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flyPIT
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Re: ​Internal tussle as Boeing weighs future of 747

Wed May 27, 2020 9:45 pm

LAX772LR wrote:
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!"


"Just to point fingers at Airbus and yell nanny-nanny-booboo"??? You think that's what it would be about? How about keeping a long time customer that is extremely happy with both the 767F and 748F.

I used UPS as an example, but it appears there is continued interest from others as well. This is much more than being able to say "nanny-nanny-booboo" to Airbus or even about ceding a single order. It is about ending the production line for a type to which there is no equal replacement.
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DBCoop3r
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Re: ​Internal tussle as Boeing weighs future of 747

Wed May 27, 2020 10:01 pm

I once thought the 767 had zero future to, and yet here we are, the most successful freighter on the market. But yeah, I'd say the 747 has less than 5% chance at new orders going thru.
 
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scbriml
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Re: ​Internal tussle as Boeing weighs future of 747

Wed May 27, 2020 10:02 pm

CX747 wrote:
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.


What possible reason is there for not even responding to requests from customers? Not even a "All our agents are busy with other customers right now. Your enquiry is important to us and we'll get back to you as soon as we possibly can..." type response.

While it's true we don't know about a response to the group of five airlines, the implication from the article seemed to be that there wasn't one.

Which ton of variables are at play? Because Boeing's behaviour just screams "We're really not interested in selling any more 747s." The rest is just corporate weasel words to prop up the share price.
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scbriml
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Re: ​Internal tussle as Boeing weighs future of 747

Wed May 27, 2020 10:04 pm

flyPIT wrote:
I used UPS as an example, but it appears there is continued interest from others as well.


If the FG article is accurate, it seems the interest from possible customers is not matched by Boeing. Why is that?
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744SPX
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Re: ​Internal tussle as Boeing weighs future of 747

Wed May 27, 2020 10:06 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.


This :checkmark:
 
744SPX
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Re: ​Internal tussle as Boeing weighs future of 747

Wed May 27, 2020 10:12 pm

scbriml wrote:
flyPIT wrote:
I used UPS as an example, but it appears there is continued interest from others as well.


If the FG article is accurate, it seems the interest from possible customers is not matched by Boeing. Why is that?


That's what I would like to know...
 
SteelChair
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Re: ​Internal tussle as Boeing weighs future of 747

Wed May 27, 2020 10:15 pm

scbriml wrote:
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.


At one time they had 285 C141s and 131 C-5's, not to mention many more 130s than they currently have. They way I see it, their airlift capacity is way down from the recent past.
 
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scbriml
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Re: ​Internal tussle as Boeing weighs future of 747

Wed May 27, 2020 10:28 pm

SteelChair wrote:
At one time they had 285 C141s and 131 C-5's, not to mention many more 130s than they currently have. They way I see it, their airlift capacity is way down from the recent past.


Recent past - as in Vietnam war era? Has USAF complained about a lack of airlift? If I remember correctly, congress forced them to take more C-17s than they wanted to.

To try and stay on topic, I don't see USAF being a white knight for the 747.
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flybynight
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Re: ​Internal tussle as Boeing weighs future of 747

Wed May 27, 2020 10:47 pm

I wonder if Amazon would potentially see a need?
I know they are using pretty much all 767's at the current time/
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Stitch
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Re: ​Internal tussle as Boeing weighs future of 747

Wed May 27, 2020 10:50 pm

I would not be surprised at all if those five existing 747-8F customers were pinging Boeing about ensuring there is a sufficient supply of spare parts to keep their fleets operating and not about placing new orders.

And as for the "new customers", one of them was start-up Avatar Airlines who submitted an LoI for 30 747-8 frames which was just a PR stunt to get their names in the financial papers.

Boeing had to have done a "Last Call" in late 2017 / early 2018 and the only bite they got was UPS doubling-down on their initial 14 frames. While Boeing did accept the four orders at the end of 2018 from Volga-Dnepr, I am confident Boeing did so knowing they either would never take them (and they are now on the ASC 606 list to that effect) or as a hedge if UPS decided in a few years that they didn't need all 14 frames they ordered they could pawn them off to V-D.

Nobody else is serious about ordering - at least in the volumes or at the prices Boeing requires.
 
