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Revelation
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​Internal tussle as Boeing weighs future of 747

Wed May 27, 2020 12:07 pm

Interesting article at FlightGlobal ( https://www.flightglobal.com/programmes ... 37.article ).

Many of us know that a key supply chain partner of Boeing, Triumph/Vought, shut down production of key 747 structural parts a while ago.

Now FG tells us:

Sources tell FlightGlobal that with the decision looming over whether to shore up the 747’s future, there is increasing internal tension about whether or not to continue production. FlightGlobal has learnt that approaches from two customers about potential new orders did not elicit any response from Seattle.

In addition, within the last two years, five 747-8F customers are understood to have penned a joint letter seeking Boeing to clarify its position on the programme’s future.

So, there seems to be some potential for future orders, although it is pretty vague.

The volume of orders needed for restarting production of these elements is said to be 100 frames, quite concrete.

The article ends with a response from a Boeing representative:

“We are continuing to build 747-8s to meet the backlog of orders for the airplane and will continue to make the right decisions to keep the production line healthy,” it says. “With production slots filled for several years, we are working closely with our suppliers and have plans in place to support 747-8 production to meet our customer commitments.”

I think that speaks for itself. They are going to meet the existing commitments, and they're just not going to respond to inquiries about additional orders.

In short, I think the ship has sailed. I don't see Boeing funding the reboot of the production of the structural elements. It might have been feasible to just buy out the plants as-is and get another vendor to take over (or for Boeing itself to take over) at one point in time, but that time has passed.

These days, Boeing would rather redirect the customers towards the 777F and its eventual replacement by 778F. I think they'd also be happy to repurpose the factory space that the current 747 line takes up.
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Re: ​Internal tussle as Boeing weighs future of 747

Wed May 27, 2020 12:19 pm

With fbw aircraft is it potentially easier to design a lifting or opening nose than it is for one with the controls connected by wires and pulleys?
 
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Re: ​Internal tussle as Boeing weighs future of 747

Wed May 27, 2020 12:25 pm

DartHerald wrote:
With fbw aircraft is it potentially easier to design a lifting or opening nose than it is for one with the controls connected by wires and pulleys?

As in the cockpit is part of the section that lifts/open? No, that would always be a mess which is why nobody does it after the Guppy.
 
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Re: ​Internal tussle as Boeing weighs future of 747

Wed May 27, 2020 12:32 pm

DartHerald wrote:
With fbw aircraft is it potentially easier to design a lifting or opening nose than it is for one with the controls connected by wires and pulleys?

The issue really isn't the control mechanism, the issue is that a nose opening has to be designed in right from the start like 747. All the structural load paths have to be engineered to allow a nose opening like 747 did. It's also a big part of why there is a seperate 747-8F vs -8i. The freighter has the shorter upper deck, the nose opening, and some reinforcement for higher take off weight. The pax model saves weight by getting rid of the nose opening and adds the longer upper deck to carry more pax.
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Re: ​Internal tussle as Boeing weighs future of 747

Wed May 27, 2020 12:40 pm

Revelation wrote:
The volume of orders needed for restarting production of these elements is said to be 100 frames, quite concrete.


Even with the spike in Covid related freight, it’s very hard to see Boeing securing anywhere close to 100 commitments. Especially if the part about not even responding to customers‘ enquiries about possible orders is true.

Revelation wrote:
I think that speaks for itself. They are going to meet the existing commitments, and they're just not going to respond to inquiries about additional orders


A lot of woolly words to not say very much, making it hard to conclude anything other than “it’s over”. Which is what many thought when news of Triumph’s withdrawal from the program first broke.
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Re: ​Internal tussle as Boeing weighs future of 747

Wed May 27, 2020 12:47 pm

Revelation wrote:
In short, I think the ship has sailed. I don't see Boeing funding the reboot of the production of the structural elements.


