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744-LCF: Ugly Is Only Skin Deep!

Wed Aug 23, 2006 11:01 pm

There's lots of comments on this forum about how ugly the 747-400 Large Cargo Frieghter is. I ran into this article wherein Boeing's engineers address this point directly:

Quote:
“Some people have been referring to the LCF as an ‘ugly’ airplane, but we have been able to take advantage of that in design,” LCF Senior Design Lead Steve Price says. He adds that because of the airplane’s mission, its detailed design does not require at least some of the expensive engineering solutions necessary in other airplanes. Cases in point: The use of doublers, or required extra layers of outer skin material, that are being designed for installation on the outside of the airplane rather than on the inside; and the use of button-head fasteners on the outside of the airplane in many places that would not be used in typical production models.

Also:

Quote:
LCF Chief Project Engineer Kurt Kraft notes the engineering design on a program involving three modification airplanes “is much different than design on a traditional program that may involve hundreds of airplanes going through the factory.” Programs with a large production run may emphasize reducing weight or improving performance. But the focus on the LCF is to “find optimal solutions very quickly and to greatly limit nonrecurring costs wherever we can—to avoid designs that will require hard tooling, for example,” Kraft says. “We are focused on providing a safe and reliable airplane that will meet all of the requirements of its mission.”

So, it's not the prettiest bird, but there's solid reasoning about why this is so: they wanted to build it cheaply and quickly, and since they weren't building a lot of them, it didn't make sense to go to any great lengths to make it pretty.

Comments?
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solnabo
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RE: 744-LCF: Ugly Is Only Skin Deep!

Thu Aug 24, 2006 4:43 am

Neither is the Beluga, but it´s doing the job.

 twocents 

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FlySSC
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RE: 744-LCF: Ugly Is Only Skin Deep!

Thu Aug 24, 2006 5:22 am

True that it's not very good looking ... but actually they are not built to win a beauty price but to do a particular job and for sure, just like the Beluga, this one will do it well !
 
eraugrad02
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RE: 744-LCF: Ugly Is Only Skin Deep!

Thu Aug 24, 2006 3:16 pm

I think it will look fine once it gets a painting. What i wanna know is what upgrades did it get? Stronger landing gear? 747SP tail? What about the engines.. were theyn upgraded? Does anyone know the answers or where to get them?
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HAWK21M
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RE: 744-LCF: Ugly Is Only Skin Deep!

Thu Aug 24, 2006 8:43 pm

The Purpose is to carry the B787 Wing & Fuselage sections not to look Pretty.  Smile
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RE: 744-LCF: Ugly Is Only Skin Deep!

Thu Aug 24, 2006 9:32 pm

Quoting ERAUgrad02 (Reply 3):
What i wanna know is what upgrades did it get? Stronger landing gear? 747SP tail? What about the engines.. were theyn upgraded? Does anyone know the answers or where to get them?

The first article above has the following link:

http://www.boeing.com/news/frontiers/archive/2005/june/ts_sf05.html

Also I've found another interesting article at:

http://www.flug-revue.rotor.com/FRHeft/FRHeft06/FRH0602/FR0602e.htm

Both confirm a larger tail.

Some details from the second article:

Quote:

The task requires that the main deck of the cargo aircraft should carry 1840m3, three times the volume of a regular 747-400 cargo aircraft. This is to be achieved by altering the shape of the deck area. The fuselage of the 747-400 LCF will even be 45.7cm wider than that of an A380. According to Boeing, the 747 LCF will actually be the biggest cargo aircraft in the world in terms of volume. Its length is to be extended by three metres, while its vertical tail unit will be raised by 1.5 metres.

