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Adios, Queen of the Sky!

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Adios, Queen of the Sky!

Old 17th Jul 2020, 07:53
  #41 (permalink)  
 
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Ray_Y
Between 1983 and 2016...
RB211 with Saudia...didn't like starting in a tailwind...one shutdown in flight.
P @ W with Virgin on Classic...one shutdown in flight.
GE on B744...perfect.
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Old 17th Jul 2020, 07:56
  #42 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by gear lever View Post
Worlds largest operator confirmed today that they are retiring their entire fleet of 31 744s with immediate effect. A sad day for the Queen of the Skies.
Can I have one?
I wonder what's the impact on value when almost no airline operates PAX versions anymore.
I also wonder if cargo airlines pick up some to convert.
Another shrink for business at Boeing
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Old 17th Jul 2020, 07:56
  #43 (permalink)  
 
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Is this the end of mass passenger traffic as we know it? Who is going to fill LHR in the future? Can global networks be kept going with only a few business travellers and some economy passengers in the back of twins?
This looks like some strategic shift to me?

At the same time the world's population keeps growing. Air travel should follow. Does shrinking fleets make sense on the mid run?
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Old 17th Jul 2020, 08:19
  #44 (permalink)  
 
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747-8 quad broadly quoted(*) at 460/470 seats.
777-9 twin broadly quoted 420 - 430
A330-9 twin broadly quoted 440 -460.

Doesn't seem like a cataclysmic reduction in capacity.

(*) - dependent upon specific variant / operator / exact fit out / max certification / whoever is quoting figures...... etc.
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Old 17th Jul 2020, 08:23
  #45 (permalink)  
 
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Big twins are not ordered in numbers these days. They get delayed or cancelled right away.
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Old 17th Jul 2020, 08:29
  #46 (permalink)  
 
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Err...

I don't think anybody is ordering much of anything this month, for fairly obvious reasons, Twin, Tri or 4 holer, but FWIW BA is taking delivery of 3 or 4 new 777-300s over the next few months and recently took delivery of it's first A350-1000.

https://www.airbus.com/newsroom/pres...-a3501000.html

Last edited by wiggy; 17th Jul 2020 at 09:12.
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Old 17th Jul 2020, 08:38
  #47 (permalink)  
 
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As a passenger, I always enjoyed travelling on BAs 747s. Additionally, for me, there has never been any aircraft that gets me even close to the feeling a 747 gives me to the excitement of flying long haul.

Its a great shame but was inevitable. I will miss them.
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Old 17th Jul 2020, 12:48
  #48 (permalink)  
 
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As a kid, I was at Heathrow with my cousin and Uncle (who worked for BOAC) to see the first one land there, and had my only First Class flight in a BA 747, and on a Virgin 747 flight to LAX 20 odd years ago, it was being flown by a well known ex-RAF Lightning pilot
After 4 months away, I was back at LHR on Tues this week to return the company laptop and clear out my desk, and it was depressing leaving a ghost-town like LHR, seeing all the empty staff car parks.....and drove around the back of BA Maintainence past the Negus retro scheme 747 parked by the fence.......BA should keep that one back to be their final 747 departure out of LHR when they all start departing to storage/scrappies.
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Old 17th Jul 2020, 13:52
  #49 (permalink)  
 
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According to wiki BA operated a total of 105 Boeing 747s. out of a total built to date of 1558.
19 srs.100, 26 srs 200 and 60 srs. 400.
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Old 17th Jul 2020, 14:31
  #50 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by B744IRE View Post
Ray_Y
Between 1983 and 2016...
RB211 with Saudia...didn't like starting in a tailwind...one shutdown in flight.
P @ W with Virgin on Classic...one shutdown in flight.
GE on B744...perfect.
Yes. Tailwind of 40 gust 50 once for start. No problem.
tcasblue is online now  
Old 17th Jul 2020, 15:27
  #51 (permalink)  
 
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A sad day, soon it'll just be a procession of nearly identical big twins. The 747 was so distinctive
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Old 17th Jul 2020, 16:01
  #52 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Ray_Y View Post
Can I have one?
I wonder what's the impact on value when almost no airline operates PAX versions anymore.
I also wonder if cargo airlines pick up some to convert.
Another shrink for business at Boeing
I think Boeing insisted on all the B747-400s having the stronger landing gear so they could be freighters later.
Unlike the A380...B747 freighters will be around for a few more years.
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Old 17th Jul 2020, 16:13
  #53 (permalink)  
 
