOW of 975,000 pounds and an OEW of 434,600 pounds, whereas the 777F has an MTOW of 766,800 pounds but an OEW of 318,000 pounds, however, because passenger aircraft tend to run out of seats before they run out of weight on anything but the longest routes so that is not generally a problem, whereas for a freighter they tend to run out of weight before they run out of space so that extra 100,000 pounds of capacity is very useful. It also bears mentioning that the cargo airlines are in general more strictly hub and spoke operations then passenger airlines because a box doesn't care that its itinerary has two stops but a person generally does. Through in the fleet and crew commonality advantages and it will do fairly well.

Excellent post. It gives the main reason 747-8 makes a sub-optimal pax aircraft.

At its heart the 747 is sized to carry enough fuel for its early 747-100 engines to have a useful range as a freighter. This means it needs large heavy fuel tanks and strong landing gear and heavy aero structures needed to carry the forces exerted when doing a max weight take off. The wings also need to be sized to generate enough lift at a relatively slow ground speed to get all this weight off the ground, so they are quite large as well, and given the fuel is stored in the wings, quite heavy too. The high angle of wing sweep chosen for low drag at cruise speed also makes generating lift at take off more of a challenge.

It's hard to remove a lot of this baked in weight, thus as better engines came along much of their advantage was used to gain additional range. As you point out, it still has a lot more capacity than is actually used in its role as a pax airliner. Newer airplanes match the engine performance to the mission and design an air frame that only has to lift the fuel needed to accomplish the desired mission and can assume much better engine fuel performance when doing so. They also sweep the wings less aggressively to help generate lift at slow speeds and modern airfoils still allow for acceptable drag at cruise with less sweep.

Overall I agree with those that wrote that Boeing kicked the can down the road as far as it could with 747 and eventually the space used by the 747 FAL will be needed at KPAE for whatever they do next since the KPAE wing factory is built to do a lot more than 777x wings.

Heck even just build a 747 Mk II around the 777X wings, similar to the A10 Warthog being built around a machine gun.
 
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Re: How is the Boeing 747-8 a good freighter but a bad passenger craft?

Tue Jan 14, 2020 4:21 pm

patrickjp93 wrote:
Heck even just build a 747 Mk II around the 777X wings, similar to the A10 Warthog being built around a machine gun.

Why, just to save the nose door capability? IMO a future 778F will be the way to best use the 777x wings.

777x shares some of the same issues 747 had/has: as new better engines came along the airframe was optimized to carry more fuel than was now needed and it's too hard to remove baked in weight. Thus the only real option was to stretch the airframe because a clean sheet was off the table due to 787/747-8 schedule and budget overruns. In theory stretching the 777 wasn't a big problem but in reality the market has shifted to wanting smaller point to point aircraft at the same time as 777x grew in size, which is leaving a nice gap for the A350 to exploit. https://www.planespotters.net/productio ... s/A350?p=8 suggests there are 376 A350s out there (minus a few prototypes?) in the market segment that 777 Classic owned, and it just got selected for QF's Project Sunrise potential program which shows the market is embracing the product in a role Boeing would have loved to have 778x performing.

In a way this shows that the core problem isn't really two engines vs four, it's about the airplane matching the desired mission without too much excess capacity.
Last edited by Revelation on Tue Jan 14, 2020 4:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: How is the Boeing 747-8 a good freighter but a bad passenger craft?

Tue Jan 14, 2020 4:22 pm

Revelation wrote:
...eventually the space used by the 747 FAL will be needed at KPAE for...

Parking undelivered MAX’? :duck:
 
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Re: How is the Boeing 747-8 a good freighter but a bad passenger craft?

Tue Jan 14, 2020 4:24 pm

Bhoy wrote:
Revelation wrote:
...eventually the space used by the 747 FAL will be needed at KPAE for...

Parking undelivered MAX’? :duck:

I suppose so, since the A320s parked at XFW can't fly away for storage due to lack of PW GTF engines.
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Re: How is the Boeing 747-8 a good freighter but a bad passenger craft?

Tue Jan 14, 2020 4:33 pm

Revelation wrote:
Overall I agree with those that wrote that Boeing kicked the can down the road as far as it could with 747 and eventually the space used by the 747 FAL will be needed at KPAE for whatever they do next since the KPAE wing factory is built to do a lot more than 777x wings.


