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Aircraft design & specs that were heavily influenced by an airline?

Sat Jun 03, 2017 3:41 pm

Long ago, at the time of the 777's first flight, I read that United had a very heavy hand in it's overall specifications, driven by UA's mission needs. I do not recall every word of that article I had read in either the New York Times or WSJ (If memory serves) but I do recall well the essence of it being in 2 parts: 1, it was 'paperless", and 2: that the 777 was designed in large part by a Boeing and United partnership. I have also read in a few places that Lufthansa was a major force behind the 747-8i. I am not claiming to be absolutely firm in my facts. But it certainly it makes sense that both A & B would consult with many of their customers when new aircraft are on the drawing board, but in the 2 cases mentioned above, one airline seemed to have far more influence than others.

I think we have all read that Boeing's design for a potential brand new MoM frame (a twin aisle) has been sized up by United followed with very positive comments made by UA about what they have seen so far. I must assume that other airlines have been consulted as well (as United isn't the only large airline in the world) that seems to 1: leans Boeing and, 2: there are many 767's and 757's that need replacing. Therefore I must assume that a good number of other airlines have had their chance to see what's up Boeing's sleeve for the MoM, but I haven't read any comments from Delta, AA or any other airline for that fact (perhaps someone has comments from other airlines re: Boeing's MoM design)

This has caused me to think about so many other aircraft models in the past and if they too were designed in large part to satisfy particular mission needs by a particular major airline (or airlines). What is the history here? Before 30/40 years ago was it more about sizing up the industry and "if we build it they will come?" (I think Sonic Cruiser) Or was an aircraft always driven by the needs and promises of purchase by a major customer?

Some (but not all) aircraft that I am curious about are: The 3 holers? The A340? The A380? (was the genesis of the A380 more the bet on hub to hub or the needs of the ME3?) How about the 747? Were the 767 and 757 designed more out of what Boeing thought their industry projections called for, or meeting what airlines were screaming for, or simply a 707 and 727 replacement? What aircraft may have been designed as purely a competitive response? But at the core of my curiosity is has any one airline had such huge influence on an aircraft design?

Thanks so much, A curious VC-10er
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migair54
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Re: Aircraft design & specs that were heavily influenced by an airline?

Sat Jun 03, 2017 3:54 pm

VC10er wrote:
Long ago, at the time of the 777's first flight, I read that United had a very heavy hand in it's overall specifications, driven by UA's mission needs. I do not recall every word of that article I had read in either the New York Times or WSJ (If memory serves) but I do recall well the essence of it being in 2 parts: 1, it was 'paperless", and 2: that the 777 was designed in large part by a Boeing and United partnership. I have also read in a few places that Lufthansa was a major force behind the 747-8i. I am not claiming to be absolutely firm in my facts. But it certainly it makes sense that both A & B would consult with many of their customers when new aircraft are on the drawing board, but in the 2 cases mentioned above, one airline seemed to have far more influence than others.

I think we have all read that Boeing's design for a potential brand new MoM frame (a twin aisle) has been sized up by United followed with very positive comments made by UA about what they have seen so far. I must assume that other airlines have been consulted as well (as United isn't the only large airline in the world) that seems to 1: leans Boeing and, 2: there are many 767's and 757's that need replacing. Therefore I must assume that a good number of other airlines have had their chance to see what's up Boeing's sleeve for the MoM, but I haven't read any comments from Delta, AA or any other airline for that fact (perhaps someone has comments from other airlines re: Boeing's MoM design)

This has caused me to think about so many other aircraft models in the past and if they too were designed in large part to satisfy particular mission needs by a particular major airline (or airlines). What is the history here? Before 30/40 years ago was it more about sizing up the industry and "if we build it they will come?" (I think Sonic Cruiser) Or was an aircraft always driven by the needs and promises of purchase by a major customer?

Some (but not all) aircraft that I am curious about are: The 3 holers? The A340? The A380? (was the genesis of the A380 more the bet on hub to hub or the needs of the ME3?) How about the 747? Were the 767 and 757 designed more out of what Boeing thought their industry projections called for, or meeting what airlines were screaming for, or simply a 707 and 727 replacement? What aircraft may have been designed as purely a competitive response? But at the core of my curiosity is has any one airline had such huge influence on an aircraft design?

Thanks so much, A curious VC-10er


I think nowadays all the planes are really designed with the airlines giving a lot of feedback and good ideas, also a lot of commitments ordering the plane.

The A380 was designed to cater traffic into some very slot restricted airports, and not really for the middle east airline.

I think the A350 is a big example, the original plane was narrower and after many airlines "complain" they launched the updated product, called A350XWB, the actual plane.

The 3 holers you are talking about they got more influence because the ETOPS restrictions in the past, now the ETOPS are much more accepted and develop with airlines having up to 207 mins, that's almost every route you can imagine, except very few.