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Revelation
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Re: ​Internal tussle as Boeing weighs future of 747

Wed May 27, 2020 11:52 pm

flyPIT wrote:
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?

Well, the full quote was:

“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.

We can all read what we want to read, but to me they are focused on meeting the commitments then closing the line.

Put it another way: Suppose the factories that make the A380's fuselage skins, floor beams, doors, aft fuselage and tail section closed, all the major equipment was moved into storage, all the minor equipment was auctioned off, and all the factory workers found new jobs: would you say that the A380 was dead?
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flyPIT
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Re: ​Internal tussle as Boeing weighs future of 747

Thu May 28, 2020 12:22 am

Revelation wrote:
IPut it another way: Suppose the factories that make the A380's fuselage skins, floor beams, doors, aft fuselage and tail section closed, all the major equipment was moved into storage, all the minor equipment was auctioned off, and all the factory workers found new jobs: would you say that the A380 was dead?

I think some key differences are that the A380 simply is not in demand.... but it seems the B748f still has some interest. Also, Airbus officially cancelled the A380 but here we learn there is still internal debate at Boeing. When Vought announced several months ago they are pulling out of the program I was in agreement that the 747 was done. But now the news that there is debate within Boeing several months later.... I dunno but like I said in my first post I don't think it is as cut and dry as it's made out to be. Just my 2 cents.
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Re: ​Internal tussle as Boeing weighs future of 747

Thu May 28, 2020 12:34 am

scbriml wrote:
SteelChair wrote:
At one time they had 285 C141s and 131 C-5's, not to mention many more 130s than they currently have. They way I see it, their airlift capacity is way down from the recent past.


Recent past - as in Vietnam war era? Has USAF complained about a lack of airlift? If I remember correctly, congress forced them to take more C-17s than they wanted to.

To try and stay on topic, I don't see USAF being a white knight for the 747.


Recent past as in 9/11. There’s 52 C-5Ms, the 141s are gone about 16 years ago
 
UA444
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Re: ​Internal tussle as Boeing weighs future of 747

Thu May 28, 2020 12:45 am

Revelation wrote:
flyPIT wrote:
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?

Well, the full quote was:

“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.

We can all read what we want to read, but to me they are focused on meeting the commitments then closing the line.

Put it another way: Suppose the factories that make the A380's fuselage skins, floor beams, doors, aft fuselage and tail section closed, all the major equipment was moved into storage, all the minor equipment was auctioned off, and all the factory workers found new jobs: would you say that the A380 was dead?

You’re literally focusing on the comment on building current commitments. They’d say the same exact thing for the 787. They also said the line is open and they plan to keep it healthy and that they have nothing to report. You’re parsing one line and twisting it to fit your narrative. The fact is the line is open and they’re officially accepting orders until/unless they say they’re not. They’re a publicly held company. If they want to end 747 production they’d come out and announce it, and they’d be legally obligated to. They haven’t. The end.
 
UA444
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Re: ​Internal tussle as Boeing weighs future of 747

Thu May 28, 2020 12:51 am

Stitch wrote:
I would not be surprised at all if those five existing 747-8F customers were pinging Boeing about ensuring there is a sufficient supply of spare parts to keep their fleets operating and not about placing new orders.

And as for the "new customers", one of them was start-up Avatar Airlines who submitted an LoI for 30 747-8 frames which was just a PR stunt to get their names in the financial papers.

Boeing had to have done a "Last Call" in late 2017 / early 2018 and the only bite they got was UPS doubling-down on their initial 14 frames. While Boeing did accept the four orders at the end of 2018 from Volga-Dnepr, I am confident Boeing did so knowing they either would never take them (and they are now on the ASC 606 list to that effect) or as a hedge if UPS decided in a few years that they didn't need all 14 frames they ordered they could pawn them off to V-D.

Nobody else is serious about ordering - at least in the volumes or at the prices Boeing requires.

If Boeing did a last call, they’d publicly disclose they are closing the 747 line. They’re a publicly held company. Nothing of the sort has been done, or else they’d report in SEC filings.
 
strfyr51
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Re: ​Internal tussle as Boeing weighs future of 747

Thu May 28, 2020 1:12 am

Revelation wrote:
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.

