Re: MD-17 vs. MD-11F/DC-10F

Date:         28 Dec 96 14:20:12 
From:         kls@ohare.Chicago.COM (Karl Swartz)
Organization: Chicago Software Works, Menlo Park, California
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>Airbus proposed A300 600ST "BELUGA" to FEDEX and UPS but they refused
>due to the cost and the poor return on investment.

Weird.  Those would be two of the *last* cargo carriers who I would
think of as potential "Beluga" operators, since they rarely if ever
deal with very large or bulky cargo.  (Do either of them even handle
such work on a contract basis?  I'm aware of UPS having chartered a
C-130, temporarily painted in UPS colors, to fly Keiko aka Willy the
Whale from Mexico City to Oregon, but that clearly was a promotional
stunt, albeit a very generous and beneficial one.)

>I think HEAVYLIFT which is the best consumer for this type of aircraft
>prefers to used AN 114.

I presume you mean the An-124.  This has become somewhat popular for
specialized work because it can carry loads that no other plane can.
HeavyLift has a subsidiary which operates six of them with Volga-Dnepr
of Russia.  HeavyLift has two Il-76TDs of its own, and also uses short-
term leases of additional An-124s, Il-76s, and C-130s when necessary.

The MGTOW of the C-17 is bracketed by the An-124 and Il-76, which are
probably cheaper with the Russians and Ukranians being eager to earn
hard currencies.  Given that, I suspect an MD-17 might be a hard sell
at HeavyLift.

A competitor could conceivably serve a significant fraction of that
market with the MD-17, and perhaps gain a market advantage from higher
reliability -- the Russian planes, mainly the engines, are notoriously

>CARGOLUX which used 747 400F said that they have lot of difficulties
>to rentabilised this aircraft.


I read an article about the 747-400F a while back.  It's main benefit
compared to the 747-200F is greater range with a full cargo load.  For
many interesting cargo routes, however, it's range isn't enough more
to eliminate fuel stops.  I think SFO-NRT was an example.  Both planes
need a fuel stop, usually at ANC.  The fact that the -400F could fly a
greater percentage of the flight before stopping is neither interesting
nor useful.  With a plentiful supply of inexpensive -200s which can be
converted to freighters, the -400F was claimed to be a fairly difficult

I wish I could remember where I saw that article so I could cite more
concrete facts from it.  The analysis appeared to be quite good.

>So the potentiel market for MD 17 seems to be unexistant for
>traditional uses.

Maybe, and I agree with that FedEx and UPS are unlikely candidates,
but the remaining arguments aren't overly convincing.

Karl Swartz	|Home
Moderator of sci.aeronautics.airliners -- Unix/network work pays the bills