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Gonzalo
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Why So Few Orders Of The 748-I?

Thu Aug 16, 2012 10:08 pm

Is it me or the number of orders for the Pax version of the 747-800 is extremely low ?? I would expected a big number of 744 operators "taking the up-grade" but it seems that only a few like LH and KE are following that logic...
The freighter version is apparently more successful...

Thoughts ?

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RobK
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RE: Why So Few Orders Of The 748-I?

Thu Aug 16, 2012 10:22 pm

Quoting Gonzalo (Thread starter):
I would expected a big number of 744 operators "taking the up-grade" but it seems that only a few like LH and KE are following that logic...

The 773ER can do most of what the 748I can do and it's cheaper to buy and operate. No brainer. Also may I suggest you do a search for old discussions of this topic. It crops up on a near-monthly basis and has been discussed to death. Thanks.
 
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Stitch
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RE: Why So Few Orders Of The 748-I?

Thu Aug 16, 2012 10:34 pm

LH has always wanted a larger 747 to slot between the A340-600 and A380-800 so once Boeing finally committed to it, LH was a natural launch customer.

One pundit claims KE only bought the plane because they make parts for it, but that seems to be an expensive way to support your own factory.

Boeing is hopeful they will sell more, but then they pretty much have to be.  

Still, the 747-8 strikes me as a niche plane, designed for routes where premium traffic is strong, but Economy traffic is weak. If you have decent premium and strong Economy, the 777-300ER is better and if you have strong premium and strong Economy, you want the A380-800.

The increase in MTOW has allowed Boeing to raise the maximum payload to place it farther up-market then the 777-300ER and once GE is able to bring the engine fuel burn to spec that will help, as well. In such a scenario, the 747-8 could become a logical step for 777-300ER customers seeing stronger growth in premium and Economy traffic. That being said, I still think it's going to have a tough fight against the A380-800 as these are long-term purchases so an operator might decide to take the risk up front with the A380-800 if they feel they will grow into it over the life of the asset.
 
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Vasu
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RE: Why So Few Orders Of The 748-I?

Thu Aug 16, 2012 11:06 pm

Quoting Stitch (Reply 2):
Still, the 747-8 strikes me as a niche plane, designed for routes where premium traffic is strong, but Economy traffic is weak. If you have decent premium and strong Economy, the 777-300ER is better and if you have strong premium and strong Economy, you want the A380-800.

Why is this? What about each aircraft makes it better for each purpose?

Just interested...  
 
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RE: Why So Few Orders Of The 748-I?

Thu Aug 16, 2012 11:25 pm

Quoting Stitch (Reply 2):

Still, the 747-8 strikes me as a niche plane, designed for routes where premium traffic is strong, but Economy traffic is weak. If you have decent premium and strong Economy, the 777-300ER is better and if you have strong premium and strong Economy, you want the A380-800.

I'm not sure I understand that logic. I understand the A380 needs strong demand due to it having such a capacity that it is hard to maintain a reasonable RASM with it. However I don't understand the 777 comparison.
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Stitch
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RE: Why So Few Orders Of The 748-I?

Thu Aug 16, 2012 11:32 pm

Quoting Vasu (Reply 3):
Why is this? What about each aircraft makes it better for each purpose?

The main cabin of the 747-8 aft of Door 1 is about the same length as the main cabin of the 777-300ER. With First Class on the 747-8 in the nose, that allows another two rows of Business Class to be fitted on the main deck plus the Business Class seating that can be fit on the upper deck. So if your an airline who puts First and Business Class forward of Door 3 on a 747-8 and a 777-300ER, you could fit upwards of 30 more Business Class seats on the 747-8. You could then fit pretty much the same number of Economy seats between Door 3 and Door 5 on both planes.

Thanks to having two decks, on the A380-800 you can dedicate the entire lower deck to Economy and the entire upper deck to First and Business Class.



It will be interesting to see how many seats Korean Airlines puts into their 747-8.

Their A380-800 seats 407: 12 First | 94 Business | 301 Economy
Their 747-400 seats 333: 10 First | 61 Business | 262 Economy *
Their 777-300ER seats 291: 8 First | 56 Business | 227 Economy

I therefore think their 747-8 will be 365: 10 First | 83 Business Class | 272 Economy **


* - This is the configuration with the Kosmo First Class Suite and the lie-flat Prestige Business Class seat
** - This would also be Kosmo First Class with two more rows of Prestige on each deck and one more row of Economy

[Edited 2012-08-16 16:41:34]
 
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Gonzalo
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RE: Why So Few Orders Of The 748-I?

Fri Aug 17, 2012 1:44 am

According to Boeing's site there are customers of a BBJ version.... anyone knows who are this customer(s) ??

http://www.newairplane.com/747/whos_flying/

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Max Q
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RE: Why So Few Orders Of The 748-I?

Fri Aug 17, 2012 3:40 am

Quoting RobK (Reply 1):

The 773ER can do most of what the 748I can do and it's cheaper to buy and operate. No brainer. Also may I suggest you do a search for old discussions of this topic. It crops up on a near-monthly basis and has been discussed to death. Thanks.

