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Vicenza
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Re: The 787 doesn’t lend itself well to a freighter says Leeham News

Fri Nov 12, 2021 7:43 pm

Weatherwatcher1 wrote:
LAX772LR wrote:
sxf24 wrote:

Who do you think provide information to influence those words?

If an author of what's supposed to be an objective analytical organization is so easily fooled by base-level propaganda, then that person's probably not going to remain an author for long.


Leeham News isn’t an objective analytical organization. It’s a blog whose author has direct access to Airbus marketing. They aren’t hiding anything. The first paragraph in the article says information came from interviews with Airbus

Airbus has given more information about what led to their new freighter, the A350F, and its data. Scott Hamilton talked to Airbus Chief Commercial Officer Christian Scherer at the IATA AGM on Oct. 3-5 in Boston, and Bjorn Fehrm spoke to Head of Freighter marketing, Crawford Hamilton, about the technical details.


Of course the head of freighter marketing at Airbus is going to say the 787 doesn’t lend itself well to being a freighter.


But then equally, using your own logic, you of course will insist it will without knowing exact details.
 
Weatherwatcher1
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Re: The 787 doesn’t lend itself well to a freighter says Leeham News

Fri Nov 12, 2021 7:47 pm

texl1649 wrote:
I’m fairly certain there isn’t a less credible news source vs. Airbus/Leeham in analyzing Boeing’s ability to produce a cargo 787. That this will involve not the Pacific Northwest, but a Spanish subcontractor is perhaps a bit ironic. It’s just not as complicated as many wish it were, imho. Leeham has long liked to deploy their ‘cloak of unbiased news’ vs. Boeing of ‘Scott is from the pacific northwest’ but in truth…well anyway.

The 787 could clearly be a great freighter. It was somewhat over-built as the first carbon fiber wide body (particularly the 788), and future iterations I am sure are planned, but why would Boeing launch/hint at them while securing 767F orders/deliveries until ICAO (driven by the EU) limits/eliminates that product line. The idea that a cargo door in a carbon fiber barrel frame is an impossibility in an era when we have things like starship/centrifugal satellite launches are planned in aerospace is…kind of preposterous.


I agree with you. I think people forget how big the Lower cargo doors are. The lower FWD cargo door on a 787 is 170cm x 269cm. The main cargo door on a 374cm x 305cm. The main door is bigger but it’s only about twice as large as the lower cargo doors. It’s not like Boeing doesn’t know how to cut a whole in the fuselage.
 
JayinKitsap
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Re: The 787 doesn’t lend itself well to a freighter says Leeham News

Fri Nov 12, 2021 7:54 pm

BoeingGuy wrote:
Noshow wrote:
Every big program of every manufacturer is made with freighter variants and conversions in mind from the very beginning. So Boeing has considered this when defining the production system and structure without question.


Do you know this for a fact or just speculating?


I think speculating.

It would be common design practice to identify where freighter openings would be for layouts, might include determining the space needed to install the frame and a general anticipated size. Floor beams might be reviewed to establish what would need to be changed and is there room to fit that. It would also be prudent to do a CG & flight analysis. But in the optimization for weight and performance where a 1/4% extra weight is an issues, it just can't be done and expect the performance improvements expected. The future A389 clobbering the A388 is a perfect example of really planning for a stretch.

I don't think the 789 was designed for the 78X except basically saying it will be a range for payload swap. They did have to go in and change things in the design for the X but not a lot.
 
ILNFlyer
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Re: The 787 doesn’t lend itself well to a freighter says Leeham News

Fri Nov 12, 2021 8:25 pm

Revelation wrote:
Polot wrote:
Leeham seems to be under the impression that structural reinforcement is difficult with the barrel approach (because cutting out a hole for a main deck cargo cargo door is no different than how the windows, belly cargo doors, and pax doors are cut out of the barrel, so I hope they wouldn’t view that part as a challenge). Not sure if that impression is actually based on any engineering knowledge or just unfounded assumption though…

I agree, it may be a challenge, but I presume there is a plan. Currently Boeing has made ~1000 787s and still has backlog of ~500 more. It's hard to conceive that there is no plan for how to go about converting them to freighters. We have ten plus years of posts about how 77W could not be used as a freighter because of the CFRP floor beams, but guess what, they found a solution and the product will EIS in a couple of years.


Bingo.
 
2175301
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Re: The 787 doesn’t lend itself well to a freighter says Leeham News

Fri Nov 12, 2021 8:58 pm

I remember when the 787 was launched (and all the problems with lack of fasteners and outsourcing).

My memory is that Boeing clearly announced that they planned for a future freighter version for later in the program. That they had designed structure and routed systems to allow for the cargo door.

Moving from that memory to when it will be launched... and by who?

1st - its a mid sized long range cargo plane. Suitable mainly for flights over the Atlantic and Pacific Ocean, or long distance north- south flights. So there is not likley to be as huge of a demand as there is for shorter range cargo planes used in the USA, Europe, etc.

I believe that Boeing will launch a P2F version as the value of older 787's drop, and before anyone else does. Only Boeing knows exactly where the cargo door is designed to go.

I believe that as production of the 787 passenger aircraft is projected to thin out that they will launch the freighter version. At this point - I think that is likely at least a decade from now.

Which gets launched 1st: Factory new freighter or P2F.... only time will tell.

Have a great day,
 
dampfnudel
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Re: The 787 doesn’t lend itself well to a freighter says Leeham News

Fri Nov 12, 2021 9:22 pm

I would be surprised if Boeing didn’t develop the 787 with freight in mind, especially with the success of the 767 and its second life as a freighter.
 
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Stitch
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Re: The 787 doesn’t lend itself well to a freighter says Leeham News

Fri Nov 12, 2021 9:46 pm

Chipmunk1973 wrote:
Do you actually have to cut into the carbon fibre or are they capable of laying the tape so that they’re, for all intents and purposes, “leaving a hole”?


787 fuselage barrels are laid down as monolithic structures and then the doors and windows are cut out. When it comes to a new-build freighter, I see no reason why the Section 47 (aft fuselage barrel where the cargo door would go) could not be laid down with more layers to strengthen the entire barrel to accept a large cargo door. Boeing planned to make stronger barrel sections for the 787-3 to handle the higher cycle-loads of domestic operations and that included laying down additional layers.
 
SteelChair
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Re: The 787 doesn’t lend itself well to a freighter says Leeham News

Fri Nov 12, 2021 9:53 pm

The 787 is optimized for long thin passenger routes. The cargo carriers need fat fuselages and short wings (like the A300 and the MD11) to fit into their limited ramp spaces. They 787 has a relatively large span for what it will carry. Fedex and UPS fly MD-11's on what are RJ routes for passenger carriers
 
Weatherwatcher1
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Re: The 787 doesn’t lend itself well to a freighter says Leeham News

Fri Nov 12, 2021 10:44 pm

Vicenza wrote:
Weatherwatcher1 wrote:
LAX772LR wrote:
If an author of what's supposed to be an objective analytical organization is so easily fooled by base-level propaganda, then that person's probably not going to remain an author for long.


Leeham News isn’t an objective analytical organization. It’s a blog whose author has direct access to Airbus marketing. They aren’t hiding anything. The first paragraph in the article says information came from interviews with Airbus

Airbus has given more information about what led to their new freighter, the A350F, and its data. Scott Hamilton talked to Airbus Chief Commercial Officer Christian Scherer at the IATA AGM on Oct. 3-5 in Boston, and Bjorn Fehrm spoke to Head of Freighter marketing, Crawford Hamilton, about the technical details.


