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jt233

Max range for 747-400D

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Posted (edited)

Hello, I am curious if anyone knows what the max range is for the 747-400 Domestic when flying with very few pax? I was thinking of using this plane in P3D to simulate having my own private 747 so most of the flights I would make with it would be very light on payload weight and wonder what's the max distance I can get out of it is.

 

Thanks

Edited by jt233

Jason Thiers

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Posted (edited)

Boeing list the 747-400's range as 7,285 nautical miles, this being literally how far it can go in a straight line disregarding any rules or stuff like that, and since winglets add about five-ten percent to the range of an aeroplane, you can do the maths to come to a figure of around about 730 miles less for a 400D, giving it a range of around 6,557 nautical miles.

However, taking all those rules about how proper IFR flights are to be conducted into account, how far it could go in practical terms would differ from what it could manage on a commercial flight if you were operating it as a private jet, since there are different legal minimum fuel quantity requirements for private and commercial flights. It would also to some extent depend on the avionics fitted, i.e. you need some fairly fancy stuff on board in order to cross the polar regions. Fuel-wise, some of the following criteria are subject to change depending on the geographic location of the flight, but generally speaking, it's going to be along these lines:

The fuel requirements for a commercial flight are:

Taxi fuel, Trip fuel (to reach destination), Contingency fuel (whichever is the higher value between either five percent of your trip fuel, or five minutes of flight in a holding pattern), Alternate fuel (amount of fuel necessary to fly a missed and to reach an alternate), Final reserve fuel (enough for thirty minutes in the hold), Additional fuel (the amount needed to guarantee your ability to reach an alternate destination in the event of an engine failure, or incident which forces you to a lower altitude, such as a pressurisation problem) Discretionary fuel (this of course is not compulsory, but would be taken if the pilot or operator wants it to be carried).

Whereas for a private flight, the fuel requirements would be: 

Enough fuel to reach destination, and then on to your designated alternate, plus forty-five minutes of additional fuel for holds and other contingencies.

So, you need to bear in mind that the 747-400D was never designed to be long-ranged. It was for nipping between the two main Japanese Islands with lots of passengers on board (up to 600), which is why the main operators of 400Ds were All Nippon Airways and Japan Airlines. Thus it doesn't have the extended wingtips and winglets of the standard 747-400 model since it was never flown for a long enough distance to gain the benefits these confer, i.e. on a long flight, winglets add about five-ten percent to the range of a typical airliner. Winglets can be added to a 400D, but presumably you'd then want your 'private' 747-400D to not have the high-density seating a 400D normally has, in which case if you added the winglets to it to improve its range and swapped out the high density seating, it might just as well be a regular 747-400 although it might weigh a bit less at take off without having a full load of passengers if it was configured with private jet-style seating.

But, it's your plane, so there's nothing stopping you imagining any configuration you like. In fact, since it is effectively your aeroplane you would be speccing up, you could even imagine that you'd added the capability for it to refuel in-flight, which is possible for some 747 models, notably the ones which are used as 'Air Force One'. These are apparently never refueled in flight when the President is on board since there is always a small element of risk in flying one aeroplane close to another and transferring fuel, but the crews of Air Force One do maintain proficiency in being able to do it should that prove necessary, so that is in fact one of the few things which isn't as far fetched as the rest of what is depicted in that Air Force One movie with Harrison Ford and Gary Oldman.

Now of course you'd have to have a tanker available to actually be able to refuel in real life, but if you are pretending to be the kind of person who can afford to fly a 747-400D for your own personal convenience, then I'm sure you could afford a KC-135 as well, but  of course in a flight sim you could just go up to the menus and add the fuel in flight in lieu of this.

That's the great thing about flight sims, you can do anything you like with them, which is why I have a donkey puppet who speaks like James Mason as my co-pilot. 🙂

Edited by Chock
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Alan Bradbury

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Posted (edited)

Depends on the below 

payload,

the winds. 

what your takeoff alternate,

en route alternative,

Etps,

commercial and fair weather alternates

Was the flightplan run before the winds updated in the system

Do you have any mels

Do you have any dmi

And then....as for the crew... 

Are they acclimatised 

Are they augmented 

Is there 2,3 or 4 crew... 

 

You see this dispatching stuff ain't as easy as the twitch streamers and 22 year old graduates with their avation management 2:1s from City or West London think. 

The amount of times I said to a graduate 'oh it will get there son, but do you want to leave the bags or the punters behind' 

 

Edited by tooting
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Posted (edited)

Takeoff al

1 hour ago, tooting said:

what your takeoff alternate,

Why? Isn't this easily covered by e.g. the trip fuel since you don't need it anymore?

Edited by FDEdev

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Posted (edited)

Thanks for the detailed response. From what it sounds like your saying the plane is capable of fairly long ranges when running at light payload weights. For the most part, I wouldn't use it for flights longer than 5,000NM and most of my flights are usually in the 3,000-4,000 range so it should be doable in the sim even if regulations would prevent it in real life. I guess I could just use the -400 but for some reason, I really like the look of the shorter wings of D. 

Edited by n4gix
Deleted excessive quote. Again!

Jason Thiers

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6 hours ago, Chock said:

The fuel requirements for a commercial flight are:

Taxi fuel, Trip fuel (to reach destination), Contingency fuel (whichever is the higher value between either five percent of your trip fuel, or five minutes of flight in a holding pattern), Alternate fuel (amount of fuel necessary to fly a missed and to reach an alternate), Final reserve fuel (enough for thirty minutes in the hold), Additional fuel (the amount needed to guarantee your ability to reach an alternate destination in the event of an engine failure, or incident which forces you to a lower altitude, such as a pressurisation problem) Discretionary fuel (this of course is not compulsory, but would be taken if the pilot or operator wants it to be carried).