Boeing has all the drawings no matter that triumph Vought builds them. That's a business decision. Those same Parts might be built by Mitsubishi, US Steel, Alcoa or any number of US manufacturers. Boeing could put out bids tomorrow if they so close, It only depends on how much they're willing to risk for the return on investment.
 
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Re: ​Internal tussle as Boeing weighs future of 747

Thu May 28, 2020 1:16 am

UA444 wrote:
You’re literally focusing on the comment on building current commitments. They’d say the same exact thing for the 787. They also said the line is open and they plan to keep it healthy and that they have nothing to report. You’re parsing one line and twisting it to fit your narrative. The fact is the line is open and they’re officially accepting orders until/unless they say they’re not. They’re a publicly held company. If they want to end 747 production they’d come out and announce it, and they’d be legally obligated to. They haven’t. The end.

And you're literally focusing on the parsing of a public relations statement, and ignoring the fact that the factories that build a very large percentage of the parts needed to build the plane have been closed for months now. You're picking a strange hill to make your last stand, IMO.
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CX747
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Re: ​Internal tussle as Boeing weighs future of 747

Thu May 28, 2020 2:12 am

The USAF has asked for additional lift recently. They stated they are 1 squadron short of tactical airlifters. Conversation from that need has discussed multiple options that fit the bill from 747s, new C-17s or dusted off C-5s from the desert. No answer to the question has been picked but figure 24-30 airframes if "it" goes forward. Additional need to replace C-135s and a possible 747 answer has also been discussed. Those two programs on their face would equal at minimum 50 aircraft.

Plenty of well respected guys have made comments in this thread. I think we can agree the FG article has brought to light scenarios that were not thought to be possible. Triumph's decision to cease being a partner on the 747 program, did not bring about a decision by Boeing to end 747 production.

At this time, Boeing has enough parts on hand to build UPS's 747s through 2022. They are reported to be discussing two options including going with a new parts supplier or closing the line. Until we meet the drop dead date, for long lead parts on the potential 747 that would get made AFTER the last current UPS order, the program is good. That doesn't mean it isn't treading in deep water, it just means it is still swimming.

There are 190+ 747-400Fs still rocking and rolling out there. Does the market want/need/get 747-8Fs to replace them? The next few months should let us know.

All kidding aside, couldn't Harley Davidson make the parts? We can all agree HD makes better products than Triumph right?!?!?!?!?
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Aesma
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Re: ​Internal tussle as Boeing weighs future of 747

Thu May 28, 2020 3:06 am

tomcat wrote:
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.


Why complicate things by opening the nose when you can open the back ? Like the Boeing Dreamlifter.

The 747 has the upper deck there so that the nose can be opened, but if you start from a more conventional frame, opening the back seems much easier.

Now do you even need to open it like the Dreamlifter, I'm not sure, if you make a side door big enough, that should be good enough for most shipments.
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SteelChair
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Re: ​Internal tussle as Boeing weighs future of 747

Thu May 28, 2020 3:41 am

CX747 wrote:
The USAF has asked for additional lift recently. They stated they are 1 squadron short of tactical airlifters. Conversation from that need has discussed multiple options that fit the bill from 747s, new C-17s or dusted off C-5s from the desert. No answer to the question has been picked but figure 24-30 airframes if "it" goes forward. Additional need to replace C-135s and a possible 747 answer has also been discussed. Those two programs on their face would equal at minimum 50 aircraft.


I think there is a small chance (cue Lloyd Christmas), but I would love to see it. A minimum change COTS 747-8 for the USAF. Maybe add an in-flight refueling system....take off heavy fly an hour or two.....top off and fly 12 more hours. I think military planes have a higher maximum weight airborne than for takeoff. It makes too much sense for the USAF to do.....they haven't done anything not invented here since the F4.
 
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Re: ​Internal tussle as Boeing weighs future of 747

Thu May 28, 2020 3:46 am

flyPIT wrote:
You think that's what it would be about? How about keeping a long time customer that is extremely happy with both the 767F and 748F.

That's more you applying human sentiment, than two corporations applying cold numbers, both immediate and projected.

Doesn't do a thing to change what was said in the previous post, and has all the veracity of AvGeeks' previous "...Boeing'd better bring back the 757, or ___ is going to Airbus!!"
I myself, suspect a more prosaic motive... ~Thranduil
 
UA444
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Re: ​Internal tussle as Boeing weighs future of 747

Thu May 28, 2020 3:59 am

LAX772LR wrote:
flyPIT wrote:
You think that's what it would be about? How about keeping a long time customer that is extremely happy with both the 767F and 748F.

