Re: Commercial go-ahead for B744IGW

Date:         09 Jan 98 00:50:45 
From:         mweber@t140.aone.net.au (James Matthew Weber)
Organization: Customer of Access One Pty Ltd, Melbourne, Australia
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On 05 Jan 98 23:41:32 , Marc Schaeffer <marcmsc@geocities.com> wrote:
>Just read this in the Seattle times :
>
>Boeing's board of directors has given its commercial airplane group the
>go-ahead to offer a new version of the 747-400 jumbo jet that could fly
>farther than conventional models. The heavier new model is sought by
>Qantas of Australia because it would allow the airline to stretch
>several of its main routes. [[ Which routes ?]]

Two routes where it is very useful. The LAX-SYD routes operate with
serious cargo lift restrictions, and at least some of year also have
passenger lift restrictions as well. The SIN-LHR run also has similar
restrictions. Those are the routes the aircraft was probably purchased
for. Not so much a stretch as a revenue enhancer...

>The model is known as
>the 747-400IGW (increased gross weight). Qantas has asked Boeing to
>build three new jumbo jets to the increased weight specifications. If
>enough other carriers also order, the model could be delivered in late
>2000, Boeing officials said. (Copyright Seattle Times) END ITEM
>
>Now this is a good one QF ordered - firm no LOI - the 744IGW before the
>a/c was even commercially launched. What will happen if this bird will
>get no industrial go ahead (like the 745/746/77X). Even if this is very
>unlikely, since other airlines are interested in the 744IGW, there is
>always a possibility. I read - don't remember where - that Boeing may
>also deliver the QF birds with only the 744F wings and proceed later
>with the other upgrades. Not a very cheap approach.

According to Avweek, The only part of the upgrade that may be delayed
is the undercarriage changes.  I suspect, but cannot verify that the
major changes are for landing weight rather than takeoff. The landing
weight went up MORE than MGTOW went up! For QANTAS on these routes,
the MGTOW rather  than MLW is the major  issue. Both routes typically
burn upwards of 260,000 pounds of fuel.

>Other question is there any chance to see the 777 cockpit in this
>upgraded bird ?

I'd  be very surprised. That is a very expensive engineering change,
and I fail to see much merit. The -400 already has a 2 man glass
cockpit.