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Boeing to cancel 747-8?

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posted on Jan, 31 2009 @ 09:46 AM
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www.flightglobal.com...


Boeing is hinting that it might have to rethink its slow-selling and delayed 747-8 programme, amid the continuing failure to land a second airline for the passenger model combined with a slowdown in demand for cargo aircraft.

The airframer took a $685 million charge last year stemming from cost overruns and schedule delays on the 747-8 programme. While Boeing executives have restated their support for the commercial viability of the aircraft, chief executive Jim McNerney warns that the continuation of the programme should not be seen as a foregone conclusion: "We still see a viable business proposition here. Now obviously if we ever got to a point where we didn't, we'd have to work with our customers to come up with another answer."


104 freighters in total and 28 passenger aircraft (20 to to 1 airline and the rest down as vip) - who are shaky since its massive risk on there part;

also heres the problem i can see with the 747 in todays market - theres nothing that can`t be done by the new twins - non stop to australia is being touted as a selling point for the A350-900R , so what does the 747 offer?

460 passengers vs 300 for the big twins , well , given the economical climate getting bums to seats is an issue - and most airliners arn`t all `packed in` sadly ; and if you wanted seats , why not go for the even bigger A380 - the long haul operators have done just that , with quiet wispers that more 380`s are going to be ordered soon as they are shaping up as promised;


freighters - the market is crashing hard for air freight - flight have reported figures of up to 80% less freight being flown month on month , and when the companies arn`t making money , they can`t buy new aircraft.

and finally Boeing themselves are doing virtually no marketing for the 747-8I and F , which does not make for a happy Lufthansa , and with the AF1 options looking at the 787 , i honestly can`t see the 747-8I going anywhere




posted on Jan, 31 2009 @ 06:24 PM
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I don't think you'll see Air Force One going twin. They would much rather have a four engine jet for redundancy. Even with twins being so reliable, they wouldn't want to take the chance of an accident related to losing an engine.



posted on Feb, 1 2009 @ 08:19 AM
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Originally posted by Harlequin
why not go for the even bigger A380 - the long haul operators have done just that , with quiet wispers that more 380`s are going to be ordered soon as they are shaping up as promised;
Not so fast matey. All is NOT plain sailing with the "Dugong". Whilst most of the systems have performed as or even beyond expectation, the aircraft itself has been suffering from a much greater than expected fuel burn. I have it on good authority that on the longer Pacific sectors she is burning up to 40 ton more than predicted. I have been told that the problem is possibly due to the aircraft's wing failing to generate the predicted lift on it's inboard sections during certain phases of flight (I am assuming climb/cruise) in addition I have seen some rather odd propaganda appearing in a certain operators blurb literature that claims that the A-380 is less than 20kph different in cruise speed than a 747-400 ie:920kph v's 920-940kph. This is deffinately NOT the case. Are the operators flogging the aircraft in order to make up the time difference at the expense of fuel? Who really knows, but I suspect not. I have also been told that if Airbus can't fix the problem at least one of the first 3 operators is prepared to pull the plug on the program after the first 8-10 airframes have been delivered.

In addition many operators of Airbus's long haul heavies (my own included) have been finding that there aircraft just don't seem to have the longevity of their Seattle counterparts. As one engineer recently said to me whilst we were discussing how much of a pain he finds working on A-330 landing gears, "they seem to age in dog years". We have been finding our 15-20 year old 767-300's are just as reliable. I have seen a 4 year old A-330 with corrosion problems on the landing gear trunnions and a 2 year old example whose seat track was worn in places 75% beyond limits. "So what about the seat track?", you say. Well it takes a C or D check to replace it and thats big dollars. I have never heard of those problems at those ages on Boeing's.



Originally posted by Harlequin - the market is crashing hard for air freight - flight have reported figures of up to 80% less freight being flown month on month , and when the companies arn`t making money , they can`t buy new aircraft.
And it was ever thus.
It's the nature of the business and everyone in it knows it. The fact that A). The freight operators have already bought about 100 indicates what they know about it, and they fly the ar*e's out of their airframes, which means you need longevity. And B). The 747 freighter family is the only commercial model flying that has a hinged nose door that allows large or long items to be loaded guarantee's them a significant slice of the market. Why else do you think you see so many of them at international airports as opposed to supposedly cheaper to operate smaller twins or even trijet's?



Originally posted by Harlequin Boeing themselves are doing virtually no marketing for the 747-8I and F , which does not make for a happy Lufthansa , and with the AF1 options looking at the 787 , i honestly can`t see the 747-8I going anywhere
Totally agree on the marketing point. Boeing's attitude to this has been woeful at best. The entire decade and a half long saga of newer and more advanced models of the 747 being put forward should be documented and put into business school text books as an example of how to take a perfectly good and well respected product and totally balls it up. How the Chimp's in charge of marketing and development could have done this will continue to take my breath away for many a long year.