A curious example is the B767-400 I think it was nicely tailored for some airlines, and that airlines are the only customers they really got.


edit:
I forgot to mention a really curious case, Air India had some specially designed landing gear boogies for some A320 to allow them to operate in some airports with low PCN, I don't think any other airline in the world operate that kind of configuration.
Also develop in the last years is some kits to fit in some planes for airlines operating in some special airport like LCY, CGH.. but that's more like tailoring some upgrades for a current type flying than designing a new planes for the mission.
Last edited by migair54 on Sat Jun 03, 2017 3:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
centralflorida
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Re: Aircraft design & specs that were heavily influenced by an airline?

Sat Jun 03, 2017 3:58 pm

The 744 was a request from Juan Trippe at PAN AM. He wanted a larger aircraft, and they had done the groundwork with the project in competition with the Air Force C5. The DC-3 was a request from American Airlines for a larger aircraft that would allow them a profit, aside from being dependent on air mail. The DC-9 was partially done in the home of a Delta executive when they were talking out loud about what systems would be available that were reliable in airline operations. The only airplane I know of that was designed for one airline was the Boeing 247, which sold the early production to United. That caused the other carriers to search elsewhere for modern aircraft. The 247 was dated quickly, due to advances in the design of the competitors it spawned.
 
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Re: Aircraft design & specs that were heavily influenced by an airline?

Sat Jun 03, 2017 3:58 pm

The original 747-100 of course...heavily influenced by Juan Trippe and Pan Am!
 
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Re: Aircraft design & specs that were heavily influenced by an airline?

Sat Jun 03, 2017 3:58 pm

VC10er wrote:
Long ago, at the time of the 777's first flight, I read that United had a very heavy hand in it's overall specifications, driven by UA's mission needs. I do not recall every word of that article I had read in either the New York Times or WSJ (If memory serves) but I do recall well the essence of it being in 2 parts: 1, it was 'paperless", and 2: that the 777 was designed in large part by a Boeing and United partnership

Wikipedia's 777 page gives a rendition of the story that largely comes from the cited reference (Birtles, Philip (1998). Boeing 777, Jetliner for a New Century. St. Paul, Minnesota: Motorbooks International. ISBN 0-7603-0581-1):
The design phase for the new twinjet was different from Boeing's previous commercial jetliners. For the first time, eight major airlines – All Nippon Airways, American Airlines, British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Delta Air Lines, Japan Airlines, Qantas, and United Airlines – had a role in the development.[25] This was a departure from industry practice, where manufacturers typically designed aircraft with minimal customer input.[13] The eight airlines that contributed to the design process became known within Boeing as the "Working Together" group.[25] At the first group meeting in January 1990, a 23-page questionnaire was distributed to the airlines, asking what each wanted in the design.[16] By March 1990, Boeing and the airlines had decided upon a basic design configuration: a cabin cross-section close to the 747's, capacity up to 325 passengers, flexible interiors, a glass cockpit, fly-by-wire controls, and 10 percent better seat-mile costs than the A330 and MD-11.[16]

So the folklore says "for the first time" Boeing got a lot of input on the 777. I think the reality might be that Boeing formalized what had been an informal process. Reading histories of other aircraft such as the 747, it's clear they did gather customer input via presentations and the resulting feedback.

I imagine UA is said to be the most influential since it was the launch customer with a large launch order, but it's clear they weren't the only ones in the loop.

Interesting topic. I'll see if I can dig up other things later. In the mean time, a google search ( https://www.google.com/search?q=boeing+ ... 8&oe=utf-8 ) brings up a lot of info...
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Re: Aircraft design & specs that were heavily influenced by an airline?

Sat Jun 03, 2017 4:13 pm

Boeing 737-200. Heavily influenced buy United. United had a short route between Youngstown and Akron-Canton that they wanted to be able to operate with the gear down at higher air speeds. Hence the reason for the pneaumatic collar around the main wheels with no main gear doors. Design is still on all 737's today.
 
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Re: Aircraft design & specs that were heavily influenced by an airline?

Sat Jun 03, 2017 4:39 pm

How about the 777X... Heavily influenced by EK, QR and EY
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alexrg
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Re: Aircraft design & specs that were heavily influenced by an airline?

Sat Jun 03, 2017 4:43 pm

The 727 is one example of an aircraft designed with heavy input from airlines. The 727 was the product of Boeing's synthesizing of the divergent opinions of United, American, and Eastern (United wanted a four-engine aircraft with good high-altitude performance, for its Denver hub, American wanted a twin-engine design, and Eastern wanted a trijet so that it could operate the new plane to its Caribbean destinations, something which wouldn't have been possible with a twin because of the heavy restrictions on twinjet operations in those days). In a sense, the 727 was essentially designed with input only from three US carriers, but ended up one of the best selling aircraft in history and operating around the world.
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Re: Aircraft design & specs that were heavily influenced by an airline?

Sat Jun 03, 2017 4:45 pm

DC-10 and L-1011---being able to take off from LaGuardia Airport was a demand made by airlines ordering them and that was a design spec.

Higher MTOW A340-300 (275t)---influenced by Singapore Airlines' desire to fly many European destinations that couldn't support a 747. An earlier MD-11 order had been canceled because the MD-11 didn't have the legs to make it from SIN-CDG nonstop.