And:

Quote:

For tax reasons amongst other considerations, no marketing of the aircraft outside Boeing's own requirement is planned. “One economy strategy,” according to Kraft, “is to build parts that are as straight as possible. For example, rear section 47 behind the hinges will be a simple cone. The somewhat higher structural weight is not so critical for us.” The engineers have had to compromise over the wing: due to the flutter characteristics, its fuel reserve is being restricted to 50% of the possible useful load. This has meant that the slats, landing gear and systems are largely unchanged and the new wing features are confined to different software.
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Gary2880
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RE: 744-LCF: Ugly Is Only Skin Deep!

Thu Aug 24, 2006 11:15 pm

Quoting Revelation (Reply 5):
the 747 LCF will actually be the biggest cargo aircraft in the world in terms of volume.

surely that must be wrong??????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????? why wouldnt boeing have done this before if its so huge, more so than the mighty mriya?

[Edited 2006-08-24 16:16:33]
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MEA-707
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RE: 744-LCF: Ugly Is Only Skin Deep!

Thu Aug 24, 2006 11:54 pm

Quoting Gary2880 (Reply 6):
the 747 LCF will actually be the biggest cargo aircraft in the world in terms of volume.

surely that must be wrong??

No it's correct. Remember the C-5 Galaxy, An-124 Beluga and the An-225 have a fuselage width comparible to a normal 747, ok maybe max. a meter more, and also only a slightly longer fuselage, that comes to less volume then when they have basically put a huge barrel on the 747LCF.
They didn't build it earlier because it can't carry much more weight then a 747-400F, so it's only useful for select bulky items like fuselage chunks.
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Gr8Circle
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RE: 744-LCF: Ugly Is Only Skin Deep!

Fri Aug 25, 2006 1:38 am

Has this 744-LCF flown yet....?
 
747luvr
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RE: 744-LCF: Ugly Is Only Skin Deep!

Fri Aug 25, 2006 1:53 am

Where does it open? The tail swing to the side, or the left or right side flip up? I havent heard or seen of how they're going to load/unload this beast. Fugly yeah, but it'll : Git 'R Done!!
 
OldAeroGuy
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RE: 744-LCF: Ugly Is Only Skin Deep!

Fri Aug 25, 2006 2:18 am

Quoting 747LUVR (Reply 9):
Where does it open? The tail swing to the side, or the left or right side flip up?

The tail swings. There are external hinges covered with fairings on the port side.
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leelaw
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RE: 744-LCF: Ugly Is Only Skin Deep!

Fri Aug 25, 2006 2:30 am

Quoting OldAeroGuy (Reply 10):
Quoting 747LUVR (Reply 9):
Where does it open? The tail swing to the side, or the left or right side flip up?

The tail swings. There are external hinges covered with fairings on the port side.





My question is there some sort of support strut (from the fuselage to the ground) to support the weight of the tail when the "swing zone" is open, particularly when the main bay is empty?
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HAWK21M
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RE: 744-LCF: Ugly Is Only Skin Deep!

Fri Aug 25, 2006 2:35 am

When is the Test Flight due.
regds
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deltadc9
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RE: 744-LCF: Ugly Is Only Skin Deep!

Fri Aug 25, 2006 3:23 am

Quoting ERAUgrad02 (Reply 3):
I think it will look fine once it gets a painting.

Sometimes beauty lies in the function, not the form. I think it will be an amazing plane once it is painted and we have pictures of it doing its job.

Quoting Gary2880 (Reply 6):
surely that must be wrong

No, it is correct, and by a long shot actually.

Quoting Leelaw (Reply 11):
My question is there some sort of support strut

Yes, from what I read, there will be a support.
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LY4XELD
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RE: 744-LCF: Ugly Is Only Skin Deep!

Fri Aug 25, 2006 3:28 am

Quoting Gr8Circle (Reply 8):
Has this 744-LCF flown yet....?



Quoting HAWK21M (Reply 12):
When is the Test Flight due.
regds
MEL

From Boeing press release "First flight and the ferry flight to Seattle are expected to occur by the end of August."
 
RedDragon
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RE: 744-LCF: Ugly Is Only Skin Deep!

