Re: Singapore Airlines The A340 vs 777 saga continues

Date:         27 Aug 99 03:08:26 
From:         JF Mezei <>
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James Matthew Weber wrote:
> Airbus aircraft  cannot make FL390 even empty!  Boeing learned the
> importance of this early one with the 747, and each version of the 747
> has had improved high weight altitude capability. At MGTOW a 747-100 can
> reach only 25,000 feet. A 777-200 can go directly to FL390 at MGTOW.

>From the boeing web site:

Initial cruise altitude:
    777-200    39,300 feet (11,975 m)    MGW 36,600 feet
    777-300    36,400 feet (11,095 m)

So, if you are talking about long range aircraft, then the 777's initial
cruise altitude is about 36.5k feet. I don't consider the 777-200
(without ER/MGW) to be a long range aircraft.

Also, the Boeing web site states that all 747s have an initial cruise
altitude of 34.7k feet.  (perhaps they refer only to currently produced

As well, the Airbus web site now includes the maximum cruise speed. So
while the optimum cruise speed for the 330 and 340s is 0.82 , the
maximum is stated at 0.86

Altitude information is not provided by Airbus.

And as far as no commercial airline being able to fly over cumulus couds
at 60k feet.  What about the Concorde ?