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TC957
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Combi aircraft - an opportunity missed ?

Tue Feb 16, 2021 9:23 am

Hi...I was thinking that with the current & future trend of more cargo and less passengers flying that Boeing and Airbus have missed a good opportunity to develop combi versions of their long-haul aircraft. Surely the flexibility to adapt from all pax to all cargo or a mix of the two would be invaluable to airlines.
Thoughts ?
 
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scbriml
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Re: Combi aircraft - an opportunity missed ?

Tue Feb 16, 2021 9:44 am

It hasn't been done simply because certification authorities will no longer allow pax and cargo on the same deck.
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eamondzhang
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Re: Combi aircraft - an opportunity missed ?

Tue Feb 16, 2021 9:45 am

Flexibility to change from pax config to cargo and vice versa is exactly the last thing aviation authorities will approve nowadays. Any combi config must have a fixed bulkhead to begin with.

Michael
 
VSMUT
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Re: Combi aircraft - an opportunity missed ?

Tue Feb 16, 2021 9:49 am

TC957 wrote:
Hi...I was thinking that with the current & future trend of more cargo and less passengers flying that Boeing and Airbus have missed a good opportunity to develop combi versions of their long-haul aircraft. Surely the flexibility to adapt from all pax to all cargo or a mix of the two would be invaluable to airlines.
Thoughts ?


Legislation prevents flexible combi aircraft that were feasible in the past. A fixed bulkhead is needed between the cargo area and the passenger area. If a fire breaks out, it has to be contained away from the passengers. Ditto for the halon or CO2 that will be used to extinguish the fire. It is heavy and only attractive to airlines that really specialize in some specific types of flights.

The alternative is a quick-change freighter that are either all-cargo or all-passenger. They have the large cargo door, and seats can be taken out to turn it into a freighter. These are lousy for passenger use, because the cargo door leaks cold air into the cabin, is noisy and doesn't have overhead compartments around the cargo door. It also sucks for cargo use, because the overhead compartments, lavatories and galleys take up useful space.

Image
 
oldannyboy
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Re: Combi aircraft - an opportunity missed ?

Tue Feb 16, 2021 9:59 am

I remember flying a QC 737 many many moons ago, and I confirm it was a lousy experience. The noise (the racket, really!), with the notoriously already rattling panels of the -200 Boeing 737, plus the stains, the dark marks everywhere on the side panels, the bone chilling drafts coming from the gaping fittings of the cargo door....it was terrible. The bins were also very small, of the old 1970s "wide body look" type, with yellowish fluorescent tubes. Really not something I'd recommend.
 
raylee67
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Re: Combi aircraft - an opportunity missed ?

Tue Feb 16, 2021 10:02 am

TC957 wrote:
Hi...I was thinking that with the current & future trend of more cargo and less passengers flying that Boeing and Airbus have missed a good opportunity to develop combi versions of their long-haul aircraft. Surely the flexibility to adapt from all pax to all cargo or a mix of the two would be invaluable to airlines.
Thoughts ?

Not really. Apart from regulatory challenges, large long range combi was no longer needed because the new long range pax aircraft can carry as much cargo in their belly as the old combis. To address the demand of cargo capacity in the next few years with suppressed pax demand, I think what they need to do is to speed up freighter conversion for aircraft such as A330 and 767. Hundreds of them were retired and can be picked up for freighter conversion quickly. Many qualified pilots are available to fly them as well as cargo plane instead of pax planes. They can fly medium-to-long range flights easily and efficiently. Even if they are only needed for a few years, it's probably worth it to make the conversion.
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VSMUT
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Re: Combi aircraft - an opportunity missed ?

Tue Feb 16, 2021 10:33 am

oldannyboy wrote:
I remember flying a QC 737 many many moons ago, and I confirm it was a lousy experience. The noise (the racket, really!), with the notoriously already rattling panels of the -200 Boeing 737, plus the stains, the dark marks everywhere on the side panels, the bone chilling drafts coming from the gaping fittings of the cargo door....it was terrible. The bins were also very small, of the old 1970s "wide body look" type, with yellowish fluorescent tubes. Really not something I'd recommend.


Could you imagine boarding your Qatar Airways Qsuite flight, and then being seated next to a rattly, leaky, noisy and cold cargo door with scratched windows and scuffed panels and carpets, and being asked to stow your hand luggage beneath the seat in front of you? :duck:
 
TC957
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Re: Combi aircraft - an opportunity missed ?