Of course the head of freighter marketing at Airbus is going to say the 787 doesn’t lend itself well to being a freighter.


But then equally, using your own logic, you of course will insist it will without knowing exact details.


When did I insist that the 787 would lend itself to being a freighter? Did you read my post explaining why I think a 787 freighter hasn’t been launched?

Weatherwatcher1 wrote:
jeffrey0032j wrote:
Someone definitely doesn't want a 787F replacing their relatively new A330P2F program, and squeezing from the bottom their A350F with the 777XF on top.


I think that is true although Airbus shouldn’t have to worry for a while and I don’t think it is because Boeing can’t make a cargo door.

When we look at how much payload a 787-9 can carry versus the price that it sells for, it is easy to see why there isn’t a freighter version yet. A new 767F is worth about $70 Million and a new 787-9 is about $140 million. There is no way a freight operator like FedEx can afford to buy a 787-9F and use it on domestic express freight routes with 4-5 hours of utilization a day. A 787-9F would likely have 30% higher payload but costs twice as much.

Now if we compare a 777F vs a 787-9, the new airplane values are also pretty close at $150 million vs $140 million, but a 777-200LR can carry about 40-50% more payload than a 787-9. Recognizing that the 787 requires less fuel, it still carries far less payload. That means for essentially the same price the 787-9F would probably carry less freight by weight.

All we have to do is look at purchase price to understand why the 767F and 777F dominate the widebody freight market.

Red viewtopic.php?t=1460947


One day either cheap used 787-9s may be available for conversion or production costs may come down, but until then I don’t see a 787 freighter launch.

I’m not surprised that Airbus wants to claim that their composite panel construction methods are superior, but am more interested in hearing from Boeing regarding the complexities of composite barrel construction than from Airbus marketing.
 
Weatherwatcher1
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Re: The 787 doesn’t lend itself well to a freighter says Leeham News

Fri Nov 12, 2021 11:00 pm

SteelChair wrote:
The 787 is optimized for long thin passenger routes. The cargo carriers need fat fuselages and short wings (like the A300 and the MD11) to fit into their limited ramp spaces. They 787 has a relatively large span for what it will carry. Fedex and UPS fly MD-11's on what are RJ routes for passenger carriers


I think you explained it well. The 787 has big wings and is expensive for its payload in a potential freighter configuration. It wouldn’t fit well into the overnight express freight market. The A330 has similar issues and possibly the A350 as well although I think the A350 freighter should be decently well suited to long haul freight.
 
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lightsaber
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Re: The 787 doesn’t lend itself well to a freighter says Leeham News

Fri Nov 12, 2021 11:05 pm

Stitch wrote:
Chipmunk1973 wrote:
Do you actually have to cut into the carbon fibre or are they capable of laying the tape so that they’re, for all intents and purposes, “leaving a hole”?


787 fuselage barrels are laid down as monolithic structures and then the doors and windows are cut out. When it comes to a new-build freighter, I see no reason why the Section 47 (aft fuselage barrel where the cargo door would go) could not be laid down with more layers to strengthen the entire barrel to accept a large cargo door. Boeing planned to make stronger barrel sections for the 787-3 to handle the higher cycle-loads of domestic operations and that included laying down additional layers.

Considering the 787 is overbuilt for a widebody already, with a limit of validity of 66,000 cycles, vs. 60,000 for the A320, so perfectly

https://www.boeing.com/commercial/aerom ... 2012_q4/2/

viewtopic.php?t=775787

What needs to be done is door structure, some CFRP matts (layered up) with adhesive. There were standard repairs developed to repair CFRP (link below) to cut, repair, and reinforce CFRP. I have no idea why so many treat 1970s tech as something new.

https://skybrary.aero/bookshelf/books/3851.pdf

Lightsaber
 
2175301
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Re: The 787 doesn’t lend itself well to a freighter says Leeham News

Fri Nov 12, 2021 11:25 pm

Weatherwatcher1 wrote:
SteelChair wrote:
The 787 is optimized for long thin passenger routes. The cargo carriers need fat fuselages and short wings (like the A300 and the MD11) to fit into their limited ramp spaces. They 787 has a relatively large span for what it will carry. Fedex and UPS fly MD-11's on what are RJ routes for passenger carriers


I think you explained it well. The 787 has big wings and is expensive for its payload in a potential freighter configuration. It wouldn’t fit well into the overnight express freight market. The A330 has similar issues and possibly the A350 as well although I think the A350 freighter should be decently well suited to long haul freight.



I see a limited number of routes where a mid sized long range freighter would be appropriate. Those routes do not have enough volume to warrant a B777 or possibly an A350, yet direct flight would be preferred.

I estimate a total market of perhaps 100 - 200 such freighters worldwide. At least half as P2F.

Thus, I think there is a place for a 787F. Just not a huge market like the B767 or even the B777 or possible A350 market size.

This is actually about the same size market I saw for the A380 when I joined A-net. Just in this case its a derivative and not a clean sheet, and thus cost effective to chase when they are ready for it.

Have a great day,
 
Weatherwatcher1
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Re: The 787 doesn’t lend itself well to a freighter says Leeham News

Fri Nov 12, 2021 11:30 pm

2175301 wrote:
Weatherwatcher1 wrote:
SteelChair wrote:
The 787 is optimized for long thin passenger routes. The cargo carriers need fat fuselages and short wings (like the A300 and the MD11) to fit into their limited ramp spaces. They 787 has a relatively large span for what it will carry. Fedex and UPS fly MD-11's on what are RJ routes for passenger carriers


I think you explained it well. The 787 has big wings and is expensive for its payload in a potential freighter configuration. It wouldn’t fit well into the overnight express freight market. The A330 has similar issues and possibly the A350 as well although I think the A350 freighter should be decently well suited to long haul freight.



I see a limited number of routes where a mid sized long range freighter would be appropriate. Those routes do not have enough volume to warrant a B777 or possibly an A350, yet direct flight would be preferred.

I estimate a total market of perhaps 100 - 200 such freighters worldwide. At least half as P2F.

Thus, I think there is a place for a 787F. Just not a huge market like the B767 or even the B777 or possible A350 market size.

This is actually about the same size market I saw for the A380 when I joined A-net. Just in this case its a derivative and not a clean sheet, and thus cost effective to chase when they are ready for it.

Have a great day,


I agree there is a market. Unfortunately 787s are too expensive to fill it for now.
 
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Taxi645
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Re: The 787 doesn’t lend itself well to a freighter says Leeham News

Sat Nov 13, 2021 7:56 am

Hamlet69 wrote:
Taxi645 wrote:
Perhaps, some of there vocal criticism of Boeing might be due to:

1 An anger about what multiple management choices have done to a wonderful aircraft company that many aviation enthusiasts hold close to their harts.
2 An agenda for change to make many of those choices and/or their effects undone.


I certainly can agree to that. It's been downright shameful what Boeing management has done. While things look like they are improving (from the outside), they do deserve the attention they are getting.


I can relate to it, because at the company where I work, more or less the same has gone on. The core strength of the company being compromised, because cutting cost on spending on this core strength is tangible and easy to measure and report/proof. On the other hand, the benefit of this expenditure is much harder to proof, although anyone deeply involves know it absolutely there and core requirement for the future success of the company. A manager trying to brush-up short term performance will cut on the expenditure and just deny, hope, blame lower management or don't care (because has moved on) about the consequences.


