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

From: (jts)
Organization: LMB
Date:         31 Jul 96 12:29:42 
References:   1 2 3 4
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In article <airliners.1996.1433@ohare.Chicago.COM>, says...
>In article <>,
>Michael Leduc  <> 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?


>Does the -600 retain the basic 747 fuselage with a very
>stretched upper deck, or can it be widened by a seat or three?

yes - standard ten abreast with fuselage plugs fore and aft of the wingbox.

>> 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.

Recent article in Air Transport World (I think) suggests that the size
restriction on new large aircraft may become unmanageable.  The article
referred to a recent study claiming that airport reworking for jets larger
than 747 would require ~$150 million on average per airport.  Conclusion was
that Boeing and Airbus were just going to build larger jets and the airports
would have to facilitate or be left out.

>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.

Dulles Int't in Wash DC uses large 100 pax buses to load/unload 747's.  While
it may seem slow, it only take 4-5 trips and for large airports, actually
reduces the average transit time.  Also, for int'l flights, the buses take you
straight to Customs.