Tue Feb 16, 2021 1:18 pm

Ha ha ! fair point. But aircraft technology has moved on from when the 737QC and 742Combis were around.
 
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Boeing757100
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Re: Combi aircraft - an opportunity missed ?

Tue Feb 16, 2021 2:46 pm

Imagine if they made combi aircraft and the cargo was carrying Pfizer vaccines. Never happening. Why? Well, the vaccines have to be stored in cold conditions and even if the pax are in a different section (which they are) they still might be uncomfortable.
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NameOmitted
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Re: Combi aircraft - an opportunity missed ?

Tue Feb 16, 2021 4:19 pm

TC957 wrote:
Hi...I was thinking that with the current & future trend of more cargo and less passengers flying that Boeing and Airbus have missed a good opportunity to develop combi versions of their long-haul aircraft. Surely the flexibility to adapt from all pax to all cargo or a mix of the two would be invaluable to airlines.
Thoughts ?

Given the cargo capacity of the 777, it essentially is a 747 combi
 
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FLALEFTY
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Re: Combi aircraft - an opportunity missed ?

Tue Feb 16, 2021 5:33 pm

ST Engineering will convert a B757 into a combi. Here's an overview brochure:

https://www.stengg.com/media/30983/st-a ... ochure.pdf
 
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LAX772LR
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Re: Combi aircraft - an opportunity missed ?

Tue Feb 16, 2021 6:09 pm

scbriml wrote:
It hasn't been done simply because certification authorities will no longer allow pax and cargo on the same deck.

Not exactly accurate. They'll do it, but they want a fixed bulkhead that meets modern fire/smoke suppression standards-- which doesn't interest the majority of carriers who still op combis now, and isn't likely to draw new ones in, as we've seen.

Add to that, that the likes of the A330, A350, and especially 777 (which offers more volume than even 747s and A380s), are borderline "combis" now, due to their gigantic underbelly holds; sorta lessens the need.
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flyingclrs727
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Re: Combi aircraft - an opportunity missed ?

Tue Feb 16, 2021 6:15 pm

scbriml wrote:
It hasn't been done simply because certification authorities will no longer allow pax and cargo on the same deck.


Not true! The 738-400 Combi was built after the regulations were tightened. The new regulations required better crash barriers to prevent cargo from getting into the passenger compartment in case of a crash. It also required better fire suppression systems and sealing of the main deck cargo section. The regulations made movable cargo/passenger separation walls non-viable. This meant combis in the future would not be able adjust the ratio of passengers to cargo due to fixed cargo walls. The combis designed since then have the cargo section forward of the passenger section with a fixed wall between them. Of course such a configuration is not useful for network carriers that board passengers from air bridges at major international air hubs.

Nowadays there is less need for widebody combi aircraft as there are lots of widebody dedicated freighters available. Back in the early 1970's there were no widebody freighters. Combi 747's offered the ability to reduce main deck passenger capacity on a large widebody while adding capacity for larger volume widebody freight compartments. That was a compelling reason to build combis. Now there are smaller passenger aircraft with similar or longer range, this further decreased the demand for both main deck passenger and cargo capabilities on the same aircraft. KLM was not interested in buying a 747-8 Combi.
 
jfk777
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Re: Combi aircraft - an opportunity missed ?

Thu Feb 18, 2021 1:31 am

The 747 Combi started because Sabena could not sell a full 747-100 from BRU to JFK 50 years ago and they came up with the idea of putting cargo on the main deck.
 
Sokes
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Re: Combi aircraft - an opportunity missed ?

Thu Feb 18, 2021 8:33 am

The B777 has a fuselage diameter of 6,2 m and the belly LD3s are 163 cm high. Main deck pellets on B777 freighters are up to 3 m high.

Here my idea of a combi, assuming that it should fit in the 80m box and have length = 12 x width:
80 / 12= 6,7 m

The A380 has a fuselage width of 7,13 m, the A350 of 5,96 m. So 6,7 m is not terrible much for 10 abreast.
With this design shift the cabin floor around 50 cm up. This extra hight plus a little extra length should increase cargo capacity by 40%. Considering that some volume goes for passenger bags even more than that.

Should the fuselage be 6,6 m or 6,8 m? Should the floor go 40 or 60 cm up?
I don't know. It's a rough idea. I believe it would have been a better fuselage choice than adapting the B777 fuselage.

