Have a quick glance at the below quoted article. Now the B747-400 will whack its tail on the ground at 12.5 degrees with the wheels extended [I am not sure what is the figure with the oleos compressed]. Now I admit the weight calculation should not have been overlooked but my point is this. Looking at the 744, in this day and modern aviation age, why can't the below rotation procedure be adopted:
I refer to the 747-400 in this case and I assume it strikes its tail with the GEAR COMPRESSED at a pitch over 10.5 degrees and under 12.5 degrees. Okay, let's just assume this.
At VR rotate the normal 2.5 to 3 degrees per second monitoring your PFD closely and briefly stop at 10 degrees pitch and stay there until you are about 36-50 feet above the ground and then continue rotation to your desired climbout angle. That's all to it! 10 degrees is a lot and if the calculations are right, liftoff should definitely have taken place by then. This pattern and rotation 'pitch stop' could be applied to many other airplanes. Straying from the topic here, I was once told that in the DC8 manual the rotation technique is to stop at 8 degrees until airbourne and then contonue rotation further.
Coming back to the topic, in terms of 747-400s [and the previous geometrically similar variants of the 'yesteryears'] tail strikes on takeoff could be avoided with this technique stated above.
I must note however, that in the particular 747 tail scrape incident as you will read in the below article, I think the technique that should have been used in that case was stop the rotation and hold it at 10 degrees and apply TOGA thrust.
I welcome your comments. I am seasoned in this thing now.
"Boeing 747-412 9V-SMT, flight SQ286, tail strike during take-off,
Auckland International Airport, 12 March 2003
On Wednesday 12 March 2003, at 1547, flight SQ286, a Boeing 747-412
registered 9V-SMT, started its take-off at Auckland International
Airport for a direct 9-hour flight to Singapore. On board were 369
passengers, 17 cabin crew and 3 pilots.
When the captain rotated the aeroplane for lift-off the tail struck
the runway and scraped for some 490 metres until the aeroplane became