View Full Version : B747X Cancelled?

28th Mar 2001, 13:05
A little dicky bird has just whispered this one into my ear. Nothing on Boeing's website yet.
Shame if its true.

rgds Rat

28th Mar 2001, 14:38
Wasn't that the "IGW" (910000LBS MTOW)? Ie current -400 with the -400F wing?
I'm talking about the Stretched -400 1004300LBS MTOW ie the A380 competitor. Rumour has it that it will not be built.

rgds Rat

Turn & Burn
28th Mar 2001, 15:30
i was told that Quantas cancledits orders for the new 744 about two weeks after it ordered them opting for more A380s

think about it, Boeing needs 50 orders before it will build. They are floging an old design to death. Now is the time to start from scratch and build a new big jet with plenty of room to expand upon.

28th Mar 2001, 17:05
Turn & Burn

wrong! Boeing needs ONE name for it, one very recognized customer and then they will build it. Why invest a humoungous amount of money if you still can develop what you have. They can make the best 747 ever before thy need to start a new cycle of airframes.

There's nothing like a three-holer...

28th Mar 2001, 17:07

A number of Wall Street-type analysts have been reporting that Boeing is thinking of scrapping the 747X.

Instead, Boeing plans to build a 175-250 seater, cruise at Mach 0.95, range upto 9000nm. Considering that the same analysts are forecasting that the slowing US economy will lead to overcapacity (at least for US majors), Boeing's new mid-size initiative will certainly help "share holder value" :-)


29th Mar 2001, 01:56
Or maybe common sense has finally prevailed, and the company which risked all to build innovative airplanes like the 707 and 747 has realised that a warmed-over stretch of a 35-year old design, with a wing of even more primitive design, probably can't compete with an all new, high-tech aircraft of much greater capacity, and much more promise.

Nothing saddens me more than the fact that Boeing failed to design a real, modern competitor to the A3XX when there was still time, but the 747X isn't it.

Ceding the Super Jumbo market to Airbus may not be such a disaster anyway, as long thin routes between new city pairs become increasingly important. Maybe now's the time for Boeing to come up with a Mach 1.5 (simple airframe, simple structure, but still offering a meaningful time advantage) competitor to the A340. A pipe dream? Isn't that just what you'd have said about the 707 or the 747 before they were launched?

29th Mar 2001, 02:23
The Financial Times reported a couple of days ago that the 0.95 mid-size jet received a very cool reception from airlines, and will probably never see the light of day.

29th Mar 2001, 08:10
QF has NOT cancelled its order for the IGWs yet.

Who knows though with the current $A and the current downturn in the Oz economic climate.

Nuns est bibendum

29th Mar 2001, 08:27
I would be sad to see the 747x Scrapped as it would probably make the ultimate cargohauler, much better than the A380.


Kep Ten Jim
29th Mar 2001, 09:38
Tcas -

Simply because one's a Boeing and the other's an Airbus.

29th Mar 2001, 10:15
Just to clarify, the 747-400IGW ordered by QF at the same time as its A330/380s, is NOT the 747X; these aircraft will still be offered and it's reasonable to think these aircraft still have a fairly decent few years of production left.

The BBC is reporting the cancellation of the 747X and the company's focus on the flying wing concept. Hopefully, it represents a cutting edge and takes the company back to its innovative old self; I wonder what kind of reaction the 707 got when it was first proposed. Airlines stick with what they know until they faced with the economics of something new.

Still, I can't help feeling that the lack of a very large aircraft deprives Boeing of a full family; Airbus has everything from the 110 seat 318 to the 550 seat 380, with all fairly modern acft in between. Boeing's designs are now looking fairly tired, with the exception of the 737NG and the 777.