Also a higher cargo compartment reduces the wingbox projection from the fuselage. I believe that's good because of area rule. Or is it bad because the landing gear becomes longer?
Last edited by Sokes on Thu Feb 18, 2021 8:35 am, edited 1 time in total.
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eta unknown
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Re: Combi aircraft - an opportunity missed ?

Thu Feb 18, 2021 8:34 am

SN also couldn't sell a full pax DC-10 on many routes, hence their combi for that too. BRU was (still is?) too small a market, so most pax were transits.
 
SeoulIncheon
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Re: Combi aircraft - an opportunity missed ?

Thu Feb 18, 2021 9:11 am

Any reason why A350/B777s have huge cargo capacity when they are hardly any larger than 747s? Is it achievement of modern engineering and space design or other reasons?
 
Armadillo1
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Re: Combi aircraft - an opportunity missed ?

Thu Feb 18, 2021 12:18 pm

they are longer with longer belly cargo room and better use of it.
 
marcelh
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Re: Combi aircraft - an opportunity missed ?

Thu Feb 18, 2021 12:32 pm

NameOmitted wrote:
Given the cargo capacity of the 777, it essentially is a 747 combi

It isn’t. There was a reason KLM brought back their retired 747 Combis last year. IIRC from the KLM 747 retirement thread, the 747 Combi had 40 percent more capacity (by volume) than a 77W
 
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Re: Combi aircraft - an opportunity missed ?

Thu Feb 18, 2021 12:37 pm

flyingclrs727 wrote:
KLM was not interested in buying a 747-8 Combi.

I’can’t find the thread, but 747Classic mentioned there had been talks between Boeing and KLM about the 748 Combi, but it didn’t materialize because the minimum amount KLM had to take.
 
excalibur
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Re: Combi aircraft - an opportunity missed ?

Thu Feb 18, 2021 1:05 pm

LAX772LR wrote:
scbriml wrote:
It hasn't been done simply because certification authorities will no longer allow pax and cargo on the same deck.

Not exactly accurate. They'll do it, but they want a fixed bulkhead that meets modern fire/smoke suppression standards-- which doesn't interest the majority of carriers who still op combis now, and isn't likely to draw new ones in, as we've seen.

Add to that, that the likes of the A330, A350, and especially 777 (which offers more volume than even 747s and A380s), are borderline "combis" now, due to their gigantic underbelly holds; sorta lessens the need.


Hello, just wondering how much weight a 777-300ER can hold in its underbelly ? I was told once that it could reach MZFW with no pax, only underbelly cargo, which sounds amazing. Great bird.
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BirdBrain
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Re: Combi aircraft - an opportunity missed ?

Thu Feb 18, 2021 1:30 pm

VSMUT wrote:
TC957 wrote:
Hi...I was thinking that with the current & future trend of more cargo and less passengers flying that Boeing and Airbus have missed a good opportunity to develop combi versions of their long-haul aircraft. Surely the flexibility to adapt from all pax to all cargo or a mix of the two would be invaluable to airlines.
Thoughts ?


Legislation prevents flexible combi aircraft that were feasible in the past. A fixed bulkhead is needed between the cargo area and the passenger area. If a fire breaks out, it has to be contained away from the passengers. Ditto for the halon or CO2 that will be used to extinguish the fire. It is heavy and only attractive to airlines that really specialize in some specific types of flights.

The alternative is a quick-change freighter that are either all-cargo or all-passenger. They have the large cargo door, and seats can be taken out to turn it into a freighter. These are lousy for passenger use, because the cargo door leaks cold air into the cabin, is noisy and doesn't have overhead compartments around the cargo door. It also sucks for cargo use, because the overhead compartments, lavatories and galleys take up useful space.

Image

I agree with your points. But is it just me, or the photo you attached actually shows overhead storage on and around the cargo door?
 
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747classic
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Re: Combi aircraft - an opportunity missed ?

Thu Feb 18, 2021 2:53 pm

A lot of fake news in this thread,
- First : a combi can be certified under the present rules.
- Only a quick change version will be difficult to certify , because a fixed partition must be installed, between the pax and main deck cargo part and it's practically impossible to change the halon bottles at each quick configuration change, (Halon bottles are used by the main cargo deck fire fighting halon knock down system, required after the SAA accident)
- KLM has indeed asked Boeing for a 747-8 combi, but the minimum number was too high, for absorbing the certification costs.
- A 744 configuration change is/was mostly performed together with a C/D-inspection and will require a special kit.
- A "stand alone" configuration change wil cost approx.4-6 days downtime.
- If seated next to the 747 side cargo door in an all pax configuration, the only thing you can see is two missing windows, located at the main deck cargo door jambs, All internal lining is identical and additional electric heaters are installed at the door sill to prevent any cold air reaching the passenger seats..