Taxi645 wrote:
Well, I think they indeed would do well to dive a bit deeper into that subject. Personally I'm inclined to trust someone who does a 30 article piece on aircraft design more than someone who just dismisses an article because it's a "biased website" . On the other hand, when I was a soccer defender as a kid I soon learned to watch the ball (the reasoning) in stead of the attackers moves (the statement). So I try to keep an open mind on it.


I certainly don't question Bjorn's knowledge or understanding. Back in the day when he was a poster on this site, we took part in many good discussions. And Scott used to be very well informed, indeed. However, being informed requires sources. What I've gleamed over the last several years is his sources at Boeing have dried up (retired, quit, etc.). So if your sources are all coming from the same place, it inherently makes you biased, even if you don't intend to be.


I see what you're saying. As this requires inside knowledge I can't really meaningfully comment.

Taxi645 wrote:
Well the A350 is a certified and well known in service aircraft. That does tend to make a difference.


No, it doesn't actually. Think about this - what you're suggesting is that ANY derivative would need to wait until the original model is designed, built, certified and EIS. Now tell me of an aircraft program from either Airbus or Boeing in the last 40+ years where that has been the case. Even the A380 had the Freighter launched before certification, even tho it was eventually cancelled leaving the original model as the only one.


Well the quote is about EIS, not launch: "Market intelligence suggests Boeing won’t have an XF EIS ready until 2029". I do think the minimal launch to EIS time is generally shorter on an already in service aircraft. Especially if it is based on mainly existing components and weights. With the whole MAX/777X-FAA saga, the certification issues obviously don't help regarding 777XF EIS. To what extend exactly is hard to say.


Taxi646 wrote:
In the next few days, weeks, months we will know how much real demand there is for the A350F, I don't really see the need to now declare that statement true or false when the evidence will be available within a reasonably short time. Personally I think cornering the 777-X program even more is also a strategic consideration for Airbus.


True. And maybe it's just my old-school mind having a hard time with the unconventional 'launch' of the A350F. I'm used to OEM's doing preliminary designs, seeing what customers think, then getting approval to actually shop it. Only once they had a few or several customers actually signed on would the program be 'launched.'

- Hamlet69


I think it is related to a certain amount of opportunistic gamesmanship surrounding the A350F/777XF launch.
 
iamlucky13
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Re: The 787 doesn’t lend itself well to a freighter says Leeham News

Sun Nov 14, 2021 4:53 am

AngMoh wrote:
iamlucky13 wrote:
Hopefully it's obvious to everyone that adding a cargo involves more than just cutting a hole in the fuselage. There would be a fairly stout frame installed at that location to transfer loads across the door opening, just like with a passenger door, but larger. There might be an increase in the number of plies of carbon fiber in that area to help loads transfer into frame. They might identify some changes to be made to their carbon fiber layup and cure tools to facilitate those changes.

The problem is that the barrel design gives far less opportunity to locally strengthen the structure. It is either the whole barrel section to be made thicker or nothing. And more importantly: you can not change the direction of the fibres. The fiber laying machine winds a barrel and the direction is given by this process. I have seen the process in action and my company made 18m long barrel sections (and btw we had a joint R&D program with Boeing on CFRP technology) and in our product, no drilling was allowed in the barrel at all after curing. Everything was glued. The only machining done was flattening the end of the barrel. Production rates significantly higher than what Boeing is using now (we were the biggest user of CFRP in the world at that time). Airbus chose the panel construction: their management wanted a barrel like the 787 but engineers convinced management that there were more cons than pros and they should stick to panels. Engineers won out.


Those are a partly true with fiber winding, but not true with automated fiber placement. With the latter, specific areas can be made thicker, and ply directions can be changed as needed.
 
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zeke
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Re: The 787 doesn’t lend itself well to a freighter says Leeham News

Sun Nov 14, 2021 5:47 am

Noshow wrote:
Can't they just cut in holes anywhere as required and patch the fuselage around if needed? Isn't this how they cut in windows and doors anyway?


No, the same reason the 787 wing was not tested to destruction. Carbon fibres pose a serious occupational health issue. Windows are doors are cut prior to assembly without human involvement and in a way no fibers are released.

Noshow wrote:
What I think is surprising is the (claimed) Airbus way of introducing another fuselage length for the A350F.


All they are doing is a mix and match with the fuselage sections of the -900 and -1000. As far as I am aware not new section is being designed.

Revelation wrote:
I don't know if it's just a.net folklore, but we have had posts here saying 787 is designed with a cargo door location already determined, and wiring and systems are routed around that opening.


I’m calling BS on that, to do so would cost weight, increased manufacturing costs, and increased operating costs for every 787 built.
 
Noshow
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Re: The 787 doesn’t lend itself well to a freighter says Leeham News

Sun Nov 14, 2021 6:20 am

This is not so much about adding costly features for a possible freighter early on but about not preventing a freighter within an aircraft's layout. Geometry, door location, fuselage diameter, possible pallet positions and such. It would be way more costly to start thinking about it only later on. Customers like leasing companies want to know about such things from the beginning. Similar to later stretches where certain provisions are made to not exclude them from happening.
 
9Patch
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Re: The 787 doesn’t lend itself well to a freighter says Leeham News

Sun Nov 14, 2021 12:16 pm

zeke wrote:
Noshow wrote:
Can't they just cut in holes anywhere as required and patch the fuselage around if needed? Isn't this how they cut in windows and doors anyway?


No, the same reason the 787 wing was not tested to destruction. Carbon fibres pose a serious occupational health issue. Windows are doors are cut prior to assembly without human involvement and in a way no fibers are released.


I call BS on that, how did they know the wing would not break before reaching ultimate load?
Why can't they cut cargo doors without human involvement?
 
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zeke
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Re: The 787 doesn’t lend itself well to a freighter says Leeham News

Sun Nov 14, 2021 6:03 pm

9Patch wrote:
I call BS on that, how did they know the wing would not break before reaching ultimate load?


From the a.net thread when this was discussed all these years ago this was a quote someone found from Boeing in a flight global article

“We're asking what will we gain, if anything, by taking the wing all the way to breaking point," he says, adding that one consideration is the large cost associated with cleaning up the fibrous contaminents that will result.”

From viewtopic.php?t=753939

9Patch wrote:
Why can't they cut cargo doors without human involvement?


The method used to cut large openings into composite parts is done using a water jet cutter. A water jet is used so no fibres get airborne. This is easy when it is not assembled parts can be orientated for water to drain. In its assembled state water and waste from cutting would get into the fuselage. Once dried that waste would be a hazard to everyone.

Composite fibres are like asbestos, there is no safe level of exposure. Your body cannot remove them once they have entered.
 
Spetsnaz55
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Re: The 787 doesn’t lend itself well to a freighter says Leeham News

Sun Nov 14, 2021 6:18 pm

9Patch wrote:
zeke wrote:
Noshow wrote:
Can't they just cut in holes anywhere as required and patch the fuselage around if needed? Isn't this how they cut in windows and doors anyway?


No, the same reason the 787 wing was not tested to destruction. Carbon fibres pose a serious occupational health issue. Windows are doors are cut prior to assembly without human involvement and in a way no fibers are released.


I call BS on that, how did they know the wing would not break before reaching ultimate load?
Why can't they cut cargo doors without human involvement?



From what I remmember, they reached 1.51 on the 787 wing before letting it back down

I work with composite daily. When drilling or what not, composite fibers are pain when they get on my skin.

Very itchy and irritating.

Gotta wash hands with Cold water only
 
2175301
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Re: The 787 doesn’t lend itself well to a freighter says Leeham News

Sun Nov 14, 2021 6:24 pm

zeke wrote:
9Patch wrote:
Why can't they cut cargo doors without human involvement?