Depends on the country. In the United States, for a domestic flight, it's taxi fuel, trip fuel, fuel to the alternate if one is required, 45 minutes holding fuel, and a final reserve of 45 minutes. For a flag flight, it's taxi fuel, trip fuel, 10% trip time, fuel to the alternate, and holding fuel for I think 30 minutes if I remember this correctly.

6 hours ago, Chock said:

So, you need to bear in mind that the 747-400D was never designed to be long-ranged. It was for nipping between the two main Japanese Islands with lots of passengers on board (up to 600), which is why the main operators of 400Ds were All Nippon Airways and Japan Airlines.

Not only were they the main operators of the -400D, I'm pretty sure they were the ONLY operators of the -400D.

1 hour ago, jt233 said:

Thanks for the detailed response. From what it sounds like your saying the plane is capable of fairly long ranges when running at light payload weights. For the most part, I wouldn't use it for flights longer than 5,000NM and most of my flights are usually in the 3,000-4,000 range so it should be doable in the sim even if regulations would prevent it in real life. I guess I could just use the -400 but for some reason, I really like the look of the shorter wings of D. 

Looking at the PMDG Boeing 747-400 and the -400D, it looks like they both have the same fuel capacity, so it could definitely fly fairly far. In fact, from what I recall, it was possible to convert a -400D into a standard -400 by adding the wingtip extensions and the winglets. I can't locate any instance when either ANA or JAL actually did this, though they have accomplished the reverse before.


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10 hours ago, Chock said:

Boeing list the 747-400's range as 7,285 nautical miles, this being literally how far it can go in a straight line disregarding any rules or stuff like that, and since winglets add about five-ten percent to the range of an aeroplane, you can do the maths to come to a figure of around about 730 miles less for a 400D, giving it a range of around 6,557 nautical miles.

However, taking all those rules about how proper IFR flights are to be conducted into account, how far it could go in practical terms would differ from what it could manage on a commercial flight if you were operating it as a private jet, since there are different legal minimum fuel quantity requirements for private and commercial flights. It would also to some extent depend on the avionics fitted, i.e. you need some fairly fancy stuff on board in order to cross the polar regions. Fuel-wise, some of the following criteria are subject to change depending on the geographic location of the flight, but generally speaking, it's going to be along these lines:

The fuel requirements for a commercial flight are:

Taxi fuel, Trip fuel (to reach destination), Contingency fuel (whichever is the higher value between either five percent of your trip fuel, or five minutes of flight in a holding pattern), Alternate fuel (amount of fuel necessary to fly a missed and to reach an alternate), Final reserve fuel (enough for thirty minutes in the hold), Additional fuel (the amount needed to guarantee your ability to reach an alternate destination in the event of an engine failure, or incident which forces you to a lower altitude, such as a pressurisation problem) Discretionary fuel (this of course is not compulsory, but would be taken if the pilot or operator wants it to be carried).

Whereas for a private flight, the fuel requirements would be: 

Enough fuel to reach destination, and then on to your designated alternate, plus forty-five minutes of additional fuel for holds and other contingencies.

So, you need to bear in mind that the 747-400D was never designed to be long-ranged. It was for nipping between the two main Japanese Islands with lots of passengers on board (up to 600), which is why the main operators of 400Ds were All Nippon Airways and Japan Airlines. Thus it doesn't have the extended wingtips and winglets of the standard 747-400 model since it was never flown for a long enough distance to gain the benefits these confer, i.e. on a long flight, winglets add about five-ten percent to the range of a typical airliner. Winglets can be added to a 400D, but presumably you'd then want your 'private' 747-400D to not have the high-density seating a 400D normally has, in which case if you added the winglets to it to improve its range and swapped out the high density seating, it might just as well be a regular 747-400 although it might weigh a bit less at take off without having a full load of passengers if it was configured with private jet-style seating.

But, it's your plane, so there's nothing stopping you imagining any configuration you like. In fact, since it is effectively your aeroplane you would be speccing up, you could even imagine that you'd added the capability for it to refuel in-flight, which is possible for some 747 models, notably the ones which are used as 'Air Force One'. These are apparently never refueled in flight when the President is on board since there is always a small element of risk in flying one aeroplane close to another and transferring fuel, but the crews of Air Force One do maintain proficiency in being able to do it should that prove necessary, so that is in fact one of the few things which isn't as far fetched as the rest of what is depicted in that Air Force One movie with Harrison Ford and Gary Oldman.

Now of course you'd have to have a tanker available to actually be able to refuel in real life, but if you are pretending to be the kind of person who can afford to fly a 747-400D for your own personal convenience, then I'm sure you could afford a KC-135 as well, but  of course in a flight sim you could just go up to the menus and add the fuel in flight in lieu of this.

That's the great thing about flight sims, you can do anything you like with them, which is why I have a donkey puppet who speaks like James Mason as my co-pilot. 🙂

 AF 1 has been refueled with the President on board.

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In addition to not having winglets the 400D also had a MTOW restriction of 278,279 KG to help save the wear and tear of the frequent cycles that type of operation had.  This effectively limited the range to around 4400 NM with a low payload, and only around 900 NM at MZFW.  Of course, you could get a virtual waiver and use the normal MTOW values to get the range you’re looking for.  Also keep in mind that the published range values are usually based on a normal passenger load, so if you’re operating in at light loads the range will be higher than those values, although it’s sometimes offset by the lavish interiors some of these private 747s have. 

 

 


Brian W

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