I operated for almost 30 years several 747 configurations with KL and MP :
747 all pax,
747 combi 6/7 Pallets,
747 combi 12/13 Pallets,
747 convertible in full pax and full cargo,
P-F converted 747's,
factory built 747 freighters
and was frequently positioned on MP's MD11CF and -F fleet.
Operating a twin over the ocean, you're always one engine failure from a total emergency.
 
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Re: Combi aircraft - an opportunity missed ?

Thu Feb 18, 2021 4:19 pm

Boeing757100 wrote:
Imagine if they made combi aircraft and the cargo was carrying Pfizer vaccines. Never happening. Why? Well, the vaccines have to be stored in cold conditions and even if the pax are in a different section (which they are) they still might be uncomfortable.


The Pfizer vaccines are shipped in boxes with dry ice that don't require outside refrigeration. The Moderna vaccines are shipped similarly but with a different cooler pack that does not use dry ice (they don't need to be as cold). However, that would still create a different issue in that dry ice is considered a hazardous material aboard an aircraft and there would be particular restrictions on the amount allowed inside a cabin with passengers or crew and/or restrictions on what other cargo it can be around.
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TC957
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Re: Combi aircraft - an opportunity missed ?

Thu Feb 18, 2021 5:28 pm

Thanks for all the views here. Fascinating that KLM asked Boeing for a 748i Combi, surely though it would have sold to more airlines than just KLM thus spreading certification costs more ? Did Boeing make any serious sales pitches to other airlines ?
 
VSMUT
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Re: Combi aircraft - an opportunity missed ?

Thu Feb 18, 2021 5:41 pm

747classic wrote:
- Only a quick change version will be difficult to certify , because a fixed partition must be installed, between the pax and main deck cargo part and it's practically impossible to change the halon bottles at each quick configuration change, (Halon bottles are used by the main cargo deck fire fighting halon knock down system, required after the SAA accident)


A quick change version that can carry dangerous goods is difficult. Non-dangerous goods isn't an issue, but then again, dangerous goods are often the most valuable, so you'd have to give up on that.
 
smartplane
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Re: Combi aircraft - an opportunity missed ?

Thu Feb 18, 2021 5:58 pm

747classic wrote:
A lot of fake news in this thread,
- First : a combi can be certified under the present rules.
- Only a quick change version will be difficult to certify , because a fixed partition must be installed, between the pax and main deck cargo part and it's practically impossible to change the halon bottles at each quick configuration change, (Halon bottles are used by the main cargo deck fire fighting halon knock down system, required after the SAA accident)
- KLM has indeed asked Boeing for a 747-8 combi, but the minimum number was too high, for absorbing the certification costs.

Insurance and financing industries are as / even more cautious on this subject than the certification authorities. Financed by OEM, but good luck finding an insurer at competitive premiums and terms.
 
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eta unknown
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Re: Combi aircraft - an opportunity missed ?

Thu Feb 18, 2021 6:01 pm

747classic wrote:
A lot of fake news in this thread,
- First : a combi can be certified under the present rules.
- Only a quick change version will be difficult to certify , because a fixed partition must be installed, between the pax and main deck cargo part and it's practically impossible to change the halon bottles at each quick configuration change, (Halon bottles are used by the main cargo deck fire fighting halon knock down system, required after the SAA accident)
- KLM has indeed asked Boeing for a 747-8 combi, but the minimum number was too high, for absorbing the certification costs.
- A 744 configuration change is/was mostly performed together with a C/D-inspection and will require a special kit.
- A "stand alone" configuration change wil cost approx.4-6 days downtime.
- If seated next to the 747 side cargo door in an all pax configuration, the only thing you can see is two missing windows, located at the main deck cargo door jambs, All internal lining is identical and additional electric heaters are installed at the door sill to prevent any cold air reaching the passenger seats..

I operated for almost 30 years several 747 configurations with KL and MP :
747 all pax,
747 combi 6/7 Pallets,
747 combi 12/13 Pallets,
747 convertible in full pax and full cargo,
P-F converted 747's,
factory built 747 freighters
and was frequently positioned on MP's MD11CF and -F fleet.