I agree with this 100%. I don't see Boeing started up production again, nor any of its supply chain members. Covid will pass, the freight volumes will be in the belly of passenger a/c again. Can't see anyone investing in new freighters at this moment, we are heading for a giant economic downturn, depression even, in any case.
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Re: ​Internal tussle as Boeing weighs future of 747

Wed May 27, 2020 12:51 pm

Revelation wrote:
DartHerald wrote:
With fbw aircraft is it potentially easier to design a lifting or opening nose than it is for one with the controls connected by wires and pulleys?

The issue really isn't the control mechanism, the issue is that a nose opening has to be designed in right from the start like 747. All the structural load paths have to be engineered to allow a nose opening like 747 did. It's also a big part of why there is a seperate 747-8F vs -8i. The freighter has the shorter upper deck, the nose opening, and some reinforcement for higher take off weight. The pax model saves weight by getting rid of the nose opening and adds the longer upper deck to carry more pax.


If there is some demand for a freighter with nose loading capacity then Airbus can offer an adapted A330. The design for a lowered cockpit is already in production thanks to the Beluga XL. The only part missing is the nose door fitting the baseline fuselage diameter.
 
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Re: ​Internal tussle as Boeing weighs future of 747

Wed May 27, 2020 12:53 pm

scbriml wrote:
A lot of woolly words to not say very much, making it hard to conclude anything other than “it’s over”. Which is what many thought when news of Triumph’s withdrawal from the program first broke.

I agree. We always had a contingent that said "Boeing owns the tools and can reestablish production" and I never thought that was realistic, and still don't think it is realistic.

TFA gives a list of things Triumph/Vought were responsible for:

On the 747-8, the company had responsibility for fuselage panels across the entire aircraft, apart from the section 41 nose assembly, along with floor beams, doors, fin and tailplane (including rudders and elevators). It also produced the section 48 aft fuselage assembly.

Ok, so pretty much every exterior panel other than the nose, all/most of the floor beams, all/most of the doors, pretty much the entire tail and aft fuselage. How the bleep can you restart production of all that stuff? Make new factories, hire new workers, reestablish production techniques, reacquire FAA certification, redo testing, then maybe you're back in business. Those 100 frames would need to be sold at a big profit margin to cover all that. I can imagine those five customers signing the letter probably are thinking they could get the end-of-line pricing, which is now absurd.
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Re: ​Internal tussle as Boeing weighs future of 747

Wed May 27, 2020 1:17 pm

tomcat wrote:
If there is some demand for a freighter with nose loading capacity then Airbus can offer an adapted A330. The design for a lowered cockpit is already in production thanks to the Beluga XL. The only part missing is the nose door fitting the baseline fuselage diameter.


That pits the cost of A330 modifications (design, tooling, certification) against resuming production of 747-8F components. Not obvious that's a winner.
 
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Re: ​Internal tussle as Boeing weighs future of 747

Wed May 27, 2020 1:18 pm

Just wondering, why didn't Boeing just declare the 747 EOS when Triumph/Vought,shut down production of key 747 structural parts? The decision of Triumph/Vought cannot have come as a surprise to Boeing, you just don't make such a decision without having discussed it with a client where you have a 50+ years long relationship. Unless Boeing didn't respond to them either. In that case, Boeing management capabilities reached another historic depth.
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Re: ​Internal tussle as Boeing weighs future of 747

Wed May 27, 2020 1:48 pm

100 frames sounds pretty extreme. They would really turn down 50, 60 even 90 orders? And apparently they have already been turning down potential orders? They just want to end the program.
Very disappointing.
 
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Re: ​Internal tussle as Boeing weighs future of 747

Wed May 27, 2020 1:55 pm

You can't make the 747 for sentimentality reasons, its has to make a profit. If sales are not there, its time to end the program.
 
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Re: ​Internal tussle as Boeing weighs future of 747

Wed May 27, 2020 2:11 pm

scbriml wrote:
Revelation wrote:
The volume of orders needed for restarting production of these elements is said to be 100 frames, quite concrete.


Even with the spike in Covid related freight, it’s very hard to see Boeing securing anywhere close to 100 commitments. Especially if the part about not even responding to customers‘ enquiries about possible orders is true.