The method used to cut large openings into composite parts is done using a water jet cutter. A water jet is used so no fibres get airborne. This is easy when it is not assembled parts can be orientated for water to drain. In its assembled state water and waste from cutting would get into the fuselage. Once dried that waste would be a hazard to everyone.

Composite fibres are like asbestos, there is no safe level of exposure. Your body cannot remove them once they have entered.


Of course they can post assembly cut new openings into either the Airbus panels or the Boeing tubes. You just set it up like a demolition job with asbestos and other hazardous materials (which do at times use water jets to cut assemblies).

You seal off the area, set up contingencies for water leaks, and all people involved once the water jets starts running down the tracks are in protective clothing and respirators until the job site is cleaned up.

Not difficult to do; and there are likely at least 25,000 people in the USA well trained and certified for such work (est an average of 500 per State). All the required standards are already in place.

For a cargo door this would be done when the frame was likely stripped down for a D check in that area (or would need to be stripped down in that area to that level).

I don't understand why you think this is so difficult.
 
amdiesen
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Re: The 787 doesn’t lend itself well to a freighter says Leeham News

Sun Nov 14, 2021 7:06 pm

2175301 wrote:
...My memory is that Boeing clearly announced that they planned for a future freighter version for later in the program. That they had designed structure and routed systems to allow for the cargo door.
...
1st - its a mid sized long range cargo plane. Suitable mainly for flights over the Atlantic and Pacific Ocean, or long distance north- south flights. So there is not likley to be as huge of a demand as there is for shorter range cargo planes used in the USA, Europe, etc.

I believe that Boeing will launch a P2F version as the value of older 787's drop, and before anyone else does. Only Boeing knows exactly where the cargo door is designed to go.

I believe that as production of the 787 passenger aircraft is projected to thin out that they will launch the freighter version. At this point - I think that is likely at least a decade from now.

Which gets launched 1st: Factory new freighter or P2F.... only time will tell.

Have a great day,


2175301 wrote:
I see a limited number of routes where a mid sized long range freighter would be appropriate. Those routes do not have enough volume to warrant a B777 or possibly an A350, yet direct flight would be preferred.

I estimate a total market of perhaps 100 - 200 such freighters worldwide. At least half as P2F.

Thus, I think there is a place for a 787F. Just not a huge market like the B767 or even the B777 or possible A350 market size.

This is actually about the same size market I saw for the A380 when I joined A-net. Just in this case its a derivative and not a clean sheet, and thus cost effective to chase when they are ready for it.

Have a great day,


Your points resonate as reasonable and logical* up until your, and this threads, optimism for a 787 new build program. In ten years the conversion program for the four bogie a359s will launched. This will viewed as an optimal express tool. Further, it will be evaluated as a possible add for those with A350F fleets. As you have pointed out, this is a thin market segment; the conversion programs will evaporate the new build business case.
uncommon thoughts:
- the conversion effort is likely to span all three models
- a 787 conversion program will likely sunset the comparatively inferior a330 p2f efforts
- fleets of GENX powered b748fs and b764fs will have greater utility for the 787 conversions
- Boeing may have a factory 787 opportunity when the plane is re-engined


*hopefully the board recognizes this as a consistent and appreciated trait.
 
9Patch
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Re: The 787 doesn’t lend itself well to a freighter says Leeham News

Sun Nov 14, 2021 7:16 pm

zeke wrote:
9Patch wrote:
I call BS on that, how did they know the wing would not break before reaching ultimate load?


From the a.net thread when this was discussed all these years ago this was a quote someone found from Boeing in a flight global article

“We're asking what will we gain, if anything, by taking the wing all the way to breaking point," he says, adding that one consideration is the large cost associated with cleaning up the fibrous contaminents that will result.”

From viewtopic.php?t=753939

Yes, because the wing passed the test without breaking.
But they couldn't be certain in advance that it wouldn't break, and if it had they would have had to clean it up?
None of this precludes Boeing from building a 787F.

By the way, how did the A350 wing test go?
Did they test it to destruction?
Wouldn't it have created the same hazards as the 787?
I've actually spent a lot of time searching for the answers but haven't found it.
There must have been an a.net discussion about it.

9Patch wrote:
Why can't they cut cargo doors without human involvement?

zeke wrote:
The method used to cut large openings into composite parts is done using a water jet cutter. A water jet is used so no fibres get airborne. This is easy when it is not assembled parts can be orientated for water to drain. In its assembled state water and waste from cutting would get into the fuselage. Once dried that waste would be a hazard to everyone.


Then how did they patch the Ethiopian jet that caught fire? Didn't they have to cut out the damaged area?
Why would any of this matter on a new build 787 freighter, where they can cut the cargo door just like they do for other openings?

zeke wrote:
Composite fibres are like asbestos, there is no safe level of exposure. Your body cannot remove them once they have entered.

I understand there are unique challenges working with composites, but I don't think they are insurmountable.
 
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Re: The 787 doesn’t lend itself well to a freighter says Leeham News

Sun Nov 14, 2021 10:39 pm

9Patch wrote:
Yes, because the wing passed the test without breaking.


Not exactly true, the wing body join did fail

9Patch wrote:
But they couldn't be certain in advance that it wouldn't break, and if it had they would have had to clean it up?


They didn’t, the test facility is completely empty. People are watching by camera.

9Patch wrote:
None of this precludes Boeing from building a 787F.


I think most people on this thread were talking able converting 787 passenger frames into freighters. A 787F new build is possible, however it would require different barrel sections to the passenger aircraft. The 787 barrel sections are shorter and the door may overlap a barrel join. On the A350 they would probably have a different side panel to the passenger aircraft where the main deck cargo door is.

9Patch wrote:
By the way, how did the A350 wing test go?


That test was conducted similar to the 787, is was not tested to the point of breaking, the test facility was empty.

9Patch wrote:
Then how did they patch the Ethiopian jet that caught fire? Didn't they have to cut out the damaged area?
Why would any of this matter on a new build 787 freighter, where they can cut the cargo door just like they do for other openings?


A repair is different to an opening. With an opening you need to transfer the loads around the opening. A repair you replace the old structure with new. They would have built a barrel section, cut out the repair area and installed it in the aircraft.
 
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Re: The 787 doesn’t lend itself well to a freighter says Leeham News

Mon Nov 15, 2021 2:01 am

zeke wrote:
9Patch wrote:
Yes, because the wing passed the test without breaking.

Not exactly true, the wing body join did fail

Hey, you're the one who posted this quote:
zeke:
“We're asking what will we gain, if anything, by taking the wing all the way to breaking point," he says, adding that one consideration is the large cost associated with cleaning up the fibrous contaminents that will result.”


zeke:
I think most people on this thread were talking able converting 787 passenger frames into freighters. A 787F new build is possible, however it would require different barrel sections to the passenger aircraft. The 787 barrel sections are shorter and the door may overlap a barrel join. On the A350 they would probably have a different side panel to the passenger aircraft where the main deck cargo door is.

Glad you finally admit that a new build 787F is possible.

9Patch wrote:
By the way, how did the A350 wing test go?


zeke
That test was conducted similar to the 787, is was not tested to the point of breaking, the test facility was empty.

That's my point. The A350 is no different from the 787 in that regard.

zeke
A repair is different to an opening. With an opening you need to transfer the loads around the opening. A repair you replace the old structure with new. They would have built a barrel section, cut out the repair area and installed it in the aircraft.

But they can cut a cargo door in a 787 P2F conversion. No?
 
