Friday, February 13, 2015

Pondering The 747-8 After Five years Flying.

The 747-8i rushed into the Jumbo Breach in 2010 and sponged away orders from the A-380 in both the freight and passenger categories. It has booked 119 for both types and with  68 of its number in freight and 51 for passengers. Compare that with Airbus A-380 having a five year lead over Boeing going big. They started building in 2005 on the A380 and have booked about 317 of the giants making almost 2/3rds the order book at this time. Boeing has delivered 84 out of 119 ordered or 70%.
Boeing shows about 35 remain on the order book. Below is the link on the brief history of the 747-8 since 2010.

Flashback Friday: 5th Anniversary of First Boeing 747-8 Flight


Airways News quotes:

"Specifications and Performance
The Boeing 747-8 is the world’s longest commercial airliner, with a length of 250 feet, 2 inches (73.3 m) and a wingspan of 224 feet, 7 inches (68.5 m). The full payload of the -8F is 295,800 pounds (134,000 kg), while the -8I can seat 467 passengers in a three-class layout or 605 in a single class, which no airline has opted for to date.  At their current MTOW of 987,000 pounds (448,000 kg), a -8F can fly 4,390 nautical miles (8,130 km), while the -8I can cover 8,000 nautical miles (14,800 km), both at a cruising speed of Mach 0.855 (570 mph or 917 kmph).  Furthermore, each GEnx-2B67 engine produces 66,500 pounds (296 kiloNewtons) of thrust.
Six months after the EIS of the 747-8F, Boeing reported a 1 percent reduction in fuel burn over the design projection, while delivering a 16 percent lower ton-mile operating cost than the -400F with more range.  The -8I carries 51 more passengers and provides 26% more cargo volume than the -400.  The 747-8 has identical lengths on the cargo and passenger versions, the key difference being the longer upper deck on the latter.  Moreover, Boeing foresees -8I conversion to cargo in the future.  Furthermore, the -8I offers a 30 percent noise reduction, improved fuel efficiency of 16 percent, and 13 percent lower seat-mile, in comparison to the -400.
The 747-8 passenger cabin incorporates interior designs from the 787, such as a more spacious entrance and curved overhead bins.  In addition, it uses windows similar to those of the 777 that are 8 percent larger than those of the -400.  Finally, it incorporates the popular LED mood lighting to improve the passenger experience."

The future for the 787-8 is now. It has had five years as an Airbus A380 alternative and now Airbus has run this dog as far as it can. Boeing needs to refocus the worth of the 787-8 and no longer shadow the A380. It can haul almost a battalion of military. Three of its type would land the regiment. Six goes the equipment and supplies. All the military needs is an enormous landing strip in place. Not practical until portable landing strip frames are invented for a tarmac. It has to land and  hold a million pounds on a hot day. 

Moving back to the topic of passenger service requires more innovation, capturing the imagination of paying passengers. The A380 has captured the imagination of airlines, but once again that dog doesn't hunt as much as it did back in 2006. The 747-8 must exceed passenger expectation in travel, price and amenities. The travel becomes part of the vacation itself as if in cruise ship fashion. The passenger must associate how nifty the 747-8 has become over anything else the air. Where today, The word "efficiency" translates into small spaces for the passenger.  

The 787-8 must now innovate inside the hull if it is to survive. Using  new concepts unique to the 747-8 configuration. Flying is a social event, it is a private indulgence, and most of all it is a 747 experience all coming from what a 747 has inside. The metrics for the 747-8i has been achieved from engineering and innovative flying upgrades. However, this next round for the 747 is reserved for a proprietary experience for the passenger. Boeing must set the seat count to no more than 450 consenting passengers. In that space is should reek of Boeing innovation exclusive only to the 747-8. This is the only way the 747-8i will survive, as a passenger carrier, using a proprietary suite of excellence. The goal should set the standard, "I want to fly on a 747-8i".

The 777X is being built for a packed house. The 747-8ix should be built for an exclusive house.