Revelation wrote:
I think that speaks for itself. They are going to meet the existing commitments, and they're just not going to respond to inquiries about additional orders


A lot of woolly words to not say very much, making it hard to conclude anything other than “it’s over”. Which is what many thought when news of Triumph’s withdrawal from the program first broke.

There is no plausible order for a hundred.


At this time, future 748F production will cost more than prior 748F production due to a need to restart the supply chain. Boeing will offer the 777F, 767F, and 737BCF to interested parties.

There might be inquires, but everyone expects discounted aircraft and Boeing will counter with 777F.

Thanks to easier access to 3D solid modeling, more will fit in the 777-300ERSF than in the past.

Nose loaded cargo is becoming charter (expensive) cargo.

For my entire time on a.net, there has been this expected bloom in nose loaded cargo demand. Instead, everything was packaged to fit on a MD-11F or 777F.


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Re: ​Internal tussle as Boeing weighs future of 747

Wed May 27, 2020 2:32 pm

I'm starting to see a little light at the end of the tunnel. Not over til it's over. Strange times we are in, and the article states there is an internal struggle at Boeing. Hard to see them turning back orders at this time. Time will tell.
 
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Re: ​Internal tussle as Boeing weighs future of 747

Wed May 27, 2020 2:55 pm

Personal Opinion: I suspect that a restart cannot happen with less than 30 orders. Is solidly plausible with 50.

The problem is that I'm not sure that those 5 existing customers are willing to commit to more than 30 orders at one time based on the past order history.

My understanding is that Boeing did an evaluation of the tooling involved; and has stored the largest and most expensive of it to replace to allow a potential restart. They allowed the tooling for smaller items to be sold or scrapped as its a lot cheaper and quicker to replace. The question that relates to restarting production at a reasonably economical cost is did they draw the right line at what level of tooling to keep and store.

The very fact that there is an internal tussle on the question must mean that those 5 clients are talking about numbers that are at least in the range of a potential restart.

It will be interesting to see what happens...

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Re: ​Internal tussle as Boeing weighs future of 747

Wed May 27, 2020 2:57 pm

When they do an 777xF would it possibly be easier to swing the tail vs the nose - actually on second thought that would be a lot more weight - swinging the nose doesn't seem that hard in comparison - maybe FBW solves the issue for the most part.
 
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Re: ​Internal tussle as Boeing weighs future of 747

Wed May 27, 2020 3:00 pm

lightsaber wrote:
At this time, future 748F production will cost more than prior 748F production due to a need to restart the supply chain. Boeing will offer the 777F, 767F, and 737BCF to interested parties.

There might be inquires, but everyone expects discounted aircraft and Boeing will counter with 777F.

Thanks to easier access to 3D solid modeling, more will fit in the 777-300ERSF than in the past.
IMHO, whichever B747 in production, almost completed will be completed, but there'll be no more B747 after those.
B767 pax and a B737 (NG plus) have more chances of going back to production than continuing the B747 lines.
Boeing's going to a crisis, so most likely it will woo customers to its B777, B767 - be cargo or passenger.
Would this current demand for cargo flights convince Boeing to offer those Combi versions again?
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Re: ​Internal tussle as Boeing weighs future of 747

Wed May 27, 2020 3:00 pm

morrisond wrote:
When they do an 777xF would it possibly be easier to swing the tail vs the nose - actually on second thought that would be a lot more weight - swinging the nose doesn't seem that hard in comparison - maybe FBW solves the issue for the most part.


Maybe there could be a slight MTOW bump from 348t to 351.5t to account for that? I see a swinging-tail B777F as more viable as a B748F replacement.
 
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Re: ​Internal tussle as Boeing weighs future of 747

Wed May 27, 2020 3:08 pm

lightsaber wrote:
Thanks to easier access to 3D solid modeling, more will fit in the 777-300ERSF than in the past.

Please elaborate. What is this?
 
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Re: ​Internal tussle as Boeing weighs future of 747

Wed May 27, 2020 3:12 pm

2175301 wrote:
Personal Opinion: I suspect that a restart cannot happen with less than 30 orders. Is solidly plausible with 50.

The problem is that I'm not sure that those 5 existing customers are willing to commit to more than 30 orders at one time based on the past order history.