How much input did Japan Airlines and All Nippon Airways have in the 787 design, which has really allowed right-sizing of long-haul planes? JL operates 788s and 789s with less than 200 seats each.
 
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Re: Aircraft design & specs that were heavily influenced by an airline?

Sat Jun 03, 2017 5:20 pm

There are a lot of examples of airliners that were designed to the specs of one specific customers, and most of them turned out to be an example of why you shouldn't design to the specs of one specific customer.

Just a few examples...

Boeing 247: Specifically designed for United Airlines, decent airplane but very quickly overshadowed by the early Douglas Commercial aircraft.

DC-3: Initially designed at the request of American Airlines. Basically they wanted an airplane just like the DC-2 but with more range and a cabin large enough to accommodate sleeping births.

Hawker Siddeley HS 121 Trident: Hawker Siddeley had planned to make the Trident with capacity and performance similar to that of the Boeing 727, however British European Airways (the main customer for the Trident) convinced them to scale it down to better suit their projected requirements. Turns out BEA underestimated the future market and as a result the Trident ended up having a hard time keeping up with the competing designs which offered both greater capacity and better performance.

VC-10: The Vickers 10 was a direct competitor to the DC-8 and 707, but the design was heavily influenced by BOAC. The end result was an aircraft that had excellent performance and was popular with crews and passengers alike, but unfortunately for most airlines the extra performance was not required and thus the majority of the sales went to the American jets.

737: Initially Boeing was happy selling the short body 727s for the 100-130 seat market, and had envisioned the 737 to be a small 50-80 seat regional jetliner to compliment the 727 family. The launch customer, Lufthansa, eventually convinced Boeing to scale it up to somewhere in the 100 seat neighborhood. Shortly after that United came along and was willing to sign up for 40+ of the new short range jets, but wanted slightly larger again, so Boeing agreed to keep the design they agreed on with Lufthansa as the 737-100, and stretch the fuselage by about two rows for United and call it the 737-200.

747: The original 747 concept was aimed at a variety of customers, including the competition for the United States Air Force's new heavy transport aircraft (the Lockheed C-5 Galaxy won), but in the airline world it was Juan Trippe of Pan American who showed the strongest interest in the type, and with Pan Am as the launch customer he had significant input into the final product.

777: As mentioned, the 777 was designed around the agreed upon requirements from eight major airlines around the world (All Nippon Airways, American Airlines, British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Delta Air Lines, Japan Airlines, Qantas (which as a side note had a lot of input into the design but then never ordered any), and United Airlines).

747-8i, 767-400: Contrary to popular A.net believe, these were not built with one or two customers in mind. Boeing did put a significant effort into selling more of each.
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Re: Aircraft design & specs that were heavily influenced by an airline?

Sat Jun 03, 2017 6:13 pm

PHBVF wrote:
How about the 777X... Heavily influenced by EK, QR and EY

I think that's a fair statement.

One example:

Emirates boss wants more power from 777X engines
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Re: Aircraft design & specs that were heavily influenced by an airline?

Sat Jun 03, 2017 6:25 pm

767-400 was basically built for DL and CO to replace L-1011 and DC-10 aircraft.
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Re: Aircraft design & specs that were heavily influenced by an airline?

Sat Jun 03, 2017 6:30 pm

Wow, this is great. I had NO IDEA that the DC-10 and L-1011 were needed at Laguardia! I don't ever recall them being there for some reason? Did the perimeter rule exist back then out of LAG?

I really thought it was LH that pushed the 747-8i through, and then being the only airline to really follow through with orders. (px version of course!)
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Re: Aircraft design & specs that were heavily influenced by an airline?

Sat Jun 03, 2017 6:41 pm

The Trident and the VC-10 were custom built for BEA and BOAC respectively. So much so that they had no chances with other airlines or any prospects of commercial success. Technically, they were brilliant, but not even BOAC (Boeing Only Aircraft Corporation) really wanted the VC-10 outside of some hot and high Empire routes.

Different times!
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Re: Aircraft design & specs that were heavily influenced by an airline?

Sat Jun 03, 2017 7:18 pm

CanadianNorth wrote:
There are a lot of examples of airliners that were designed to the specs of one specific customers, and most of them turned out to be an example of why you shouldn't design to the specs of one specific customer.

Just a few examples...

Boeing 247: Specifically designed for United Airlines, decent airplane but very quickly overshadowed by the early Douglas Commercial aircraft.

DC-3: Initially designed at the request of American Airlines. Basically they wanted an airplane just like the DC-2 but with more range and a cabin large enough to accommodate sleeping births.

Hawker Siddeley HS 121 Trident: Hawker Siddeley had planned to make the Trident with capacity and performance similar to that of the Boeing 727, however British European Airways (the main customer for the Trident) convinced them to scale it down to better suit their projected requirements. Turns out BEA underestimated the future market and as a result the Trident ended up having a hard time keeping up with the competing designs which offered both greater capacity and better performance.

VC-10: The Vickers 10 was a direct competitor to the DC-8 and 707, but the design was heavily influenced by BOAC. The end result was an aircraft that had excellent performance and was popular with crews and passengers alike, but unfortunately for most airlines the extra performance was not required and thus the majority of the sales went to the American jets.