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Re: The 787 doesn’t lend itself well to a freighter says Leeham News

Mon Nov 15, 2021 5:40 am

9Patch wrote:
Hey, you're the one who posted this quote:


It did fail

“ The structural flaw in the Boeing design was found in May during a ground test that bent the wings upward. Stresses at the ends of the long rods that stiffen the upper wing skin panels caused the fibrous layers of the composite plastic material to delaminate.”

From https://www.seattletimes.com/business/b ... ide-plane/

9Patch wrote:
Glad you finally admit that a new build 787F is possible.


Sure it’s possible, however it would have different barrel sections to the passenger version.

9Patch wrote:
That's my point. The A350 is no different from the 787 in that regard.


It is the same as in no people were put in a position during the test that they would injest fibers if the wing failed, it is different as the wing did not fail like the 787 wing.

9Patch wrote:
But they can cut a cargo door in a 787 P2F conversion. No?


I think it would be very difficult and expensive, if not impossible.
 
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Re: The 787 doesn’t lend itself well to a freighter says Leeham News

Mon Nov 15, 2021 6:28 pm

zeke wrote:
Sure it’s possible, however it would have different barrel sections to the passenger version.

Just as the the A350F will have to have different panel sections to the passenger version.

9Patch wrote:
But they can cut a cargo door in a 787 P2F conversion. No?

zeke wrote:
I think it would be very difficult and expensive, if not impossible.

They have already demonstrated it's possible when they cut out the damaged area of the Ethiopian jet that caught fire.
The FUD you raised about workers ingesting fibers was debunked by 2175301 in his post:

2175301 wrote:
Of course they can post assembly cut new openings into either the Airbus panels or the Boeing tubes. You just set it up like a demolition job with asbestos and other hazardous materials (which do at times use water jets to cut assemblies).

You seal off the area, set up contingencies for water leaks, and all people involved once the water jets starts running down the tracks are in protective clothing and respirators until the job site is cleaned up.

Not difficult to do; and there are likely at least 25,000 people in the USA well trained and certified for such work (est an average of 500 per State). All the required standards are already in place.

For a cargo door this would be done when the frame was likely stripped down for a D check in that area (or would need to be stripped down in that area to that level).

I don't understand why you think this is so difficult.
 
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Re: The 787 doesn’t lend itself well to a freighter says Leeham News

Tue Nov 16, 2021 12:16 am

9Patch wrote:
Just as the the A350F will have to have different panel sections to the passenger version.


They would have to on the A350, however it would be lighter to do so. With the panel approach they effectively have beams running down the aircraft longitudinally where panels join. There is nothing like that that could be used to divert loads on the 787.

9Patch wrote:
They have already demonstrated it's possible when they cut out the damaged area of the Ethiopian jet that caught fire.


They haven’t demonstrated that at all, repairs are done differently, the joint is a very flat V shape where normally prepreg composite is layered up is larger pieces per layer to fill the v. The loads still transfer much the same way before the repair.

With the barrel approach they derive strength in the structure by using continuous tape layers in different directions, these normally have unidirectional strength, some of these layers form belts around the fuselage, cutting holes and leaving a void like with a door you need to divert the loads. Wherever the tape ends or it cut it results in a stress concentration, around windows and doors they arrange the tape to minimize this, and then the barrel is cut subsequently . A metal fuselage is different, as they are homogeneous and isotropic materials, where there are doors and windows the build a frame around the opening to transfer the load.

Cargo conversions typically have the opening that is cutout 10-20% larger than the door, with that extra 10-20% to add the door frame. They have to design the opening for the possibility that the door opens in flight.

Have a look at this short 767 conversion clip, take particular attention to the amount of area outside of the door that is replaced, and the additional skin areas that are changed on the crown https://youtu.be/m9Jj8fldvsw


9Patch wrote:
The FUD you raised about workers ingesting fibers was debunked by 2175301 in his post:


He didn’t debunk anything, actually demonstrated they are very unaware of the level of work that is required to do a cargo conversion, not to mention there is no such thing as a D check on aircraft certified since the 1980s.

He has confirmed it is a occupational health issue, the numbers he referenced would predominantly work in building construction, not in aircraft maintenance and modification. It is a very different skill to remove some roof, drywall, pipe, or pipe encasement that is contaminated with asbestos to a large curved opening that takes precision.

Fact is in the US they do not remove much of this, they are more likely to export hazardous tasks overseas or decommission without disturbing vehicles, wind turbines etc and put them in landfill.
 
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Re: The 787 doesn’t lend itself well to a freighter says Leeham News

Tue Nov 16, 2021 1:26 am

zeke wrote:
9Patch wrote:
Just as the the A350F will have to have different panel sections to the passenger version.


They would have to on the A350, however it would be lighter to do so. With the panel approach they effectively have beams running down the aircraft longitudinally where panels join. There is nothing like that that could be used to divert loads on the 787.


What you are referring to is called a stringer as can be seen in this photo from a 787 fuselage section

Image

https://commons.m.wikimedia.org/wiki/Fi ... selage.jpg

Stringer:

“A longitudinal structural piece in a framework, especially that of a ship or aircraft.”

Source: Oxford Dictionary
 
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Re: The 787 doesn’t lend itself well to a freighter says Leeham News

Tue Nov 16, 2021 4:25 am

Several posters have recalled comments earlier in the program that Boeing had already examined the feasibility of a cargo version of the 787 and incorporated some aspects into the design to better facilitate this.

Here is a link that corroborates those memories:

https://www.flightglobal.com/will-the-7 ... 93.article

zeke wrote:
They would have to on the A350, however it would be lighter to do so. With the panel approach they effectively have beams running down the aircraft longitudinally where panels join. There is nothing like that that could be used to divert loads on the 787.


Both the A350 and 787 will need a frame around the door cutout. There is no fundamental disadvantage in this respect to monolithic barrels. The lap splices of a barrel built up from panels are not a substitute for frames.

zeke wrote:
He has confirmed it is a occupational health issue, the numbers he referenced would predominantly work in building construction


I would not use asbestos as an example for comparison either of the hazards or of the mitigation. It's a different material used in different ways.

There's plenty of people on this forum with technical backgrounds in a variety of fields where composites are used. The simple fact is that mechanical trimming of composites and controlling respiratory risks from fibers liberated as a result has been done for decades now. There are precautions involved that need to be planned for when developing a production system, but they are not onerous.
 
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Re: The 787 doesn’t lend itself well to a freighter says Leeham News

Tue Nov 16, 2021 4:37 am

Weatherwatcher1 wrote:

What you are referring to is called a stringer as can be seen in this photo from a 787 fuselage section



No it is not, the A350 has stringers also. What I was referring to was the longitudinal lap joints between the top and bottom panels and the side panels.
 
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Re: The 787 doesn’t lend itself well to a freighter says Leeham News

Tue Nov 16, 2021 5:10 am

iamlucky13 wrote:
Several posters have recalled comments earlier in the program that Boeing had already examined the feasibility of a cargo version of the 787 and incorporated some aspects into the design to better facilitate this.


I also remember them making lots of claims back then, eg being able to swap engine also.

iamlucky13 wrote:
Both the A350 and 787 will need a frame around the door cutout. There is no fundamental disadvantage in this respect to monolithic barrels. The lap splices of a barrel built up from panels are not a substitute for frames.