Well, there also needs to be an evaluation of exactly how solid those orders are. Would a future global recession cause customers to walk away from "firm" orders or even go out of business? Would a U.S.-China trade war destroy significant air cargo demand? FX and 5X had firm orders for the A380F and yet...
 
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Re: ​Internal tussle as Boeing weighs future of 747

Wed May 27, 2020 3:20 pm

Wonder what the impact will be on 748I used market values and potential P2F programs for the few 748Is out there. Might give incentive to LH/KE/CA to offload them earlier?

Agreed that the market is not there for Boeing to spend the money. They want to focus on the 77F/778F/767F-NG.
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Re: ​Internal tussle as Boeing weighs future of 747

Wed May 27, 2020 3:21 pm

Would it be possible for Airbus to develop a civilian A400M that could be cost-competitive for outsized cargo?
 
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Re: ​Internal tussle as Boeing weighs future of 747

Wed May 27, 2020 3:30 pm

NameOmitted wrote:
Would it be possible for Airbus to develop a civilian A400M that could be cost-competitive for outsized cargo?


There's a reason for the M at end of A400M. Military aircraft are usually inefficient and as these are normally acquired by governments, fuel burn/maintenance cost factors are somewhat lower down the list. Otherwise, we would have seen civilian versions of the C5, C17, etc

Nowadays, if you have oversized cargo to ship, it's easier to call Volga Dnepr.
 
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Re: ​Internal tussle as Boeing weighs future of 747

Wed May 27, 2020 3:38 pm

889091 wrote:
NameOmitted wrote:
Would it be possible for Airbus to develop a civilian A400M that could be cost-competitive for outsized cargo?


There's a reason for the M at end of A400M. Military aircraft are usually inefficient and as these are normally acquired by governments, fuel burn/maintenance cost factors are somewhat lower down the list. Otherwise, we would have seen civilian versions of the C5, C17, etc

Nowadays, if you have oversized cargo to ship, its easier to call Volga Dnepr.

On top of that the A400M only has a payload weight about equal to a 757F (while being about 20t heavier), which means you really need to have a lot of business moving around only a small amount of bulky cargo at a time to justify purchasing it in a civilian capacity, because outside of fitting bulky cargo it is going to suck against commercial freighters.
 
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Re: ​Internal tussle as Boeing weighs future of 747

Wed May 27, 2020 3:48 pm

scbriml wrote:
Revelation wrote:
The volume of orders needed for restarting production of these elements is said to be 100 frames, quite concrete.


Even with the spike in Covid related freight, it’s very hard to see Boeing securing anywhere close to 100 commitments.


If I were BA, I'd tell any buyer(s) that it's cash on the barrelhead, for all 100 frames upfront.
 
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Re: ​Internal tussle as Boeing weighs future of 747

Wed May 27, 2020 4:53 pm

frigatebird wrote:
Just wondering, why didn't Boeing just declare the 747 EOS when Triumph/Vought,shut down production of key 747 structural parts? The decision of Triumph/Vought cannot have come as a surprise to Boeing, you just don't make such a decision without having discussed it with a client where you have a 50+ years long relationship. Unless Boeing didn't respond to them either. In that case, Boeing management capabilities reached another historic depth.

It is a good question. I don't know why either. It seems awkward to hold out the hope that more 748F could be produced when there is next to no viable scenario for that to happen. Even the US Military seems ready to move on. They've acquired the VC25s they wanted and no new RFPs are around to secure more.

The other good question is, if you are a 748F customer needing more frames, why did you wait so long to place an order? Even if Boeing didn't make a "last call" it should have been pretty clear that the trickle that is producing the UPS birds wasn't going to be enough to sustain the line. If you really need a 748F to conduct business, it's on you to have made the appropriate arrangements.

2175301 wrote:
My understanding is that Boeing did an evaluation of the tooling involved; and has stored the largest and most expensive of it to replace to allow a potential restart. They allowed the tooling for smaller items to be sold or scrapped as its a lot cheaper and quicker to replace. The question that relates to restarting production at a reasonably economical cost is did they draw the right line at what level of tooling to keep and store.

