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cessnalady
Topic Author
Posts: 281
Joined: Tue May 25, 2004 7:12 am

Shopping For B744's In The Desert

Thu Feb 23, 2006 3:35 pm

Looking closely at this photo, you'll find several B747's that IMHO look like 400's megatops (towards the far end and at least 1 in the left).

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Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Sam Chui


Why is it that while someone is parking and letting languish a relatively new frame, someone else is ordering and purchasing new ones? I'm particularly intrigued by those ordering new F versions while there are so many frames to choose from and convert into F's?  Confused

Marie
 
kiwiandrew

RE: Shopping For B744's In The Desert

Thu Feb 23, 2006 3:41 pm

Interesting question

I can think of 4 factors that need to be balanced when comparing a new conversion to a new-build 744F are

1/ the conversion will be carrying a lot of unnecessary weight - the upper
deck extension


2/ the upper deck also limits some container/pallet positions on the main deck
(IIRC)


3/ the cost of getting the conversion done


4/ lack of nose door for straight-in loading



I am not sure but there may be other built-in differences such as floor strength
 
N1120A
Posts: 26656
Joined: Sun Dec 14, 2003 5:40 pm

RE: Shopping For B744's In The Desert

Thu Feb 23, 2006 4:06 pm

Actually, those aircraft look like 743s
Mangeons les French fries, mais surtout pratiquons avec fierte le French kiss
 
na
Posts: 9830
Joined: Sun Dec 12, 1999 3:52 am

RE: Shopping For B744's In The Desert

Thu Feb 23, 2006 5:46 pm

Indeed the 747s with stretched upperdeck in the picture above are ex-Swissair 747-300s, the oldest 743s built in 1983, which are in the process of scrapping. There is not SIA Megatop in that photo. At the moment there are only a few, less than 20, 744s parked worldwide, and most of them are just in the waiting-line to become freighters.
 
Candid76
Posts: 563
Joined: Sun May 01, 2005 5:10 am

RE: Shopping For B744's In The Desert

Thu Feb 23, 2006 7:37 pm

As far as I know the only 744s not spoken for in one way or another are the remaining four ex. United ones (probably at Victorville). Anyone know of any others? Incidentally were those ex. Swissair ones Combis, in which case they should have been good candidates for frieghter conversion, given how old some cargo 747s are. They may be 23 years old now, but they were only 18 when they were parked.
 
na
Posts: 9830
Joined: Sun Dec 12, 1999 3:52 am

RE: Shopping For B744's In The Desert

Thu Feb 23, 2006 7:49 pm

I agree the 743s of Swissair haven´t clocked that many hours when they were retired to be cut up, but not all were Combis as you suggest. SRs youngest 743 Combi is flying for TAAG Angola now.
Two of the ex Swissair 743s were bought by Northwest for parts, and I guess that are the ones you can see in the photo.
Btw two of the still parked UA 744s will go to Corsair this year after refitting.
 
ehho
Posts: 769
Joined: Thu Dec 15, 2005 3:26 am

RE: Shopping For B744's In The Desert

Thu Feb 23, 2006 8:50 pm

Quoting Candid76 (Reply 4):
They may be 23 years old now, but they were only 18 when they were parked

Are those ex-UA birds 744 retrofits of 743?
"Get your facts first. Then you may distort them as much as you please" -- Mark Twain
 
na
Posts: 9830
Joined: Sun Dec 12, 1999 3:52 am

RE: Shopping For B744's In The Desert

Thu Feb 23, 2006 9:32 pm

Quoting EHHO (Reply 6):
Are those ex-UA birds 744 retrofits of 743?

There is no such thing as a 743-744 retrofit. The differences are to many that a 743 could be converte.
 
cessnalady
Topic Author
Posts: 281
Joined: Tue May 25, 2004 7:12 am

RE: Shopping For B744's In The Desert

Thu Feb 23, 2006 11:04 pm

Thanks for the responses. It is indeed starting to make sense.

NA, N1120A: How can you tell the difference between a 744 and a 743 at a glance (as you apparently just did)? What's the "identi-kit"?

Thanks again!

Marie
 
A342
Posts: 4017
Joined: Sun Jul 31, 2005 11:05 pm

RE: Shopping For B744's In The Desert

Thu Feb 23, 2006 11:15 pm

Quoting CessnaLady (Reply 8):
How can you tell the difference between a 744 and a 743 at a glance (as you apparently just did)? What's the "identi-kit"?

The 744 has winglets, and the engines look different.
Exceptions confirm the rule.
 