I disagree, Airbus can have a side panel with the door incorporated like the lower cargo doors and use the existing lap joints to fit it to the aircraft. The door would be contained within a single panel like the lower cargo doors are today. The main deck cargo doors are much larger than the lower deck doors, and on the 787 I think this will be across a barrel join.

iamlucky13 wrote:
I would not use asbestos as an example for comparison either of the hazards or of the mitigation. It's a different material used in different ways.


The use is irrelevant, carbon fibres once in the lung cannot be removed by the body like abestos. There have been significant changes in occupational heath over the years, even dry cutting solids containing silica wasn’t considered a hazard until recently.

iamlucky13 wrote:
The simple fact is that mechanical trimming of composites and controlling respiratory risks from fibers liberated as a result has been done for decades now. There are precautions involved that need to be planned for when developing a production system, but they are not onerous.


Nothing to the scale of a cargo door installation in place on an aircraft. Again you are confirming my point, there are significant occupational health issues that have to be prevented. Same could be said for painting, some states eg California simply elect to ban the risk of some chemicals used in aircraft painting.
 
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Re: The 787 doesn’t lend itself well to a freighter says Leeham News

Tue Nov 16, 2021 1:39 pm

zeke wrote:
Weatherwatcher1 wrote:

What you are referring to is called a stringer as can be seen in this photo from a 787 fuselage section



No it is not, the A350 has stringers also. What I was referring to was the longitudinal lap joints between the top and bottom panels and the side panels.


Stringers and frames are what take the load and do what you implied couldn’t be done on a 787.

You are correct that Riveted Lap joints exist on the A350 (as well as pretty much every other fuselage), but those aren’t what is distributing the load. The load is taken by the reinforcing longeron on the inner side of the lap joint that runs the length of the fuselage. For a 787, the stringers and longeron are essentially the same thing. The stringers can be reinforced to take the loads of a cargo door cutout. They already are doing this for the lower cargo doors.
 
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Re: The 787 doesn’t lend itself well to a freighter says Leeham News

Tue Nov 16, 2021 3:23 pm

Weatherwatcher1 wrote:
Stringers and frames are what take the load and do what you implied couldn’t be done on a 787.
.


On the 787 the majority of the load is taken in the skin, with the stringers acting as stiffeners for the skin. Most of the layup would be in continuous 45 degree alternate layers. Where there are planned openings they would locally stiffen in that area to move the stress concentrations from edge to and adjacent tape.

Idealised this is like a stiffened cylinder, it derives its strength from its shape, stiffened cylinders are relatively good in tension, compression, and torsion. And the circular shape the best for pressurisation. Have a read up on post buckling in composite skins to understand the technology.

The A350 employs 4 panels, the layups between panels is not continuous. The role of the top and bottom panel is to carry the majority of the tension and compression loads, and the side panels the shear. Idealised this is like a square tube, and the joints between the panels are transferring the load and provide stiffness.. This however is not the strongest shape for pressurisation, so the compromise is it will be heavier than the continuous tape layers on the 787 for pressurisation loads in isolation.

The bottom panel is a more traditional keel beam, it is quite narrow only occupies around 1/12 of the circumference. The crown panel is like a beam cap, it occupies around 1/4 of the circumference. The side panels are like shear webs occupying around 1/3 of the circumference on each side.

Now when you cut a large hole in a cylinder like 1/3 of the circumference, the cylindrical shape is no longer self supporting on the edges of the opening.

Take one side panel away on the A350 and they still have top and bottom caps and a shear web, it turns into a C section which is still inherently stiff because of the corners, these are the panel joints on the A350.
 
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Re: The 787 doesn’t lend itself well to a freighter says Leeham News

Tue Nov 16, 2021 6:51 pm

zeke wrote:
9Patch wrote:
They have already demonstrated it's possible when they cut out the damaged area of the Ethiopian jet that caught fire.

They haven’t demonstrated that at all, repairs are done differently, the joint is a very flat V shape where normally prepreg composite is layered up is larger pieces per layer to fill the v. The loads still transfer much the same way before the repair.


No one is disputing the fact that the repairs are done differently. That's a straw man argument. The repairs are done differently, but both begin with cutting a an opening in the 787, something you say is impossible to do because of safety hazards. This in nonsense. It's been done for the Ethiopian repair. So rather than acknowledge this, you try to muddy the waters with bunch of non-sourced techno-babble about installing a cargo door:

With the barrel approach they derive strength in the structure by using continuous tape layers in different directions, these normally have unidirectional strength, some of these layers form belts around the fuselage, cutting holes and leaving a void like with a door you need to divert the loads. Wherever the tape ends or it cut it results in a stress concentration, around windows and doors they arrange the tape to minimize this, and then the barrel is cut subsequently . A metal fuselage is different, as they are homogeneous and isotropic materials, where there are doors and windows the build a frame around the opening to transfer the load.
 
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Re: The 787 doesn’t lend itself well to a freighter says Leeham News

Tue Nov 16, 2021 7:03 pm

iamlucky13 wrote:
Several posters have recalled comments earlier in the program that Boeing had already examined the feasibility of a cargo version of the 787 and incorporated some aspects into the design to better facilitate this.


zeke wrote:
I also remember them making lots of claims back then, eg being able to swap engine also.

Weak.


iamlucky13 wrote:
Both the A350 and 787 will need a frame around the door cutout. There is no fundamental disadvantage in this respect to monolithic barrels. The lap splices of a barrel built up from panels are not a substitute for frames.


zeke wrote:
I disagree, Airbus can have a side panel with the door incorporated like the lower cargo doors and use the existing lap joints to fit it to the aircraft. The door would be contained within a single panel like the lower cargo doors are today. The main deck cargo doors are much larger than the lower deck doors, and on the 787 I think this will be across a barrel join.

You think it will be?
Where did you get this notion?
 
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Re: The 787 doesn’t lend itself well to a freighter says Leeham News

Tue Nov 16, 2021 7:08 pm

zeke wrote:
9Patch wrote:
The FUD you raised about workers ingesting fibers was debunked by 2175301 in his post:


He didn’t debunk anything, actually demonstrated they are very unaware of the level of work that is required to do a cargo conversion, not to mention there is no such thing as a D check on aircraft certified since the 1980s.

He has confirmed it is a occupational health issue, the numbers he referenced would predominantly work in building construction, not in aircraft maintenance and modification. It is a very different skill to remove some roof, drywall, pipe, or pipe encasement that is contaminated with asbestos to a large curved opening that takes precision.

Fact is in the US they do not remove much of this, they are more likely to export hazardous tasks overseas or decommission without disturbing vehicles, wind turbines etc and put them in landfill.


Zeke: You completely misunderstand the capabilities and knowledge out there in the non-aviation world. Fiber hazards (asbestos, ceramic, composite) are trivial in comparison to radioactive dirt, dust, and debris.... which may well be mixed with fibrous hazards as well. Radiation fields themselves are not that bad. Radioactive dust, dirt, etc sticks to everything, can penetrate several layers of clothing if it gets wet (even if you sweat too much in your modesty garments and double layers of heavy protective clothing - and I assure you that you do sweat when dressed out like that) - and can cause cancer if breathed in or ingested.

In the fossil power plant world I used to run asbestos abatement and cleanup projects. You have no idea of the large area mess that an 18" ruptured feed-water or steam line creates by blowing asbestos everywhere (such ruptures tend to also blow off the asbestos of any nearby pipes and equipment). Yet, industry learned decades ago how to clean that up. Everyone thought ceramic fiber insulation was the replacement - until it was found to also cause similar lung issues as asbestos; and the latest one to the fiber hazard game is carbon fiber composites. All fiber hazards are handled about the same way although there can be some modest differences depending on the fiber hazard - and all based off of how the industry learned to deal with asbestos.