29th Mar 2001, 14:01
From AirCargoNews

New mid-sized plane may supplant Boeing superjumbo
By Chris Stetkiewicz
SEATTLE, March 26 (Reuters) - Boeing Co. <BA.N> may scrap plans for a new superjumbo jet in favor of a smaller, faster and more advanced commercial airplane, analysts said.
That project, estimated to cost about $9 billion to develop, has been on the drawing board for years and could siphon off funds from the $4 billion 747X superjumbo program, say analysts who met with Boeing executives last week.
"They (Boeing) wouldn't say that, but it certainly sounds like that is possible," said Cai von Rumohr, an analyst at SG Cowen. "This looks like a much more interesting target (than the 747X), so I think they'd certainly like to put more effort here."
An airline customer told a Wall Street analyst last week that Boeing was discussing a delta-wing jet -- shaped more like the supersonic Concorde than today's long tubular transports -- prompting Boeing to give further details, analysts said.
"The plane could have range of 9,000 nautical miles and would fly at higher altitudes, meaning it could avoid slower-flying aircraft in air traffic routes," Merrill Lynch analyst Byron Callan wrote in a note to clients.
"It might be as small as 175-200 seats and Boeing has briefed approximately 10 airlines on the program. Operating costs would not be all that different from similar sized airplanes," Callan continued. "The jet would use more fuel, but it could offer airlines savings in the form of better crew and asset utilization."
Boeing spokeswoman Susan Bradley said the company had made no decisions on the plane, one of several designs included in a long-range program dubbed 20XX.
"Our customers have indicated a need. We have a design that we think will satisfy that need and have identified a set of technologies that will make a new design possible," Bradley said.
Bradley also rejected suggestions that the new plane would cannibalize sales of the 757 and 767 models, saying the market for a long-range, speedier plane was separate.
But that is exactly what happened a decade ago when Boeing introduced the all-new 777, which was sized between the 767 and the 747 and has been cited for reducing sales of both.
Boeing Chairman Phil Condit last week said he was "excited" about the possibility of a new mid-sized jet that would fly at Mach .95 -- or 95 percent of the speed of sound.
Commercial airplane boss Alan Mulally said Boeing was looking at designs that cut flight time by up to 20 percent.
That could lop 90 minutes off transatlantic flight times, "making the Concorde only marginally more convenient, but still radically less comfortable," according to a research note from Deutsche Banc Alex. Brown analyst Chris Mecray.
Bradley also denied the company had changed its stance on the 747X program, which would add about 100 seats to the 416-seat 747-400, currently the world's biggest jetliner, and create other versions with greater flying range.
Boeing officials have said for years that they see limited demand for superjumbos and have yet to book an order for the 747X family, though longtime customer Qantas Airways Ltd. <QAN.AX> did order six longer-range 747-400s late last year.
By contrast, rival Airbus Industrie [ARBU.UL] has booked 66 orders for its new 555-seat A380 jet, including 12 to Qantas, and many analysts suspect the 747X will never be built.
Boeing did not say how much the new mid-market plane would cost to develop, but they said computer design and other new technologies would hold down costs, including tooling, von Rumohr said.
"On the 777 research and development and tooling cost $8.5 to $9 billion," von Rumohr said. "Tooling was $3.4 billion, which would be a fair amount less (on a new plane), while R-and-D in current dollars would probably be somewhat higher."
Whatever the plane looks like, analysts praised Boeing for finally stepping forward with a dramatic advance in design after years of incremental improvements, including the proposed 747X.
"It signals, assuming it is launched, that Boeing is hardly milking its airliner product line, but that it is very committed to maintaining this core strength," Callan said.
Boeing has spent billions of dollars to diversify into military and space businesses, prompting analyst complaints that it had neglected the jetliner business, which still provides about 60 percent of its $50 billion in annual sales.

rgds Rat

29th Mar 2001, 15:07
CNN and Sky News both stated this morning that Boeing have cancelled their plans to build the 747X in favour of developing the midsize 250 pax 0.9 mach jet. They blamed lack of interest from the majors.


29th Mar 2001, 15:29
So, Boeing have blamed it on lack of interest. Is it any surprise considering their offering was based on a 34 year old design!

Good luck to Airbus, THE innovators in commercial airliners today.