That's more you applying human sentiment, than two corporations applying cold numbers, both immediate and projected.

Doesn't do a thing to change what was said in the previous post, and has all the veracity of AvGeeks' previous "...Boeing'd better bring back the 757, or ___ is going to Airbus!!"

There are other costs or unintended consequences of letting a customer going to a competitor. Boeing May lose their shirt on a proposed 767-748 order in the near term, but if the long term benefits of the parts and support contracts make up for it, and future orders for other products (like a 777F) are in the equation, that changes the math considerably.

Selling 10 748s today and then not letting Airbus sell 50 A33Fs when you can than sell 35 777Fs later is a pretty good deal to me.
 
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Re: ​Internal tussle as Boeing weighs future of 747

Thu May 28, 2020 4:58 am

I've thought a lot about this today. Boeing has not yet issued a formal "Final Call"... but they were allowing it to die a natural death; unless there is a sudden change in the market.

They maintained the ability to restart production of the most major pieces of the recently shutdown portion. This shows keeping their options open.

If I got the numbers right: Boeing sold 107 748F in 13 years... What they need to re-set up the shutdown production process if for those airlines to likely step forward soon and say they want another third of what was previously ordered. Should the Air-force (or any military in most of the world) decide they want some for general airlift that would also fit into that.

There's likely a 9 - 12 month window on those orders materializing. After that, the long lead items will start to be shut down as well...

It will be interesting to see what happens. I'd love to see the 747 still in production for another decade or more... and I understand fully that it may be shut down in 2022 with the last delivery of the current UPS frames.

Have a great day,
 
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LAX772LR
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Re: ​Internal tussle as Boeing weighs future of 747

Thu May 28, 2020 5:12 am

UA444 wrote:
There are other costs or unintended consequences of letting a customer going to a competitor. Boeing May lose their shirt on a proposed 767-748 order in the near term, but if the long term benefits of the parts and support contracts make up for it, and future orders for other products (like a 777F) are in the equation, that changes the math considerably.

All encompassed in what was already said:
Again, must meet direct + indirect costs, and revenue goals, while neutralizing opportunity costs.
I myself, suspect a more prosaic motive... ~Thranduil
 
entdoc
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Re: ​Internal tussle as Boeing weighs future of 747

Thu May 28, 2020 6:26 am

Wonder what the USAF will do in future years when the newly ordered VC-25s reach their end of life. I remember reading that the AF wants the president’s plane to be a four holer.
Seems by then neither Boeing or Airbus will be building 4 engine jets.
But maybe by that time there will be more advanced technology. Beam me up Donald.

Wondering though. Could Boeing add two engines to whatever the existing design is at that time (797. Or 848 or whatever) if the USAF demanded it? Or would that be too much redesign to make it feasible. (Or knowing USAF requirements could they design a future jet to have potential both two and four engine models)


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scbriml
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Re: ​Internal tussle as Boeing weighs future of 747

Thu May 28, 2020 7:43 am

Revelation wrote:
And you're literally focusing on the parsing of a public relations statement, and ignoring the fact that the factories that build a very large percentage of the parts needed to build the plane have been closed for months now. You're picking a strange hill to make your last stand, IMO.


Not to mention Boeing's tendency to trumpet "Good news", "Good news", "Still good news", "Absolutely still good news", "Oh, by the way, some bad news". Got to keep that share price up.

entdoc wrote:
Wonder what the USAF will do in future years when the newly ordered VC-25s reach their end of life. I remember reading that the AF wants the president’s plane to be a four holer.


Nobody can buy what isn't available, even USAF.
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JayinKitsap
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Re: ​Internal tussle as Boeing weighs future of 747

Thu May 28, 2020 7:54 am

Some items to stir the pot, could Boeing being silent have to do with:
a) A big DOD order for a future transport / tanker / command center / bomb & drone truck that has a requirement for 4 engines. But it won't hit the street until the A380 line is cut up.
b) Some 748 contracts may have buy back clauses, like how LH is returning to Airbus 6 A380's. Possibly in 2 years this clause expires.
c) Declaring the line closed may have tax, or reporting requirements that Boeing would like to defer for a while.
 
tomcat
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Re: ​Internal tussle as Boeing weighs future of 747

Thu May 28, 2020 7:59 am

Aesma wrote:
tomcat wrote:
Revelation wrote:
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.


