A similar trend occurred with the MD-11. Only a hundred or so frames exist, the last one built in 2000. As a passenger airplane, it was not great: high deck angle in cruise, noise, and of course poor fuel burn compared to projections. But for freight, its nearest competitor is the 77F. A few years ago when I was looking into this, a used MD11 frame would go for around $3mn. With a D-check you could have it flying again for an all-in cost of maybe $10-$15mn and it would last another 10 years. The 77F lists for around $200mn. Thus, even though the M11F is far less efficient than the 77F, it would be 10 or more years before the fuel costs would make up the difference in initial outlay. This is why the MD-11s are still flying.
Passengers prefer new planes, but cargo doesn't complain!
The efficiency of modern planes is only worth the price if you fly them constantly.
Turning this around, though, we should see even more older planes being kept around once rates rise significantly.
(The winner of that competition was the C-5 Galaxy.)
So all built-as-freighter models retain the short-deck with short hump, right up until the latest 747-8F being built today. Even though, counter intuitively, the long hump has less drag.
That's also why retired long-hump passenger versions are less valued for conversion to freighters. There is no approved type mod to hack off the long hump and its structure.
Not directly related but readers may be interested in the Area Rule. This is more aimed at trans and super sonic flight so I don't think that applicable to the 747. Basically the whole area cross sections down the length of the plane needs to be smooth so when it's punching a hole in the air the compression ( volume displacement ) around it is even and this reduces drag. The generally do this by narrowing the fuselage at the places the wings and external engines are.
The Blackburn Buccaneer is a good example. https://modelingmadness.com/review/viet/gb/cjabuc2b.jpg
This looks like a decent starting point,
Does that translate into less lift?
What Wendover describes are cargo planes serving hubs, those often only fly 1-2 returns a day, so having a very cheap plane with higher consumption is worth it (e.g. A300).
Once they have to retire 747 and A340 airlines din't really know what to do in those airports. New hot and high versions of the twin engines are being studied, but they have failed to meet the expectations previously.
A question, for anyone who knows about these things: when an engine is being ferried like this, are the fan and compressors locked in place, or allowed to spin in the airflow? I would have thought that locking them would impose unnecessary loads on those parts and create extra drag and turbulence, while allowing them to rotate would require lubrication?
> 747 CMCA – This "Cruise Missile Carrier Aircraft" variant was considered by the U.S. Air Force during the development of the B-1 Lancer strategic bomber. It would have been equipped with 50 to 100 AGM-86 ALCM cruise missiles on rotary launchers. This plan was abandoned in favor of more conventional strategic bombers.
In all cases, the engine isn't working. Think of it more like putting an engine on your car roof rack.
Given the rest of the Air Force fleet I can't see that a 747 with one bomb would the that useful, but it's one more airframe I suppose. It would also need to be fitted with the arming and release mechanisms so quite a lot of additional work involved there too.
I would be surprised if Boeing considered or purposely designed in some long range bomber capabilities into the 747. Maybe though as part of the sales pitch to countries that would like to add military capability in a low key sort of way...
The plane began service as a passenger plane for Japan Air in the 90s. I better its safer than most modern planes with those guys living up there taking care of her.
Fun fact: NCR flight 102 had the loadmaster on board, but is probably one of the most spectacular caught on camera crashes of a 747. (It's the one where it looks like it falls out of the sky on take-off) It was also most likely the loadmasters fault.
>"have a somewhat higher accident rate than passenger aircraft,"
"According to Memphis newspaper The Commercial Appeal, pilots flying for FedEx earn closer to $234,000 a year ON AVERAGE -- 90% more, to carry boxes from Point A to Point B, than the folks flying actual human passengers make.
"Salaries at Delta Air Lines Inc range from an average of $42,495 to $144,385 a year. Delta Air Lines Inc employees with the job title Airline Captain make the most with an average annual salary of $188,104
- CDR Tom "Stinger" Jardian, Top Gun
I believe this is wrong; cargo pilots typically have higher comp than passenger transport pilots, even within type.
Not likely. Planes don't usually crash from maintenance neglect. We are at a point where it's multiple simultaneous failures caused by something unforseen, not lazy maintenance.
You can cut a small corner every single day and it probably won't matter, until that one time when some other upset condition occurs and suddenly you're seriously injured. An implementation of this has made a huge difference in the overall safety record.
That is some audacious vertical integration!
The article literally has nothing to do with Flexport... I wonder why YC companies constantly shilled around here?
SE Asia and Japan, mostly. The 747 was never intended for domestic US routes - Pan Am, the launch customer, only had international routes.
That isn't relevant or news regarding the A380. The A380 was designed to connect hubs in a hub and spoke model. Thus they were designed expecting to operate under the 10 flights a day scenario. Yet, if airlines bet on point-to-point services that have a limited demand then there goes the demand for higher-capacity planes.
No, the complete opposite is true. Boarding and deplaning are far more efficient with twin aisles. The other features you mention are correct, however. Lower operating expense, more flexibility of routes, are why smaller twins are more successful while the VLA are being relegated to the cargo market.
Most of the big modern airports were built with massive expansion in mind. Well outside the city centers and with large land areas that they already own (and so won't be developed).
There should be a test and certification for plane passengers, where people who can demonstrate proficiency in boarding/deboarding are given priority over everyone else, so they don't have to wait for the slow people.