The other thing you miss is the precision used in the nuclear and now in other applications during repairs and modifications of plants (2nd major market to start using this is certain chemical plants). It all started in the nuclear world. They needed the replacement parts to fit exactly to minimize employee contamination, radiation exposure, and overall down time. So enter a radiation field environment where the pipes and equipment is itself noticeably radioactive, insulated with asbestos, and the dust, dirt, and sludge inside the pipes and equipment is radioactive with "nasty" stuff. Remove it with minimal disruption of the various contamination and control any disturbance of fibrous and radioactive contamination, and make all cuts at the dimensions so the new replacements can fit in exactly with no field trimming or rework to minimize worker hours installing it. Common tolerances is 1-2 mm - and assemblies or piping systems removed may be 10 m or more in any direction. Robotic arms and tracks are used to control cuts (and water jet cutting is a common operation). Laser shooting all locations and distances is a normal part of this process up front in a plant environment.

Cutting a cargo door in an existing composite airliner is trivial in comparison to some of the work done in nuclear and chemical plants. I can name one contractor off the top of my head that could do the job including controlling and cleaning up the fiber release to 1mm accuracy without breaking a sweat and in full compliance with all safety regulations (they can do more accurate tolerances if you spend the money for a more ridged track and more tight tolerance cutting head). Given the application and size of the cargo door they would build a track that the cutting head would run around. That track and cutting head would then be usable on all future jobs.

There is absolutely nothing exotic about controlling fiber hazards - and there are multitudes of trained employees on the basics (you can take an asbestos remover and give them a several hour class on carbon fibers and they know what to do).

There is nothing exotic about cutting things to tight tolerances. That's now a routine industry practice in a multitude of industries. Laser shooting of exact dimensions is now commonly used in conventional power plants, paper mills, oil refineries, etc.; and is now being adopted by building contractors of large buildings. Having things cut so the replacements (or original installations) fit without rework can be a huge cost savings in installation man-hours and plant down time, depending on the industry.

I would also like to point out that the nuclear quality control certifications, processes, and standards are essentially equivalent to aviation quality control. A number of the contractors doing work in nuclear plants also tend to do work with aviation companies (and not just the NDE companies).

I may not have known that the A350 & B787 no longer have "D" checks. However, that does not mean that they would not strip out all of the removable items in the area as if they were doing a D check before cutting a new hole in either an A350 panel or a B787 barrel. But, I do know a lot about how fiber hazards are controlled and precision cutting field work abilities and tolerances.
 
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Re: The 787 doesn’t lend itself well to a freighter says Leeham News

Tue Nov 16, 2021 7:34 pm

iamlucky13 wrote:
Several posters have recalled comments earlier in the program that Boeing had already examined the feasibility of a cargo version of the 787 and incorporated some aspects into the design to better facilitate this.

Here is a link that corroborates those memories:

https://www.flightglobal.com/will-the-7 ... 93.article


Good Find!

The next question is did Boeing add another 100-200 lb of fiber in the right locations to carry the loads to allow cutting of a cargo door in the existing barrel?

Because I have a memory that says that at one point that Boeing also said that they planned for the future P2F conversion and all that was needed was to cut the hole for the door and install the door and appropriate other mechanical reinforcements for a cargo aircraft.

I've not had the time I to do a good search.
 
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Re: The 787 doesn’t lend itself well to a freighter says Leeham News

Tue Nov 16, 2021 7:47 pm

2175301 wrote:
iamlucky13 wrote:
Several posters have recalled comments earlier in the program that Boeing had already examined the feasibility of a cargo version of the 787 and incorporated some aspects into the design to better facilitate this.

Here is a link that corroborates those memories:

https://www.flightglobal.com/will-the-7 ... 93.article


Good Find!

The next question is did Boeing add another 100-200 lb of fiber in the right locations to carry the loads to allow cutting of a cargo door in the existing barrel?

Because I have a memory that says that at one point that Boeing also said that they planned for the future P2F conversion and all that was needed was to cut the hole for the door and install the door and appropriate other mechanical reinforcements for a cargo aircraft.

I've not had the time I to do a good search.

The article is behind a paywall and I can't read it. I used to be able to get a few free articles from Flight Global, but now I can't even log in without subscribing. Can anyone post a short summary?
 
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Re: The 787 doesn’t lend itself well to a freighter says Leeham News

Tue Nov 16, 2021 8:08 pm

9Patch wrote:
zeke wrote:
I disagree, Airbus can have a side panel with the door incorporated like the lower cargo doors and use the existing lap joints to fit it to the aircraft. The door would be contained within a single panel like the lower cargo doors are today. The main deck cargo doors are much larger than the lower deck doors, and on the 787 I think this will be across a barrel join.

You think it will be?
Where did you get this notion?

The 787 barrel joins are very obvious thanks to the missing window. Everything obviously depends on where the cargo door is (forward or aft of the wing) and the variant. For the 788 things might get tight but possibly doable with cargo door far forward but with the 789 it looks like there may be room behind the wing. For 788 avoiding barrel join behind wing might be difficult due to clearance concerns with wing. For new builds all of this assumes, of course, that a freighter has to have the same length barrels as the passenger variant though.
 
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Re: The 787 doesn’t lend itself well to a freighter says Leeham News

Tue Nov 16, 2021 8:14 pm

The article is behind a paywall and I can't read it. I used to be able to get a few free articles from Flight Global, but now I can't even log in without subscribing. Can anyone post a short summary?


From FG....

Tom Crabtree, then a regional director for business strategy at Boeing Commercial Airplanes, casually gave the secret away in a presentation to journalists inside the company's sprawling factory complex in Everett, Washington.

Buried in the blueprints of the all-composite fuselage of the new widebody are the provisions to quickly transform the 787 from an airliner into a pure freighter, Crabtree said.

"We worked with the initial design five years ago during the initial sizing of the airplane," said Crabtree. "We have routed the systems such that the area where the main deck door would go are clear of any reroutings, say, [of] electrical or hydraulic lines."

"Long term, we have designed provisions into the [787] when the market demands it to allow that aircraft to become a freighter," Crabtree said.
 
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Re: The 787 doesn’t lend itself well to a freighter says Leeham News

Tue Nov 16, 2021 8:24 pm

fcogafa wrote:
The article is behind a paywall and I can't read it. I used to be able to get a few free articles from Flight Global, but now I can't even log in without subscribing. Can anyone post a short summary?


From FG....

Tom Crabtree, then a regional director for business strategy at Boeing Commercial Airplanes, casually gave the secret away in a presentation to journalists inside the company's sprawling factory complex in Everett, Washington.

Buried in the blueprints of the all-composite fuselage of the new widebody are the provisions to quickly transform the 787 from an airliner into a pure freighter, Crabtree said.

"We worked with the initial design five years ago during the initial sizing of the airplane," said Crabtree. "We have routed the systems such that the area where the main deck door would go are clear of any reroutings, say, [of] electrical or hydraulic lines."

"Long term, we have designed provisions into the [787] when the market demands it to allow that aircraft to become a freighter," Crabtree said.

Thank you.
 
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Re: The 787 doesn’t lend itself well to a freighter says Leeham News

Tue Nov 16, 2021 8:35 pm

Polot wrote:
9Patch wrote:
zeke wrote:
I disagree, Airbus can have a side panel with the door incorporated like the lower cargo doors and use the existing lap joints to fit it to the aircraft. The door would be contained within a single panel like the lower cargo doors are today. The main deck cargo doors are much larger than the lower deck doors, and on the 787 I think this will be across a barrel join.