Why complicate things by opening the nose when you can open the back ? Like the Boeing Dreamlifter.

The 747 has the upper deck there so that the nose can be opened, but if you start from a more conventional frame, opening the back seems much easier.

Now do you even need to open it like the Dreamlifter, I'm not sure, if you make a side door big enough, that should be good enough for most shipments.


What is so complicated when the design (of a lowered cockpit) already exists and is already in production with the Beluga XL? All Airbus would need to do is to design a nose door conforming to the regular fuselage diameter. Put this on a 251t A330NEO and you get a descent proposal with an aircraft that is still in production.

In any case, I don't believe that a dreamlifter-like design is a good solution. It requires ground support equipment to support the back when opened and IIRC its operation has some wind speed restriction.
 
IWMBH
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Re: ​Internal tussle as Boeing weighs future of 747

Thu May 28, 2020 9:39 am

entdoc wrote:
Wonder what the USAF will do in future years when the newly ordered VC-25s reach their end of life. I remember reading that the AF wants the president’s plane to be a four holer.
Seems by then neither Boeing or Airbus will be building 4 engine jets.
But maybe by that time there will be more advanced technology. Beam me up Donald.

Wondering though. Could Boeing add two engines to whatever the existing design is at that time (797. Or 848 or whatever) if the USAF demanded it? Or would that be too much redesign to make it feasible. (Or knowing USAF requirements could they design a future jet to have potential both two and four engine models)


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The new VC-25 will be used for decades, so the USAF won't worry about their replacements for a long time.
There are more pressing issues like the replacement of the E-4's.

When the time arrives to replace the VC-25 I believe they'll simply choose for a two holer when no other option is available.
Boeing won't (re-)design a complete aircraft for just two orders.
 
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Stitch
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Re: ​Internal tussle as Boeing weighs future of 747

Thu May 28, 2020 3:35 pm

UA444 wrote:
If Boeing did a last call, they’d publicly disclose they are closing the 747 line. They’re a publicly held company. Nothing of the sort has been done, or else they’d report in SEC filings.


They're still building 747s from their existing backlog so it is not yet a Materially Impacting Financial Event that requires an SEC notification. They can probably wait until the final UPS 747-8 is in Wing-Body Join, though I expect they could announce it before then just to clear the books.

Last I saw, the Deferred Production Costs for the 747-8 program were under $100 million and even if the tooling all lies idle, it's long been amortized so there would be no write downs there. Depending on how they re-assign engineering and production staff, the impact of that could be minimal, as well (by the time the 747 line ends production, Boeing will likely need to start re-staffing from the post-COVID19 staffing reductions so they could all be absorbed into other programs).
 
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Re: ​Internal tussle as Boeing weighs future of 747

Thu May 28, 2020 3:45 pm

There is no chance that the USAF is going to suddenly drop a massive "Hail Mary" 747-8 order, be it for strategic airlift or as an E-4B replacement.

The USAF will do what they always do when they need short-term pallet lift - contract with freight operators.

As for the E-4B, that will almost certainly be a 767-2C platform. This is not the 1970s when the doctrine was to fight an extended nuclear conflict over weeks with scores of exchanges employing many thousands of warheads which required a 100-member battle staff and the ability to support them for an extended period as they roamed around the world outrunning the fallout / nuclear winter.
 
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Revelation
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Re: ​Internal tussle as Boeing weighs future of 747

Thu May 28, 2020 3:59 pm

Stitch wrote:
There is no chance that the USAF is going to suddenly drop a massive "Hail Mary" 747-8 order, be it for strategic airlift or as an E-4B replacement.

The USAF will do what they always do when they need short-term pallet lift - contract with freight operators.

As for the E-4B, that will almost certainly be a 767-2C platform. This is not the 1970s when the doctrine was to fight an extended nuclear conflict over weeks with scores of exchanges employing many thousands of warheads which required a 100-member battle staff and the ability to support them for an extended period as they roamed around the world outrunning the fallout / nuclear winter.