I was fortunate to be a pax on an Alitalia 12/13 pallet combi- loved it. Where there any routes KLM usually sent this version?
 
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NWAROOSTER
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Re: Combi aircraft - an opportunity missed ?

Thu Feb 18, 2021 6:45 pm

How many 747-8i combi aircraft was KLM interested in acquiring? However I don't see the need or necessity of of combi aircraft except for some remote locations such as Northern Alaska and Canada. :old:
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DIJKKIJK
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Re: Combi aircraft - an opportunity missed ?

Thu Feb 18, 2021 6:47 pm

VSMUT wrote:


The alternative is a quick-change freighter that are either all-cargo or all-passenger. They have the large cargo door, and seats can be taken out to turn it into a freighter. These are lousy for passenger use, because the cargo door leaks cold air into the cabin,



Are you serious??? Aren't QCFs not pressurised then?
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VSMUT
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Re: Combi aircraft - an opportunity missed ?

Thu Feb 18, 2021 7:38 pm

DIJKKIJK wrote:
VSMUT wrote:


The alternative is a quick-change freighter that are either all-cargo or all-passenger. They have the large cargo door, and seats can be taken out to turn it into a freighter. These are lousy for passenger use, because the cargo door leaks cold air into the cabin,



Are you serious??? Aren't QCFs not pressurised then?


They are, but doors don't seal perfectly, less so when they are the massive main deck cargo type. Fitting the door requires a lot of adjustments, which are often ignored by less quality-conscious customers. Over time the fuselage will get bent and twisted, also creating fit issues. The pressurization system can overcome it without any issue. I once had a passenger aircraft where I could poke a finger out through the gap at the top of the door into the air stream. Noisy as hell. Needless to say, that aircraft went into the shop after the flight.
 
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Re: Combi aircraft - an opportunity missed ?

Thu Feb 18, 2021 8:58 pm

BirdBrain wrote:
VSMUT wrote:
TC957 wrote:
Hi...I was thinking that with the current & future trend of more cargo and less passengers flying that Boeing and Airbus have missed a good opportunity to develop combi versions of their long-haul aircraft. Surely the flexibility to adapt from all pax to all cargo or a mix of the two would be invaluable to airlines.
Thoughts ?


Legislation prevents flexible combi aircraft that were feasible in the past. A fixed bulkhead is needed between the cargo area and the passenger area. If a fire breaks out, it has to be contained away from the passengers. Ditto for the halon or CO2 that will be used to extinguish the fire. It is heavy and only attractive to airlines that really specialize in some specific types of flights.

The alternative is a quick-change freighter that are either all-cargo or all-passenger. They have the large cargo door, and seats can be taken out to turn it into a freighter. These are lousy for passenger use, because the cargo door leaks cold air into the cabin, is noisy and doesn't have overhead compartments around the cargo door. It also sucks for cargo use, because the overhead compartments, lavatories and galleys take up useful space.

Image

I agree with your points. But is it just me, or the photo you attached actually shows overhead storage on and around the cargo door?
Appears as if the bins are on the cargo door to me as well!
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747classic
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Re: Combi aircraft - an opportunity missed ?

Fri Feb 19, 2021 10:05 am

eta unknown wrote:

I was fortunate to be a pax on an Alitalia 12/13 pallet combi- loved it. Where there any routes KLM usually sent this version?


The 12/13 Pallet combi was only actual operated at the 747-200/300 combi.
After the SAA accident the main deck fire fighting rules were adapted (1992). The 6/7 pallet was re-certified at the 747-200/300/400 with a halon knock down system, however for the 12/13 pallet configuration only a few operators were interested, consequently the decision was made not to proceed with re-certification of that configuration (by IAI.Bedek)

KLM operated the 12/13 pallet combi (max two aircraft at a time were operated in that cofig.) at the North Atlantic network, especially KL621/622 ATL, KL643/644 JFK (second daily) and sometimes KL611/612 ORD.

Notes : Most KLM combi's (classic and -400) were delivered as dedicated combi's,e.g. no provisions were installed to change to a full pax configuration.
Only a few combi aircaft were capable to be re-configured to full pax configuration, for these aircraft also a full pax kit was available.
Operating a twin over the ocean, you're always one engine failure from a total emergency.
 
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747classic
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Re: Combi aircraft - an opportunity missed ?

