New high capacity airplanes

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October 24th, 2013 at 12:47:10 PM permalink
Nareed
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
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Quote: Pacomartin
Just looking at records it seems that the youngest of the forty 747's passenger jets operated by Delta and United is only 11.5 years old, while the oldest is less than 26 years old. So it could easily be over 20 years until they are retired. A lot depends on fuel prices, as older jets are all retired. It may be sooner if fuel prices spike.


Can't they just change engines??

BTW, engine lifespan is determined more by air time, but the airframe ages more by take-off/landing cycles (how often the plane goes from pressurised to non-presurised). Widebodies have fewer such cycles, as they fly longer routes.
If Trump where half as smart as he thinks he is, he'd be twice as smart as he really is.
October 25th, 2013 at 5:16:34 AM permalink
Pacomartin
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
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Quote: Nareed
Can't they just change engines??


It is more than just new engines. The plane uses four engines instead of two. It fundamentally is heavier. Northwest Airlines (now bought out by Delta) builds a long distance hub in Detroit focused on 16 Boeing 747's. They have an entire maintenance facility for these planes, and qualified pilots.

The First Flight of these 16 jets are between 29-04-1988 and 11-04-2002

Detroit Destinations
Beijing–Capital, Manila, Nagoya–Centrair,Seoul–Incheon, Shanghai–Pudong, Tokyo–Narita,
Amsterdam, Frankfurt, London–Heathrow, Paris–Charles de Gaulle, Rome–Fiumicino,
São Paulo–Guarulhos,

At some point the fuel cost of a four engine jet vs the replacement cost of twin engine jets will be overwhelming. But they have just been completely rnovated so it is going to be a long time.
October 25th, 2013 at 6:48:21 AM permalink
Nareed
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
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Quote: Pacomartin
It is more than just new engines. The plane uses four engines instead of two. It fundamentally is heavier.


Sure. But new engines are more efficient than older ones. Combined with a lower take-off/landing cycle, that could keep the 747s airborn for decades yet.
If Trump where half as smart as he thinks he is, he'd be twice as smart as he really is.
October 25th, 2013 at 7:15:48 AM permalink
Pacomartin
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
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Quote: Nareed
Sure. But new engines are more efficient than older ones. Combined with a lower take-off/landing cycle, that could keep the 747s airborn for decades yet.


Perhaps I need to clarify. I think it is quite possible that those airframes will remain flying for some time. It's just that they won't keep them on a U.S. Carrier for much longer. The oldest Boeing jets in Delta's fleet are:
Boeing 747-451 First Flight 29-04-1988
Boeing 757-232 First Flight 10-01-1986
They have a small fleet of 14 DC-9's from the 1970's, that they are flying somewhere,

It is very rare now for US carriers to fly an airframe to it's end of life. They usually trade up for more fuel efficient models, and will probably sell the old jets to an Asian airliner who can make better use out of them.
October 25th, 2013 at 1:33:44 PM permalink
Nareed
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
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Quote: Pacomartin
Perhaps I need to clarify. I think it is quite possible that those airframes will remain flying for some time. It's just that they won't keep them on a U.S. Carrier for much longer.


Ok. Do you figure they will be replaced with 767-777-787 when the time comes?

An aging airframe is a dangerous thing. Remember the rash of fuselage ruptures in the 80s? That was really bad, even if loss of life was relatively small. Engines can be replaced and/or refurbished to a better condition. the airframe is more fickle than that. I do worry when I see a DC-9 (or the equivalent Boeing model after Boeing had Douglass for dinner). Almost as much as I worry when I think "What happens when the computers on a modern fly-by-wire plane crash?" (Hint: a lot still depends on the pilots).
If Trump where half as smart as he thinks he is, he'd be twice as smart as he really is.
October 25th, 2013 at 2:21:37 PM permalink
Pacomartin
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 636
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Quote: Nareed
Ok. Do you figure they will be replaced with 767-777-787 when the time comes?


I think that they are only going to make another fifty 767's. But yes, they tend to replace jets for US carriers and sell them to foreign airlines. It may be that the 747 is not easy to sell, as they are expensive to operate.

Usually it is fuel efficiency that makes you retire a jet, but many passengers don't want to fly on a 30 year old jet. They will book a different airline. So marketing is a factor.

Now some of the 747's are only 11 years old. So it matters when you want to shut down the maintenance facility.
October 25th, 2013 at 2:45:30 PM permalink
Nareed
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
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Quote: Pacomartin
I think that they are only going to make another fifty 767's. But yes, they tend to replace jets for US carriers and sell them to foreign airlines. It may be that the 747 is not easy to sell, as they are expensive to operate.


They make wonderful cargo planes. I'd sound out FedEx and UPS about it. FedEx does not mind operating old, expensive planes. I've seen some of their old DC-10s here and there waiting at airports in Monterrey, Mex City and Guadalajara. They use a big, side cargo door. The 747 re-configured for cargo can have a large clamshell door in the front.

The advantage in cargo, too, is that flight times can be longer. I mean, a one or two hour difference doesn't make much difference. So they can cruise on three engines, for instance, to save fuel (I think this is common practice on large military aircraft like the C-17 and the Hercules, I've heard about it regarding tankers, too).
If Trump where half as smart as he thinks he is, he'd be twice as smart as he really is.
October 26th, 2013 at 1:36:12 AM permalink
Pacomartin
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
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Quote: Nareed
They make wonderful cargo planes.


They are still producing 747's as cargo planes. But the economics is totally different. You are carrying much more weight, and cargo is worth far more money than passengers.

Anyway, I don't think a US carrier is flying any planes over 30 years old (with the exception of Delta's fleet of 14 DC-9's).

Allegiant Airlines (low cost from Vegas) has an old fleet. They have a fleet of Airbus A320 from 8.8 Years to 13.5 Years that they fly to Hawaii. But their McDonald Douglas planes are all over 20 years old.
October 28th, 2013 at 8:29:18 AM permalink
Nareed
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
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Quote: Pacomartin
But their McDonald Douglas planes are all over 20 years old.


McDonell Douglas, not McDonald :)

Anyway, it was taken over by Boeing, which kept some of the older DC models in production under B-7something monikers, but not many of them.
If Trump where half as smart as he thinks he is, he'd be twice as smart as he really is.
October 28th, 2013 at 10:54:13 AM permalink
Pacomartin
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 636
Posts: 7249
A Yahoo article points out that with 32 deaths on the Costa Concordia people are getting increasingly worried about cruise ships. The biggest ones are now carrying 8000 to 9000 people between crew and passengers.

If 19 suicide terrorists killed 3000 people in 911, there is a question of what two suicide pilots can kill with an underwater craft.




Most people think that a ship attack by a torpedo or a missile is done by ramming and the damage looks like this photo

The damage is extensive, but it kills only people in the immediate area. The ship slowly fills with water but allows plenty of time for evacuation.

In reality the most efficient way to sink a ship is to explode underneath the hull. You blow out all the water under the hull, and the ship cracks in two because it is not supported by water except on the ends. This ships the sink very rapidly giving no time to abandon ship in lifeboats.

These new commercial watercraft that can submerge allows suicide bombers to do what only sophisticated torpedos could do in the past. They can sail under a ship and create a giant bubble which could crack the ship's hull.

Photo of a ship with torpedo exploding under the hull. The explosive only affects the water under the ship


The hull rupture results when the bubble under the ship bursts
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