Agree, there does seem to be a lot of "the past is prologue" / "fighting the last war not the next war" thought patterns emerging on this thread.

USAF has militarized 767 and 737 platforms close to hand for various future command/control roles. USAF has plenty of mission ready airlift, and can tap lots of commercial providers if/when the spam hits the fan. Heck if airlines are willing to rip chairs out for COVID and carry freight on the main deck, we can see they could do a lot of airlift should warfare shut down sources of commercial revenue. Not that i expect this to be needed. I also don't see the need for 200+ C-17s, but that's just me.
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JayinKitsap
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Re: ​Internal tussle as Boeing weighs future of 747

Thu May 28, 2020 5:24 pm

The current 748 operators were well aware 2 years ago it was last call, around this time last year the contract with Triumph hit the date where they were no longer required to accept new orders. I would expect all of the other suppliers had the same dates in theirs. Why would you have one supplier required to accept orders but not another. Boeing didn't add any white tails at that point, they would have if there was serious interest then. An order last year of a dozen would have been added gladly. But silence today for a similar order just means they cannot state it is still 'on offer' or not, as that declares the event.

Restarting frame production on a dozen orders probably adds $10M per frame, but what else has the lines being closed on. The order book is basically closed at this point, unless WN decides to order 50, then suddenly the line will reopen. But what airline needs / can order even a dozen 748's.
 
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Stitch
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Re: ​Internal tussle as Boeing weighs future of 747

Thu May 28, 2020 6:21 pm

Revelation wrote:
Agree, there does seem to be a lot of "the past is prologue" / "fighting the last war not the next war" thought patterns emerging on this thread.


That and "I like this airplane so I refuse to believe that there is not a vibrant market for it. The market is too stupid / short-sighted to see how wonderful it is right now, but they will come around any day now!".
 
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scbriml
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Re: ​Internal tussle as Boeing weighs future of 747

Thu May 28, 2020 6:28 pm

Stitch wrote:
Revelation wrote:
Agree, there does seem to be a lot of "the past is prologue" / "fighting the last war not the next war" thought patterns emerging on this thread.


That and "I like this airplane so I refuse to believe that there is not a vibrant market for it. The market is too stupid / short-sighted to see how wonderful it is right now, but they will come around any day now!".


Yep, that's why we have so many 757 threads. :duck:

I do get it, I really do. Nobody wants to see their favourite plane go out of production. But, it eventually comes to every single plane ever built.
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Re: ​Internal tussle as Boeing weighs future of 747

Thu May 28, 2020 7:50 pm

Stitch wrote:
That and "I like this airplane so I refuse to believe that there is not a vibrant market for it. The market is too stupid / short-sighted to see how wonderful it is right now, but they will come around any day now!".

... and if not, they're deranged! :biggrin:
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Ziyulu
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Re: ​Internal tussle as Boeing weighs future of 747

Thu May 28, 2020 8:35 pm

I now wish the 787 would not have been invented and more airlines would order the 748.
 
GalaxyFlyer
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Re: ​Internal tussle as Boeing weighs future of 747

Thu May 28, 2020 9:17 pm

Ziyulu wrote:
I now wish the 787 would not have been invented and more airlines would order the 748.


Much more likely, the A350 would have sold bigger numbers. No way was the 787 the reason for 748 selling so few frames.
 
FGITD
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Re: ​Internal tussle as Boeing weighs future of 747

Thu May 28, 2020 9:22 pm

Ziyulu wrote:
I now wish the 787 would not have been invented and more airlines would order the 748.


Well for one thing, it was developed, not invented.

Also I don't think the 787 is as responsible for the end of the 747 as you think.
 
GalaxyFlyer
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Re: ​Internal tussle as Boeing weighs future of 747

Thu May 28, 2020 9:24 pm

CX747 wrote:
The USAF has asked for additional lift recently. They stated they are 1 squadron short of tactical airlifters. Conversation from that need has discussed multiple options that fit the bill from 747s, new C-17s or dusted off C-5s from the desert. No answer to the question has been picked but figure 24-30 airframes if "it" goes forward. Additional need to replace C-135s and a possible 747 answer has also been discussed. Those two programs on their face would equal at minimum 50 aircraft.