737: Initially Boeing was happy selling the short body 727s for the 100-130 seat market, and had envisioned the 737 to be a small 50-80 seat regional jetliner to compliment the 727 family. The launch customer, Lufthansa, eventually convinced Boeing to scale it up to somewhere in the 100 seat neighborhood. Shortly after that United came along and was willing to sign up for 40+ of the new short range jets, but wanted slightly larger again, so Boeing agreed to keep the design they agreed on with Lufthansa as the 737-100, and stretch the fuselage by about two rows for United and call it the 737-200.

747: The original 747 concept was aimed at a variety of customers, including the competition for the United States Air Force's new heavy transport aircraft (the Lockheed C-5 Galaxy won), but in the airline world it was Juan Trippe of Pan American who showed the strongest interest in the type, and with Pan Am as the launch customer he had significant input into the final product.

777: As mentioned, the 777 was designed around the agreed upon requirements from eight major airlines around the world (All Nippon Airways, American Airlines, British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Delta Air Lines, Japan Airlines, Qantas (which as a side note had a lot of input into the design but then never ordered any), and United Airlines).

747-8i, 767-400: Contrary to popular A.net believe, these were not built with one or two customers in mind. Boeing did put a significant effort into selling more of each.


The DC3 would not meet the "why you don't design based on one customer." The sales make that comment wrong. The 737 started out slow sales for years then the -700 came out and the rest is history. The 747 sold huge numbers. Also the 777 is one of the best selling planes. So how does it meet your comment.
 
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Re: Aircraft design & specs that were heavily influenced by an airline?

Sat Jun 03, 2017 7:29 pm

Most aircraft projects were designed in tandem with a working group per say that all put forward input. Obviously those who invest more into the program will have more leniency such as EK on the 777 however many airlines have had influence on many different programs. The original 777 working group was made up of UA, CX, BA, AA, NH, JL, DL & QF.
 
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Re: Aircraft design & specs that were heavily influenced by an airline?

Sat Jun 03, 2017 7:48 pm

The MD-80 was greatly influenced by Swissair and Austrian Airlines. The MD-87 was influenced by Austrian Airlines and Finnair. The MD-90 was heavily influenced by Delta and the MD-95 was sized and shaped for the demands of SAS.
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Re: Aircraft design & specs that were heavily influenced by an airline?

Sat Jun 03, 2017 8:04 pm

So does anyone think that UA or Delta are putting the thumbscrews to Boeing over the 737-MAX10? Or 737-MAX in general? I figure UA may (might) ultimately want out of all A319/20's and that Delta (as I read here earlier) will need hundred of narrow bodies in 5-10 years.
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Re: Aircraft design & specs that were heavily influenced by an airline?

Sat Jun 03, 2017 8:17 pm

Lots of examples in history,
PanAm insisted the 707 needed to be 6 across as it was designed as 5 across. (Interesting to speculate on what would have been Boeing's fate had they not responded to PanAm.)
The 707-138 was a shortened 707 specifically for Qantas to allow extra range.
The Vickers Vanguard was designed to a BEA requirement for a 100-seat aircraft to replace their Viscounts.
The Convair 240 began as a requirement by American Airlines for an airliner to replace its Douglas DC-3s.
 
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Re: Aircraft design & specs that were heavily influenced by an airline?

Sat Jun 03, 2017 8:28 pm

VC10er wrote:
So does anyone think that UA or Delta are putting the thumbscrews to Boeing over the 737-MAX10? Or 737-MAX in general? I figure UA may (might) ultimately want out of all A319/20's and that Delta (as I read here earlier) will need hundred of narrow bodies in 5-10 years.


United is busy getting second hand A319s from China Southern; and used 73G from COPA. Delta is not know for its faithfulness to one manufacturer, but opportunistically procures new aircraft from different sources, both new and used, when it makes financial and operational sense. I can see United going that way too.

Of course airlines of the magnitude of DL and UA are consulted by aircraft manufacturers all the time, now that not necessarily means it is a given they will be buying them.
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Re: Aircraft design & specs that were heavily influenced by an airline?

Sat Jun 03, 2017 9:19 pm

VC10er wrote:
Wow, this is great. I had NO IDEA that the DC-10 and L-1011 were needed at Laguardia! I don't ever recall them being there for some reason? Did the perimeter rule exist back then out of LAG?

I really thought it was LH that pushed the 747-8i through, and then being the only airline to really follow through with orders. (px version of course!)


For LGA, the perimeter rule existed. This was an American Airlines specification...ability to fly out of LGA.
 
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Re: Aircraft design & specs that were heavily influenced by an airline?

Sat Jun 03, 2017 9:22 pm

The Lockheed Constellation met the requirements of TWA for a transcontinental airliner with a 3500 mile range. TWA also demanded that the tail of the Connie could not be over a certain height so it could fit in TWA's hangars at the time. This resulted in the triple tail design.

