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KarelXWB
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Boeing 777-200 BCF Status?

Wed Dec 31, 2014 10:21 am

I was browsing on newairplane.com and came across the following picture:

http://oi59.tinypic.com/iwjd6c.jpg

I was surprised to see the 777-200 BCF and went to Google for more information. There's not much to find, except this article from 2010 saying that Boeing would have a BCF launch customer in mid-2011:

http://www.flightglobal.com/news/art...f-launch-customer-in-early-348642/

It's now almost 2015 and there is no further news about a possible 777-200 BCF. What is the current status of the program?
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roseflyer
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RE: Boeing 777-200 BCF Status?

Wed Dec 31, 2014 10:40 am

It will come when there is an airline looking to retire 777-200s. Other than some 777-200 A market airplanes. There have not been enough used 777-200ERs on the used market. In the next few years when they get phased out and replaced by 787s and A350s in large quantities, the business case will make sense. The problem now is that 747s and 767s are so dirt cheap on the used market that it does not make sense to buy the much more expensive 777 to be converted yet. I predict 2-5 years. There are still passenger airlines like transaero, omni. or various charter airlines interested in used 777s. I expect a 777bcf announcement would coincide with an announcement of the closure of the 747-8 production line, but who knows when that would be,

[Edited 2014-12-31 02:42:31]
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na
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RE: Boeing 777-200 BCF Status?

Wed Dec 31, 2014 11:46 am

I doubt Boeing is very eager to launch the 777BCF as the 77F isnt selling well. On the other hand about 100 MD11Fs and a few dozen 744BCFs will be retired over the next 10 years. For many if not most of its customers the 77F is too expensive so the 777BCF would be their only hope.

Quoting Roseflyer (Reply 1):
It will come when there is an airline looking to retire 777-200s.

Well, that is happening already. SQ, MH, EK, JAL and CZ all have retired 777s this year. And another dozen at least will follow next year. Most of these are being scrapped rightaway though.
 
trex8
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RE: Boeing 777-200 BCF Status?

Wed Dec 31, 2014 12:06 pm

Wasnt there an issue with having to replace CF floor beams with stronger ones making a conversion more expensive than usual?
 
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scbriml
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RE: Boeing 777-200 BCF Status?

Wed Dec 31, 2014 12:12 pm

Quoting trex8 (Reply 3):
Wasnt there an issue with having to replace CF floor beams with stronger ones making a conversion more expensive than usual?

Yes, conversion of pax 777s to freighters will be expensive for that very reason. Whether the economics of it improve in the next few years, we'll have to wait and see.
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Stitch
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RE: Boeing 777-200 BCF Status?

Wed Dec 31, 2014 3:27 pm

Quoting na (Reply 2):
I doubt Boeing is very eager to launch the 777BCF as the 77F isnt selling well.

It (and the 767-300F) are the best-selling freighters of the current era, with twice the sales of the 747-8F and A330-200F. (~140 to ~70).



Quoting trex8 (Reply 3):
Wasnt there an issue with having to replace CF floor beams with stronger ones making a conversion more expensive than usual?

Yes. I've heard projections that the conversion price could equal, or even exceed, the cost of the donor airframe.

That being said, for an operator like FX that carries much lower-density freight, the CFRP floor beams might be sufficient (perhaps with additional strengthening) and therefore they could be a potential customer.



While Boeing has done studies for a BCF based on both the 777-200 and 777-200ER, I do not expect any 777-200s to be converted (they will all be scrapped for parts).

Initial numbers released by Boeing give a 295,000kg TOW 777-200ERBCF a usable volume of 633m3, a usable payload of 82,000kg and a design range with that payload of 7400km.
 
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KarelXWB
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RE: Boeing 777-200 BCF Status?

Wed Dec 31, 2014 3:32 pm

Quoting Stitch (Reply 5):
It (and the 767-300F) are the best-selling freighters of the current era, with twice the sales of the 747-8F and A330-200F. (~140 to ~70).