Intersting - any idea how much extra Capacity the Wing Factory has?

Can anyone say NMA, NMA, NMA...
 
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Re: How is the Boeing 747-8 a good freighter but a bad passenger craft?

Tue Jan 14, 2020 4:33 pm

Revelation wrote:
patrickjp93 wrote:
Heck even just build a 747 Mk II around the 777X wings, similar to the A10 Warthog being built around a machine gun.

Why, just to save the nose door capability? IMO a future 778F will be the way to best use the 777x wings.

777x shares some of the same issues 747 had/has: as new better engines came along the airframe was optimized to carry more fuel than was now needed and it's too hard to remove baked in weight. Thus the only real option was to stretch the airframe because a clean sheet was off the table due to 787/747-8 schedule and budget overruns. In theory stretching the 777 wasn't a big problem but in reality the market has shifted to wanting smaller point to point aircraft at the same time as 777x grew in size, which is leaving a nice gap for the A350 to exploit. https://www.planespotters.net/productio ... s/A350?p=8 suggests there are 376 A350s out there (minus a few prototypes?) in the market segment that 777 Classic owned, and it just got selected for QF's Project Sunrise potential program which shows the market is embracing the product in a role Boeing would have loved to have 778x performing.

In a way this shows that the core problem isn't really two engines vs four, it's about the airplane matching the desired mission without too much excess capacity.

The 777-300 and 777X series both, to my knowledge, have the same composite floor beam problem and thus will be, at best, very difficult to make viable for freighters.

The A35K was selected for PS purely because of the 737 MAX fiasco and what that has done to the certification prospects of the 778. It was the only logical risk mitigation choice. In terms of flight economics for everything but SYD/MEL-LHR/CDG, the 778 had the superior flight economics and more space to work with. The seats being narrower may have been a small factor in going with the more luxurious A350 for economy passenger comfort/well-being, but I'm sure Qantas could have organized to have it fitted with 9AB seating if that was a deal breaker, and Boeing could have lowered the purchase price to make up for it. Beyond this, 787 pilots could take simple differences training to go fly the 777X, just as QF's A330 pilots can for the A350.

I suppose somewhere in the larger picture the number crunching on the Asian market may have suggested keeping the more spacious A330 would be beneficial to load factors than moving to the more efficient 787 even though removing the A330 type from the fleet would be good for streamlining and cost controls in the medium to long term.
 
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Re: How is the Boeing 747-8 a good freighter but a bad passenger craft?

Tue Jan 14, 2020 4:34 pm

morrisond wrote:
Revelation wrote:
Overall I agree with those that wrote that Boeing kicked the can down the road as far as it could with 747 and eventually the space used by the 747 FAL will be needed at KPAE for whatever they do next since the KPAE wing factory is built to do a lot more than 777x wings.


Intersting - any idea how much extra Capacity the Wing Factory has?

Can anyone say NMA, NMA, NMA...

It would be FSA, FSA now with the MAX being the boondoggle that it is. The NMA is dead until at least 2030, calling it right now.
 
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Re: How is the Boeing 747-8 a good freighter but a bad passenger craft?

Tue Jan 14, 2020 5:48 pm

hOMSaR wrote:
patrickjp93 wrote:
Yup. Go check out the 747-8 retirement/conversion thread. I forget if it was Korean or Lufthansa who retired one, but it was fully converted with a nose door and all.


Can you link to this 747-8 retirement/conversion thread?

We're still waiting, Patrick...
 
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Re: How is the Boeing 747-8 a good freighter but a bad passenger craft?

Tue Jan 14, 2020 6:09 pm

morrisond wrote:
Revelation wrote:
Overall I agree with those that wrote that Boeing kicked the can down the road as far as it could with 747 and eventually the space used by the 747 FAL will be needed at KPAE for whatever they do next since the KPAE wing factory is built to do a lot more than 777x wings.


Intersting - any idea how much extra Capacity the Wing Factory has?

Can anyone say NMA, NMA, NMA...


The space where the 747 line is currently is near this composite wing plant that has lots more capacity.

It looks very NMA to me.
 
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Re: How is the Boeing 747-8 a good freighter but a bad passenger craft?

Tue Jan 14, 2020 6:36 pm

It is really cool, by the way, to sit in the Alaska Lounge at ANC and watch one 747 after the other come in (mostly from Asia). Throw in some MD11's and it has become my favorite place to spot.
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Re: How is the Boeing 747-8 a good freighter but a bad passenger craft?