Shenzhen
Posts: 1666
Joined: Wed Jun 25, 2003 12:11 pm

RE: Shopping For B744's In The Desert

Thu Feb 23, 2006 11:17 pm

Quoting CessnaLady (Reply 8):
NA, N1120A: How can you tell the difference between a 744 and a 743 at a glance (as you apparently just did)? What's the "identi-kit"?

For me, the wings and wing to body fairing (engines, but not in this case).

Cheers
 
na
Posts: 9830
Joined: Sun Dec 12, 1999 3:52 am

RE: Shopping For B744's In The Desert

Thu Feb 23, 2006 11:27 pm

By just looking at the picture you posted its almost impossible to tell. I just saw other recent pictures from Marana (all shot by busy Sam Chui) where the scene above is more in close-up.
Otherwise the easiest thing to tell a 744 apart from a 743 are the winglets. The 744 has differently looking engines of a newer generation (although a few late-built 743s from Thai and Varig got the 744-type GE-engines). Another distinction is the wing-root which is more aerodynamic on the 744 (again, a few late-built 743s, namely from Egyptair and Sabena, have that feature, too). A fourth point is the antenna in the middle on the back of the fuselage which only the older 747s (741, 742, 743 and SP) have. To make it difficult again, some of the newest 744s, built after 2000, again have an antenna blade in a similar position.
 
User avatar
United_fan
Posts: 6691
Joined: Fri Nov 24, 2000 11:11 am

RE: Shopping For B744's In The Desert

Thu Feb 23, 2006 11:44 pm

Doesn't NW own the SR 743's for the parts and engines ?
"Suspicion is a matter of opinion"
 
whitehatter
Posts: 5180
Joined: Sat Jun 12, 2004 6:52 am

RE: Shopping For B744's In The Desert

Thu Feb 23, 2006 11:52 pm

Quoting CessnaLady (Thread starter):

Why is it that while someone is parking and letting languish a relatively new frame, someone else is ordering and purchasing new ones?

as well as the reasons given, there are other issues.

The aircraft may be parked awaiting disposal by a lessor, sometimes as lease rejects before the lease has expired. They are then subject to court proceedings and have to wait until that liability has been discharged before they can be reoffered elsewhere. Especially if there is no agreement by both sides to allow the equipment to be re-let pending settlement.

The other main reason is tax. Sometimes it can be tax efficient to park a frame rather than allow it to go elsewhere.

Finally there is maintenance. If the pax version is high cycles then a D check and conversion can be more expensive than buying new and amortising the new build over 25 or more years. Servicing and converting could offer an unacceptably low number of remaining hours and cycles, making it uneconomical to do the work.
Lead me not into temptation, I can find my own way there...
 
Tod
Posts: 1716
Joined: Sat Aug 28, 2004 6:51 am

RE: Shopping For B744's In The Desert

Fri Feb 24, 2006 12:27 am

Quoting Kiwiandrew (Reply 1):
I can think of 4 factors that need to be balanced when comparing a new conversion to a new-build 744F are

1/ the conversion will be carrying a lot of unnecessary weight - the upper
deck extension


Most of the upperdeck interior and related secondary structure aft of the u/d door can be removed.

Quoting Kiwiandrew (Reply 1):

2/ the upper deck also limits some container/pallet positions on the main deck
(IIRC)

Same as item one. The u/d floor beams aft of the u/d door can be removed and replaced with lighter ones positioned higher in the fuselage.

Quoting Kiwiandrew (Reply 1):

3/ the cost of getting the conversion done

Correct and the money spent making payments on an aircraft that is not in service.

Quoting Kiwiandrew (Reply 1):

4/ lack of nose door for straight-in loading

Yes, especially if it impacts fleet commonality and related ground service issues.

Quoting Kiwiandrew (Reply 1):

I am not sure but there may be other built-in differences such as floor strength

Except for over the wingbox, to get the same floor loading the floor structure would require modification.

Tod
 
md90fan
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Joined: Fri Jul 29, 2005 11:15 am

RE: Shopping For B744's In The Desert

Fri Feb 24, 2006 4:17 am

I know Cathay Pacific Cargo, MP Cargo, UPS and World are all buying/receiving 744F.
http://www.devanwells.blogspot.com/
 
AADC10
Posts: 1511
Joined: Sat Nov 13, 2004 7:40 am

RE: Shopping For B744's In The Desert

Fri Feb 24, 2006 4:41 am

There is a backlog on 744 cargo conversions of at least a couple of years. Lessors are probably waiting to see if airlines will take them back since they cannot be converted to cargo anytime soon.
 