Fri Aug 25, 2006 5:15 am

Quoting Leelaw (Reply 11):
My question is there some sort of support strut (from the fuselage to the ground) to support the weight of the tail when the "swing zone" is open, particularly when the main bay is empty?

From the article...

Quote:
Bruce Whiteman, lead engineer assigned to the freighter’s swing tail development, says that after landing, the LCF’s entire tail section, supported by independent ground support equipment, will swing out to allow easy loading via custom-built cargo loaders. The cargo loaders will raise the huge 787 sections to the airplane’s floor level and slide them into the unpressurized fuselage.

Two pull-in actuators and numerous latches are involved in the proprietary system that opens, closes and locks the swing tail in place, Whiteman says. The latches, originally designed for a proposed folding wing on the Boeing 777, will be activated only by the ground support equipment and are specially designed to assure that the swing tail always is latched and locked when in service.

Anyone know how the control cables to the horizontal and vertical tails are being routed and connected? As I recall, disconnecting and reconnecting control cables on the CL-44 Guppy and similar took ages, didn't it?
 
747luvr
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RE: 744-LCF: Ugly Is Only Skin Deep!

Fri Aug 25, 2006 5:23 am

thanks for the answers for loading....I was also thinking how difficult it might be to reconnect flight controls while the tail seperates...
 
787engineer
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RE: 744-LCF: Ugly Is Only Skin Deep!

Fri Aug 25, 2006 5:55 am

Quoting ERAUgrad02 (Reply 3):
I think it will look fine once it gets a painting. What i wanna know is what upgrades did it get? Stronger landing gear? 747SP tail? What about the engines.. were theyn upgraded? Does anyone know the answers or where to get them?

The takeoff weight of a fully loaded 744 LCF with the largest of the 787 components will actually be lighter than the MTOW of a regular 744F so there were no need to strengthen the landing gear or have a higher lift wing. However the that large hump does have a significant affect on the aerodynamics and the behavior of the aircraft. The tail was resized (

Quoting MEA-707 (Reply 7):
They didn't build it earlier because it can't carry much more weight then a 747-400F, so it's only useful for select bulky items like fuselage chunks.

 checkmark 

Quoting 747LUVR (Reply 16):
thanks for the answers for loading....I was also thinking how difficult it might be to reconnect flight controls while the tail seperates...

Random idea since this far from my area of expertise, but why can't they have a short range transmitter (infra-red, radio, etc) that would send the signals across the door splice and have the actuators "read" in the data?
 
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RE: 744-LCF: Ugly Is Only Skin Deep!

Fri Aug 25, 2006 6:56 am

Quoting 787engineer (Reply 17):
Random idea since this far from my area of expertise, but why can't they have a short range transmitter (infra-red, radio, etc) that would send the signals across the door splice and have the actuators "read" in the data?

It's hard enough for a pilot to trust 'fly by wire' - so getting them to trus 'fly by ether' will be darn near impossible!  Smile
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RE: 744-LCF: Ugly Is Only Skin Deep!

Fri Aug 25, 2006 7:39 am

Quoting RedDragon (Reply 15):

Two pull-in actuators and numerous latches are involved in the proprietary system that opens, closes and locks the swing tail in place,

I posted a link that describes this including the connections in one of the LCF threads, but couldn't find it now. I think it's on the Flightglobal report about this.....

Quoting RedDragon (Reply 15):
the LCF’s entire tail section, supported by independent ground support equipment, will swing out to allow easy loading via custom-built cargo loaders.

For a picture of the completed cargo loader.....
http://www.boeing.com/news/releases/2006/q2/060612d_pr.html

Is it true that the first LCF was essentially a new airframe as the caption says it "never entered service" or was it just not used for cargo before?
From this
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to this
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Photo © CHINGHUA YUAN



[Edited 2006-08-25 00:54:37]

[Edited 2006-08-25 00:58:04]
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MCIGuy
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RE: 744-LCF: Ugly Is Only Skin Deep!