Tue Jan 14, 2020 6:52 pm

DarkSnowyNight wrote:
afterburner wrote:
Converted 747s can't have nose cargo door. So, if you need a freighter that can carry oversized cargo, you need to buy a 747 that is built as freighter from the beginning.


I do not believe that is strictly true. See below...

DocLightning wrote:
It's necessary to go back to the origins of the 747 to understand. Back when the 747 program was being started, Boeing was pretty confident that the B2707 SST would supplant subsonic airplanes and so the 747 was a sort of stopgap program to fill the market until the 2707 went into service. As such, the 747 was designed primarily to serve as a freighter.


This is true. And as indicated above, the first 24 -100s were built with the capability to be turned into full, nose-door equipped, freighters. In old enough photos, you can actually see the window gap on both sides of Zone One. This is because that is where the Nose Door Seat Frame runs through, as it is already built in.

The intent was that these would be bought back, converted, and re-sold as freighters. This explains also both BCA's and early operating Airline's somewhat cavalier attitude about the -100's performance shortcomings.


I guess anything is possible if you're willing to spend enough money. I doubt if it's economically viable.

Have any 747 passenger models ever been converted to a freighter with a nose door?
 
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Re: How is the Boeing 747-8 a good freighter but a bad passenger craft?

Tue Jan 14, 2020 7:11 pm

I can confirm the freight points. Freight can be packed in and doesn't need catering or legroom. The ~400 freighters are getting older and older and the converted freighters don't have the nose door. You would be surprised how much out of gauge cargo is shipped by air that can't make the turn around the cargo door and must be nose loaded. The 747F is also in regular use as a freighter so you aren't stuck with the additional expense of chartering something like an Antonov if you don't need to. VERY useful freighter!
 
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Re: How is the Boeing 747-8 a good freighter but a bad passenger craft?

Tue Jan 14, 2020 7:28 pm

patrickjp93 wrote:
Checklist787 wrote:
TWA772LR wrote:
Its not a bad passenger aircraft, it just had bad timing.

:checkmark:
PhilMcCrackin wrote:
The failure of the 748i was due to the pax market moving away from VLAs and towards mid sized twins.


The 4-engines have been condemned for at least 20 years.

The 777-300ER flouded the market between 2004 and 2015 being a high capacity and alternative twin-engines very close to the 747-400 / -400ER ...

I am convinced that Boeing launched the 747-8 program in a FREIGHTER-PERSPECTIVE.

Selling "Intercontinental" (-8I derivative) was just the icing on the cake even if it was VERY modest ...

To Boeing's credit, they sold quite a few to the carriers who'd need it. British and Lufthansa are caught between a rock and a hard place with the A380 inevitably being phased out and Airbus' longstanding inclination to not pursue a NEO. With LHR, AMS, and FRA being as tight on slots as they are, you need some big movers before the 777-300ER replacement was ready. The only logical choice was the 747-8I.

I'm thinking for the ~2030 freighter market Boeing will re-wing the 747-8F with a twin jet design, probably using the GE9X or a derivative to get better economy of scale from its production. They also really need to sort out an improvement to the 767F to keep the A330 NEO freighter at bay. The potential for an A350 freighter to take on a lot of the 777F and 747F market competitively is fairly high if Airbus can solve the problem of heavy weight on the composite floor beams.


I agree.

2030 is a good "timing" for a re-engined 747-8F. It co-exists with the NMA EIS in 2027 to which it could "share" the same engine ...
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Re: How is the Boeing 747-8 a good freighter but a bad passenger craft?

Tue Jan 14, 2020 7:28 pm

flybynight wrote:
It is really cool, by the way, to sit in the Alaska Lounge at ANC and watch one 747 after the other come in (mostly from Asia). Throw in some MD11's and it has become my favorite place to spot.

:checkmark:

I've spotted Dreamlifters there too.
 
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Re: How is the Boeing 747-8 a good freighter but a bad passenger craft?

Tue Jan 14, 2020 7:29 pm

It might be smart to put a nose door on an eventual 777xf. If they have to re-engineer the floor beams anyways...
 
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Re: How is the Boeing 747-8 a good freighter but a bad passenger craft?