What isn't cheap to replace is the knowledge in the heads of the workers, and all the FAA certification that would need to be redone. It's hard to fathom a restart, IMO. TFA suggested that Triumph/Vought built something like half the 748F. To restart that you need some huge facilities and large numbers of workers willing to work cheap yet still produce high quality parts. Where do you find that?

2175301 wrote:
The very fact that there is an internal tussle on the question must mean that those 5 clients are talking about numbers that are at least in the range of a potential restart.

Or there could be a faction within Boeing who depends in one way or another on 748F and is leaking an inflated version of reality to the aviation media, who is happy to produce content that relates to such a historically successful model.

BN727227Ultra wrote:
If I were BA, I'd tell any buyer(s) that it's cash on the barrelhead, for all 100 frames upfront.

Given that BA is announcing ~10k layoffs, I'd think a rock-solid order for all the frames needed to secure the reboot with adequate security deposits would be needed. Even then, it is a very non-strategic move. Why put so much energy into a product that is marginally profitable? Why not try to redirect customers to 777F/778F?
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Re: ​Internal tussle as Boeing weighs future of 747

Wed May 27, 2020 4:56 pm

If the 747 swing nose is that big of a factor with companies, one has to know that Boeing has a set of plans hidden somewhere of a 777 with a 747 like hump on it. Whether its worth the ROI is another question.
 
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Re: ​Internal tussle as Boeing weighs future of 747

Wed May 27, 2020 5:17 pm

Nobody loved a new 757 until a couple years after the program was terminated. Then it was a Monty Python routine, "surely that.... is not ....", particularly by a subset of a-nutters.
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Re: ​Internal tussle as Boeing weighs future of 747

Wed May 27, 2020 5:18 pm

The fact that Boeing has not answered the letter or publicly announced the end says to me that they don’t know what to say, and hence have not made a decision. Which also says to me that they want to wait a bit and see where the market, especially for freighters, goes. They don’t have to make a decision now, apparently, and seem to be keeping their options open. If I were running Boeing that is what I would do.
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Re: ​Internal tussle as Boeing weighs future of 747

Wed May 27, 2020 5:24 pm

UPS757Pilot wrote:
I'm starting to see a little light at the end of the tunnel. Not over til it's over. Strange times we are in, and the article states there is an internal struggle at Boeing. Hard to see them turning back orders at this time. Time will tell.


I suspect Boeing put out a "Last call " notice to current of potential 748F customers that resulted in the UPS orders
and nothing else.

Boeing's not in a position to lose $$$$ on any programs anymore, I'm afraid the 747's end is near :(
 
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Re: ​Internal tussle as Boeing weighs future of 747

Wed May 27, 2020 6:28 pm

The article states there is an internal tussle on whether to continue 747 production or not. That would mean that production and the program are alive at this point. Whether or not to proceed with anything past the UPS order is the discussion. To say it is dead is incorrect.

The program is alive but the way forward must be decided. At least two operators recently asked about buying new 747s and 5 other customers are interested in the programs future. A round table discussion with these customers needs to be had. Creativity at Boeing needs to flourish and a way forward where customers get what they WANT and Boeing puts some cash in its pockets should be found. Turning down customers at this point in time is not a good option.

The articles ending states Boeing is going to meet its customer's commitments. To read the tea leaves..Make a commitment (order) and we will meet that decision with a product.

Atlas, Cargolux and UPS have between them 60+ 747-400Fs in operation. All of which are 10+ years old minimum, with many at or over 20+ years old. They are all 747-8F operators and talking to them about their future 747 needs is a good place to start.
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Re: ​Internal tussle as Boeing weighs future of 747

Wed May 27, 2020 6:29 pm

So, out of curiosity, would it be possible to modify a 777F to have a tail that swings open like the 747 used for 787 parts? This would solve the problem for larger pallets that couldn't fit through a side door. Maybe there isn't enough clearance for that to happen or there is some other structural reason for not having it.
 
