Re: Commercial go-ahead for B744IGW

Date:         05 Jan 98 23:41:33 
From:         kls@ohare.Chicago.COM (Karl Swartz)
Organization: Chicago Software Works, Menlo Park, California
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>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).

The 747-500X/600X proposal had a new wing, new landing gear, new
engines, and many other improvements, racking up $7 billion worth of
development costs.  The 720,000+ version of the 777-200X wasn't quite
so extreme but still required pretty substantial development effort.

The 747-400IGW, in contrast, doesn't involve much more than rummaging
around in the parts bin and putting the parts together in a new way --
it isn't much more than a 747-400F with the fuselage of a passenger
-400.  As such, development cost is pretty low, so it's probably a
viable program even without many orders.

>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.

I read that too, in the Wall St. Journal, I think.  Actually, I think it
was everything except upgraded engines.  I'm not sure what the upgrades
are, but they may be doable with an upgrade kit.  Even if not, delivering
an aircraft with one version of an engine with the intention of changing
them for improved versions after delivery is hardly unprecedented.  It
didn't seem like a big deal to me when I read it, except I wondered just
what the engine improvements entailed.

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

No.  It's clearly a simple upgrade, not a massive redesign which is what
inclusion of a 777 cockpit would involve.

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