Tue Jan 14, 2020 8:23 pm

9Patch wrote:
Have any 747 passenger models ever been converted to a freighter with a nose door?

IIRC,some B747-100s pax frames were converted, IIRC. Spacepope would know. The -100 pax frames were built "tilt-nose ready", sort of like an "LTE-ready Thinkpad".
 
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Re: How is the Boeing 747-8 a good freighter but a bad passenger craft?

Wed Jan 15, 2020 1:55 pm

morrisond wrote:
It might be smart to put a nose door on an eventual 777xf. If they have to re-engineer the floor beams anyways...

The door will be very heavy because it will include the whole cockpit.
 
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Re: How is the Boeing 747-8 a good freighter but a bad passenger craft?

Wed Jan 15, 2020 5:46 pm

Checklist787 wrote:
patrickjp93 wrote:
Checklist787 wrote:
:checkmark:


The 4-engines have been condemned for at least 20 years.

The 777-300ER flouded the market between 2004 and 2015 being a high capacity and alternative twin-engines very close to the 747-400 / -400ER ...

I am convinced that Boeing launched the 747-8 program in a FREIGHTER-PERSPECTIVE.

Selling "Intercontinental" (-8I derivative) was just the icing on the cake even if it was VERY modest ...

To Boeing's credit, they sold quite a few to the carriers who'd need it. British and Lufthansa are caught between a rock and a hard place with the A380 inevitably being phased out and Airbus' longstanding inclination to not pursue a NEO. With LHR, AMS, and FRA being as tight on slots as they are, you need some big movers before the 777-300ER replacement was ready. The only logical choice was the 747-8I.

I'm thinking for the ~2030 freighter market Boeing will re-wing the 747-8F with a twin jet design, probably using the GE9X or a derivative to get better economy of scale from its production. They also really need to sort out an improvement to the 767F to keep the A330 NEO freighter at bay. The potential for an A350 freighter to take on a lot of the 777F and 747F market competitively is fairly high if Airbus can solve the problem of heavy weight on the composite floor beams.


I agree.

2030 is a good "timing" for a re-engined 747-8F. It co-exists with the NMA EIS in 2027 to which it could "share" the same engine ...

Too late. The assembly lines and Vendors will have moved on.

Due to the need to certify production and maintain production, it is too expensive to have factories sit idle.

The cost to restart the fusalage is prohibitive. I get an idea here do not understand the long timelines in Aerospace manufacturing. Some parts are completed 2 years before a customer receives the aircraft. We discuss the fusalage factory already being shut down. What about their vendors?

I imagine wings will be next.

Some parts have such high profit as spares, they will remain available, or be available as like or very similar are used on other aircraft.

Lightsaber
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Re: How is the Boeing 747-8 a good freighter but a bad passenger craft?

Wed Jan 15, 2020 5:56 pm

lightsaber wrote:
Checklist787 wrote:
patrickjp93 wrote:
To Boeing's credit, they sold quite a few to the carriers who'd need it. British and Lufthansa are caught between a rock and a hard place with the A380 inevitably being phased out and Airbus' longstanding inclination to not pursue a NEO. With LHR, AMS, and FRA being as tight on slots as they are, you need some big movers before the 777-300ER replacement was ready. The only logical choice was the 747-8I.

I'm thinking for the ~2030 freighter market Boeing will re-wing the 747-8F with a twin jet design, probably using the GE9X or a derivative to get better economy of scale from its production. They also really need to sort out an improvement to the 767F to keep the A330 NEO freighter at bay. The potential for an A350 freighter to take on a lot of the 777F and 747F market competitively is fairly high if Airbus can solve the problem of heavy weight on the composite floor beams.


I agree.

2030 is a good "timing" for a re-engined 747-8F. It co-exists with the NMA EIS in 2027 to which it could "share" the same engine ...

I get an idea here do not understand the long timelines in Aerospace manufacturing. Some parts are completed 2 years before a customer receives the aircraft.
Lightsaber


Yes, I now understand why Airbus announced Shutting down the A380 in 2021 when the announcement occurred in 2019...
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Do it! "...
 
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Re: How is the Boeing 747-8 a good freighter but a bad passenger craft?

Wed Jan 15, 2020 6:44 pm

WPvsMW wrote:
9Patch wrote:
Have any 747 passenger models ever been converted to a freighter with a nose door?