May I suggest if you don't want to read it, then don't.


Seriously, so what if it's been discussed before ? Myself and others like to revisit certain topics and why not ?


New perspectives, attitudes and information are always out there and are interesting to many of us.


You always have a choice you know..
The best contribution to safety is a competent Pilot.


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RE: Why So Few Orders Of The 748-I?

Fri Aug 17, 2012 3:47 am

Quoting Gonzalo (Reply 6):

There are nine Boeing 747-8I BBJS on order. All were ordered by Heads of states or royal families in the Gulf/Asia region. I believe a single individual has one on order as well, but I can't remember for sure.

And just to mention, there is currently only one A380 Business jet ordered.
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woodsboy
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RE: Why So Few Orders Of The 748-I?

Fri Aug 17, 2012 3:57 am

The 747-8 was a vanity project, nothing more. There were and currently are not enough orders to make the project viable. I believe it was in response to the A380 which has also not sold in large numbers. Boeing would have been better served by allocating resources to a new narrow body family but now that is far in the future. The 748 is by all accounts an excellent airplane for both pax and cargo but as was said earlier is a niche plane who's niche is very small. If Boeing can keep the 748 in production at a very slow rate they may eventually be able to break even but with the prospect of the upgraded 777 it seems unlikely that the 748 will last as long as the 744, production wise.
 
N766UA
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RE: Why So Few Orders Of The 748-I?

Fri Aug 17, 2012 4:15 am

The simple fact is that there just isn't much of a market for very large jets! The A380 isn't selling particularly well, either, but because it is simply "the largest" it holds the top spot for that category and is at least able to garner some orders. The 747-8 isn't the biggest, so if you're looking for the biggest you won't buy it. It's also doesn't have the best range or the best economics, the 777-200LR/300ER sap customers there. It's just too niche! Anything bigger than a 777/A340 is going to struggle.

If orders were based on looks, though, the 747 would be hitting it out of the park. Gorgeous jet- always has been.
 
mop357
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RE: Why So Few Orders Of The 748-I?

Fri Aug 17, 2012 8:18 am

It's a lot more economical to fly 2 engines instead of 4. No engine gets anywhere near 100% efficiency. So the more engines the more inefficiency which means wasted fuel. In plane English why feed 4 engines when you can feed only 2. The B777-300 burns 20% less fuel than the B747-400 (http://www.britishairways.com/travel/boeing-777-300/public/en_gb). The B747-800 is a great aircraft, but the B777-300 can do the job for less most of the time.

Quoting N766UA (Reply 10):
It's just too niche! Anything bigger than a 777/A340 is going to struggle.

I agree. Times have changed. IMHO airlines are better off flying slightly smaller planes with more frequency for most markets.
 
workhorse
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RE: Why So Few Orders Of The 748-I?

Fri Aug 17, 2012 10:07 am

How does the per trip fuel burn compare between the 77W and the 748i?

In another thread here, someone mentioned that at current fuel prices, the fuel bill difference between the 744 and the 77W for a HKG-LHR was around $36,000, so what about the 748i?
 
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RE: Why So Few Orders Of The 748-I?

Fri Aug 17, 2012 10:17 am

Quoting woodsboy (Reply 9):
The 747-8 was a vanity project, nothing more.

Doesn't make good business sense. Building to satisfy your vanity amounts to throwing money out the window. I can't for the life of me believe Boeing would do that. Was the project a gamble? Probably. There was no certainty that there would be massive orders for the passenger model. However, I suspect Boeing believed cargo model sales would even out the tally sheet. And, as has been said before, it's still too soon to say the airplane is a failure. The economy could change for the better and airliner sales could soar. Will that happen? Again, it's too soon to say.
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kl911
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RE: Why So Few Orders Of The 748-I?

Fri Aug 17, 2012 10:30 am

Quoting Gonzalo (Thread starter):
Thoughts ?

Its a 50 year old design  
 
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RE: Why So Few Orders Of The 748-I?

Fri Aug 17, 2012 10:57 am

Quoting woodsboy (Reply 9):
The 747-8 was a vanity project, nothing more. There were and currently are not enough orders to make the project viable. I believe it was in response to the A380 which has also not sold in large numbers.

  

Boeing had been toying around with the idea of a bigger 747 since the mid 1990s, with the 747-500X, 747-600X and 747-700X concepts that never made it to production. My understanding is that there was quite some interest in these models, but the Asian Financial Crisis of the mid 1990s killed it off.

Then there's LH wanting a larger 747 for many years, and with the 787 engine technology becoming available, it was possible to improve the 747 significantly, which will cater not only to those who want a larger 747, but also the 747F (whether it be -200F, -400F or -400BCF) replacement markets. Upgrading an existing frame would be somewhat cheaper than designing an entirely new one, so even if the 747-8 program doesn't secure many orders, Boeing aren't going to take a big hit. Not launching the 747-8 would have been the mistake.