Fri Feb 19, 2021 10:56 am

NWAROOSTER wrote:
How many 747-8i combi aircraft was KLM interested in acquiring?


According several sources initially Boeing required a minimum of 20 aircraft to proceed with the certification of a 747-8combi, In fact that killed any further negotiations and alternatives were sought : 787 series , more 777-300ER, etc.
But remember : Boeing was at that point in time desperate, the 787 was still a disaster. The years long 787 EIS delay forced Boeing into a dual certification of the 787 and 747-8 at the same time, no extra costs and time could be lost by developing another 747-8 subtype.
When the 787 and 747-8 finally were certified, a new proposel for less 747-8combi aircraft was made by Boeing, but :" the ship had already sailed".
Operating a twin over the ocean, you're always one engine failure from a total emergency.
 
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Iemand91
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Re: Combi aircraft - an opportunity missed ?

Fri Feb 19, 2021 11:39 am

747classic wrote:
- KLM has indeed asked Boeing for a 747-8 combi, but the minimum number was too high, for absorbing the certification costs.

747classic wrote:
According several sources initially Boeing required a minimum of 20 aircraft to proceed with the certification of a 747-8combi, In fact that killed any further negotiations and alternatives were sought : 787 series , more 777-300ER, etc.
But remember : Boeing was at that point in time desperate, the 787 was still a disaster. The years long 787 EIS delay forced Boeing into a dual certification of the 787 and 747-8 at the same time, no extra costs and time could be lost by developing another 747-8 subtype.
When the 787 and 747-8 finally were certified, a new proposel for less 747-8combi aircraft was made by Boeing, but :" the ship had already sailed".

Would have been amazing to see a row of KLM 747-8(M)'s at Schiphol.
What could've been... :cry:

If I understand you correctly, at the time it was more KLM asking Boeing for a 747-8(M) and less Boeing asking/offering KLM the 747-8(M)?
In other words; KLM wanted the 747-8 more then Boeing wanted KLM to get the 747-8?

747classic wrote:
Notes : Most KLM combi's (classic and -400) were delivered as dedicated combi's,e.g. no provisions were installed to change to a full pax configuration.
Only a few combi aircaft were capable to be re-configured to full pax configuration, for these aircraft also a full pax kit was available.

For the -400's only -BFH and -BFY were capable of being configured back and forth right? But only did so very few times.
 
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747classic
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Re: Combi aircraft - an opportunity missed ?

Fri Feb 19, 2021 12:24 pm

Iemand91 wrote:

If I understand you correctly, at the time it was more KLM asking Boeing for a 747-8(M) and less Boeing asking/offering KLM the 747-8(M)?
In other words; KLM wanted the 747-8 more then Boeing wanted KLM to get the 747-8?



(AF)/KL fleet development department was, as always, evaluating the costs and benefits of several future fleet scenarios and was in close contact with Boeing (and Airbus).
One of these scenarios was purchasing 747-8 aircraft, with or without a 747-8combi.
However , due above mentioned circumstances, Boeing was initially not very interested : another risky certification investment, for how many combi's, with already two parallel certifcations (787 and 747-8) on the way.
So only a rough price indication for a minimum of 20 was intially given, consequently the other scenarios* were further studied and the 747-8combi scenario failed from the start, because KLM would never commit itself to that amount of combi's.

* belly loading + a few dedicated freighters

With hindsight : if a 747-8combi scenario would have been selected, this would have been very lucrative for KLM in the present situation !
Last edited by 747classic on Fri Feb 19, 2021 12:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Operating a twin over the ocean, you're always one engine failure from a total emergency.
 
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Iemand91
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Re: Combi aircraft - an opportunity missed ?

Fri Feb 19, 2021 12:40 pm

747classic wrote:
(AF)/KL fleet development department was, as always, evaluating the costs and benefits of several future fleet scenarios and was in close contact with Boeing (and Airbus).
One of these scenarios was purchasing 747-8 aircraft, with or without a 747-8combi.
However , due above mentioned circumstances, Boeing was initially not very interested : another risky certification investment, for how many combi's, with already two parallel certifcations (787 and 747-8) on the way.
So only a rough price indication for a minimum of 20 was intially given, consequently the other scenarios* were further studied and the 747-8combi scenario failed from the start, because KLM would never commit itself to that amount of combi's.

* belly loading + a few dedicated freighters

Ah right, thanks.