IIRC,some B747-100s pax frames were converted, IIRC. Spacepope would know. The -100 pax frames were built "tilt-nose ready", sort of like an "LTE-ready Thinkpad".


The first couple dozen were reportedly built with the strengthened structure at the nose door split, but IIRC none were actually converted with the nose door mod, only Side Cargo Door. The strengthening was heavy and quickly eliminated from all later pax deliveries beyond those original ones.
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Re: How is the Boeing 747-8 a good freighter but a bad passenger craft?

Thu Jan 16, 2020 7:51 am

As mentioned earlier the first three Classic freighters were actually built with a nose loading door ( as all factory built freighters were) but no side cargo door


That was an option, all three of those airframes were retrofitted with a side cargo door later and all factory built freighters had both doors installed thereafter
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Re: How is the Boeing 747-8 a good freighter but a bad passenger craft?

Mon Jan 20, 2020 7:51 pm

Max Q wrote:
As mentioned earlier the first three Classic freighters were actually built with a nose loading door ( as all factory built freighters were) but no side cargo door


That was an option, all three of those airframes were retrofitted with a side cargo door later and all factory built freighters had both doors installed thereafter

The nose loading door is optional on all freighters. There are gobs of them that don't have the nose loading door. It just so happens that it was only offered on the new build freighters.
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Re: How is the Boeing 747-8 a good freighter but a bad passenger craft?

Mon Jan 20, 2020 9:40 pm

AA777223 wrote:
The nose loading door is optional on all freighters. There are gobs of them that don't have the nose loading door. It just so happens that it was only offered on the new build freighters.

viewtopic.php?t=1346555 says all 747 factory built freighters have nose loading doors.
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Re: How is the Boeing 747-8 a good freighter but a bad passenger craft?

Tue Jan 21, 2020 12:57 am

Revelation wrote:
AA777223 wrote:
The nose loading door is optional on all freighters. There are gobs of them that don't have the nose loading door. It just so happens that it was only offered on the new build freighters.

viewtopic.php?t=1346555 says all 747 factory built freighters have nose loading doors.


I suppose if AA777223 can produce a photo of of any of the "gobs" that have no nose door while delivered from the factory I'd be satisfied.

I won't accept a 747M of any generation that was delivered with a side cargo door in Combi configuration and then later converted to freighter.

I'm pretty sure AA777223 is incorrect here.
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strfyr51
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Re: How is the Boeing 747-8 a good freighter but a bad passenger craft?

Tue Jan 21, 2020 1:26 am

muralir wrote:
The 747-8 has been a failure as a passenger craft, with very low sales and a quick discontinuing of the line. The reasons cited (as I understand them) are basically poor cost compared to more efficient twin engine jets, and no need for such VLA capacity any more.

My question is, if the economics of the passenger version of the 747-8 are so bad, how is it continuing to be produced as a freighter? Generally speaking, it seems that new freighters tend to also be successful passenger planes e.g. 777, 767, etc.

I understand that inefficient planes can make sense as freighters if they're bought cheap (i.e. used) because freighters tend to have lower utilization rates, so lower capital cost can compensate for somewhat higher operating costs. Which is why there's a robust market for old 747s being converted to freighters.

But this doesn't explain why *new* 747-8Fs are being bought. Is Boeing giving a massive discount? Is there something special about the 747-8 that makes it uniquely suited for freight while being poorly suited for passengers? Something that's more compelling than converting one of the many used 747-400 on the market? Are there other examples of currently selling freighters that are considered poor as passenger variants?

Anyway, just curious about this anomaly in the market...

(PS I understand why the Airbus A380 was the opposite: a good passenger craft and a poor freighter, because in a freighter version, due to higher densities, it would hit max payload before all the space was used. But I haven't found a similar reason to explain he 747-8)

the 747-8F has a huge nose opening door due to it's high mounted cockpit as it was originally designed as a freighter for the USAF. and if you notice? the C-5A also has the same huge nose opening door as well which the A380 might have had were they to design the airplane in that manner, Or? It would need a Swing away tail to load outsized cargo from the rear since it doesn't have or need control cables to the empennage . However? Airbus was only interested in building the Biggest, Not the most useful Airplane OR? they'd still be building them .. The A380 was an EGO boost airplane built for status rather than longevity. There's probably more than One reason Nobody designed an Engine for that particular airplane but those same companies are killing themselves to put engines on the 777, 787 and the A350.

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