Rumor has it when Boeing lost the UA narrowbody order to Airbus in the 90's, it was a huge wake-up call to Boeing. Boeing responded with the 737NG which became a very successful series for Boeing, now leading into the 737MAX series. It wasn't until recently UA ordered any 737's.
 
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Re: Aircraft design & specs that were heavily influenced by an airline?

Sat Jun 03, 2017 9:31 pm

Iran Air and Pan Am wanted the 747SP to fly ultra-long haul routes.
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Re: Aircraft design & specs that were heavily influenced by an airline?

Sat Jun 03, 2017 9:35 pm

aemoreira1981 wrote:
VC10er wrote:
Wow, this is great. I had NO IDEA that the DC-10 and L-1011 were needed at Laguardia! I don't ever recall them being there for some reason? Did the perimeter rule exist back then out of LAG?

I really thought it was LH that pushed the 747-8i through, and then being the only airline to really follow through with orders. (px version of course!)


For LGA, the perimeter rule existed. This was an American Airlines specification...ability to fly out of LGA.


The DC-10 and L-1011 operated almost every day at LGA from the early 1970s to the early 1990s. at least. They were primarily flown on Florida routes. A search on the photo database shows American, United, Delta, National and Eastern wide-bodies at LGA
 
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Re: Aircraft design & specs that were heavily influenced by an airline?

Sat Jun 03, 2017 9:35 pm

CanadianNorth wrote:
Hawker Siddeley HS 121 Trident: Hawker Siddeley had planned to make the Trident with capacity and performance similar to that of the Boeing 727, however British European Airways (the main customer for the Trident) convinced them to scale it down to better suit their projected requirements. Turns out BEA underestimated the future market and as a result the Trident ended up having a hard time keeping up with the competing designs which offered both greater capacity and better performance.

VC-10: The Vickers 10 was a direct competitor to the DC-8 and 707, but the design was heavily influenced by BOAC. The end result was an aircraft that had excellent performance and was popular with crews and passengers alike, but unfortunately for most airlines the extra performance was not required and thus the majority of the sales went to the American jets.


I didn't know that about the Trident. With both the Trident and the VC-10, even if they had been more attractive to other airlines, would not their sales have been somewhat restricted by the inability of British manufacturers to produce them in sufficient numbers, compared to US manufacturers with their greater production capacity?
 
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Re: Aircraft design & specs that were heavily influenced by an airline?

Sat Jun 03, 2017 10:10 pm

Lots of aircraft we're airline influesced,:
Dc-2 when Boeing allocated all Production to sister company UA for the first few years.

707 is the plane Juan Trippe wanted. When Boeing stuck with there original concept Pan Am ordered 20 and 27 DC-8. Boeing had to redesign the aircraft to PanAm's specs or the program was done (6" wider cabin, more fuel).
741 had it's size increased twice after the JT9D was finalized, including putting the cockpit high up to accommodate nose loading of connexes per Juan's demands. This is why the Pratt's had so many issues (late increased thrust).
Lockheed Constilation was heavily influenced by TWA's needs.
As already noted, AA requested the DC-3, including engine out performance that drove it's military success.
DC-5 was KLM
DC-6 was a group of airlines.
737-100 was all LH

Airlines always have input. When airframers don't listen, sales are often poor.

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Re: Aircraft design & specs that were heavily influenced by an airline?

Sat Jun 03, 2017 10:28 pm

rbavfan wrote:
The DC3 would not meet the "why you don't design based on one customer." The sales make that comment wrong. The 737 started out slow sales for years then the -700 came out and the rest is history. The 747 sold huge numbers. Also the 777 is one of the best selling planes. So how does it meet your comment.



CanadianNorth wrote:
and most of them turned out


The DC-3, 737 and 747 clearly turned out differently. By "most of them" I was referring to more often than not things don't turn out well when aircraft are designed for one customer, and of course there are exceptions to every rule. Also the 777 is an example of how asking several airlines what they want seems to, on average, work better.

I can be just as pedantic by furthering your 737 point, its runaway success began long before the -700. Both the -200 and the -300 each comfortably passed 1000 sales, and the 737 was already the world's best selling jet liner when the -700 was introduced. But I digress, there are many other 737 threads around here so I'll finish my coffee and get back to productive things.
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Re: Aircraft design & specs that were heavily influenced by an airline?

Sat Jun 03, 2017 10:28 pm

737-700 with Southwest
A319/A320/A321/A333 712/732/733/734/735/737/738/752/753/762/763 C172 CR2/CR7/CR9 E145/E170/E175/E190
MD82/MD83/MD88/MD90 Q100/Q400
 
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Re: Aircraft design & specs that were heavily influenced by an airline?

Sat Jun 03, 2017 10:47 pm

The 747 was Pan Am's request. And the Boeing 314.
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Re: Aircraft design & specs that were heavily influenced by an airline?

Sun Jun 04, 2017 12:02 am

ca. 1970-1998 in Europe there were the cooperations Atlas (LH, AF, Alitala et al.) and KSSU (KLM, SAS, Swissair & UTA with affiliates Finnair, Austrian) having some influence or initiated:

e.g. the B747-300 (KLM, Swissair, UTA)
MD-80 (Swissair, KLM, SAS)

Maybe more like a "first operator thing" nowadays. Like the CSeries at SWISS - LX had quite an influence.
 