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Re: ​Internal tussle as Boeing weighs future of 747

Wed May 27, 2020 6:36 pm

So this is first of many "Boeing should restart 747 production" future threads? Production is not even stopped yet.
 
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Re: ​Internal tussle as Boeing weighs future of 747

Wed May 27, 2020 7:29 pm

miegapele wrote:
So this is first of many "Boeing should restart 747 production" future threads? Production is not even stopped yet.

Triumph/Vought already shut down their factory and auctioned off equipment:

https://simpleflying.com/boeing-747-end/

There have already been reorder threads. Anyone with the money to buy a 747 was asked in 2018 to make their end of the line orders.

Northrop sold their factory to Triumph/Vought years ago.

Triumph is warehousing 748F bodies until Boeing needs them. There was too much overhead to reduce production down to 6/year. So for bodies, both the A380 and 747 are done. We are well past the point of no return.

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Re: ​Internal tussle as Boeing weighs future of 747

Wed May 27, 2020 7:31 pm

TMccrury wrote:
So, out of curiosity, would it be possible to modify a 777F to have a tail that swings open like the 747 used for 787 parts? This would solve the problem for larger pallets that couldn't fit through a side door. Maybe there isn't enough clearance for that to happen or there is some other structural reason for not having it.

As that freighter is unpressurized, yes. The 777 could be modified into a swing tail guppy. As with the 747, that would use an available used airframe.

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Re: ​Internal tussle as Boeing weighs future of 747

Wed May 27, 2020 7:38 pm

CX747 wrote:
The article states there is an internal tussle on whether to continue 747 production or not. That would mean that production and the program are alive at this point. Whether or not to proceed with anything past the UPS order is the discussion. To say it is dead is incorrect.

The program is alive but the way forward must be decided. At least two operators recently asked about buying new 747s and 5 other customers are interested in the programs future. A round table discussion with these customers needs to be had. Creativity at Boeing needs to flourish and a way forward where customers get what they WANT and Boeing puts some cash in its pockets should be found. Turning down customers at this point in time is not a good option.

The articles ending states Boeing is going to meet its customer's commitments. To read the tea leaves..Make a commitment (order) and we will meet that decision with a product.

Atlas, Cargolux and UPS have between them 60+ 747-400Fs in operation. All of which are 10+ years old minimum, with many at or over 20+ years old. They are all 747-8F operators and talking to them about their future 747 needs is a good place to start.


I would think Boeing is going to see those 20 year old frames turn into 777-8F orders in 3-4 years.
 
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Re: ​Internal tussle as Boeing weighs future of 747

Wed May 27, 2020 7:46 pm

CX747 wrote:
The article states there is an internal tussle on whether to continue 747 production or not. That would mean that production and the program are alive at this point. Whether or not to proceed with anything past the UPS order is the discussion. To say it is dead is incorrect.

The program is alive but the way forward must be decided. At least two operators recently asked about buying new 747s and 5 other customers are interested in the programs future. A round table discussion with these customers needs to be had. Creativity at Boeing needs to flourish and a way forward where customers get what they WANT and Boeing puts some cash in its pockets should be found. Turning down customers at this point in time is not a good option.

The articles ending states Boeing is going to meet its customer's commitments. To read the tea leaves..Make a commitment (order) and we will meet that decision with a product.

Atlas, Cargolux and UPS have between them 60+ 747-400Fs in operation. All of which are 10+ years old minimum, with many at or over 20+ years old. They are all 747-8F operators and talking to them about their future 747 needs is a good place to start.


I think you’re being way too optimistic, unfortunately.

If Boeing was serious about additional orders, why simply ignore requests from two potential customers? Why not tell a group of five customers what the production plan is?

miegapele wrote:
So this is first of many "Boeing should restart 747 production" future threads? Production is not even stopped yet.


It’s inevitable. :sarcastic:
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Re: ​Internal tussle as Boeing weighs future of 747

Wed May 27, 2020 7:49 pm

GEUltraFan9XGTF wrote:
Wonder what the impact will be on 748I used market values and potential P2F programs for the few 748Is out there. Might give incentive to LH/KE/CA to offload them earlier?