Fri Aug 25, 2006 7:47 am

So when are they going to paint it and "unveil" the thing already?!!  bouncy 
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RE: 744-LCF: Ugly Is Only Skin Deep!

Fri Aug 25, 2006 11:10 am

Quoting LY4XELD (Reply 14):
First flight and the ferry flight to Seattle are expected to occur by the end of August."

Thats just a few days to go then.

Quoting MCIGuy (Reply 20):
So when are they going to paint it and "unveil" the thing already?!!

Painting can follow the tests,no hurry.


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RE: 744-LCF: Ugly Is Only Skin Deep!

Fri Aug 25, 2006 11:45 am

its gonna look so nice after its painted. it would be nice to see it in the dreamliner paint scheme. i think this plane looks better thant he beluga, just becuase its a BOEING 747-400. still the nicest widebody(besides the 777).
 
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RE: 744-LCF: Ugly Is Only Skin Deep!

Fri Aug 25, 2006 7:13 pm

Wait, this is bigger than the An-225? Doesn't this deserve some news coverage?
 
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RE: 744-LCF: Ugly Is Only Skin Deep!

Fri Aug 25, 2006 7:33 pm

Ugliest Plane ever made, but it sure will do his job well. I can imagine the drag must be huge at this 744?
Flown on: DC-9, MD-80, Fokker 100, Bae 146 Avro, Boeing 737-300, 737-400, 747-200, 747-300,747-400, 787-9, Airbus A310, A319, A320, A321, A330-200,A330-300, A340-313, A380, Bombardier CSeries 100/300, CRJ700ER/CRJ900, Embraer 190.
 
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RE: 744-LCF: Ugly Is Only Skin Deep!

Fri Aug 25, 2006 7:52 pm

Certainly a big bird, how much weight will be added when its painted?
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airfoilsguy
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RE: 744-LCF: Ugly Is Only Skin Deep!

Fri Aug 25, 2006 8:44 pm

I think they should pain 3 decks worth of windows on it just to screw with airbus.
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atnight
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RE: 744-LCF: Ugly Is Only Skin Deep!

Fri Aug 25, 2006 9:03 pm

Quoting LY4XELD (Reply 14):
From Boeing press release "First flight and the ferry flight to Seattle are expected to occur by the end of August."

Anyone know what date they have looked at for its first flight?

Quoting DEVILFISH (Reply 19):
Is it true that the first LCF was essentially a new airframe as the caption says it "never entered service" or was it just not used for cargo before?

After seeing the caption, I wonder the same thing.... anyone has more information about this particular frame and the others as well?

Quoting FL370 (Reply 22):
its gonna look so nice after its painted. it would be nice to see it in the dreamliner paint scheme. i think this plane looks better thant he beluga, just becuase its a BOEING 747-400. still the nicest widebody(besides the 777).

I give you credit for believing in miracles.... I don't think that with paint this aircraft will look good.... is the ugliest thing.... yes, paint will make it look slightly better, but it will remain as the ugliest thing flying around.... and although the Belugas are weird looking birds and have no range, in looks I think they are better than this one.... But as you said, you think this one is better "just because is a BOEING 747-400" and you seem a hardcore fan of the B747... however, which one is really nicer to you, the "nicest" B747 or the 777?
B707 B727 B733/5/7/8/9 B742/4 B752/3 B763/4 B772 A310 A318/319/320 A332 A343 MD80 DC9/10 CRJ200 ERJ145 ERJ-170 Be1900 Da
 
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RE: 744-LCF: Ugly Is Only Skin Deep!

Fri Aug 25, 2006 9:39 pm

Anyone have any guesses about the aircraft's livery scheme? I would think it'll be painted in the "new" Boeing livery.
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RE: 744-LCF: Ugly Is Only Skin Deep!

Fri Aug 25, 2006 10:06 pm

Quoting USAF336TFS (Reply 28):
Anyone have any guesses about the aircraft's livery scheme? I would think it'll be painted in the "new" Boeing livery.