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Re: Aircraft design & specs that were heavily influenced by an airline?

Sun Jun 04, 2017 12:28 am

CanadianNorth wrote:
VC-10: The Vickers 10 was a direct competitor to the DC-8 and 707, but the design was heavily influenced by BOAC. The end result was an aircraft that had excellent performance and was popular with crews and passengers alike, but unfortunately for most airlines the extra performance was not required and thus the majority of the sales went to the American jets.


Not only not required, but it came at an economic cost too. The VC-10, possibly the most graceful airliner ever designed, was horribly expensive to operate, even in the days of a few pennies a barrel of oil. I remember seeing a BBC documentary where, a propos of BOAC not getting any more VC-10s, the then airline chairman was asked why he did not love the VC-10. His answer was something along the lines of, "I'd love them more if they'd cost the same to operate as a 707".

DrPaul wrote:
I didn't know that about the Trident. With both the Trident and the VC-10, even if they had been more attractive to other airlines, would not their sales have been somewhat restricted by the inability of British manufacturers to produce them in sufficient numbers, compared to US manufacturers with their greater production capacity?


Yes, that was also part of the British commercial airliner fiasco. A very heavily fragmented group of designers and manufacturers that produced their aircraft in almost an artisan-like way. I read that when Bristol toured the US showcasing the Britannia, Howard Hughes offered to sign a contract for 25 on the spot if they could guarantee their delivery in 1-2 years' time. Bristol could not and the sale was lost and, with it, the chance for a better future for the Britannia.

Having said the above, both the Viscount and the One Eleven sold in reasonable quantities, showing that the British could have success stories too.
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MD80
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Re: Aircraft design & specs that were heavily influenced by an airline?

Sun Jun 04, 2017 9:32 am

JulietteBravo wrote:
ca. 1970-1998 in Europe there were the cooperations Atlas (LH, AF, Alitala et al.) and KSSU (KLM, SAS, Swissair & UTA with affiliates Finnair, Austrian) having some influence or initiated:

e.g. the B747-300 (KLM, Swissair, UTA)
MD-80 (Swissair, KLM, SAS)

Maybe more like a "first operator thing" nowadays. Like the CSeries at SWISS - LX had quite an influence.


Could you please provide more information about the influence of KLM on the MD-80? McDonnell Douglas tried to win KLM as an operator but I never saw documents claiming influence of KLM into the design of the MD-80. As we all know, KLM decided to replace their Douglas DC-9s with two different types: The Boeng 737 and Fokker 100.

The historical influence of SAS on the MD-80 was probably not as big as the input of Swissair and Austrian. SAS wanted a plane concept called "PPP". All major manufacturers refused and SAS selected the MD-80 as the best answer for their needs. The first MD-80 for SAS was delivered in 1985, five years after Swissair and Austrian introduced their MD-80s.

IMO and according to all relevant documents, Swissair and Austrian greatly influenced the size and shape of the MD-80. The demand called for a stretched DC-9 with much quieter engines compared to the DC-9-50. In the end, the stretch was a little bit more compared to the demands of SR/OS but OK with an envisaged capacity for approx. 135 passengers in two classes. Swissair was also the main driver for the aft service door of the MD-80.

Regards
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VC10er
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Re: Aircraft design & specs that were heavily influenced by an airline?

Sun Jun 04, 2017 1:12 pm

Ok, I'd like to get more specific, if I may, on the 777. If All Nippon Airways, American Airlines, British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Delta Air Lines, Japan Airlines, Qantas (despite no orders) and very much United Airlines as the article I read mentioned, what was their collective input exactly? I had been told by another avigeek that UA wanted an over the water twin aircraft, but one that would also be very efficient for hops, (like for tag ons) that wouldn't cost so much for take offs. (and BTW, I didn't put much credence into his insight, I always thought the dude (while nice) was a "know-it-all and sometimes just made stuff up)

I do assumer first it was "we need something between a 767 and 747" but surely had to be even far, far more than that. I am sure the plethora of demands on this yet-to-be designed frame were very tall demands and I am very curious what they were and how Boeing met those tall orders. Given the unarguable success of the 777 family it must have met most if not all the "we need it to do x, y and z's" these mega carriers asked for.

Then with the 787, I recall watching the machinations Boeing went through from the "sonic-cruiser" to the "Dreamliner"...but was there any small group of airlines who strongly influenced her size and mission specs (and what was more important to the airlines: the "point to point" "long-thin" need, or more size + fuel burn?)
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factsonly
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Re: Aircraft design & specs that were heavily influenced by an airline?

Sun Jun 04, 2017 1:40 pm

The Fokker 100 started life with several different options requested by different airlines.
The fact that Fokker accomodated these requests from day one, resulted in a serious delay in the program.

The basic Fokker 100 was a pure stretch of the F28-Mk4000, but with updated avionics.