Agreed that the market is not there for Boeing to spend the money. They want to focus on the 77F/778F/767F-NG.

The 747-8i passenger aircraft is NOT fitted with a nose door. It would be to costly to modify. They would need to stick with a side door. Some could be converted to freighters.
But I would not hold my breath.......... :old:
Last edited by NWAROOSTER on Wed May 27, 2020 7:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: ​Internal tussle as Boeing weighs future of 747

Wed May 27, 2020 7:51 pm

Its been postulated in the past, but not on this thread yet. USAF orders.

With the retirement of all the C5A's, the USAF has a much less capable heavy lift capability. We have a unique President that is sensitive to products built in the USA. It may not be likely, but it is not impossible that USAF could come forward with an order of 50 "commercial off the shelf" 747-8F's. The factors that make the C-5's so unreliable are rarely used anyway.
 
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Re: ​Internal tussle as Boeing weighs future of 747

Wed May 27, 2020 7:53 pm

It's just fuselage parts that are needed. Can't be so hard to find another factory to deliver those?
100 orders needed sounds unrealistic. Like just wanting to close it. But 30 to 50 is entirely possible. And who knows on the longer run? Why close it down now if there is demand? The freighter got just renewed and is good for many more years. Amazon hasn't started it's true large widebody freighter phase yet. The 747F will have the upper market for itself. I hope they restart the parts production aside from those needed for ordered airplanes.
 
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Re: ​Internal tussle as Boeing weighs future of 747

Wed May 27, 2020 7:58 pm

I doubt it is practical in technical, mechanical or cost ways to do a 'nose job' conversion on an ex-pax 747-400 or convert an existing 747F to have a nose opening or to extend production of the 747 beyond current orders to make nose door versions. We might see current nose door models only used for where it is the most needed to extend their hours/cycles to limits, or some rebuilding to keep them around for into the mid-2000's. It is possible on future wide bodies or versions of the 777 that Boeing could do a dedicated nose door version, perhaps that is what Boeing is considering now
 
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Re: ​Internal tussle as Boeing weighs future of 747

Wed May 27, 2020 8:07 pm

scbriml wrote:
CX747 wrote:
The article states there is an internal tussle on whether to continue 747 production or not. That would mean that production and the program are alive at this point. Whether or not to proceed with anything past the UPS order is the discussion. To say it is dead is incorrect.

The program is alive but the way forward must be decided. At least two operators recently asked about buying new 747s and 5 other customers are interested in the programs future. A round table discussion with these customers needs to be had. Creativity at Boeing needs to flourish and a way forward where customers get what they WANT and Boeing puts some cash in its pockets should be found. Turning down customers at this point in time is not a good option.

The articles ending states Boeing is going to meet its customer's commitments. To read the tea leaves..Make a commitment (order) and we will meet that decision with a product.

Atlas, Cargolux and UPS have between them 60+ 747-400Fs in operation. All of which are 10+ years old minimum, with many at or over 20+ years old. They are all 747-8F operators and talking to them about their future 747 needs is a good place to start.


I think you’re being way too optimistic, unfortunately.

If Boeing was serious about additional orders, why simply ignore requests from two potential customers? Why not tell a group of five customers what the production plan is?

miegapele wrote:
So this is first of many "Boeing should restart 747 production" future threads? Production is not even stopped yet.


It’s inevitable. :sarcastic:


We don't know why 2 customers haven't received responses. We also don't know if the 5 customers who penned letters received a response. There are a ton of variables at play here. The idea that production is dead is wrong. The whole point of the article is the fact that Boeing is wrestling with that decision right now. Do they continue production, with a different manufacturing base or close up the line? That would hold true the fact that Triumph's closure of 747 parts production did not entail a production line closure decision by Boeing. That decision seems ready to play out in front of us over the next few months or at least into 2021.

At the end of the day, time will tell what happens.
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Re: ​Internal tussle as Boeing weighs future of 747

Wed May 27, 2020 8:27 pm

I would think that Triumph would not have pulled forward their order book and dismantled their production line without Boeing's knowledge and consent (for both - building way ahead of schedule, and closing down - both are things that Boeing would want to control). In which case, Boeing knew what it was doing when it gave such authorization.