29th Mar 2001, 15:41
Pains me to say this, but as a passenger aircraft the A380 is probably the better option. As a pure freighter, there's nothing that beats a nose-door -400.
Shame, I've been working on the -XF project in our company for a while.

rgds Rat

Tricky Woo
29th Mar 2001, 15:59
So, Boeing is cancelling the 747X, (that nobody wants), and replacing it with a brand spanking new, thirsty, Mach 0.95, small, long-range aircraft, (that nobody has said is wanted).

Glad to see that Boeing is listening to its customers. Not. Comparisons with the innovative 1950's are not very appropriate in 2000's. The days when a company simply invented a product, and then scratched its head and tried to flog it to sceptical customers, are long gone.

Shares in EADS and BAE are suddenly looking undervalued...

29th Mar 2001, 16:18
From Sky News

Boeing is shelving its much-talked about superjumbo.

The Seattle-based aerospace giant is now said to be focussing on a new, mid-sized plane.

Flying at 95 per Cent the speed of sound, the new delta-wing aircraft will carry 250 passengers and cut transatlantic travel by 90 minutes.

Order book clear

Boeing has not booked a single order for the 747x superjumbo while its rival Airbus Industrie has sold 66 of its 555-seat A380 jets, which will succeed the 747 as the world's biggest jetliner when it debuts late this decade.

It is reported Boeing sales and marketing staff had become frustrated with the lack of customer interest in the 747X family, which would add about 100 seats and more flight range to the current model 747-400.

"Boeing is about to announce that they are basically slowing down or backing off development activity for the 747X and that they will be going forward with the new plane," said one Boeing source.


Boeing Chairman Phil Condit last week said he was "excited" about the possibility of a new mid-sized jet that would fly at Mach 95 - about 740 mph.

But with the cost of developing the jet put at $9 billion by one Wall Street analyst, it is unlikeLy Boeing would be able to fund the development of both the new project and the 747X.

"The 747X is an aircraft that we were interested in, but for the moment they have not put a lot of energy into that aircraft," said one airline industry executive. "Boeing is not aggressively marketing that aircraft."

Earlier this week Boeing denied it had changed its strategy on the 747X or that a new mid-sized plane would eat into sales of 757s and 767s, saying that the two markets were distinctly separate.

rgds Rat

29th Mar 2001, 16:20
And in addition to all that, the 'superclosetomach1bird' should be a delta winged aircraft with people sitting in the body. I don't know, but I don't think I would board that thing...

But let us not forget that the whole thing is a roumor started by some journo's... and we know how reliable these guys are!

There's nothing like a three-holer...

29th Mar 2001, 20:21
Finally Boeing is getting the message. An old airframe will always be an old airframe with limited capabilities. For all you Boeing lovers out there let's face it.. if you would walk in the Volkswagen showroom and the salesman will try to sell you an 1960's beetle with a brand new TDI engine with and a new dash board as the latest in technology you would walk straight out. Now take a 707 fuselage... shorten it and call it a 727, shorten it further and call it a 737, then stretch it again and call it a 757... Anyway you get my drift (I hope) The 747 has the same problems, at some point technology and design capabilities have become so advanced that even the best Airliners (of which the 747 is one of the major ones don't get me wrong)get outdated.

The moment that Boeing started to claim that there was no market for the A3XX at the time it was clear that they were doing their best to prevent the A3XX of becoming the A380... The right thing to do as Boeing did not want to design a new 747 as the aircraft had been and would have remained there cashcow if the A380 had not appeared. They have to spend their money also on their 737NG replacement which is adament. (They won't tell you this as it has the same affect on a would be Passat buyer if he knows that a new model will be available in 3 months...) The 747X was thus only meant as a stop gap to stop the A380.

The good thing?

Well the main advantage of aircraft like the A320, A330, A340 and yes also the B777 is that the designers can start with a clean piece of paper again. And for anybody who is in favour for the aviation industry to move into new markets and meet new (noise, emmisions and economic) targets it is great that Boeing tries what works very well for Airbus: Design new aircraft and move aviation bounderies.

I'd rather be flying... :)

[This message has been edited by Dutchie (edited 29 March 2001).]