While the passenger 747-8 may not last too much longer with the advent of the 777-9X, the 747 will live on for many years to come as a freighter. If Boeing did nothing to update the 744F, the economics of the 777F will likely kill it. Launching the 747-8 program was absolutely the right decision, in my view.
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unityofsaints
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RE: Why So Few Orders Of The 748-I?

Fri Aug 17, 2012 11:41 am

The short answer:

Because it's not a very good plane.
 
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Gonzalo
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RE: Why So Few Orders Of The 748-I?

Fri Aug 17, 2012 12:01 pm

Quoting flightsimer (Reply 8):
There are nine Boeing 747-8I BBJS on order. All were ordered by Heads of states or royal families in the Gulf/Asia region. I believe a single individual has one on order as well, but I can't remember for sure.

Thanks for your info.

Quoting flightsimer (Reply 8):
And just to mention, there is currently only one A380 Business jet ordered.

At least in this specific segment of customers, the 748 is really beating up the poor A380  
Quoting mop357 (Reply 11):
It's a lot more economical to fly 2 engines instead of 4. No engine gets anywhere near 100% efficiency. So the more engines the more inefficiency which means wasted fuel. In plane English why feed 4 engines when you can feed only 2.

Absolutely, but ( at least until recent times AFAIK ) there were some issues with the ETOPS certification for certain routes, I guess the increase in the engine's reliability played a role here...?

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n729pa
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RE: Why So Few Orders Of The 748-I?

Fri Aug 17, 2012 12:21 pm

Even though it's state of the art etc, there are bound to be some that will look upon it as yesterday's plane now. "We've just ordered the latest 747" ..... could be countered by a rival "In 1969 we were a launch customer for the 747, today 4x (fortysomething) years on we are still pioneering new planes with the xxx" .....a bit of an image issue too IMO.

It's like Toyota or Ford dropping the top selling Corolla or Escort name after 40 years or so, after a bit no matter how many face lifts it has, people want something new.

I think the 748 is stuck between a rock and hard place now, I think it will carry on for a while as new build freighters but I reckon in 5-10 years the 747 will stop production, which will be a shame but to comes to everything in the end.
 
Bongodog1964
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RE: Why So Few Orders Of The 748-I?

Fri Aug 17, 2012 12:24 pm

The obvious answer is that its a plane the airlines don't want, as it flies ok, and has appeared more or less on time, the problem would appear to be one of two things:

Boeing will have talked to major airlines before they launched the 748-I and asked who was interested, either the airlines said "you make it and we'll buy it" whilst having little intention to do so, or the airlines said "not interested" and Boeing didn't listen.

To my mind the fundamental problem is that its underpinned by a design from the mid 60's Of course a lot of it is new, but its still constrained by parts of the original design, and an airline looking for a plane to last the next 25 years may well think that basing it on an ancient design to start with is not a good idea.
 
redflyer
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RE: Why So Few Orders Of The 748-I?

Fri Aug 17, 2012 12:35 pm

Quoting Max Q (Reply 7):
May I suggest if you don't want to read it, then don't.


Seriously, so what if it's been discussed before ? Myself and others like to revisit certain topics and why not ?


New perspectives, attitudes and information are always out there and are interesting to many of us.


You always have a choice you know..

Amen. I love reading about the same topics over the years. As you say, fresh perspectives are always welcome and, besides, the market dynamics are always changing so new issues are injected into the discourse.

Quoting woodsboy (Reply 9):
The 747-8 was a vanity project, nothing more.

I'd say that was probably a little more true of the A380, although even in that instance it wasn't entirely on the spot. No one launches a multi-billion dollar project for vanity purposes. If they do then they are not accountable for the money that is spent and put at risk. (Think governments.)

Quoting woodsboy (Reply 9):
There were and currently are not enough orders to make the project viable.

As long as the freighter version sells, it's a moot point.

Quoting woodsboy (Reply 9):
I believe it was in response to the A380 which has also not sold in large numbers.

That is probably a more apt reason. I think when Boeing launched the 748 they were running scared thinking that perhaps the market for VLAs was bigger than what they thought it would be. They were bamboozled by Airbus into launching the program out of fear. If they hadn't, the 744 would have died a slow death by now and no one would have noticed. But who knows, they may have been still selling freighter versions of that model or just fallen back on the 777F for the large freighter business.

Quoting Gonzalo (Thread starter):
Is it me or the number of orders for the Pax version of the 747-800 is extremely low ?? I would expected a big number of 744 operators "taking the up-grade" but it seems that only a few like LH and KE are following that logic...

I think it's a reflection of the VLA market itself. It's just not there.
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MEA-707
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RE: Why So Few Orders Of The 748-I?

Fri Aug 17, 2012 12:46 pm

Quoting Stitch (Reply 2):
Still, the 747-8 strikes me as a niche plane, designed for routes where premium traffic is strong, but Economy traffic is weak. If you have decent premium and strong Economy, the 777-300ER is better and if you have strong premium and strong Economy, you want the A380-800.