I believe he meant the 777F is not selling well today. Sales have been poor in the last five years or so.
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Stitch
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RE: Boeing 777-200 BCF Status?

Wed Dec 31, 2014 3:42 pm

Quoting KarelXWB (Reply 6):
I believe he meant the 777F is not selling well today. Sales have been poor in the last five years or so.

Sales for every freighter model have been poor in the last five years or so.  

On the flip side, if cargo yields remain depressed going forward, the 777-200BCF program probably makes sense because if operators cannot afford a $150 million 777F, they might be able to afford a $75 million 777-200ERBCF and Boeing will generate immediate (conversion fees) and ongoing (spares and support) revenue from such a frame.
 
lhcvg
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RE: Boeing 777-200 BCF Status?

Wed Dec 31, 2014 4:40 pm

Quoting Stitch (Reply 5):
While Boeing has done studies for a BCF based on both the 777-200 and 777-200ER, I do not expect any 777-200s to be converted (they will all be scrapped for parts).

Initial numbers released by Boeing give a 295,000kg TOW 777-200ERBCF a usable volume of 633m3, a usable payload of 82,000kg and a design range with that payload of 7400km.

Is there any meaningful level of commonality with the new-build 77F fleet at FX to make a 77A-BCF a viable replacement for say 310's/300's/M10's? I'm thinking along the above terms of the possibility that the existing floor beams with maybe some reinforcement would be sufficient for FX's needs.
 
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Stitch
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RE: Boeing 777-200 BCF Status?

Wed Dec 31, 2014 5:51 pm

Quoting LHCVG (Reply 8):
Is there any meaningful level of commonality with the new-build 77F fleet at FX to make a 77A-BCF a viable replacement for say 310's/300's/M10's?

The 767-300F is a better replacement for those models. It's loads more payload by volume and weight and flies it farther than the A300-600RF and A310-200F/A310-300F. It's also very close to the MD-10 by total volume and while it comes up a fair bit short in terms of maximum payload weight (up to 16,000kg less), that may not be an issue for FX.

Based on Boeing's numbers, a 777-200A BCF would offer about 35% more volume, about 4000kg less payload weight and about 1000km less range at design range. So it could work well for domestic trunk routes if the MD-10s are cubing out.
 
lhcvg
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RE: Boeing 777-200 BCF Status?

Wed Dec 31, 2014 6:10 pm

Quoting Stitch (Reply 9):
Based on Boeing's numbers, a 777-200A BCF would offer about 35% more volume, about 4000kg less payload weight and about 1000km less range at design range. So it could work well for domestic trunk routes if the MD-10s are cubing out.

Thanks for the all info there. Sounds like the only business case is if they decide the old three-holers have to go en masse and the 77BCF can in fact be done on the cheap for their needs. But I suppose the 76F and 77F combo will bracket the MD's so that probably makes the 77ABCF at FX dead in the water.
 
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RE: Boeing 777-200 BCF Status?

Wed Dec 31, 2014 7:06 pm

Quoting na (Reply 2):
For many if not most of its customers the 77F is too expensive so the 777BCF would be their only hope.

Sounds logical, seeing as a lot of current, A300s, DC/MD-10s and MD-11s were airliners first.

UPS, FedEx and DHL will be all over them.
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MCOflyer
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RE: Boeing 777-200 BCF Status?

Thu Jan 01, 2015 1:09 am

Quoting Boeing778X (Reply 11):
UPS, FedEx and DHL will be all over them.

Fed Ex operates the 77F already and recently ordered 763F's. I doubt they will want a subtype of the 77F when they can order new. UPS has 763F's and can order new ones. DHL I believe has 763F's as well. No need for a subtype when their isn't a need for one.

KH
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SEPilot
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RE: Boeing 777-200 BCF Status?

Thu Jan 01, 2015 1:24 am

Most freight operators start with converted pax planes because they are so much cheaper, and the utilization is a lot less. FX and 5X seem to have grown beyond that; the only used planes that they are buying now seem to be 757's, which can no longer be acquired new. They both seem to be buying new for everything else; certainly there should be no shortage of 763 frames for conversion, but they are both buying them new. I think they have decided that the old adage, "you get what you pay for" applies to aircraft as well as other things. I doubt that either one will opt for converted 777s; they will both buy them new if they want them.
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strfyr51
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RE: Boeing 777-200 BCF Status?

