Re: A3XX vs B747-600 (was: Airbus lawsuit coming?)

From:         don@rata.vuw.ac.nz (Don Stokes)
Organization: Victoria University of Wellington
Date:         29 Jul 96 02:29:32 
References:   1 2 3
Followups:    1 2 3 4
Next article
View raw article
  or MIME structure

In article <airliners.1996.1425@ohare.chicago.com>,
Michael Leduc  <mikel@alcor.concordia.ca> wrote:
>Don Stokes wrote:
>> Why is this?  I thought Boeing was designing a new wing for the B747-500
>> and -600, since the existing B747 wing is pretty much at its limits on
>> the -400.  I would have thought that the aircraft could be stretched
>> further if the wing was up to the job.
>>
>> Experience says that if there's one thing Boeing knows best about
>> building jet transports it's getting the wing right.
>
>That may be true, but one must not extend the wing too much.  The
>maximum wing span has just about been reached for commercial aircraft,
>for the time being.

True, but that doesn't explain why the A3XX could be extended to 600-700
pax when the 747-600 would be limited to 550 pax, as per Andrew Chuang's
claim.  (I'm sure this has some justification, I just don't know what it
is.)  My gut feeling is that Airbus don't know wings as well as Boeing;
certainly Aurbus wings _look_ a lot more conservative, with less
sweepback, and correspondingly lower speed (sweepback affects the
critical Mach number of the wing), so the issue isn't going to be getting
the wing to carry the beast, or if it is, the problem is going to affect
Airbus equally if not more so.

Presumably the difference is in the fuselage -- what does the A3XX look
like compared to the 747-600?  Is the A3XX double-decked?  Or just very
wide?  Or both?  Does the -600 retain the basic 747 fuselage with a very
stretched upper deck, or can it be widened by a seat or three?

> Extending the wing size would mean new airport
>terminal design for nose-in-gate positioning or parking the aircraft
>out on an apron and using shuttle busses.
>
>Shuttle busses are used at some airports but this only adds to the
>passenger inconvenience.

I've never seen shuttle busses used to load anything much bigger than a
737 -- airports that use them usually have bridges as well for loading
widebodies and use the busses to load smaller planes.  To load a 747
would take rather a lot of busses (even the large ones used at airports),
which doesn't scale too well -- not only in terms of passenger
inconvenience but in total turnaround time. Airlines don't make money out
of aircraft waiting on the ground.

--
Don Stokes, Network Manager, Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand.
don@vuw.ac.nz(work) don@zl2tnm.gen.nz(home) +64 4 495-5052 Fax+64 4 471-5386