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

From:         faurecm@halcyon.com (C. Marin Faure)
Organization: Northwest Nexus Inc.
Date:         03 Sep 96 01:16:52 
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In article <airliners.1996.1694@ohare.Chicago.COM>, kls@ohare.Chicago.COM
(Karl Swartz) wrote:

> Jean-Francois Mezei <jfmezei@videotron.ca> wrote:

> >And before I would beleive that Boeing can just extend the 747 without
> >redesign costs etc, I would like to know more about what changes had to
> >be done between the 747-100 and 200, 200 to 300 and 300 to 400. Are the
> >landing gears the same ? Are all the doors the same design, even the
> >ones on the second deck ? Are the wings identical ? Made of the same
> >materials ? Are engines the same ? Obviously, the cockpit in the 400 was
> >re-designed.

> 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.

The 747-400 has wing extensions plus the winglets.  So the wing is not
entirely identical to the wings on the -200 and -300 series.  The -400 has
a two-person flight crew instead of the previous three-person crew, which
took A LOT of redesign to the airplane's systems.  The -400 also has BITE
(Built In Test Equipment) to report airplane faults and suggest repair
procedures to the ground mechanics, which the previous versions of the
plane did not have.

An interesting variant of the -400 are the domestic versions we built for
Japan.  The planes are -400s except for the wings, which are identical to
the wings on the -200 and -300.  The airlines (I believe both JAL and ANA
bought these planes) will be used on short domestic flights which will
rapidly accumulate cycle time but not airframe time.  Then when the cycles
are getting high, they intend to add the -400's wingtip extensions and
winglets and put the planes into long-haul international service, which
racks up airframe time but not cycle time.  They believe this will give
them the most value for their purchase.

C. Marin Faure
   author, Flying a Floatplane