There is a lot that we spectators do not know. As one poster above mused, I suspect this might be a faction of Boeing trying to secure their future a little longer. Bureaucracies do that.
 
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Re: ​Internal tussle as Boeing weighs future of 747

Wed May 27, 2020 8:51 pm

Boeing: production is continuing and we will decide later how to go forward


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Re: ​Internal tussle as Boeing weighs future of 747

Wed May 27, 2020 9:08 pm

UA444 wrote:
Boeing: production is continuing and we will decide later how to go forward

Yep, pretty much what Airbus said, right up to the point EK was allowed to convert A380 orders to A350.
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Re: ​Internal tussle as Boeing weighs future of 747

Wed May 27, 2020 9:09 pm

william wrote:
If the 747 swing nose is that big of a factor with companies, one has to know that Boeing has a set of plans hidden somewhere of a 777 with a 747 like hump on it. Whether its worth the ROI is another question.

....question for whom? Nobody in their right mind believes that that has a snowball's chance of happening. :lol:
I myself, suspect a more prosaic motive... ~Thranduil
 
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Re: ​Internal tussle as Boeing weighs future of 747

Wed May 27, 2020 9:19 pm

SteelChair wrote:
Its been postulated in the past, but not on this thread yet. USAF orders.

With the retirement of all the C5A's, the USAF has a much less capable heavy lift capability. We have a unique President that is sensitive to products built in the USA. It may not be likely, but it is not impossible that USAF could come forward with an order of 50 "commercial off the shelf" 747-8F's. The factors that make the C-5's so unreliable are rarely used anyway.


USAF still has 44 active C-5Ms and 220 C-17s.
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Re: ​Internal tussle as Boeing weighs future of 747

Wed May 27, 2020 9:23 pm

I'm not sure why so many people are saying production is dead when it clearly is not. The article even said “We are continuing to build 747-8s to meet the backlog of orders for the airplane and will continue to make the right decisions to keep the production line healthy". Furthermore, just because Flight Global stated that airlines' continued interest did not elicit a response from Boeing, are we to believe Boeing is seriously not discussing this with customers, many of which are also customers for Boeing's other models?

This isn't cut and dry. Let's say UPS goes to Boeing (if they haven't already) and states "We want 20 767s and 10 748s or we can be launch customer for the A330NEO with an order for 30". Don't you think that can have a major impact on Boeing's plans?
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Re: ​Internal tussle as Boeing weighs future of 747

Wed May 27, 2020 9:28 pm

flyPIT wrote:
Let's say UPS goes to Boeing (if they haven't already) and states "We want 20 767s and 10 748s or we can be launch customer for the A330NEO with an order for 30". Don't you think that can have a major impact on Boeing's plans?

You think that kind of scenario doesn't happen on a near daily basis, with both EOMs?

If such an order could justify both the long-term and short-term direct cost AND revenue requirements for 767F/747F sustenance, WHILE neutralizing the opportunity cost of alternative production at the same time; then Boeing will do it.

If it can't, and 5X couldn't be bent toward a 777F or otherwise as an alternative.... then Boeing would cede the order.
At the end of the day, they can't create a detriment to themselves and their suppliers, just to point fingers at Airbus and yell "nanny-nanny-booboo!"
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Re: ​Internal tussle as Boeing weighs future of 747

Wed May 27, 2020 9:42 pm

TMccrury wrote:
So, out of curiosity, would it be possible to modify a 777F to have a tail that swings open like the 747 used for 787 parts? This would solve the problem for larger pallets that couldn't fit through a side door. Maybe there isn't enough clearance for that to happen or there is some other structural reason for not having it.

I believe that the Dreamlifters (the ones with the swinging tail) are unpressurized. Normal cargo aircraft are fully pressurized. A swing tail would be very difficult to pressurize, and would likely be a safety issue as well (a failure could blow the whole tail off). I also believe opening and closing the tail is not a quick, easy process.
The problem with making things foolproof is that fools are so doggone ingenious...Dan Keebler
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