I appreciate your earlier explanation but if planners forget a moment that the upperdeck MUST have premium pax and forget the door placement and just see the three plane types as having a certain amount of square meters to fill up, then it mustn't make any difference, right? You can also put bulkheads between different classes in the middle of two doors. Say for example you need 1 square meter for an economy passenger and 2 square meter floorspace for business/first you can just slam slightly more pax in a 748i then a 77W and then quite some more in an A-380 so all three types can be used in mainly business, mixed or fully economy configuration.
The only difference would be that the A-380 economy is standard 10 abreast and is not certified (yet?) for 11 abreast so its Y product is of a higher quality level then a tighter 77Win which more and more airlines put 10 abreast, with the 748i just in between.
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CXB77L
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RE: Why So Few Orders Of The 748-I?

Fri Aug 17, 2012 12:49 pm

Quoting Bongodog1964 (Reply 19):
To my mind the fundamental problem is that its underpinned by a design from the mid 60's Of course a lot of it is new, but its still constrained by parts of the original design, and an airline looking for a plane to last the next 25 years may well think that basing it on an ancient design to start with is not a good idea.

I disagree with that. Why would an update of the 747 have a shorter service life than a new A380, for instance? They're both brand new aircraft, which are designed with a specific service life in mind. I see no reason why 25 years from now, a brand new 747-8 bought today would be any less likely to still be in service than a brand new A380 bought today.

The 737's base design is one that is even older than the 747, yet it still seems to be selling very well. The 747-8 is no more a 60s aircraft than the 737MAX.
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Stitch
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RE: Why So Few Orders Of The 748-I?

Fri Aug 17, 2012 1:14 pm

Quoting MEA-707 (Reply 21):
I appreciate your earlier explanation but if planners forget a moment that the upperdeck MUST have premium pax and forget the door placement and just see the three plane types as having a certain amount of square meters to fill up, then it mustn't make any difference, right?

True, but I expect airline planners don't look at it that simply.

You can certainly put Economy seats in the upper deck of the 747, but it's traditionally been Business Class because it's a more effective use of the space than the main deck. Same with the A380.



Quoting woodsboy (Reply 9):
The 747-8 was a vanity project, nothing more.

As others have said before me, this is nonsense. Boeing believed the plane had a valid business case so they launched it. And even then, they launched it first as a freighter and didn't spend any additional funds on the passenger model until Lufthansa placed a significant order.

And the freighter launched quite strong. I believe it had north of 80 orders within three years, which the 747-400F did not reach until after a decade on the market. And cargo operators are retiring converted 747-400 freighters while taking delivery of new 747-8Fs because even with the fuel burn and maximum payload misses, the plane is still capable of lifting a fair bit more and burning a fair bit less fuel.
 
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N62NA
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RE: Why So Few Orders Of The 748-I?

Fri Aug 17, 2012 1:27 pm

Quoting Bongodog1964 (Reply 19):
its still constrained by parts of the original design, and an airline looking for a plane to last the next 25 years may well think that basing it on an ancient design to start with is not a good idea.

Compared to a 747-100, the 747-8 is a much different plane, so I don't really agree with this "it's an ancient design" line of thinking, unless by "ancient design" you mean it is a tube with wings attached.

Quoting CXB77L (Reply 22):
The 737's base design is one that is even older than the 747, yet it still seems to be selling very well. The 747-8 is no more a 60s aircraft than the 737MAX.

I was just thinking about this the other day: At what point is what Boeing calls a 737 not really a 737? In other words, is the 737MAX sufficiently different from the 737-100 that it could really be called a new airplane, and for convenience/marketing reasons, Boeing is just still calling it a 737?
 
tonymctigue
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RE: Why So Few Orders Of The 748-I?

Fri Aug 17, 2012 1:30 pm

There is alot of critisim about using what is fundamentally a 50 year old design but here's the thing. That same 50 year old design is what makes the Boeing 747 so suitable for its original intended use, the same use that will keep it flying for years to come long after its passenger days are over and that use is carrying cargo. Placing the cockpit above the main cargo deck gives in the capability of being loaded through the nose, a feature that no other aircraft currently operating commercially (other than the An124/An225) can do. A good idea doesn't become a bad idea just because it is 50 years old.

In fact, I can see a situation where the biggest threat to the B748F project comes not from the A380F or any other freight aircraft but from the B744! Passenger airlines are dropping them from their fleets to beat the band, flooding the market with second hand frames, many of them capable of flying for years to come. Seems to me to be good economics for cargo airlines to acquire and convert these ex passenger 744s to freighters. The cost would be tiny in comparison to a new build B748F albeit a bit more costly to run.

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KDAYflyer
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RE: Why So Few Orders Of The 748-I?

Fri Aug 17, 2012 1:32 pm

Quoting Gonzalo (Thread starter):
Is it me or the number of orders for the Pax version of the 747-800 is extremely low ?? I would expected a big number of 744 operators "taking the up-grade" but it seems that only a few like LH and KE are following that logic...
The freighter version is apparently more successful...

Boeing anticpated it would be more warmly welcomed in the freighter version. As the lower than anticpated sales of the A-380 and 748i show, the market for this sized aircraft is smaller than it used to be. That plus the 777X, which will be a near direct 2 engine replacement for the 744 makes demand for the 748i weak. A 77W can perform most missions the 748i can for less $. The best market for the plane is those routes which require an aircraft larger than the 77W but smaller than the A380. Not many of those around I guess since there arent all that many orders. Once the 777X comes out the 748i is DOA anyway IMHO.
 