I've heard about the KLM/747-8 rumours many times before, but never really knew how serious they were.
 
SaschaYHZ
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Re: Combi aircraft - an opportunity missed ?

Fri Feb 19, 2021 12:58 pm

A a bit of a side note/question (don't know if this necessarily needs its own thread) I remember seeing that LH technically had 747 Combis but any time I ever saw them they were in full PAX config. Did they switch them back and forth? Did they only briefly operate them with cargo on the main deck and decided they no longer needed the cargo space?
 
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747classic
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Re: Combi aircraft - an opportunity missed ?

Fri Feb 19, 2021 1:45 pm

SaschaYHZ wrote:
A a bit of a side note/question (don't know if this necessarily needs its own thread) I remember seeing that LH technically had 747 Combis but any time I ever saw them they were in full PAX config. Did they switch them back and forth? Did they only briefly operate them with cargo on the main deck and decided they no longer needed the cargo space?


Lufthansa Cargo concluded in 1997 that, with passenger- and cargo-market requirements diverging significantly, the combi concept is the cause of a clash of interests and is no longer viable.
Lufthansa decided to convert all seven 747-400 combis in the Lufthansa fleet to an all-passenger configuration,
Instead, Lufthansa Cargo added (the first ) five Boeing MD-11 freighters to its 13 747-200Fs.

See : https://www.flightglobal.com/lufthansa- ... 42.article

Clearly a decision for dedicated freighters and belly cargo only at passengers aircraft.
KLM decided otherwise : the last 744combi was delivered as late as 2002.
Operating a twin over the ocean, you're always one engine failure from a total emergency.
 
xdlx
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Re: Combi aircraft - an opportunity missed ?

Fri Feb 19, 2021 2:05 pm

Many of the Combi, -restrictions, or studies mentioned are from 20y or more ago. Todays reality of XXI century materials (carbon fiber) and the possibility to make a complete "pax module" that includes PSU etc... negates the previous QC experience or limitations. Actually a smaller airline with such a flexible module capacity could utilize its assets as; Cargo, PAX, Executive or Medivac modules could be added to the flexibility for its operations.
 
Weatherwatcher1
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Re: Combi aircraft - an opportunity missed ?

Fri Feb 19, 2021 2:25 pm

TC957 wrote:
Ha ha ! fair point. But aircraft technology has moved on from when the 737QC and 742Combis were around.


There also have been crashes due to fires and cargo shifting which is leading to tighter regulations and requirements.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/UPS_Airlines_Flight_6

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Asiana_ ... Flight_991

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nationa ... Flight_102

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fine_Air_Flight_101

Tighter regulations don’t make combis impossible to build, but they make them more expensive to build and certify, which hurts the business case for building them. The massive cargo volume on a 777-300 (as well as a350-1000 and 787-10) also hurts the business case of larger combis.

For reference, a 787-9 has more cargo volume than a 747-400 passenger plane yet has fewer passengers and bags. The waterline of the tip of the nose and tip of the tail were lowered to increasE the space of the cargo holds.
 
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747classic
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Re: Combi aircraft - an opportunity missed ?

Fri Feb 19, 2021 3:24 pm

Weatherwatcher1 wrote:
TC957 wrote:
Ha ha ! fair point. But aircraft technology has moved on from when the 737QC and 742Combis were around.


There also have been crashes due to fires and cargo shifting which is leading to tighter regulations and requirements.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/UPS_Airlines_Flight_6

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Asiana_ ... Flight_991

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nationa ... Flight_102

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fine_Air_Flight_101

Tighter regulations don’t make combis impossible to build, but they make them more expensive to build and certify, which hurts the business case for building them. The massive cargo volume on a 777-300 (as well as a350-1000 and 787-10) also hurts the business case of larger combis.

For reference, a 787-9 has more cargo volume than a 747-400 passenger plane yet has fewer passengers and bags. The waterline of the tip of the nose and tip of the tail were lowered to increasE the space of the cargo holds.


All these examples (I would never use wikipedia, not reliable ) are full freighters with only oxygen starvation as main deck fire fighting means (Class E).
Regarding combi's : all have a halon 1301 knock down system installed (Class F), like at the lower deck cargo holds of the 747, 787, 777, etc.

Class F is a cargo compartment located on the main deck and fitted with means to extinguish or control a fire without requiring a crewmember to enter the compartment
Operating a twin over the ocean, you're always one engine failure from a total emergency.

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