Plenty of well respected guys have made comments in this thread. I think we can agree the FG article has brought to light scenarios that were not thought to be possible. Triumph's decision to cease being a partner on the 747 program, did not bring about a decision by Boeing to end 747 production.

At this time, Boeing has enough parts on hand to build UPS's 747s through 2022. They are reported to be discussing two options including going with a new parts supplier or closing the line. Until we meet the drop dead date, for long lead parts on the potential 747 that would get made AFTER the last current UPS order, the program is good. That doesn't mean it isn't treading in deep water, it just means it is still swimming.

There are 190+ 747-400Fs still rocking and rolling out there. Does the market want/need/get 747-8Fs to replace them? The next few months should let us know.

All kidding aside, couldn't Harley Davidson make the parts? We can all agree HD makes better products than Triumph right?!?!?!?!?


Well, weird conversation that one. One squadron short of TACTICAL airlifters (C-130, maybe C-17), so the proposal is 747, C-5 out of D-M. Confusing.

That might bring some C-5A planes out of storage, maybe. Lockheed bought and dissected an A model To see how convertible they might be. Good news-most were in pretty good shape and certainly 25-30 could be made into Ms. Bad news—there’s no money or political push to do so. I understand the C-17 line is done and, unless Lockheed is storing the tooling, so is the C-5M. Last one delivered to KCEF over two years ago.

Anyone remember Scoop Jackson (D-Boeing) and his role in the last USAF 747 buy? If so, you’ll know why this is a non-starter.
 
miegapele
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Re: ​Internal tussle as Boeing weighs future of 747

Thu May 28, 2020 9:36 pm

Ziyulu wrote:
I now wish the 787 would not have been invented and more airlines would order the 748.

777 killed 747 way before that. Even arguably 767 etops was death blow, with slow convulsions after.
 
smartplane
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Re: ​Internal tussle as Boeing weighs future of 747

Thu May 28, 2020 9:42 pm

Such internal debate is healthy, though not so much when leaked. It happened previously, when contract terms were modified to prevent customers from selling 'in demand' orders to 3rd parties, before being built, at a profit. And again when B adopted template contracts for small and medium sized customers. Happened more recently between 787 and 777 factions - the former wanted a 2nd wing option and 4th fuselage length, while the latter wanted the X.

Only argument for retaining the 748, which at best must be a breakeven model, could be if the 777X is at risk, so no future 777XF version to offer. Airbus aren't an F threat, especially where size matters.

The more likely reason is there are age-related buybacks in place, especially on the 748i, which model termination brings forward. If LH are savvy, they will argue a major supplier exiting, with no alternate source, is constructive model termination.
 
CX747
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Re: ​Internal tussle as Boeing weighs future of 747

Fri May 29, 2020 1:42 am

https://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/2 ... provide-it

Open source reporting (just 1 of numerous articles and official reports) on a USAF study describing a shortfall in tactical airlifters. 747 is discussed as a possible solution. Buy 747s, allow that number of C-17s to be freed from strategic lift. Just focus those C-17s on tactical lift. It is a possibility but a long shot. Same plug and play is discussed with the 767 being the COTS bandaid.

Similar type of need for aging C-135 aircraft is out there. I'm not here to argue whether the 747 is better to replace it than other aircraft. Just here to pass along that the 747 has been studied as an option.

The 777 surpassed the 747 in the area of pax flight a long time ago. The 747 has stayed in the game longer for cargo due to its unique capabilities. Whether the sun sets on production or continues to shine on it will play out over the next 9-12 months.
"History does not long entrust the care of freedom to the weak or timid." D. Eisenhower
 
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Re: ​Internal tussle as Boeing weighs future of 747

Fri May 29, 2020 2:54 am

I’m stunned, Maryanne Miller, former reservist and ART is the AMC 4-star. An interesting, I’m not sure in what sense, career.
 
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Stitch
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Re: ​Internal tussle as Boeing weighs future of 747

Fri May 29, 2020 3:38 am

That War Zone article is from 2018, which ironically would have been when Boeing was doing a last-call. So that the USAF didn't order them then....

Frankly, even if the 747-8F was still available, C-46s makes the most sense since the engineering has already been done whereas there would be a need to do all the military-specific engineering for a C-33B and considering how badly Boeing flubbed that on the KC-46A, would the USAF and/or Boeing want to risk it again? (Though there would be some irony to the USAF actually having gone forward with the C-33A in 2018 to augment the C-17 fleet after cancelling it in 1994 in favor of more C-17s).