The basic aircraft offered:
- a drop-down front door
- two drop-down cargo doors
- no rear door
- F28 air conditioning

but:

- Swissair requested the MD80 type rear catering door.
- USAir requested the upward swinging cargo doors.
- American Airlines requested the forward swinging front door.
- American Airlines requested a larger airconditioning unit.

Two front doors: Drop-down versus sliding forward



Two cargo doors: Large upward opening versus small down-drop door


Rear catering door and No rear catering door:
 
Aptivaboy
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Re: Aircraft design & specs that were heavily influenced by an airline?

Sun Jun 04, 2017 3:56 pm

I see that the DC-3 has already been mentioned, but it was in a great many ways an outgrowth of the DC-2, which was requested by TWA to compete with the Boeing 247 which Boeing would only sell to United, at least until the initial production order for United was completed. The DC-1 was good, but the TWA order for the DC-2 was what really got Douglas into the big time commercial transport biz, and what eventually led to the DC-3. No DC-2 a la TWA, no DC-3/Douglas Sleeper Transport for American to request.

Bob
 
cschleic
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Re: Aircraft design & specs that were heavily influenced by an airline?

Sun Jun 04, 2017 4:52 pm

aemoreira1981 wrote:
VC10er wrote:
Wow, this is great. I had NO IDEA that the DC-10 and L-1011 were needed at Laguardia! I don't ever recall them being there for some reason? Did the perimeter rule exist back then out of LAG?

I really thought it was LH that pushed the 747-8i through, and then being the only airline to really follow through with orders. (px version of course!)


For LGA, the perimeter rule existed. This was an American Airlines specification...ability to fly out of LGA.


IIRC, including the landing gear and weight concentration issue due to the piers under parts of the runways. Did this also influence the landing gear of the A-300 so Eastern could fly it to LGA, or did that just work out adequately?
 
CF-CPI
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Re: Aircraft design & specs that were heavily influenced by an airline?

Sun Jun 04, 2017 5:05 pm

dcajet wrote:

The VC-10, possibly the most graceful airliner ever designed, was horribly expensive to operate, even in the days of a few pennies a barrel of oil. I remember seeing a BBC documentary where, a propos of BOAC not getting any more VC-10s, the then airline chairman was asked why he did not love the VC-10. His answer was something along the lines of, "I'd love them more if they'd cost the same to operate as a 707".

Yes, that was also part of the British commercial airliner fiasco. A very heavily fragmented group of designers and manufacturers that produced their aircraft in almost an artisan-like way. I read that when Bristol toured the US showcasing the Britannia, Howard Hughes offered to sign a contract for 25 on the spot if they could guarantee their delivery in 1-2 years' time. Bristol could not and the sale was lost and, with it, the chance for a better future for the Britannia.

Having said the above, both the Viscount and the One Eleven sold in reasonable quantities, showing that the British could have success stories too.


The BOAC chairman's comment is a real oddity: The VC10s wing and high-powered Conways were specifically developed to accommodate BOAC requirements, as noted. It has never been explained how he could NOT have been aware that these design aspects would lead to higher fuel consumption and costs.

The Trident was originally 727-sized and developed around the Rolls-Royce Medway, comparable to the P&W JT8. BEA interfered and requested a downsizing of the airframe, using less powerful Speys. In the meantime, the 727 went on to worldwide success.

The 111 was a more marketable aircraft, but the 111-400 for American Airlines was delivered a year late. The 111 has been described as the last of the 'hand made" British airliners. The story about Hughes and the Britannia is interesting, but surely they would have been obsolete very quickly. They likely dodged bad situation there.
 
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Re: Aircraft design & specs that were heavily influenced by an airline?

Sun Jun 04, 2017 5:13 pm

VC10er wrote:
Long ago, at the time of the 777's first flight, I read that United had a very heavy hand in it's overall specifications, driven by UA's mission needs. I do not recall every word of that article I had read in either the New York Times or WSJ (If memory serves) but I do recall well the essence of it being in 2 parts: 1, it was 'paperless", and 2: that the 777 was designed in large part by a Boeing and United partnership.


UA passed up the MD-11 and the A330, going directly to a new design from Boeing, which became the 777. A group of airlines was involved with the specs, though UA was probably the major player in pushing for a new design. One of the group was Qantas, and it has been noted all these years that they never went for the airplane, in spite of its spectacular performance.

For the record, the eight airlines involved were All Nippon Airways, American Airlines, British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Delta Air Lines, Japan Airlines, Qantas, and United Airlines.
 
JulietteBravo
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Re: Aircraft design & specs that were heavily influenced by an airline?

Sun Jun 04, 2017 7:21 pm

MD80 wrote:
JulietteBravo wrote:
ca. 1970-1998 in Europe there were the cooperations Atlas (LH, AF, Alitala et al.) and KSSU (KLM, SAS, Swissair & UTA with affiliates Finnair, Austrian) having some influence or initiated:

e.g. the B747-300 (KLM, Swissair, UTA)
MD-80 (Swissair, KLM, SAS)

Maybe more like a "first operator thing" nowadays. Like the CSeries at SWISS - LX had quite an influence.


