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Boeing 747 resurgence

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Good read.  I still wonder if the passenger queen, or something much like it, will come back.  It is one of the few planes that has a mystique about flying on it.

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Thanks for the interesting article. Now find one that says their going to keep the Maddog flying another decade and increase my joy even more.😀

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That is exactly what the original design was, Boeing saw the 747 as a Freighter and could also be used for passenger service for a short term solution until they developed new passenger aircraft, and the 747 passenger aircraft could be converted to freighters. The fact that it became so popular as a passenger aircraft came as a surprise.

Reason for the hub was so the flight deck goes above and freight goes below through the nose, this design has no value as a passenger aircraft, it was designed to be a freighter. 

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The big UPS order was a pleasant surprise for the -8F.  I love the 747 series, and I'm glad they will still be flying for quite a while.  Unfortunately, as the article points out, a spike in fuel prices could change the trend.

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17 hours ago, Luis_KMIA said:

The big UPS order was a pleasant surprise for the -8F.  I love the 747 series, and I'm glad they will still be flying for quite a while.  Unfortunately, as the article points out, a spike in fuel prices could change the trend.

Another big 747 fan here - I've been lucky that one of my well travelled routes (LGW to MCO) is still flown by 747s but I will miss that lovely upper deck cabin when Virgin moves to A350s on the route within the next few years. 

With regard to freighter 747s, I hope enough orders will trickle through to enable the 747-8F to remain in production but I fear Boeing's own 777F, with its lower purchase cost and superior economics while still carrying a very good payload over a long range, will continue to grab many orders that might otherwise have gone the way of the 747. I agree that rising oil prices, trade wars or an economic slump (all of which seem increasingly likely in this turbulent world political climate) could sadly spell the end for the venerable 747.

Bill

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The problem with orders for the 747-8F is the fact that they have surplus 747-400 sitting in the desert. If you were a cargo op would you purchase brand new 747-8F for $400 million each or would you try and negotiate 2 or 3 converted 747-400's for around the same price?

If it wasn't for all of those surplus 747-400 the 747-8F would have a heftier order book.

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4 hours ago, Matthew Kane said:

The problem with orders for the 747-8F is the fact that they have surplus 747-400 sitting in the desert. If you were a cargo op would you purchase brand new 747-8F for $400 million each or would you try and negotiate 2 or 3 converted 747-400's for around the same price?

If it wasn't for all of those surplus 747-400 the 747-8F would have a heftier order book.

True, but as the article points out, the supply of airworthy surplus 747-400 aircraft suitable for freighter conversion is rapidly being exhausted. Many are already spoken for and under contract.

Not all of the 744s in various aircraft boneyards are good candidates for conversion. Some are extremely high-time airframes, which will probably be parted out and scrapped.

But... oil prices are on a definite upward trend, which could change the equation in coming months if the price of crude goes back to $100 per barrel again.

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