Re: Boeing 747-300

From:         weiss@mott.SEAS.UCLA.EDU (Michael Weiss)
Organization: SEASnet, University of California, Los Angeles
Date:         24 Nov 92 02:47:07 GMT
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Followups:    1
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In article <airliners.1992.4@ohare.Chicago.COM> jerry@telecom.ksu.edu (Jerry Anderson) writes:
>Is the Boeing 747-300 the largest commercial passenger aircraft
>in the world?  Is the -300 the latest version, or are there
>newer, possibly larger stretched versions of the 747?

Well, Boeing no longer makes the -300; I personally saw the last -300 being
built in mid-September of 1991.  The -300 has been replaced by the -400, which
has few fuselage changes.  The upper deck is the same size.  Basically, the
only "major" change is the addition of upper-surface winglets.

In my aero classes, we were taught that winglets are supposed to reduce the
trailing vortices and downwash from the wings.  However, according to my
cousin, who used to work for Lockheed's Skunk Works, the winglets have a cost
in drag that is roughly equivalent to the gain, and therefore is more a
marketing ploy than anything else.  Go figure.

>I've heard Boeing, McDonnell-Douglas and Airbus all have plans
>in the works for Really Big Planes in the 600-700 passenger,
>7500-8000 mile range.  Does anyone know if these planes are
>really going to get built, or is this the usual "if we can
>pre-sell a couple of hundred, maybe we'll really build it?"

Airbus is truly working on the plane, and hopes to knock Boeing out of the
747 sales.  However, Boeing has a history of being the best aircraft in the
world in terms of maintenance; Airbus apparently makes planes that are almost
as difficult to repair and inspect as McDonnell-Douglas.

McDonnell-Douglas has basically dropped out of that race, to my knowledge,
apparently because they require such a large amount of capital.

>Does anyone have model numbers, specs (passengers, range), or
>projected delivery dates?  These numbers come from memory, and
>I have no faith in them at all:
>    Company             Model    Delivery
>    -------             ------   --------
>    McDonnell-Douglas   MD-11    1993

Try 1992.  The MD-11 was certified in October of 1991.  I saw about a dozen of
them at DFW this summer.  They are pretty much a DC-10 with upper and lower
winglets.

>    Airbus              AE-400   1994

Sounds about right.  Well, they were talking about '93, but that likely means
1994.  Supposedly, it will compete directly with the 747.

>    Boeing              777      1995-6

I would guess sooner, simply based upon the information I have heard.  I could
very well be wrong, though.
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