Date: 21 Dec 97 02:32:50 From: email@example.com (James Matthew Weber) Organization: Customer of Access One Pty Ltd, Melbourne, Australia Followups: 1
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According to Aviation Week and Space Technology (Avleak), Boeing has now defined the 747-400IGW as a 747-400F wing, undercarriage and weight, with an increase in MGTOW to 910,000 pounds. This is an increase of 35,000 pounds over the standard 747-400. Of perhaps greater interest is the MLW on the 400F is is also 36,000 pounds higher than the standard 747-400, so even if airlines don't need the additional range, they will get the benefit of a sizeable increase in payload. Range is reported as being increased by some 500nm over the standard 747-400, which puts it at about 7800nm. The aircraft should be able to provide significantly better payload on ulta long range operation into unfavorable head winds such as winter SIN-LHR and HKG-LHR operation, elimination current passenger load restrictions on these sectors. This is being driven a recent QANTAS airways order for 747-400's with a higher MGTOW than is currently offered. It has been suggested that QANTAS may take an aircraft with the Freighter wings, and later fit the upgraded undercarriage and brakes to the airframe in order to obtain delivery prior to 2000. That would put the aircraft in the air a good deal ealier than the A340-500/600. While this is short of the A340-500's expected range, there are few potential destinations that are more than 7800nm and less than 8300nm. SIN-LAX is in range of both aircraft, SIN-DFW is out of range of both aircraft, HGK-JFK is in range of both aircraft. PER-LHR is in range of both aircraft. (Distances assume optimal routings). Unless Airbus is able to substantially improve the long haul cruise performance of the A340, the 747 passenger will arrive a good deal sooner than his A340 counterpart on such a journey however. I think it also remains to be seen if Airbus/Rolls Royce can develop the engine and airframe within the launch aid limitations that the Treaty with the USA provides. So far Rolls Royce and BAe have asked for about 530 million USD in launch aid. My thumnail calculation says that under the treaty that is about half of all the launch aird that is permitted for the entire project. This could get quite interesting.