And considering how up-side down Boeing is on the KC-46A program with all the cost-overruns they have eaten, the opportunity to sell scores of C-46s would help improve the financials of the 767 military program.
 
Jetport
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Re: ​Internal tussle as Boeing weighs future of 747

Fri May 29, 2020 4:12 am

According to all of the armchair aviation savants on ANet the 747 was cancelled several years ago, wasn't it? And once any component or sub assembly goes out of production on an older aircraft, it is totally impossible to build it again ever, another Anet truism I have heard many times. If once a part goes out of production you can't make a new version economically, how did the original version ever get made in the first place? :stirthepot:

While I agree that the 747 line will likely end in a few years, it appears there is a chance the 747 gets another lease on life due to its unique capabilities no other production or planned aircraft is capable of. I think there is real possibility the 747 line outlives the A330 line now that 787's are available for immediate delivery.
 
VV
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Re: ​Internal tussle as Boeing weighs future of 747

Fri May 29, 2020 7:45 am

.
The 747 has had a good long life so far.

The 747-8F at such a low production rate is not industrially viable.
I expect the production to stop by mid-2023.

Cargo operators will have to work in a world without additional new-build 747-8F starting in 2024.

Perhaps GEnx-2B will get some incremental improvements for another application.
 
UA444
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Re: ​Internal tussle as Boeing weighs future of 747

Fri May 29, 2020 7:47 am

Stitch wrote:
That War Zone article is from 2018, which ironically would have been when Boeing was doing a last-call. So that the USAF didn't order them then....

Frankly, even if the 747-8F was still available, C-46s makes the most sense since the engineering has already been done whereas there would be a need to do all the military-specific engineering for a C-33B and considering how badly Boeing flubbed that on the KC-46A, would the USAF and/or Boeing want to risk it again? (Though there would be some irony to the USAF actually having gone forward with the C-33A in 2018 to augment the C-17 fleet after cancelling it in 1994 in favor of more C-17s).

And considering how up-side down Boeing is on the KC-46A program with all the cost-overruns they have eaten, the opportunity to sell scores of C-46s would help improve the financials of the 767 military program.

You got proof Boeing did a last call?
 
VV
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Re: ​Internal tussle as Boeing weighs future of 747

Fri May 29, 2020 7:47 am

Closing a program is expensive and Boeing will have to write down a large sum.

A timing for the end of 747-8F production in 2023 seems to be about right when Boeing's results will have become more normal.
 
jagraham
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Re: ​Internal tussle as Boeing weighs future of 747

Fri May 29, 2020 10:50 am

Revelation wrote:
Stitch wrote:
There is no chance that the USAF is going to suddenly drop a massive "Hail Mary" 747-8 order, be it for strategic airlift or as an E-4B replacement.

The USAF will do what they always do when they need short-term pallet lift - contract with freight operators.

As for the E-4B, that will almost certainly be a 767-2C platform. This is not the 1970s when the doctrine was to fight an extended nuclear conflict over weeks with scores of exchanges employing many thousands of warheads which required a 100-member battle staff and the ability to support them for an extended period as they roamed around the world outrunning the fallout / nuclear winter.

Agree, there does seem to be a lot of "the past is prologue" / "fighting the last war not the next war" thought patterns emerging on this thread.

USAF has militarized 767 and 737 platforms close to hand for various future command/control roles. USAF has plenty of mission ready airlift, and can tap lots of commercial providers if/when the spam hits the fan. Heck if airlines are willing to rip chairs out for COVID and carry freight on the main deck, we can see they could do a lot of airlift should warfare shut down sources of commercial revenue. Not that i expect this to be needed. I also don't see the need for 200+ C-17s, but that's just me.


The need for C17s is to move tanks and heavy artillery quickly. A better general would have taken advantage of the 6 month buildup window and make the Gulf War hell for the USA. USAF needs to be able to move a division in a day or two, not a month or two. But that problem has been around for a while and USAF always priortizes fighters . . . a wing of 748Fs would cut the fuel bill for over ocean flying in half, but if the USAF hasn't pulled the trigger yet, it's doubtful they will do so now.
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