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4 engines for the 777....

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Hi guys,I'm not saying this as an idea that would make the 777 better (I know that it wouldn't anyway...), but if Boeing hadn't come up with the idea of teaming up with the 3 big engine manufacturers (PW, GE & RR) and making the huge 777 engines (the GE-90 being the biggest) in order to just use 2 huge engines with ETOPS rules.... Then Boeing would've designed the 777 with 4 747/767 style engines instead. I'm saying this as a matter of physics & logic, not as an idea.... In other words they saw that 2 huge fuel efficient engines would be better than 3 or 4 767 style engines, right?Just a thought....Asim Daffa :-kewlVP, Fleet - Senior First Officerwww.sv-virtual.com

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Engine design often lags behind that of the airframe. Take the 747-100 for example. Pratt and Whitney had a hellish time making the engine both reliable and powerful enough for Boeing's needs. The design of the aircraft was changed a couple of times to trim down on weight because the engines just couldn't handle it.Fast forward to the late 70's, early 80's. Fuel prices are high, and engines are starting to get very powerful. It now looks like 3 engines can do the work of four (Less maintenance and fuel costs, too). This is why the DC-10 and L-1011 were introduced at roughly the same time. This is also the time when the 747-SP was introduced. Originally, Boeing engineers had planned for the SP to have three engines, 2 wing mounted, one engine mounted with an S-duct (similar to the 727 and 1011). However, that idea was scrapped.Now, in the late 80s, Boeing needs to compete with Airbus. They've introduced the A300, an aircraft perfect for "long, thin routes". As well, they're down to two engines. At this point, the only reason they are down to twinjets is because the engines are refined to the point where they are powerful and reliable enough to perform to ETOPS specs. So, Boeing introduces the 767 (we'll leave the 757 out for now). The 767 is a long range twinjet, perfect for long hops. Popular with the passengers because it's new and comfortable, and popular with airlines because rather than worrying about 4 engines, they only have two on their mind. Today, the 767 is used on more hops across the Atlantic than all other aircraft types combined!Anyway, to get back to your point, yes, the fewer engines, the more benefits. Generally, 1 powerful engine burns less fuel than two less powerful ones, and there is a smaller initial cost to purchase the engines (when building aircraft, the engines are installed last because they are the single most expensive component on the aircraft, and they don't want them to be damaged in construction!). As well, lifetime maintenance costs are lowered, and replacement parts redundancy is reduced. Fewer engines=Smaller costs for airlinesEdit: Forgot to close the bold bracket!

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Ironically, the only reason Airbus stuck 4 engines onto the A340 was because of passenger concern over having only 2 for long, trans-oceaic flights. The A340 does have a higher lifting capacity over the A330, which is almost exactly the same airframe, but the A330 is so much more cost effective.

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There was some guy who did an edit of a regular Air France 777-200 and used PhotoShop to make it look like a 4-engine. I looked really good. Too bad I can't find it at the moment!

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Powerplants have pretty much been the limiting factors in aircraft development. After all, the fuselage is really just an aluminum barrel and is limited only by the size of the fans driving it. And yes, 2 is better than four. Fewer spare parts, less gas, etc. etc. Does anyone know if the Airbus 380 is going to use four of the large 777 engines?

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