Thu Jan 01, 2015 1:25 am

when Boeing supplies the conversion kits they'll include the floor beams or strengthening for the existing floor beams per their load analysis. Moe than likely Bedek Aviation will also build a conversion and convert fff's per their OWN drawings independent of Boeing.
 
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Boeing778X
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RE: Boeing 777-200 BCF Status?

Thu Jan 01, 2015 2:51 am

Quoting mcoflyer (Reply 12):
Fed Ex operates the 77F already and recently ordered 763F's. I doubt they will want a subtype of the 77F when they can order new. UPS has 763F's and can order new ones. DHL I believe has 763F's as well. No need for a subtype when their isn't a need for one.

I understand that, but I meant particularly for DC-10/MD-11 replacements.
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SEPilot
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RE: Boeing 777-200 BCF Status?

Thu Jan 01, 2015 3:10 am

Quoting Boeing778X (Reply 15):

I understand that, but I meant particularly for DC-10/MD-11 replacements.

I thought the 763's were DC-10 replacements; I suspect the 777F will be used to replace the MD-11s.
The problem with making things foolproof is that fools are so doggone ingenious...Dan Keebler
 
MCOflyer
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RE: Boeing 777-200 BCF Status?

Thu Jan 01, 2015 5:50 am

The 763's are dc10 replacements. Future 77F orders will be md11 replacements.
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lutfi
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RE: Boeing 777-200 BCF Status?

Thu Jan 01, 2015 7:41 am

Bedek have been shopping around looking for a partner to launch CF

Problem is, the only airlines with enough demand to justify are UPS and FX, and they will use their buying power to make uneconomic for the converters. But a BCF program likely to be too expensive for the operators...

Unless/ until UPS or FX decide to underwrite a conversion program, don't think this is going anywhere
 
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SEPilot
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RE: Boeing 777-200 BCF Status?

Thu Jan 01, 2015 8:07 am

Quoting lutfi (Reply 18):
Unless/ until UPS or FX decide to underwrite a conversion program, don't think this is going anywhere

FX is buying new 777Fs; I doubt they will buy converted ones as well. And 5X seems to buy new when they can as well; they have not bought 777Fs but I expect that they will when it comes time to replace the MD-11s. As for lower tier operators, they may find it much more economical to fly 744's as there are a lot of converted ones available now, and likely they can be had quite cheaply. And especially since oil is low the price difference can pay for a lot of fuel. Plus with the conversion requiring replacing the floor beams, I do not see it happening anytime soon, if ever.
The problem with making things foolproof is that fools are so doggone ingenious...Dan Keebler
 
B777LRF
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RE: Boeing 777-200 BCF Status?

Thu Jan 01, 2015 2:41 pm

A 777BCF without a replacement floor is dead in the water*, and the cost of new floor is likely to make the project uneconomical.

* The days of the integrators flying fluff only are long gone - these days they are just as much in the 'general cargo' market as anybody else. Hence the need for a strong(er) floor.
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A342
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RE: Boeing 777-200 BCF Status?

Fri Jan 02, 2015 12:44 am

Quoting lutfi (Reply 18):
Bedek have been shopping around looking for a partner to launch CF

A few years ago they also wanted to launch an A340-300 cargo conversion.

It seems the market for converted freighters bigger than a 767-300 has really gone down the toilet in the last few years...

We shall see how the new A330 conversion programme will do. In particular, the A333F will make life for a 777BCF very hard if no floor beams are changed on the 777...
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Hamlet69
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RE: Boeing 777-200 BCF Status?

Fri Jan 02, 2015 4:07 am

Quoting na (Reply 2):
I doubt Boeing is very eager to launch the 777BCF as the 77F isnt selling well.

How do you figure "it isn't selling well"?  

