Re: FT: Virgin interested in Superjumbo

From: (Michael Jennings)
Organization: University of Cambridge DAMTP
Date:         13 May 96 02:08:46 
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In article <airliners.1996.655@ohare.Chicago.COM>,
Alain Deckers <> wrote:
>According to today's (8 May 1996) UK edition of the Financial Times,
>"Virgin Atlantic has become the third airline to express a strong interest
>in buying a double decker 'super-jumbo' aircraft capable of carrying more
>than 500 passengers" (p. 7). The report also states that estimated
>development cost for Boeing's 747-600X is $2 billion, while Airbus would
>have to develop an all new aircraft at a cost of $8-12 billion.

	That's interesting, given what a small airline Virgin is
(compared to many long haul carriers). But then again, given that
there base is Heathrow and they have a perennial slot problem, and
that they fly to places like Hong Kong and Tokyo, I guess it's
not that surprising. I suspect that there will be something of
a marketing advantage from using the aircraft ('We fly the newest
and biggest aircraft in the world') and given that Virgin are
expert at marketing themselves, I guess it may not be that surprising.
Given Singapore, BA, Virgin, and perhaps people like Lufthansa and Qantas
(both of who I have heard are interested in the -500 or -600, Boeing
might be able to rustle up 20 or so orders for a launch later in
the year. For one thing, I think it would be politically desirable
for BA to be seen to be ordering them with respect to the enquiry into
building terminal 5 at Heathrow. (BA is trying to convince the enquiry
that it is only going to increase the number of passengers, not the
number of flights)

>Could anyone clear this up for me? Does the 747-600X use the same wing as
>the current (747-400) model or would Boeing develop a new wing?
	Boeing plans to develop a new wing. This will be placed on
two new models, the 747-500 (which will be about the same size as
the 747-400 but will have a significantly greater range) and the
stretched Boeing 747-600, which will have about the same range as
the 747-400.

Michael Jennings
Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics
The University of Cambridge.

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