In one of the other LCF threads, I posted a quote from Boeing stating that the livery was a part of the negotiation process with the vendor who will be managing the operation of the LCF for Boeing. Since that time, the vendor was selected and it is Evergreen. So, I'm speculating it will be based on Evergreen's livery, but it could be the Dreamliner scheme with an Evergreen tail, or some other variation. We should know soon enough.
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RE: 744-LCF: Ugly Is Only Skin Deep!

Fri Aug 25, 2006 10:44 pm

Quoting Glom (Reply 23):
Wait, this is bigger than the An-225? Doesn't this deserve some news coverage?

It depends on how you describe bigger. The unique point is the VOLUME is bigger then anything else. But it isn't the longest, it isn't the tallest, it doesn't have the biggest wingspan and it isn't the heaviest. Having the biggest volume might need PR to explain, and Boeing seems to keep it a bit low key and not market it elsewhere so why bother.
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RE: 744-LCF: Ugly Is Only Skin Deep!

Fri Aug 25, 2006 11:05 pm

Quoting Glom (Reply 23):
Wait, this is bigger than the An-225? Doesn't this deserve some news coverage?

Guess one less  Smile

Quoting MEA-707 (Reply 30):
Boeing seems to keep it a bit low key and not market it elsewhere so why bother.

Im surprised at that.I wonder Why.

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MEL
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RE: 744-LCF: Ugly Is Only Skin Deep!

Sat Aug 26, 2006 2:59 am

Quoting HAWK21M (Reply 31):
Im surprised at that.I wonder Why.

They would rather talk about the gift instead of the box it comes in!  Smile
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MarkATL
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RE: 744-LCF: Ugly Is Only Skin Deep!

Sat Aug 26, 2006 3:25 am

From the article:
ferry large composite 787 sections, including major fuselage sections, wings and the horizontal tail, from supplier factories in Grottaglie, Italy; Charleston, S.C.; Wichita, Kan.; and Nagoya, Japan, to Boeing’s final assembly plant in Everett, Wash.

Those will be three very busy birds with the production rate Boeing talking about.

She is ugly though.....uglier than the last girl standing alone in a GI bar at closing time.
 
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RE: 744-LCF: Ugly Is Only Skin Deep!

Sat Aug 26, 2006 3:55 am

[quote=DEVILFISH,reply=19]Is it true that the first LCF was essentially a new airframe as the caption says it "never entered service" or was it just not used for cargo before?

Nope...quick check of the database shows that it entered service with Air China sometime in the mid-90s. Several pics taken at Kai Tak.


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Looks like she was stored @ Marana sometime around 9/11/01, sold to Air Algerie, but never entered service with Air Algerie.
 
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HAWK21M
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RE: 744-LCF: Ugly Is Only Skin Deep!

Sat Aug 26, 2006 4:51 pm

Interesting to see how the test flight goes.
regds
MEL
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RE: 744-LCF: Ugly Is Only Skin Deep!

Sat Aug 26, 2006 9:30 pm

Have they opened the tail yet, and are there any photos of the interior of the cargo bay and the nose etc.

Because I want to see what modifications they have done inside etc.

Tom.
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HAWK21M
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RE: 744-LCF: Ugly Is Only Skin Deep!

Sat Aug 26, 2006 11:05 pm

Quoting AirbusA346 (Reply 36):
Because I want to see what modifications they have done inside etc.

Any Inside Pics.Wonder how the Empennage cables are routed.
regds
MEL
I may not win often, but I damn well never lose!!! ;)
 
Woosie
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RE: 744-LCF: Ugly Is Only Skin Deep!

Sun Aug 27, 2006 1:07 pm

Quoting ERAUgrad02 (Reply 3):
I think it will look fine once it gets a painting. What i wanna know is what upgrades did it get? Stronger landing gear? 747SP tail? What about the engines.. were theyn upgraded? Does anyone know the answers or where to get them?

