posted on May, 19 2012 @ 08:30 AM
reply to post by smurfy
You are correct the designation for the aircraft is 747-409F, it is however just part of the 400F series of freighters. In fact the "09" in the 409 is
the Boeing customer number for that operator as they ordered the aircraft. All customers who order aircraft are given a unique identifier code, for
example British Airways are given the designator of 36, QANTAS Airlines are given 38. In these two cases it is because they were the 36th and 38th
airlines respectively to order Boeing airliners. All aircraft regardless of type will always have this customer number attached for the life of the
airframe no matter who ends up operating it. So it is possible to have a 707-338, 737-838, 747-438, 767-238 and so on.
Now back to the issue of the paint job, I think Aloysius the Gaul made a good point that some leasing companies prefer to not paint the aircraft in
company colours if the lease is on a year to year basis. It is often the case that airlines own some aircraft and lease others, sometimes to a host of
different leasing companies and a maze of parent holding companies, usually to avoid paying any more tax than they have to. So it is possible that
this particular aircraft is under a different ownership/leasing arrangement than others in the China Airlines fleet. Another reason could be that
China Airlines have chosen to not paint up the aircraft in it's colours as they intend to wet lease the aircraft on a regular basis as well as using
it for charters to many different customers. Also some people, particularly Govt's dont like to advertise too much when using third party operators so
a nondescript aircraft suits them. It doesn't mean they are up to anything nefarious, it just means they would rather not advertise too much for
security reasons. My own Govt had a long term lease on an all white A340 for moving troops back and forth to the Middle East, the owner/operator was
from Portugal. Having taken a look at the link you provided to Planespotters.net I noticed several photos on their database of all white aircraft,
including several 747's, in some cases a single aircraft amongst a fleet so again not hugely common, but certainly not all that unusual.
It was certainly interesting that the aircraft appears to have failed it's high blow test during manufacture, I have done them myself on a number of
occasions and gone well beyond the claimed 3 PSIG figure so its always advisable to have everybody on board strapped in unless it is absolutely
necessary for example when searching for leaks. I bet that made one hell of a bang when the nose door blew out!
Wow, that was my 500th post.
edit on 19-5-2012 by thebozeian because: (no reason given)