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rturner
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747-8i Converted Freighters?

Sun Jan 12, 2020 10:33 am

Now I know this post is 10 years before it needs to be, but do you think Boeing is gonna do this or what do y'all have to say about it?
When we were told it's impossible, we knew that's the right way to be done.

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AirKevin
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Re: 747-8i Converted Freighters?

Sun Jan 12, 2020 1:14 pm

Given the number of 747-8Is that are out there, I would be surprised if they did. I don't know that the certification costs would be justified given the limited number of planes available.
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Phosphorus
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Re: 747-8i Converted Freighters?

Fri Jan 17, 2020 8:23 pm

less than 50 747-8i built (actually 47 altogether)
Of these, 2 will end up in USAF for presidential transport
36 are in airline service, as standard airline birds, and are flying passengers.
1 more is built to airline standard, not taken up. Used by Boeing for flight testing various stuff.
Others are in VIP configurations.

VIP birds apparently tend not to become freighters.
USAF will modify their 747-8I heavily, with a bunch of secret equipment and modifications installed. The road back to commercial market is closed for such airplanes.

So, you have 37 potential feedstock airplanes, altogether.
Out of these, 7 are owned by Air China. It's understood that at least one airframe went through "China Air Force 1" modification, and is also full of secrets. Most probably, it will never be in commercial use, where it could be inspected by other countries' agencies.

As a result, you have no more than 36 frames to modify. Does it justify a business case? Maybe not for Boeing, possibly IAI/Bedek could bite?

Eventually, it also depends on retirement schedule. With only three airlines flying 747-8I, and more than half flown by LH, things can take very different turns, depending on retirement plans. If Lufthansa decides to fly theirs into 100 000+ hours (and they tend to keep their fleets for long), you are left with 17 potential feedstock frames. Then what?
AN4 A40 L4T TU3 TU5 IL6 ILW I93 F50 F70 100 146 ARJ AT7 DH4 L10 CRJ ERJ E90 E95 DC-9 MD-8X YK4 YK2 SF3 S20 319 320 321 332 333 343 346 722 732 733 734 735 73G 738 739 744 74M 757 767 777
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WPvsMW
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Re: 747-8i Converted Freighters?

Fri Jan 17, 2020 9:58 pm

Solid rationale. Conclusion: conversion of an 8i is highly unlikely, esp. if there are 777Fs around. IMO, when the 748Fs time out, BCA will have a VLAF with a nose door ready.
 
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DarkSnowyNight
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Re: 747-8i Converted Freighters?

Sat Jan 18, 2020 2:15 am

WPvsMW wrote:
Solid rationale. Conclusion: conversion of an 8i is highly unlikely, esp. if there are 777Fs around.


It is as likely as it is not. All these factors can work out also in favor of conversions.

Between LH, CA, & KE, there are a number of more efficient VLA options for that need over the next decade and more.

As the 779s enter the LH fleet, it will be harder to justify the presence of the 388 and 748. Worse so as the A350 population also grows. This might not have been a problem, but the 748 will only become more expensive to support as more and more suppliers close their shops.

That will effect the 388 too, but not so fast. As the LH fleet draws down, the support cost for CA and KE will continue to increase as well.

I'm not honestly sure if that makes a BCF worth doing; it may be better they're broken up for spares to support the existing Fs. A good amount of 318s met their end for exactly that reason.. .

What will not happen is 748Is remaining in PAX service a decade from now. Way too cost prohibitive.


WPvsMW wrote:
IMO, when the 748Fs time out, BCA will have a VLAF with a nose door ready.


Does it have to be BCA? VLAF is a very small market, and it will be a winner take all. But it will happen.

I'm just curious why anyone thinks it will be Boeing by default. There is nothing stopping Airbus from beating them to the punch.
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Stitch
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Re: 747-8i Converted Freighters?

Sat Jan 18, 2020 2:41 am

I just don't see it happening. Far too small of a feedstock to make it worth the cost of developing an STC. Consider that proposed conversion programs for the 777-200 / A340-300 families have gone nowhere and the feedstock options on them are significantly larger.

Far more likely LH, AF and KE just fly them (figuratively) into the ground and then scrap them.
 
WPvsMW
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Re: 747-8i Converted Freighters?

Sat Jan 18, 2020 3:29 am

DarkSnowyNight wrote:
I'm just curious why anyone thinks it will be Boeing by default. There is nothing stopping Airbus from beating them to the punch.


Disregard the Beluga as an outlier. Airbus has built and sold 38 A332Fs and TMK there have been 2 A333 P2Fs. Airbus has unfilled orders for 4 A332Fs.
https://www.airbus.com/aircraft/freight ... -200f.html
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Airbus_A330#A330-200F

So... it's possible Airbus will act first, but .... going by the numbers to date .. and the aborted A388F... unlikely.
 
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DarkSnowyNight
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Re: 747-8i Converted Freighters?

Tue Jan 21, 2020 4:03 am

WPvsMW wrote:
DarkSnowyNight wrote:
I'm just curious why anyone thinks it will be Boeing by default. There is nothing stopping Airbus from beating them to the punch.


Disregard the Beluga as an outlier.


Why? Did it somehow avoid a requirement for engineering skill and production competence?



WPvsMW wrote:
Airbus has built and sold 38 A332Fs and TMK there have been 2 A333 P2Fs. Airbus has unfilled orders for 4 A332Fs.
https://www.airbus.com/aircraft/freight ... -200f.html
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Airbus_A330#A330-200F

So... it's possible Airbus will act first, but .... going by the numbers to date .. and the aborted A388F... unlikely.


And this is true. But it is not the point I was making. Airbus' effort in the past does not bar them from being a first mover. In fact, this is unlikely to be a relevant factor at any level.

As well, it goes also the other way. There is nothing that suggests that since BCA once built freighters, they are a shoe in for this. BCA is actually quite famous in this industry for laying off engineering staff at the end of a project. In ten years, it will be very unlikely that there any remaining from the 748 days.

That matters as much as anything else. More so than a past product line, at any rate.

I would not say that BCA will not do this... But it is not a certainty.
If there is a market for a VLA F that becomes apparent, Airbus will invest at least as much design effort (likely more so than) as BCA will. No reason for them not to.
"Ya Can't Win, Rocky! There's no Oxygen on Mars!"
"Yeah? That means there's no Oxygen for him Neither..."
 
WPvsMW
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Re: 747-8i Converted Freighters?

Tue Jan 21, 2020 5:55 am

My fav frame (from a pax POV) these days is the A359. I like CI's the best. I have nothing against Airbus... may the best VLAF frame win the orders. An A389F twin? Dust off archives and make sure all the workstations are on the same version of CATIA.
 
mikeinatlanta
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Re: 747-8i Converted Freighters?

Tue Jan 21, 2020 11:31 am

When considering Boeing's recent withdrawing of structures support for any AC with a structural STC, the real question is whether anyone (other than Boeing) will develop a freighter conversion STC for any future Boeing product. This development will significantly increase the engineering cost of any future STC and maintenance cost once converted. Regardless, the -8 being converted has zero chance of happening.
Aircraft Maintenance Professional since 1979.
 
asr0dzjq
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Re: 747-8i Converted Freighters?

Thu Jan 23, 2020 6:50 pm

WPvsMW wrote:
[...]Make sure all the workstations are on the same version of CATIA.

Ooooh, sick burn :lol:
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