Sorry, that airplane is a WYSIWYG - no upgrades other than what you've seen at rollout.

Boeing has spent some time/effort on the hinge/interconnection mechanisms, to help ensure they work reliably and smoothly. Since that's truly the key design challenge to this Project, and not the aerodynamic shape, Boeing is smart to spend the effort there.
 
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RE: 744-LCF: Ugly Is Only Skin Deep!

Sun Aug 27, 2006 1:22 pm

Quoting Airfoilsguy (Reply 26):
I think they should pain 3 decks worth of windows on it just to screw with airbus.

I would love to see that and I'm sure that someone on here should be able to photoshop it on.

I can't wait to see pictures of this thing flying.

It's the airplane equivalent to Frankenstein
 
andz
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RE: 744-LCF: Ugly Is Only Skin Deep!

Sun Aug 27, 2006 3:37 pm

for those of you wondering about the comparison with the AN-225 have a look at this. There is also some big Airbus in there  

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

sorry it's cutting off I have no idea why  Sad

[Edited 2006-08-27 08:38:52]
After Monday and Tuesday even the calendar says WTF...
 
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HAWK21M
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RE: 744-LCF: Ugly Is Only Skin Deep!

Sun Aug 27, 2006 6:00 pm

Fantastic comparative pic.Where did you get that from.
regds
MEL
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antiuser
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RE: 744-LCF: Ugly Is Only Skin Deep!

Sun Aug 27, 2006 6:58 pm

Quoting Gary2880 (Reply 6):
surely that must be wrong?

It isn't. In fact, the Mriya ranked second to the Airbus A300-600ST in terms of volume. The Mriya has a capacity of 1300 cubic metres, while the Beluga can carry 1400 cubic metres.
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andz
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RE: 744-LCF: Ugly Is Only Skin Deep!

Sun Aug 27, 2006 7:10 pm

Mel I have had it for ages, can't remember where I got it, PM me your email address and I'll send you the un-cut-off version
After Monday and Tuesday even the calendar says WTF...
 
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HAWK21M
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RE: 744-LCF: Ugly Is Only Skin Deep!

Sun Aug 27, 2006 8:32 pm

Quoting Andz (Reply 43):
PM me your email address and I'll send you the un-cut-off version

Done.....Thanks.
regds
MEL
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duke
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RE: 744-LCF: Ugly Is Only Skin Deep!

Sun Aug 27, 2006 11:17 pm

That comaparison is cool.

AN-225 - amazing looking bird.

744-LCF - ugg-LEEE! Looks like a hippo with a disgusting growth on its sides.

But for the customer, it's the practicality that counts in the long run. So it's not my call to make.  Smile
 
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Posts: 60
Joined: Thu Mar 28, 2002 1:26 am

RE: 744-LCF: Ugly Is Only Skin Deep!

Sun Aug 27, 2006 11:25 pm

man that plane is ugly. but that is an interesting point brought up about the volume as compared to the AN-225.  Smile
 
jogales
Posts: 320
Joined: Thu Aug 11, 2005 11:11 am

RE: 744-LCF: Ugly Is Only Skin Deep!

Mon Aug 28, 2006 2:09 am

I don't think that it will look as bad when it gets a coat of paint...

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ksupilot
Posts: 635
Joined: Wed Jul 26, 2006 9:27 am

RE: 744-LCF: Ugly Is Only Skin Deep!

Mon Aug 28, 2006 2:22 am

Quoting Jogales (Reply 47):
I don't think that it will look as bad when it gets a coat of paint...

Found this on MAF:


Modified Airliner Photos:
Click here for bigger photo!
Design © Jetabout
Template © Ralph Duenas - Airplanespotters

 
duke
Posts: 1177
Joined: Tue Sep 21, 1999 9:52 pm

RE: 744-LCF: Ugly Is Only Skin Deep!

Mon Aug 28, 2006 3:20 am

What's that, a humperback whale?

Just kidding. It does look a bit better in white/in livery.

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