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Stitch
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RE: Why So Few Orders Of The 748-I?

Fri Aug 17, 2012 1:34 pm

Quoting tonymctigue (Reply 25):
In fact, I can see a situation where the biggest threat to the B748F project comes not from the A380F or any other freight aircraft but from the B744!

A number of folks have suggested that, but we're seeing freight operators retiring 747-400BCFs in favor of taking delivery of 747-8Fs. The 747-8F's economics appear to outweigh the higher capital costs and the 747-8F's economics will improve as GE improves the engines.



Quoting KDAYflyer (Reply 26):
Boeing anticpated it would be more warmly welcomed in the freighter version.

Boeing has consistently predicted the passenger model would be the more popular one.  Wink

[Edited 2012-08-17 07:24:11]
 
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neutrino
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RE: Why So Few Orders Of The 748-I?

Fri Aug 17, 2012 2:02 pm

Quoting kl911 (Reply 14):
Its a 50 year old design


Yes, but its been through countless tweaks and 2 major upgrades.
The even more "ancient" 737 has also gone through myriad ongoing improvements and is now into its third generational iteration. What's more, against a much younger and very similar specs competitor, it is continuing to hold its own exceedingly well.
So, "old" basic design is a very minor (if at all} factor. Other reasons like niche market, and large ETOPS twins are much more valid.
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LH707330
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RE: Why So Few Orders Of The 748-I?

Fri Aug 17, 2012 4:01 pm

Does the 748i offer a significant CASM benefit over the 77W? I thought I read somewhere that they were pretty close, and therefore the only good 748i markets are ones where there's too much demand to fill a 77W.
 
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zeke
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RE: Why So Few Orders Of The 748-I?

Fri Aug 17, 2012 4:32 pm

Quoting Gonzalo (Thread starter):
I would expected a big number of 744 operators "taking the up-grade" but it seems that only a few like LH and KE are following that logic...

Leeham.net also reported that the LH deal was in part compensation for the cancellation of Connexion by Boeing, and KE was in part offsets for 787 delays. KE also manufacture 747 parts, bit like GECAS buying GE powered aircraft to lease out.

[Edited 2012-08-17 13:08:47 by srbmod]
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VC10er
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RE: Why So Few Orders Of The 748-I?

Fri Aug 17, 2012 4:48 pm

There is the "sleeper" factor which today nobody can predict. Perhaps one day, people will look back and think "gosh, and nobody thought it would catch on" a hope for all of us 747 lovers to hold onto.

I recall the days of when average people having a computer at home was totally absurd. And that was the 1980's. Not a perfect analogy, but even the big industry experts can be very wrong about things...like Facebook stock!

But I do have a question for the experts here: if after some time Lufthansa and Korean report that their 747-8I's are performing better than expectation, the RASM proves great on certain routes, passengers fall in love, the economy turns around...might we then see some airlines take another look at the latest version of the "Queen of the skies"?
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Bongodog1964
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RE: Why So Few Orders Of The 748-I?

Fri Aug 17, 2012 5:21 pm

Further to previosu comments the 748-I is underpinned by a 50 year old design. Tthere comes a time when this does matter, as it has an impact on what is possible, and it defines the basic size and shape of the fuselage. If you added eveything that is new on the 748-I to a 40 year newer basic design it would be likely to produce a better aircraft than the 748-I. The other factor is that even if it is a "new" aircraft, the perception to many is that its just the 2012 model of an old aircraft.

Off thread, the 737 will always have constraints compared to the newer A320. its narrower fuselage provides slightly less space, and its undercarriage restricts engine fan diameter. A newer basic design would overcome these constraints.
 
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United_fan
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RE: Why So Few Orders Of The 748-I?

Fri Aug 17, 2012 5:42 pm

I read that one of the reasons Boeing even came out with a passenger 748 is for a future Air Force 1.

[Edited 2012-08-17 10:42:30]
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SWALUV
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RE: Why So Few Orders Of The 748-I?

Fri Aug 17, 2012 5:56 pm

Quoting CXB77L (Reply 15):
live on for many years to come as a freighter. If Boeing did nothing to update the 744F, the economics of the 777F will likely kill it. Launching the 747-8 program was absolutely the right decision, in my view.

The 747 according to an interview which I can't remember the name of, stupid brain, anyway was originally designed for freighter but airlines wanted a passenger equivalent, so that's where we stand today! Pretty Interesting!
 
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RE: Why So Few Orders Of The 748-I?

Fri Aug 17, 2012 7:43 pm

Quoting unityofsaints (Reply 16):

The short answer:

Because it's not a very good plane.

That is completely erroneous. Have you flown it? It is a derivative of the 747-100/200/300/400. Those aircraft have been quite successful. Well, OK, the 300 version did not seem like a running success.

[Edited 2012-08-17 13:12:48 by srbmod]
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BasilFawlty
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RE: Why So Few Orders Of The 748-I?

