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UA857
Topic Author
Posts: 718
Joined: Thu Aug 10, 2017 3:41 am

Why do smaller variants have more range then larger variants?

Sun Jun 06, 2021 9:36 pm

One thing that continuous to amaze me is the aviation industry’s is that smaller variants have more range then larger variants. The list is almost endless:

A330-200; 7,250 nm
A330-300; 6,350 nm
A340-500; 9,000 nm
A340-600; 7,800 nm
A330-800; 8,150 nm
A330-900; 7,200 nm
747SP; 5,830 nmi
747-100; 4,620 nmi
767-200ER; 6,590 nmi
767-300ER; 5,980 nmi
777-200LR; 8,555 nm
777-300ER; 7,370 nm
777-8; 8,730 nm
777-9; 7,620 nm
787-9; 7,635 nmi
787-10; 6,430 nmi

Do you guys know why smaller variants have more range then larger ones?
 
Cubsrule
Posts: 15305
Joined: Sat May 15, 2004 12:13 pm

Re: Why do smaller variants have more range then larger variants?

Sun Jun 06, 2021 9:46 pm

I’m not sure why this is confusing. Smaller versions almost always have the same wing and engine but weigh less.
 
jetwet1
Posts: 3383
Joined: Thu Jun 14, 2007 4:42 am

Re: Why do smaller variants have more range then larger variants?

Sun Jun 06, 2021 10:47 pm

Putting the 747 SP up against the 741 really doesn't tell the whole story, the 742B had a range of 6560nm and the 744 was 7670nm.

Again, comparing the 340-500 isn't fair, it was designed as a flying fuel tank, compare the 340-300 to the 340-600, 7300nm to 7800nm.
 
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AirKevin
Posts: 843
Joined: Wed Apr 26, 2017 2:18 am

Re: Why do smaller variants have more range then larger variants?

Mon Jun 07, 2021 12:09 am

If you use the same wings and engines, you'll have the same fuel capacity for all variants. That being the case, the smaller variants would obviously weigh less, so they burn less fuel, thus fly farther. As for the 747SP, not only was it smaller, it also had lighter wings since it didn't use the triple-slotted flaps that the 747-100 through -400 used.
 
Max Q
Posts: 9067
Joined: Wed May 09, 2001 12:40 pm

Re: Why do smaller variants have more range then larger variants?

Mon Jun 07, 2021 12:19 am

Not only less weight with smaller versions but a lot less drag
 
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afterburner
Posts: 1466
Joined: Mon Jun 13, 2005 11:38 am

Re: Why do smaller variants have more range then larger variants?

Mon Jun 07, 2021 4:26 am

The smaller variants usually have similar MTOW to the larger ones. With less payload they can carry more fuel.
 
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Boeing757100
Posts: 750
Joined: Wed May 06, 2020 10:09 pm

Re: Why do smaller variants have more range then larger variants?

Thu Jun 10, 2021 2:02 pm

They are lighter, carry less drag, and in some cases, are fitted with technologies like raked wingtips to increase their range.
 
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Devilfish
Posts: 7509
Joined: Tue Jan 24, 2006 7:52 am

Re: Why do smaller variants have more range then larger variants?

Thu Jun 10, 2021 8:52 pm

I remember wishing PR had 747-SPs instead of DC10-30s due to the pesky tech stops at HNL or GUM. Now the A338 has much longer range at payload than both and much more fuel efficient to boot! How technology has moved on. :spin:

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