Could you please provide more information about the influence of KLM on the MD-80? McDonnell Douglas tried to win KLM as an operator but I never saw documents claiming influence of KLM into the design of the MD-80. As we all know, KLM decided to replace their Douglas DC-9s with two different types: The Boeng 737 and Fokker 100.


Thank you very much for the many interesting informations, MD80!

Sorry, that's a mistake. I shouldn't mention KLM - as you are correctly saying: KLM was not involved and didn't order MD80.
 
FrmrKSEngr
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Re: Aircraft design & specs that were heavily influenced by an airline?

Sat Jun 10, 2017 11:37 pm

CF-CPI wrote:

The BOAC chairman's comment is a real oddity: The VC10s wing and high-powered Conways were specifically developed to accommodate BOAC requirements, as noted. It has never been explained how he could NOT have been aware that these design aspects would lead to higher fuel consumption and costs.


I imagine that the chairman's position was stated after the VC10's original mission had disappeared. Speced to operate out of Empire hot and high locations where runway lengths did not support 707/DC8 operations. What no one counted on was just laying more concrete so the 707s could fly from the airports originally targeted by the VC10. Losing the take-off performance advantage, the normal operating costs compared to the 707 became an issue.
 
bhill
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Re: Aircraft design & specs that were heavily influenced by an airline?

Tue Jun 13, 2017 6:12 pm

Do "mods" fall under airline desires? Like the 737 Combi that AS used, or the "fenders" on the front wheels to prevent FOD?
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conaly
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Re: Aircraft design & specs that were heavily influenced by an airline?

Wed Jun 14, 2017 6:23 am

Also the glass cockpit of the Boeing 747-400 was based on a strong request from different airlines, especially Lufthansa. Actually Boeing wanted to keep the three man cockpit with analogue instruments, but the early customers wanted to have a two man cockpit with digital systems.

The Embraer E-Jet-Family was also strongly influenced by the demands of the former Crossair. They wanted a new regional jet with a passenger comfort similar to the A320 and B737. For example the 2-2 seating (contrary to jets like Fokker F70/100, the AVROs or DC9/MD80-series with 2-3 seating) was solely based on requests from Crossair. They also wanted a jet capable of steep approaches and short runways to operate in LCY, LUG or BRN.
The irony of the story: in the end Crossair went down together with Swissair, no E-Jet has ever been delivered to LX and now they even bought the Bombardier C-Series, the latest competitor to the E-Jet-Series. Still, the E-Jets did have a very good customer acceptance in the end and is an extremely successful (and very comfortable) aircraft ... just not with Crossair/Swissair/Swiss.
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thefactorypilot
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Re: Aircraft design & specs that were heavily influenced by an airline?

Thu Jun 15, 2017 11:19 pm

RL777 wrote:
Most aircraft projects were designed in tandem with a working group per say that all put forward input. Obviously those who invest more into the program will have more leniency such as EK on the 777 however many airlines have had influence on many different programs. The original 777 working group was made up of UA, CX, BA, AA, NH, JL, DL & QF.

Actually thats not entirely accurate... The "Working Together "Group was the first example of such a thing... up until that time individual airlines might have influence in a design, but the 777 Working Together group was unprecedented.
 
KentB27
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Re: Aircraft design & specs that were heavily influenced by an airline?

Thu Jun 15, 2017 11:45 pm

I've been told that one of the reasons the overhead panel on the 737 has remained largely unchanged since its introduction is because WN didn't want Boeing to change it. They wanted as much fleet commonality as possible. I believe for some time too WN set up the glass cockpits in their NG 737's to look like the classics.
 
c933103
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Re: Aircraft design & specs that were heavily influenced by an airline?

Fri Jun 16, 2017 12:38 am

Specifically I thought the 747SP was made to allow NYC-TYO nonstop which was requested by airlinle?
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c933103
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Re: Aircraft design & specs that were heavily influenced by an airline?

Fri Jun 16, 2017 12:42 am

- If i remembered correctly, the Dronier 728 cross section was reduced according to LH's request
- How about 777X? I heard that have made some compromises for ME3?
What's the different between Russian settlement in secessionist territories in Caucasus/Eastern Europe, and historical Western settlement in colonial Africa?
 
dcajet
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Re: Aircraft design & specs that were heavily influenced by an airline?

Fri Jun 16, 2017 1:24 am

c933103 wrote:
Specifically I thought the 747SP was made to allow NYC-TYO nonstop which was requested by airlinle?


Pan Am.
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LH707330
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Re: Aircraft design & specs that were heavily influenced by an airline?

Fri Jun 16, 2017 4:40 am

conaly wrote:
Also the glass cockpit of the Boeing 747-400 was based on a strong request from different airlines, especially Lufthansa. Actually Boeing wanted to keep the three man cockpit with analogue instruments, but the early customers wanted to have a two man cockpit with digital systems.

LH's chief of fleet planning, Reinhard Abraham, had a huge role in both the 747-400 and the A340. In 1984, he very publicly told Boeing that piecemeal improvements were not going to cut it, and that they should increase capacity, MTOW, range, technology, and engines in one go. Seeing this admonition, other carriers quickly hopped on the bandwagon.

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