Tiger119
Posts: 1622
Joined: Wed Sep 10, 2003 1:52 pm

RE: Shopping For B744's In The Desert

Fri Feb 24, 2006 7:48 am

Quoting NA (Reply 7):
. The differences are to many that a 743 could be converte

- What differences?
Flying is the second greatest thrill known to mankind, landing is the first!
 
Tod
Posts: 1716
Joined: Sat Aug 28, 2004 6:51 am

RE: Shopping For B744's In The Desert

Fri Feb 24, 2006 8:29 am

Quoting Tiger119 (Reply 17):
- What differences?

My 743 profesional experience is limited to mechanical systems related to interiors. From that limited standpoint, the lav system switched from individual blue juice tanks under the lavs to a centralized vacuum waste system at the back of the plane. The potable water and drain routings are different. The potable water themral protection is a bit different. There are more water tanks on most 744. There are improvements to the conditioned air system. The lav/galley vent system is much improved with bigger fans and ducting. Lots of other little stuff too.

Someone else will have to fill in the structural, electrical, avoinics and cabin improvements.

Tod
 
whitehatter
Posts: 5180
Joined: Sat Jun 12, 2004 6:52 am

RE: Shopping For B744's In The Desert

Fri Feb 24, 2006 8:47 am

Quoting AADC10 (Reply 16):
There is a backlog on 744 cargo conversions of at least a couple of years. Lessors are probably waiting to see if airlines will take them back since they cannot be converted to cargo anytime soon.

That's not true. There are other conversion shops which can do them.

FedEx used to fly their DC10 fleet into Venice to have them done, and there is an excellent facility at TLV. That's just two who can do the 747. Taking a 744 in wouldn't be hard for them as they have widebody experience.

However if you want it done by Boeing or one of their outsourced shops then there may be a backlog, but there are other places besides Kansas and China where it can be done.
Lead me not into temptation, I can find my own way there...
 
Shenzhen
Posts: 1666
Joined: Wed Jun 25, 2003 12:11 pm

RE: Shopping For B744's In The Desert

Fri Feb 24, 2006 11:38 am

Quoting WhiteHatter (Reply 19):
That's not true. There are other conversion shops which can do them.

There are only two companies offering 747-4 freighter mods, IAI and Boeing (In China). All positions at both are sold out for several years.

Boeing shut down the modification center in Kansas before they sold it.

Cheers
 
Carpethead
Posts: 2620
Joined: Mon Aug 02, 2004 8:15 pm

RE: Shopping For B744's In The Desert

Fri Feb 24, 2006 12:33 pm

Quoting MD90fan (Reply 15):

JL & KE to add. I know I am missing some more operators.
NH 744s were to go to NCA but not any more. NCA has opted for 744F new builds and 748F.
 
INTENSS
Posts: 310
Joined: Mon Aug 30, 2004 9:25 am

RE: Shopping For B744's In The Desert

Fri Feb 24, 2006 1:22 pm

Quoting MD90fan (Reply 15):
I know Cathay Pacific Cargo, MP Cargo, UPS and World are all buying/receiving 744F.

Of those, World is picking up 3 ex-United 744's.


-Rich
 
cessnalady
Topic Author
Posts: 281
Joined: Tue May 25, 2004 7:12 am

RE: Shopping For B744's In The Desert

Fri Feb 24, 2006 4:16 pm

Quoting NA (Reply 11):
By just looking at the picture you posted its almost impossible to tell. I just saw other recent pictures from Marana (all shot by busy Sam Chui) where the scene above is more in close-up.
Otherwise the easiest thing to tell a 744 apart from a 743 are the winglets. The 744 has differently looking engines of a newer generation (although a few late-built 743s from Thai and Varig got the 744-type GE-engines). Another distinction is the wing-root which is more aerodynamic on the 744 (again, a few late-built 743s, namely from Egyptair and Sabena, have that feature, too). A fourth point is the antenna in the middle on the back of the fuselage which only the older 747s (741, 742, 743 and SP) have. To make it difficult again, some of the newest 744s, built after 2000, again have an antenna blade in a similar position.

Thanks NA!! You're going to my RUL!!!

Marie
 
Tod
Posts: 1716
Joined: Sat Aug 28, 2004 6:51 am

RE: Shopping For B744's In The Desert

Sat Feb 25, 2006 12:05 am

Quoting Shenzhen (Reply 20):
There are only two companies offering 747-4 freighter mods, IAI and Boeing (In China). All positions at both are sold out for several years.

If you don't need the side door installed, the rest of the work can be elsewhere.

Tod

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