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

From:         Jean-Francois Mezei <>
Organization: Vaxination Informatique
Date:         03 Sep 96 01:16:50 
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Karl Swartz wrote:
> Wings are the same basic design, again with structural reinforcement
> over time as they learned where the weak spots were and wanted to
> increase gross weights.  It was my impression that the -400 had some
> significant changes beyond the winglets, but someone told me that a
> 747-400(D) has a wing that's identical to the -300 or a late -200.

>From the Canadian Airlines WEB site (

How much weight does an additional six foot (.8m) wing tip extension and
winglet add to the 747-400 wing? None!
A weight saving of approximately 2,270 kg. (5,000 pounds) has been
acheived in the wing
with the application of the new aliminum alloys, which offset the weight
increase of the
wing tip extension and winglet.

To me, this sounds like a redesign. New alloys used, longer wing by six
feet, and the winglets. But I guess that to the industry, this is
considered the same wing design with some modifications. Does this mean
that Boeing didn't have to re-test the wing (wind test, try to break
etc) ?

Is there really such a thing as a brand new wing ? If Airbus builds it
big jumbo jet, won't it wings really be a redesign of the 340s wings ?

When you already have a FBW plane, is building a bigger wing (more lift
capacity etc) really done from scratch, or can much of the past
many of the components (sensors, motors etc) be re-used or just adjusted
for the new design ?

I realise that making a wing bigger is more complex than just clicking
on a point of the wing and stretching it on the computer, but doesn't
computer technology make it a lot easier today to build a "new" wing ?

So, my qestion is: is it really that simple to modify an existing wing?
                   is it really that expensive to design a new wing ?
                   is the difference between the 2 really that big
                      now that computers and previous designs help ?