This already exists, it's called ability to pay for business/first class. Increasingly, at least in America, seats near the front are getting more expensive too.
I'm thinking of a system where people who have demonstrated an ability to very quickly stow a suitcase in the overhead compartment and get in their seat and out of the aisle, and then stand up, grab their suitcase, and start walking down the aisle, and do this in formation, are given special status and put in a special part of the plane as a reward for their efficiency. This would probably improve the process overall, as well as encourage people to stop screwing around so times improve overall. Maybe they should even have training classes for this.
This reminds me of the difference between car drivers: some of them can jump in the driver's seat and pull out in a few seconds, and others take 5 minutes doing--I have no clue what--before they can start driving (and I don't mean people plotting directions with GPS either, I saw plenty of this behavior long before people had smartphones or GPS). That latter group is probably the same group of people who make airplane boarding/deboarding so agonizingly slow.
(The half-dozen other Indian flights were all 737/A320s)
Compare with the never gets any respect 737, at over 10,000 units built.
My first ever experience with business class was when I booked a Melbourne to Sydney flight and it happened to be on a plane that was doing Mel-Syd-LA in a 747. We were one of the few passengers doing just the Mel-Syd leg so we all got bumped up to business class for the 90 minute flight.
And you can get a lot of parcels on a plane like the 747F. Amortised by unit the emission numbers are in fact very good. It's almost certain that your last fast food run or uber trip used much more gasoline than it took to get your last parcel all the way from China.
But why let the facts get in the way of some good old righteous outrage!
To avoid going over the average 2C temperature rise we are going to need to cut all these emissions. Air transport emissions will become a hard nutt to crack.
I'd focus on air transport last, you need to pick your battles ;)
Telling people to "just don't click the 1-day shipping option" is like saying "just ride the bus" it's not that simple and while it's not straight up tone deaf it's a far cry from perfect pitch.
* get a smaller car, one that uses less gas and pollutes less
* share a ride
* ride the bus, take a train/tram/trolley/ferry/etc.
* ride a bike, e-bike, scooter, motorcycle
* and another million improvements or alternatives
Meanwhile, if I'm Romania and I want to order something from Japan, as an individual or company, I either order by plane, in which case it probably arrives in a few days, or I wait a few months.
If I want to fly over there, my only realistic option is flying...
The gap between "must have" and "nice to have" is much, much higher between land transport and air transport.
Noone is going to "severely limit" air transport due to its emissions. Doubling the cost of oil, maybe, but not emissions.
Overall still a win for the environment, but not as much of one as people would want.
If no one does it (and many other radical changes), we will have 4+°C warming and a major global catastrophe. I'm not optimistic, but that's what should be done.
what might make a huge positive difference for the environment would be rolling out policies to help reduce population growth (or the absolute population count) of people such as myself with relatively affluent polluting lifestyles, but we might have to wait until there is mass suffering right here right now due to environment reasons across many countries with political power before there is substantial change.
Yes, but companies have absolute control over what mode of transport is used to do shipping, not consumers. Demand is good for the economy, so you do not want to quash it. You DO want companies to satisfy demand responsibly.
In the maritime trade industry, we can absolutely fuel global shipping 100% on GHG emission-free renewables using H2 fuel cells. The tide is starting to turn, albeit a little too slow for my taste. Granted, the challenge is exponentially harder for extreme high power density kWh consumers like aircraft. Ships are very high kWh consumers, but don't have the power density of aircraft, so much lower density/higher weight fuels and engines can be employed that makes the problem significantly easier to solve.
...Also, Thanos, please count me among one of your childless population growth inhibitors. I don't dissagree with you there.
Biofuels still release GHG's (2), not just carbon), and it's arguable how much is recovered. The Nitrogen released still contribute to acid rain. Why go through this messy hassle and guessing game when we already have a perfectly environmentally clean cycle of breaking down H20 into H and O2 via renewables, then recombining the H with free O2 in fuel cells to produce e- and exhaust only water?
1. International Code for Construction and Equipment of Ships Carrying Liquefied Gases (http://www.imo.org/en/OurWork/Environment/PollutionPreventio...)
From someone who works in the sector on a daily basis, H2 production from offshore wind powered electrolosis is (and will continue to be) growing to meet increasing demand.
The energy to perform electrolosys comes from renewables like wind and solar, the efficiency of which (primarilly concerning the fully burdoned CAPEX/OPEX of renewable power plant to shipboard fuel cost - i.e. tnhe "cost at the pump") is certainly competitive with diesel fuel prices when you factor in efficiency gains of fuel cells over diesel engines over the full range of power loading. Not too mention the indirect envoronmental gains cost avoidance engine integrators realize by not having to buy additional pollution abatement systems (e.g. EGRs, Scrubbers, SCRs, etc).
It's really a no brainer.
The globe isn’t warming as much as you think.
i suspect air freight has a relatively minor impact compared to other sources of emissions. e.g. for energy estimates (not emission estimates), the without hot air book estimates that passenger plane flights burn far more energy per capita per year than the energy used to transport "stuff": https://www.withouthotair.com/c18/page_103.shtml
it'd be helpful if there was a global (or pseudo-global) tax on carbon so that climate impact could be priced in and could have greater influence in commercial / economic / government decisions, but alas.