Fri Aug 17, 2012 7:55 pm

Quoting Gonzalo (Thread starter):
I would expected a big number of 744 operators "taking the up-grade" but it seems that only a few like LH and KE are following that logic...
The freighter version is apparently more successful...

Thoughts ?

A big number of 744 operators are indeed 'upgrading', to the 77W.   The 748I was doomed to fail from day one because of the existence of the 77W. It could have been a success, if the 77W didn't exist (the same goes for the A345 and A346 by the way).
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RE: Why So Few Orders Of The 748-I?

Fri Aug 17, 2012 7:55 pm

Quoting Stitch (Reply 2):
Boeing is hopeful they will sell more, but then they pretty much have to be.

They have sold significantly more 748s (passenger and cargo combined) than some previous 747 versions that must have had fairly high development costs. Whether they were profitable or not I have no idea.

748 - 106 (total orders to date; 36 passenger, 70 cargo)
747SP - 45
747-300 - 81
 
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Stitch
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RE: Why So Few Orders Of The 748-I?

Fri Aug 17, 2012 8:12 pm

Quoting United_fan (Reply 35):
I read that one of the reasons Boeing even came out with a passenger 748 is for a future Air Force 1.

Push comes to shove, Boeing probably could have turned a 747-8 freighter into a plane capable of serving as a Presidential Transport.



Quoting SWALUV (Reply 37):
The 747 according to an interview which I can't remember the name of, stupid brain, anyway was originally designed for freighter but airlines wanted a passenger equivalent, so that's where we stand today! Pretty Interesting!

It's more that the plane's expected life as a passenger carrier was going to be very short due to the belief that intercontinental travel would be primarily handled by the SST. Since no airline wanted to buy such an expensive plane, operate it for a decade, then scrap it, Boeing designed it so that it could have a second life as a freighter once it was no longer needed as a passenger plane.

And this is exactly what has happened with the various 747 passenger-to-freighter conversions.
 
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RE: Why So Few Orders Of The 748-I?

Fri Aug 17, 2012 8:22 pm

Quoting brilondon (Reply 35):
That is completely erroneous. Have you flown it? It is a derivative of the 747-100/200/300/400. Those aircraft have been quite successful. Well, OK, the 300 version did not seem like a running success.

My having flown it is completely irrelevant to this discussion and what it is or isn't a derivative of is also highly irrelevant. It may be a good plane to look at. Or to fly (as a pilot). Or to fly in (as a passenger). Or to work (as a mechanic or flight attendant).
It isn't a good plane in the one metric which counts: return on investment for the airlines. For that, you pick the 77W on the low end or the 388 on the high end. There's little grounds on which to dispute this and that's why the passenger version of this plane doesn't sell and won't sell in the future.
 
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RE: Why So Few Orders Of The 748-I?

Fri Aug 17, 2012 10:18 pm

The 748i also keeps the A380 price honest, thus limiting A's profitability. The 748i seems to be successful in this respect and such pressure could actually help the future sale of "cheap" A380. I suspect Boeing would not complain when A continues to lose money on the A380 program.

The current world economy outlook is not helping near term where the 748i may find a niche with delivery slots. The mere talk of the 777X is enough to kill the 748i down the line. 77W is already giving the 748i a run and the 777X will only blow it away.

Greenpoint's Aeroloft seems to be working nicely for their BBJ customers. I wish Boeing may one day find the financial justification to add another 50 seats with creative OSU designs to make 748i competitive to 777X. Until then, Airforce one (foreign or domestic), or part of a compensation package for whatever, may be the best bet for the next 748i order.

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Stitch
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RE: Why So Few Orders Of The 748-I?

Fri Aug 17, 2012 10:52 pm

Quoting cosmofly (Reply 40):
The 748i also keeps the A380 price honest, thus limiting A's profitability.

The 748i seems to be successful in this respect and such pressure could actually help the future sale of "cheap" A380.

Considering Boeing has refused 747-8 RFPs due to the price being "too low", evidently Boeing is only willing to lower the price so much, so how "honest" it keeps Airbus. Not to mention even if Airbus sells the A380 "cheap", they have scores and scores of millions in high-profit ancillary sales so Airbus will be making money in the end.

Frankly, the idea that Boeing spent billions of dollars on a plane whose sole purpose is to try and cost Airbus millions of dollars on each A380 sale is ludicrous.



Quoting cosmofly (Reply 40):
I wish Boeing may one day find the financial justification to add another 50 seats with creative OSU designs to make 748i competitive to 777X.

It cannot be financially justified.
 
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RE: Why So Few Orders Of The 748-I?

Sat Aug 18, 2012 9:59 am

[quote=Stitch,reply=41]Frankly, the idea that Boeing spent billions of dollars on a plane whose sole purpose is to try and cost Airbus millions of dollars on each A380 sale is ludicrous.[/quote

  

Boeing shareholders would never stand for a multi billion dollar project whose only purpose was to try and get one over Airbus. Shareholders are interested in a return on their investment, not points scoring.
 
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FLALEFTY
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RE: Why So Few Orders Of The 748-I?