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Dixi

I think you'll find that BA have operated 57 B747-400's. I further believe the other 3 were probably GSS operated freighters on a cargo contract.
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Old 17th Jul 2020, 17:35
  #54 (permalink)  
 
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I think you're going to find that most of those newly retired BA 747-400s are very high hours and have earned their retirement - as in north of 100,000 flight hours. Hence I doubt many (if any) will become freighter conversions - it's just not cost effective to spend all that money turning an already very high time aircraft into a freighter. Their future will be as beer cans
The 747 will be around as a freighter for several more decades - the only real question now is what will happen after the dozen or so new production 747-8Fs currently under contract are delivered. Will Boeing pull the plug (as suggested at the beginning of the the thread), or will there be sufficient interest in new build 747-8Fs for Boeing to invest in new fuselage manufacturing capabilities.
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Old 17th Jul 2020, 19:08
  #55 (permalink)  
 
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I never flew the 747, but flew in it several times, and respect it hugely. It was truly a game changer.

I am an avowed Airbus FBW fan, but the Boeing 747 is such a brilliant and iconic airplane. It was just perfect for the time, and has proved its worth over decades.

I still treasure my copy of Handling the big jets, by Mr Davies, with the fold out, colour diagram of the 747 classic; with its four hydraulic systems etc.

I salute Boeing for the 747 !

Like the Fender Stratocaster guitar, and the Ford V8 Mustang; it is an example of something American that is so perfectly right, it has lasted for decades.
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Old 17th Jul 2020, 19:29
  #56 (permalink)  
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As a passenger my best most comfortable flights have been in the 747, the MD11 and the A380.

The 747 wins overall no matter where the seat, did 1A from Houston to Amsterdam with KLM a few years ago and row 42 with BA down to Cape Town (own money), a great aircraft, probably ‘the’ great mass hauler.

Still don’t like the Triple no matter how popular it is, as a passenger the 747 is better.
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Old 18th Jul 2020, 07:42
  #57 (permalink)  
 
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"I am an avowed Airbus FBW fan..."
That is treason

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Old 18th Jul 2020, 07:43
  #58 (permalink)  
 
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I flew the 747 for 14 years, it was a truly remarkable aircraft. It was not just its size, but its remarkably good handling qualities. In contrast to the earlier types I had flown, which all had some handling vices, the 747 had none. And its system redundancy was second to none. The only handling vice that I could find (if it was a vice at all) was that the nose wheel could skate along the surface if you tried to turn when taxiing at too fast a speed.

It was very stable to fly, was an excellent instrument flying platform, yet, had sufficiently powerful enough controls to handle in a sprightly fashion like a much smaller aircraft. In fact, when seated in the snug cockpit, it was difficult to believe there was so much aircraft following along behind! I was privileged to be IRE/TRE and airworthiness air test qualified. It was during C of A air tests that one could fully appreciate its handling qualities. It stalled immaculately in all configurations, except when clean when it wouldnt really stall at all! The minimum speed had been defined by the point when the slow and stately buffeting was considered unacceptable.

Unlike the 707, it had no Mach tuck, even at M0.97, and unlike the VC10 it did not Dutch Roll. It was remarkably straight forward to fly, even with two engines failed on the same side, and it was approved for 3 engine ferry flights. However, those kinds of things were towards the edge of the envelope, not normally encountered in normal route flying, but it was comforting to know there were such large margins.

Areas that did require precision flying were the approach and landing naturally; and also on departure during flap retraction when the margin between the minimum speed and the flap limiting speed for the configuration could be fairly small at high weights. I forget the exact figures, but I seem to remember something like 7 kts.

Probably the failure that was of most concern was the possibility of an engine failure close to V1, at high weight, at a high altitude airfield. Clearly, the numbers were well worked out, but stopping an aircraft weighing over 350 tonnes from somewhere around 200 mph was not something to be undertaken lightly. Fortunately I never had to do it other than on the simulator on routine competency checks.

A really wonderful aircraft to fly. And all the more remarkable when one remembers how long ago it was designed. Joe Sutter and his team got it absolutely right.
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Old 18th Jul 2020, 10:05
  #59 (permalink)  
 
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The series of interviews with D.P. Davies (author of the classic text and CAA test pilot for many years) linked at the top of the tech log forum includes a very interesting section on certifying the 747. He is full of praise for the aircraft and said it was fantastic right out of the box, well worth a listen as is the whole series.
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Old 18th Jul 2020, 10:10
  #60 (permalink)  
 
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Marvellous recordings, he loved the 747 after battling with Boeing over the 707
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