However all may not be as bleak as you suspect. Many airlines have been holding off further long-haul replacement decisions until they see what the economic climate is like in a year or two. In addition they are waiting to see what fallout from the 787 saga as well as the A-350 can bring to the table. And of course many want to see what hard data on the A-380 eventuates. And some might not be writing off a further 777 enhancement. If Boeing can get it's act together and prove the numbers it was throwing around a couple of years ago in relation to the competitiveness of the 747-8I v's the A-380, then we could see a sales surge, particularly if the aircraft can be bought cheaper and is a little faster, particularly on long-haul flights.

LEE.



posted on Feb, 1 2009 @ 09:37 AM
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An extra 40 tons is 18%, assuming with the increase it's at 260 tons.... Impossible. 100km/h won't make fuel burn go up by 18%... In the Boeing 777, cruise speed M.01 above schedule, 1 to 2% increase in trip fuel... (Sec. 3 Page 118 777 Rev. 11/01/02 #9).

[edit on 1/2/2009 by C0bzz]



posted on Feb, 1 2009 @ 04:11 PM
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Even 1% change in fuel burn at todays and tommorows fuel prices can make a huge difference in the cost per seat mile of any airframe in commercial service.

I have always maintained that Boeing woul dbe willing to produce the 747-8 as a freighter even if there were few if any commercial orders.

As noted above, the hinged door is a huge point in freighter operations.



posted on Feb, 1 2009 @ 06:37 PM
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reply to post by C0bzz
 

Sorry C0bzz I may have inferred that I thought the fuel burn increase was solely due to increasing the 380's cruise Mach No:. I believe the airlines may be pushing there aircraft as fast as they can in order to make up any perceived time difference with their legacy 747 fleets which would as you correctly point out only increase fuel burn a couple of percent. However as I stated I have heard from a very reliable company source that lift (and therefore drag) are not in the ballpark of where they should be. I questioned my current boss who worked as a company technical rep at the assembly factory in Toulouse during it's development and has a detailed understanding of the A-380, on this claim. He said the wing had been certified as a flightworthy item so he couldn't see why it would have such an issue and be in service. However he also added that Airbus would have been unlikely and unwilling to do a major aerodynamic redesign should such a problem have manifested itself late in the development phase. The most likely outcome would have been a revision of the aircraft's performance figures. So it is quite possible that the aircraft could have a performance issue that isn't easily solved. My personal suspicion is that the aerodynamics were really designed to be optimal for the yet to be seen A-380 stretch and the shorter length of the forward fuselage barrel coupled with that nose is possibly masking the wing during certain flight regimes, but that is just my speculation.

As a point of note, one of the reasons for a major delay in the 747-8I is a fair degree of design changes in order improve performance and some systems that were previously to be carried over from the legacy 747 fleet are now to be replaced with newer designs. This means that the gap (if there is any) between A-380 and 747-8I in terms of seat costs could be lowering further. That may make some airlines reappraise there fleet planning decisions.

LEE.



posted on Feb, 2 2009 @ 12:29 PM
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Originally posted by thebozeian
the aircraft itself has been suffering from a much greater than expected fuel burn. I have it on good authority that on the longer Pacific sectors she is burning up to 40 ton more than predicted. I have been told that the problem is possibly due to the aircraft's wing failing to generate the predicted lift on it's inboard sections during certain phases of flight (I am assuming climb/cruise)


I have to admit, this is the first I've heard of this.

Indeed, from the test program, the aircraft was supposed to have exceeded its fuel burn targets.


Anyhoo - there is also the revenue aspect to consider - the cost of 1 seat on a 747 does not equate to the cost of 1 seat on an A380 - does a 747 have the same facilities to justify the same ticket prices?



posted on Feb, 3 2009 @ 11:33 AM
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Originally posted by thebozeian
Not so fast matey. All is NOT plain sailing with the "Dugong". Whilst most of the systems have performed as or even beyond expectation, the aircraft itself has been suffering from a much greater than expected fuel burn. I have it on good authority that on the longer Pacific sectors she is burning up to 40 ton more than predicted.


Utter crap, to be blunt.

Emirates, Qantas and Singapore have all publicly said they are getting promised or better than promised performance out of the A380 as delivered. How do you explain that? Airbus buying them off?

So I don't know where you are getting your information, but its completely lacking in substance - a fuel burn of 40 ton more than predicted is in the range of +20%, no airline in the world would be keeping quiet about that, no airline would continue taking the aircraft deliveries!

Complete rubbish. Laughable in fact. I can't believe you feel you can repeat such stupidity. Your friend is yanking you, plain and simple.

Its also no secret that the A380s wings were designed for both the higher MTOW A380-800F and the -900 stretch, Airbus have admitted such all along - but that doesn't mean they are killing the -800s efficiency.



posted on Feb, 3 2009 @ 12:55 PM
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Originally posted by RichardPrice
Its also no secret that the A380s wings were designed for both the higher MTOW A380-800F and the -900 stretch, Airbus have admitted such all along - but that doesn't mean they are killing the -800s efficiency.


Whaddya reckon?

Under 0.5% change in DOC I'd imagine.



posted on Feb, 4 2009 @ 12:29 PM
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Originally posted by kilcoo316

Originally posted by RichardPrice
Its also no secret that the A380s wings were designed for both the higher MTOW A380-800F and the -900 stretch, Airbus have admitted such all along - but that doesn't mean they are killing the -800s efficiency.