You think it will be?
Where did you get this notion?

The 787 barrel joins are very obvious thanks to the missing window. Everything obviously depends on where the cargo door is (forward or aft of the wing) and the variant. For the 788 things might get tight but possibly doable with cargo door far forward but with the 789 it looks like there may be room behind the wing. For 788 avoiding barrel join behind wing might be difficult due to clearance concerns with wing. For new builds all of this assumes, of course, that a freighter has to have the same length barrels as the passenger variant though.

How long is the front section on the 788, and how much room do they need to install a cargo door?

Image

This is a photo from a Leeham article about the 788. So I assume that's what's pictured.
https://leehamnews.com/2020/09/01/34422/
 
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Re: The 787 doesn’t lend itself well to a freighter says Leeham News

Tue Nov 16, 2021 9:00 pm

I design composites regularly but usually in fiberglass not carbon, things like door openings depend mostly on the resin bonding rather than the type of fiber. Cutting in a door and designing the new door frame in composites is not a lot more complex or difficult than in metal, the exception is the connections, a lot tougher in composites as the fastener material is far stronger than the base material. It's like working in wood rather than metal.

The skin would be cut to just a bit larger than the opening and have a thin reinforcement wrapped over the edge. For about 16" around the opening a new composite ring frame would be bonded in. This would include the connections to all of the ribs and existing stringers. The big issue is the base structure was cured in an autoclave, doing this for the conversion is not practical.

I would prefer working in a barrel, the panel join of the A350 causes a lot of issues as it is a boundary one must cross, it would have issues where the new frame stops leaving the joint in the transition from that frame to the typical shell. Also, how does the composite with titanium inserts behave, it is a bear to reinforce that situation, its like adding welds to a bolted structure, one never knows what % each is taking and it varies with temperature, humidity, and pressure.

It would have to be a OEM designed opening, it is critical to know the fiber layup, the resin type, and all of the bond properties between ribs, stringers, stiffeners, and the skin.
 
DenverTed
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Re: The 787 doesn’t lend itself well to a freighter says Leeham News

Tue Nov 16, 2021 11:29 pm

9Patch wrote:
Scott Scott Hamilton and Bjorn Fehrm at Leeham News and Analysis have a new post up about the proposed A350F. It details the specifications of new plane and how it stacks up against the Boeing 777F and future Boeing freighter offerings. One paragraph that jumped out at me:

The 787 doesn’t lend itself well to a freighter. Boeing has a challenge with doing a cargo door in a barrel composite airplane. Airbus chose the panel approach for the A350. Was Airbus thinking about a cargo version of the airplane, or did it just happen to work out that way?
https://leehamnews.com/2021/11/11/airbu ... more-37783

This is the first time I've ever heard this. I thought Boeing designed the 787 with a freighter version in mind. Are they talking about P2F conversions only, or new build freighters?


Yes, new build or conversion form passenger to freight?
 
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zeke
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Re: The 787 doesn’t lend itself well to a freighter says Leeham News

Wed Nov 17, 2021 12:46 am

2175301 wrote:
I can name one contractor off the top of my head that could do the job including controlling and cleaning up the fiber release to 1mm accuracy without breaking a sweat and in full compliance with all safety regulations (they can do more accurate tolerances if you spend the money for a more ridged track and more tight tolerance cutting head).


Are they a MRO ?

2175301 wrote:
I may not have known that the A350 & B787 no longer have "D" checks. However, that does not mean that they would not strip out all of the removable items in the area as if they were doing a D check before cutting a new hole in either an A350 panel or a B787 barrel.


Freighter conversions are nothing like a D check, it is a major modification, it is more akin to the FAL.
 
2175301
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Re: The 787 doesn’t lend itself well to a freighter says Leeham News

Wed Nov 17, 2021 1:07 am

zeke wrote:
2175301 wrote:
I can name one contractor off the top of my head that could do the job including controlling and cleaning up the fiber release to 1mm accuracy without breaking a sweat and in full compliance with all safety regulations (they can do more accurate tolerances if you spend the money for a more ridged track and more tight tolerance cutting head).


Are they a MRO ?


No; but many companies - including MRO's bring in contractors to do work that they do not have the technical abilities to do. A MRO can easily hire them.

2/3 of the NDE companies I have worked with in the nuclear world also do aircraft and aircraft part NDE inspections at various aircraft service centers, airports, and in some cases at part manufacturing facilities.

Once the rail system and drive head was built (a 1 time cost); I estimate that it would cost in the range of $12,000 - $25,000 to bring in that contractor to do the work to cut a cargo door hole across the USA, and I am sure there are similar contractors in Europe and elsewhere in the world (that price doubles or triples in the nuclear world due to normal security in-processing and radiation work practice and other training before they are allowed into the plant).

I'd estimate that this cost could drop to as low as $5000 per hole if a company trained their own people and had the right equipment on hand once the rail and drive head system exists.
 
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zeke
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Re: The 787 doesn’t lend itself well to a freighter says Leeham News

Wed Nov 17, 2021 1:18 am

Polot wrote:
Everything obviously depends on where the cargo door is (forward or aft of the wing) and the variant. For the 788 things might get tight but possibly doable with cargo door far forward but with the 789 it looks like there may be room behind the wing. For 788 avoiding barrel join behind wing might be difficult due to clearance concerns with wing. For new builds all of this assumes, of course, that a freighter has to have the same length barrels as the passenger variant though.


Industry best practice these days is to have the main deck cargo door behind the wing so the aircraft does not get tail heavy loading or unloading.
 
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zeke
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Re: The 787 doesn’t lend itself well to a freighter says Leeham News

Wed Nov 17, 2021 1:29 am

fcogafa wrote:
From FG....


Does the same article also say

"On the other hand, there are no guarantees
that the 787 will find other roles, and some analysts
wonder if the aircraft’s design philosophy
will prevent its success in other markets.

“One problem is that the 787 is designed
with minimal margin tolerances, while older
jets were designed before [computer-aided design/
computer-aided manufacturing] became
an extremely precise tool,” says Richard
Aboulafia, vice-president of analysis at the
Teal Group."

"“The 787 freighter concept is extremely
premature. Cargo planes in this class tend to be
conversions, which are useful for maintaining
asset values but typically only kick in
after 15–20 years of airline service, at least,”
Aboulafia says.

Boeing’s 20-year market forecast shows that
it expects the market for a 787-sized freighter to
shrink in the future. In 2009, freighters with between
a 40-tonne and 80-tonne payload capacity
represented 36% of the market, according
to Boeing’s latest World Air Cargo Forecast
2011. In 2029, the same market is projected to
account for 27% of all freighters."
 
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Re: The 787 doesn’t lend itself well to a freighter says Leeham News

Wed Nov 17, 2021 1:30 am

zeke wrote:
Polot wrote:
Everything obviously depends on where the cargo door is (forward or aft of the wing) and the variant. For the 788 things might get tight but possibly doable with cargo door far forward but with the 789 it looks like there may be room behind the wing. For 788 avoiding barrel join behind wing might be difficult due to clearance concerns with wing. For new builds all of this assumes, of course, that a freighter has to have the same length barrels as the passenger variant though.


Industry best practice these days is to have the main deck cargo door behind the wing so the aircraft does not get tail heavy loading or unloading.


Industry best practice is to put the door behind the wing if there is enough space. 777s, 747s and A350s have aft cargo doors since there is enough clearance between the wing and stabilizer. A330s, 767s, 737s, 757s, A321s etc all have the cargo door in front of the wing.

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