Sat Aug 18, 2012 1:20 pm

Quoting Stitch (Reply 38):

There was a news blurb in AW&ST this week mentioning that the Pentagon is preparing an RFP for the AF-1 replacement. When I read this, I too was thinking that a converted 748F airframe might be a better choice than the 748i for this application. The upper deck on the current AF-1 is a secure section where only the pilots and technical support personnel are allowed. I don't think the AF wants or needs the 748i's SUD.
 
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RE: Why So Few Orders Of The 748-I?

Sat Aug 18, 2012 2:28 pm

Quoting N62NA (Reply 24):
At what point is what Boeing calls a 737 not really a 737? In other words, is the 737MAX sufficiently different from the 737-100 that it could really be called a new airplane, and for convenience/marketing reasons, Boeing is just still calling it a 737?

When it is an all new plane. And I think the measure of what is "all new" and what is not is whether one design is derived from another, or whether it started, figuratively speaking, from a "clean sheet of paper".

Quoting Bongodog1964 (Reply 32):
Tthere comes a time when this does matter, as it has an impact on what is possible, and it defines the basic size and shape of the fuselage.

While this is true, in what way has the 747-8 been hindered by its design? The only thing that's holding back the 747-8 is the relatively small VLA market which is owned by the 777-300ER at one end and by the A380 at the other. The 747-8 uses less fuel per trip than the A380, and according to Lufthansa, the fuel burn per seat difference between the two is minimal - or will be once its 11th aircraft is delivered. It is intrinsically a very good aircraft for airlines that require something in the very near future between the 77W and the A380.

Quoting unityofsaints (Reply 39):
It isn't a good plane in the one metric which counts: return on investment for the airlines. For that, you pick the 77W on the low end or the 388 on the high end. There's little grounds on which to dispute this and that's why the passenger version of this plane doesn't sell and won't sell in the future.

You better call up LH and KE and tell them they've made a mistake in ordering the 748i. There are also numerous airlines that have MoUs for 748is, so you better tell them to cancel those too  

Thankfully, airlines don't make their purchasing decisions on such simplistic terms. Yes, it's true that for some airlines, they don't need the 748i to fill in the gap in capacity left between the A346/77W and the A380, but some others do. I doubt any airline would've placed an order for it without carefully weighing up its return on investment. It is a lot more fuel efficient aircraft than its predecessor, and can also carry more pax and cargo than both the 744 and the 77W. It also has more space for revenue cargo than the A380 when you take into account the number of pax bags.

As far as the return on investment for Boeing is concerned, Boeing in its wisdom decided that a firm order for 20 plus 20 options from LH is more than enough to launch the project. (As a derivitave instead of an all new aircraft, the development costs will be somewhat less than building an all new plane, and thus the break even point of the project would be lower than if Boeing had decided to design an all new aircraft instead).

There is a definite and clear case for the 747-8 project.

Quoting Stitch (Reply 41):
Frankly, the idea that Boeing spent billions of dollars on a plane whose sole purpose is to try and cost Airbus millions of dollars on each A380 sale is ludicrous.

I don't think that was the 747-8 program's sole purpose ...

Undoubtedly, the 747-8 would cost Boeing less to produce than the A380 cost Airbus. Even if the 747-8 is outsold by the A380, it could still end up being the more profitable of the two programs. The goal is to make more profit on the 747-8 than Airbus makes on the A380. If the existence of the 747-8 made airlines purchase it instead of more A380s, then it's done its job.
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Cerecl
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RE: Why So Few Orders Of The 748-I?

Sat Aug 18, 2012 2:55 pm

Quoting CXB77L (Reply 44):
The 747-8 uses less fuel per trip than the A380, and according to Lufthansa, the fuel burn per seat difference between the two is minimal - or will be once its 11th aircraft is delivered

According to this LAXDESI's estimation the revenue advantage to A380 is in the range of tens of millions annually.
Lufthansa 747-8 Fuel Burn (by trex8 Jun 19 2012 in Tech Ops)

Quoting CXB77L (Reply 44):
It is intrinsically a very good aircraft for airlines that require something in the very near future between the 77W and the A380.

That's the problem. Not many airlines have this requirement. Even if they do, they might just use 77W or A380 anyway with 77X on the horizon.

Quoting CXB77L (Reply 44):
There are also numerous airlines that have MoUs for 748is,

I am not sure "numerous" is the right word, a few maybe.
Of those, only Air China and Transaero's MOUs are reasonably solid. HX/HU's 15 is on extremely shaky grounds. There are also persistent rumours that CA is seeking to rent a 380 or two from CZ...
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RE: Why So Few Orders Of The 748-I?

