Re: Boeing 747-300

From: (Terrell D. Drinkard)
Organization: Boeing
Date:         01 Dec 92 23:15:18 PST
References:   1 2 3
Followups:    1 2
Next article
View raw article
  or MIME structure

In article <airliners.1992.25@ohare.Chicago.COM> (Karl Swartz) writes:
>In article <airliners.1992.11@ohare.Chicago.COM> (Terrell D. Drinkard) writes:
>>In article <airliners.1992.4@ohare.Chicago.COM> (Jerry And
>>>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.
>>The Boeing and the Airbus offerings in this market seem to both hover
>>around 600 seats and 7,000 mile range.  Takeoff weights in the million
>>pound plus range.  The anticipated market, as described by John Hayhurst,
>>Director of New Large Airplane Division, is only a couple hundred airplanes
>>TOTAL.  From my knothole, it looks like a prestige fight.
>That's an *awful* lot of cash to dump down a hole simply for bragging

It isn't just bragging rights.  Prestige has a market value.  There are
several airlines who are not out to make a profit.  The national airlines
of some oil rich countries for example, are not expected to make buck,
rather to 'carry the flag'.  Thai, as another example bought 747s some
years ago largely because of prestige.  Therefore, you have some airlines
who fly the <superlative of your choice> airplane in the world to make a
political statement.

> I suppose that's part of "being sporty" but there's also a
>real market there -- the Pacific Rim, which is where nearly all the
>growth is in the airline industry and which requires those kind of
>range figures.  The load potential is there too, if not now then well
>well within the next 10 to 20 years.

Most of the market you refer to can be filled with stretched 747s.  This
isn't difficult, and it is no doubt being looked at quite closely.
However, there is a practical limit to the stretch 747, and the real
question is how many airplanes above that limit can you sell?  If the
answer is pretty small (<100 airplanes maybe?) then it doesn't make any
sense to build the monster jet.  If it is an appreciable number, then it
makes sense to bypass the 747 stretch and go with an all new large
airplane.  And, as you noted, timing is a big issue.  No point in building
the thing if no one needs it for two or three years after roll-out.

>One aircraft that could punch a major hole in this market would be the
>next generation supersonic transport.  (HSCT?  I can't pick the right
>acronym out of my bowl of alphabet soup today ...)  *If* built, and at
>least for now that is a very big if, this too would be aimed directly
>at the Pacific Rim market.  The studies I've seen for this bird seem
>to be aiming at the mainstream market and not just a very tiny high-
>priced market like the Concorde.

Exactly.  Last word I got was ticket prices about 20% above full-price 747
coach was a target (granted that was a couple of years ago).  The HSCT is
my drool-job.  I doubt I'll ever get to work on it, but it really fires my
imagination.  Don't look for one before 2010; we seem to be a bit short on
engine and materials technology.

"Anyone who thinks they can hold the company responsible for what I say has
more lawyers than sense."