Re: End of the line for 747?

Date:         17 Mar 99 01:24:31 
From:         "Mike Kotas" <mikeymike@seanet.com>
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David Bromage wrote in message ...
>Reposted FYI. Any comments?
>
>[ Article crossposted from misc.transport.air-industry ]
>[ Author was EMTGX ]
>[ Posted on Wed, 03 Mar 1999 03:41:27 GMT ]
>
>I read in this week's ECONOMIST that production of the 747 is likely to stop
>when the engine for the extended range 777 is developped, and that the 747 is
>much more costly to operate than the 777. I thought that, for all practical
>purposes, the 747-400 was a new plane. Is it that uneconomical? Also, beside
>shear range, aren't there routes that will not be practical for a twin because
>of etops restrictions?

The current predication for the 747 line is to keep the line at 1/month
rate. The obvious impact of the Asian Crisis along with the development of
better twins has drastically lessend the economic value of the 747, (and for
that reason, why Airbus keeps pushing off the A3XX IMHO), but I doubt the
line will cease to exist anywhere in the near decade. There are many
transpacific and transatlantic routes that Etops restricted plains can't
reach but I was reading an Article in AvWeek that was talking about the
Boeing Pitch to raise ETOPS limits from 180 to 210-270 minutes thereby
allowing better distances for the 747.

Obviously, any 4 engine plane will be more expensive to operate than twins,
but we must not forget that although the 747-400 is the most advanced 747 to
date, it is still being built with technologies of the 60's and 70's for the
most parts where as the newer generation planes such as the 777, and the
A340/A330 are all fly-by-wire systems.

Mike Kotas
Passenger Seat Engineer