As has already been pointed out, the GFC has hit the cargo market especially hard. So yes, relative to it's passenger peers, I suppose it's not. However, in it's market (widebody freighters), it's the best thing around.

Consider that from the beginning of 2008 till November 30, 2014, a Net of only 85 new-build widebody freighters have been sold. Broken down, it looks like this:

777F: 60
767F: 54
748F: -1
A332F: -28

So in context, it's been doing just fine.   

Quoting Stitch (Reply 5):
While Boeing has done studies for a BCF based on both the 777-200 and 777-200ER, I do not expect any 777-200s to be converted (they will all be scrapped for parts).

  

Fully agree. If Boeing or partners can make it economical, I still see no point in doing anything with the 777A's. The -200ER's, OTOH, would make a very compelling BCF. . .

Quoting Stitch (Reply 7):
On the flip side, if cargo yields remain depressed going forward, the 777-200BCF program probably makes sense because if operators cannot afford a $150 million 777F, they might be able to afford a $75 million 777-200ERBCF and Boeing will generate immediate (conversion fees) and ongoing (spares and support) revenue from such a frame.

  

At some point in time, current widebody Freighters (744's, MD11's, DC/MD10's, etc.) are going to have to be replaced. And that's assuming no long-term growth, which is an absurd thought. While the GFC and overall 777 values have postponed when I thought a BCF would happen, IMO, there's no question that it will happen. The final product is just too compelling.

Quoting mcoflyer (Reply 12):
Fed Ex operates the 77F already and recently ordered 763F's. I doubt they will want a subtype of the 77F when they can order new. UPS has 763F's and can order new ones

For FX I'd agree with you. Plus, they seem to love the 777F as is. Down the road tho, if Boeing or Bedek or whoever can make a converted 777 cheap enough, I would not be surprised to see some with FX.
5X, however, is a different story. To me, they will either be the launch customer for the 777BCF, or will order quite a few 777F's towards the tail-end of the current models production run. Realistically, there is going to be a gap between the end of production of the current model, and it's inevitable 777XF replacement. 5X has to know this is coming. Depending on the length of that gap, it might coincide with the MD-11 replacement. Then 5X will be in a pickle. . . as will Boeing, for that matter.

Quoting B777LRF (Reply 20):
A 777BCF without a replacement floor is dead in the water*, and the cost of new floor is likely to make the project uneconomical.

* The days of the integrators flying fluff only are long gone - these days they are just as much in the 'general cargo' market as anybody else. Hence the need for a strong(er) floor.

While I do agree with your general thought, I'm also looking long-term. And something has to give. A 787F and/or A350F is still a decade or more away. And when they do come, guess what's in that floor?  Wow!

To me, someone is going to take the plunge on either: A) reinforced composite floor beams, or B) an economical replacement program. It may not be cheap at first, but it is going to have to be done sooner or later. And again, IMO, the 777 is the perfect frame to start with. . .

Quoting A342 (Reply 21):
In particular, the A333F will make life for a 777BCF very hard if no floor beams are changed on the 777...

The A333PCF or whatever it's going to be called should do well. Probably much, much better than the new-build A332F has done. However, if as I suspect, no 777A's get converted, and the program focuses solely on the -200ER model, I'm not sure how much either of these programs will affect the other. The 777 should be a much heavier, but also a much more capable freighter than the A330. Thus I think both will have their particular market and appeal.


Regards,

Hamlet69
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Stitch
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RE: Boeing 777-200 BCF Status?

Fri Jan 02, 2015 3:35 pm

Quoting Hamlet69 (Reply 22):
The 777 should be a much heavier, but also a much more capable freighter than the A330.
Quoting A342 (Reply 21):
In particular, the A333F will make life for a 777BCF very hard if no floor beams are changed on the 777...

Based on Boeing and Airbus estimates, the 77EBCF will offer about 11% more volume than the A333P2F, 37% more payload weight and about 700km more design range.

I can easily see the pair of them becoming the main MD-11F replacement, the A333P2F on the lower half and the 77EBCF on the upper half.

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