30th Mar 2001, 00:24
The M0.95 medium jet was confirmed by Boeing today - also the 747X program manager has been shifted to the new faster medium-jet program. sounds like th 747X is definitely on the back burner.


read the full press release here:

Edited to fix typos

[This message has been edited by InitRef (edited 29 March 2001).]

[This message has been edited by InitRef (edited 29 March 2001).]

30th Mar 2001, 00:41

30th Mar 2001, 01:19

I just would like to see how that forward upper wing will interact with the docking systems. And how do you get the cargo in the back belly hold? You lift it? Or do you need a new cocept in the loaders? (Strange, that was always the argument against the A380). Also that rear exit will need some really intreresting slide construction. I also wonder how much runway that bird will use, I mean as a canard it cannot really have resonable flaps. Oh, and before I forget it, how sensitive is it going to be to changes in weight and balance? Probably rather...

There's nothing like a three-holer...

30th Mar 2001, 02:18
Looks a bit like an SR-71! One thing is for sure; that thing will never be a successful freighter. Look at the fuselage; can you imagine building dozens of different shaped (contoured) pallets to fit that??!! Any Loadmaster's comment would be "AAARRGHHH"; bit like the converted DC10CF's with their 3 or 4 different shapes.
Anyway, I'm sorry to see the end of the 747X(although yet another little dicky bird tells me that it's only "postponed". Apparently going back to the drawing board in order to safisfy customer (mainly -F operators) questions/concerns)).

rgds Rat

30th Mar 2001, 02:37

Whilst I agree with you that the 747X concept has somewhere along the line lost the impetus for change, I think it is a bit unfair and naive to suggest that Boeing is out of the loop so far as NGA designs are concerned.

Let's not forget how successful the chaps in Seattle have been so far...I suspect there's some life left in their R & D dept yet. Why else would they be investing a considerable no of dollars in relocating their plant elsewhere within the States?


Flight Safety
30th Mar 2001, 03:55
I Agree with CargoRat2. Apparently the 747-400 will remain in production and continue to undergo product developement. The 744ER is still a go at 910K pounds, 777 interior, LCD displays, new vertical profile display, new interior space utilization (above the main deck behind the hump), etc.

I understood as CargoRat2 did, that the main interest being shown in the 747X was the new standard length freighter, because of its enhanced range. With this change the 744 will remain the best freighter out there.

Safe flying to you...

Flight Deck
30th Mar 2001, 08:28
Sounds like speculation to me…

30th Mar 2001, 12:10
And what exactly sounds like speculation?

I guess someone at Boeing HQ thought it is time to try to impress wall street. Just strange that the EADS shares climbet by a couple of percent after the announcement. I agree with CargoRat2, as some gremlins tell me similar things. The only problem is, that the really best freighter on the drawing board right now is the 747-X Stretch. That's the thing airlines really want! (At least the very few ones that understand something about cargo.)

There's nothing like a three-holer...

1st Apr 2001, 16:31
1) Why do you have to go so radical to get a paltry Mach 0.95 cruise? The Comet would do Mach 0.84, ferchrissake!

2) How can Mach 0.9-0.95 lop '90 minutes' off a Transatlantic journey? What typical cruise speeds are being flown today, and by what? How does Mach 0.9 represent a 20% improvement?

3) Is anything less than about Mach 1.3 a worthwhile improvement over today's 757s, 777s, A340s etc.?

4) Is this proof that Boeing has completely 'lost the plot'?

1st Apr 2001, 18:29
Tcas Climb ....

How about a nose cargodoor and one huge deck that is about as wide in the nose as it is in the rear. And the fact that you can use existing highloaders and other airport equipment. Sorry to upset you but I got all the facts... Called research ya know.


2nd Apr 2001, 02:37
JJFlyer; somebody who understands freighter ops.

rgds Rat

2nd Apr 2001, 04:34
The stretch 74 was just a shill to goad Airbus into throwing the EU taxpayers money down a rathole. Looks like it worked.

High sub-sonic cruiser?? Maybe Boeing is convincing its self into throwing money down a rathole too.

Will make for interesting times in the aircraft industry.