Whaddya reckon?

Under 0.5% change in DOC I'd imagine.


Put it this way, Airbus accounted for the reduction in efficiency in targetting a larger aircraft rather than the delivered aircraft when they gave any efficiency guarantees to airlines at purchase time.

So airlines cannot complain about Airbus targetting the larger aircraft in design, because they were never promised the performance of an aircraft *not* over-designed.

Anyway, I think the 'performance issues' mentioned in this thread with regard to the A380 are a complete fiction - the three airlines that have taken the aircraft already are extremely pleased with what they have, and indeed all indications are that Airbus has over delivered on promises - Emirates first batch of A380s was 1 tonne underweight of expected, which is a massive performance enhancement for them.

Why would Korean have just placed a follow on order for another 2 aircraft if the A380 was missing performance targets? Airlines do talk to each other (Korean Air has codeshares with Emirates), but quite simply there isn't any way SQ, EK or QA would continue taking new aircraft if Airbus had missed performance targets by even 10% of what was alluded to by thebozeian.....



posted on Feb, 4 2009 @ 01:08 PM
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Originally posted by RichardPrice
Put it this way, Airbus accounted for the reduction in efficiency in targetting a larger aircraft rather than the delivered aircraft when they gave any efficiency guarantees to airlines at purchase time.


I know that!


But, the difference in DOC for a fully optimised -800 versus the current -800 would be under 0.5% I'd reckon.



posted on Feb, 22 2009 @ 04:40 AM
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reply to post by RichardPrice
 
Sorry for the very late reply but I am on a 3 month transfer to another heavy maintenance operation interstate.

Richard,
I understand your skepticism but I dont repeat utter "crap". The fuel burn figure came direct from a currently serving A-380 captain. The aerodynamic issue from 2 engineers I know who have transfered to the A-380 maintenance team. As for airlines not standing for it, an airline marketing PR chimp will say anything to make it all seem to be ok lest it drag the whole (expensive) program into the media as a flop. And if the inducement from the manufacturer is big enough (like effectively "free" airframes) they will keep there gripes out of the pubic arena... until something better comes along. SIA have been playing the manufacturers off for years by placing an order then jumping ship to the other camp when their package betters the original (rival) deal.

And speaking of things not being in the media, I was aware for months as many others in the industry were that there was a problem with the Trent 900 and that SIA had performed around 9 engine changes in less than a year, well before it became public or RR and Airbus admitted to a problem.

So who is really pulling who's leg here? Three professionals who actually fly/maintain the aircraft, or some marketing genius's from the airlines and manufacturer who have an understandably vested interest in playing down a potential problem?

LEE.



posted on Feb, 23 2009 @ 02:00 PM
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reply to post by thebozeian
 


With all due respect - no, scratch that, with no respect at all - your post is laughable fiction. The figures you are talking about would be disasterous for an airline, no matter what incentives were on the table. Rolls Royce are in danger of losing engine orders for the 787 for a mere 1% fuelburn miss, but your claims should be resulting in very loud, public cancellations for Airbus, no doubt about it!

Absolutely laughable, and ludicrous - and totally unbelievable.


n



posted on Jul, 31 2017 @ 07:28 PM
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In what is probably the last delivery of a passenger 747, HL7644, operating as KAL028D departed Everett on its delivery flight to Seoul for Korean Airlines about 90 minutes ago.



posted on Jul, 31 2017 @ 07:35 PM
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Awe dang....four turbines....and it was famous for redundancy....I liked that. My second dad flew the orange Branniff original configuration one to Hawaii... sixties...M I Jordan
edit on 31-7-2017 by GBP/JPY because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 31 2017 @ 10:35 PM
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a reply to: Harlequin

Maybe the brown paper wrapped 747 was supposed to be a subliminal message about the program, "that's a wrap!"

Really though, a shame to see the end if true. There will be a replacement none the less.



posted on Aug, 1 2017 @ 12:19 AM
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a reply to: Caughtlurking

No, they still have a number of freighters to deliver. It was just a new paint process.



posted on Aug, 1 2017 @ 01:14 AM
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Emirates, Qantas and Singapore have all publicly said they are getting promised or better than promised performance out of the A380 as delivered. How do you explain that? Airbus buying them off?

Knowing QANTAS upper management it all ends with the bottom dollar.....
Jumbos are great.



posted on Aug, 1 2017 @ 12:10 PM
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The bottom line is efficiency. The cost per seat mile is simply much cheaper with a two engine aircraft period.

For a few long haul only airlines that fly into slot restricted airports (like Emerites) the 380 worked but for other airlines this simply was not the case.

Also people prefer direct flight if they have a choice

The A380 and 747 will fill the skies for some time (the 747 as a freighter, and the A380 will head that route as well) I think Airbus's decision to kill the freighter version of the A380 may have been a mistake, but as we ahve seen with the 727, A300, A330, 747 etc, the conversion can be done



posted on Aug, 2 2017 @ 09:22 AM
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a reply to: Zaphod58

Facetious, humorous, sarcastic.

Not even air Force one will be a new build 747 according to the drive.



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