Sat Aug 18, 2012 2:57 pm

With all due respect, honestly I don't understand the way of thinking of those who claims that the 748 and 737MAX are "old" designs from the '60's. The only things in common of this planes with their "ancestors" are the names and some ( almost "symbolic" ? ) shapes in the forward section of the fuselage. Almost everything else has been redesigned looking for fuel efficiency, interior space, and a long etcetera. With such radical changes being not enough for you, and taking in account that almost every aircraft designed for passenger and cargo has the same basic fuselage+arrow wing configuration, I guess the only way to see you giving a new design the approval as "NEW" will be with a BWB ( which is not new in the military industry ) or a SST ( which will be probably similar to a Concorde in some of its lines anyway ).
In terms of technology, performance, comfort and such, both the 748 and the 737MAX have much, much more in common with "clean sheet" planes like the 787 or the A350 compared with the things that can have in common with 741's or 731's.


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Revelation
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RE: Why So Few Orders Of The 748-I?

Sat Aug 18, 2012 6:09 pm

Quoting Bongodog1964 (Reply 19):
Boeing will have talked to major airlines before they launched the 748-I and asked who was interested, either the airlines said "you make it and we'll buy it" whilst having little intention to do so, or the airlines said "not interested" and Boeing didn't listen.

Clearly Boeing did not go forward with the -8i till they had the LH order in hand. Beyond that, I think it was clear that Boeing was presuming they'd win at least some business from BA who has a large fleet of 744s, but that now seems about as likely as Kingfisher taking their A380s. They also may have felt they had a shot at some of the other traditional 747 customers, but it seems there was some wishful thinking there.

Quoting Bongodog1964 (Reply 19):

To my mind the fundamental problem is that its underpinned by a design from the mid 60's Of course a lot of it is new, but its still constrained by parts of the original design, and an airline looking for a plane to last the next 25 years may well think that basing it on an ancient design to start with is not a good idea.

When does the A320 become too ancient to consider? Seems Airbus is giving it a go with new winglets and new engines and various other tweaks. Where have I heard that before?

Quoting BasilFawlty (Reply 36):
A big number of 744 operators are indeed 'upgrading', to the 77W. The 748I was doomed to fail from day one because of the existence of the 77W. It could have been a success, if the 77W didn't exist (the same goes for the A345 and A346 by the way).

I agree.

Quoting Stitch (Reply 41):

Considering Boeing has refused 747-8 RFPs due to the price being "too low", evidently Boeing is only willing to lower the price so much, so how "honest" it keeps Airbus. Not to mention even if Airbus sells the A380 "cheap", they have scores and scores of millions in high-profit ancillary sales so Airbus will be making money in the end.

Right, but Boeing gets the same kind of side sales, so it's not something that would tilt the balance.

Quoting FLALEFTY (Reply 43):

There was a news blurb in AW&ST this week mentioning that the Pentagon is preparing an RFP for the AF-1 replacement. When I read this, I too was thinking that a converted 748F airframe might be a better choice than the 748i for this application. The upper deck on the current AF-1 is a secure section where only the pilots and technical support personnel are allowed. I don't think the AF wants or needs the 748i's SUD.

The thread in MilAv forum says the current AF1 has equipment in every spare nook and cranny, so I imagine the extra space will find a use.
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Stitch
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RE: Why So Few Orders Of The 748-I?

Sat Aug 18, 2012 6:18 pm

Quoting Revelation (Reply 47):
Right, but Boeing gets the same kind of side sales, so it's not something that would tilt the balance.

True, but the sense I get from these posters is that Boeing never really expected to sell any 747-8s, but just that the model's existence was enough to deny Airbus revenue because an airline would order the A380, anyway, but by first getting a "low-ball" price from Boeing on a 747-8 RFP, they could then force Airbus to match or beat it.

Now, to be fair, a form of that strategy did work for IB with their A340-600 order, but Airbus and Boeing started looking out for it...

[Edited 2012-08-18 11:33:00]
 
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kc135topboom
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RE: Why So Few Orders Of The 748-I?

Sat Aug 18, 2012 9:31 pm

Quoting SWALUV (Reply 34):
Quoting CXB77L (Reply 15):live on for many years to come as a freighter. If Boeing did nothing to update the 744F, the economics of the 777F will likely kill it. Launching the 747-8 program was absolutely the right decision, in my view.

The 747 according to an interview which I can't remember the name of, stupid brain, anyway was originally designed for freighter but airlines wanted a passenger equivalent, so that's where we stand today! Pretty Interesting!

The B-747-8F, B-777F, and B-767F do different missions and complament each other. Many freight have, or will operate two of the three Boeing freighters side by side. That is why sales of the A-330F are in the toliet.

No, the original B-747 was a passenger design from the start (via the PA order), although it did share some featuers of the Boeing proposed CX-HLS USAF program that lead to the C-5A. The Boeing CX-HLS proposal had a wider fuselarge and front and rear cargo loading doors for 'drive through loading', it also sat much closer to the ground. But when the B-747 was designed it was a passenger airplane that could also be produced as a freighter.

Quoting unityofsaints (Reply 39):
It isn't a good plane in the one metric which counts: return on investment for the airlines. For that, you pick the 77W on the low end or the 388 on the high end.

It seems LH disagrees with you.

Quoting unityofsaints (Reply 39):
There's little grounds on which to dispute this and that's why the passenger version of this plane doesn't sell and won't sell in the future.

You may have noticed neither VLA is making any sales records these days. Boeing may surprise you in the future.

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