Boeing defines 747-400IGW

Date:         21 Dec 97 02:32:50 
From:         mweber@t140.aone.net.au (James Matthew Weber)
Organization: Customer of Access One Pty Ltd, Melbourne, Australia
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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.