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  #1  
Old 26 October 2016, 09:40 PM
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Airplane KLM will stop flying the 747 to St. Maarten, last flight Oct 28th 2016

For many years (Ed), KLM has been flying the 747 to St Maartenís Princess Juliana Airport (SXM). The airportís runway is known for its proximity to the beach, and is one of the most famous spot for plane watching. If you are on the beach, planes will literally fly right over your head before landing. Itís a sight to behold, and a double decker Boeing 747 with four engines just make it that much cooler.

http://www.sxm-talks.com/local-news/...oct-28th-2016/
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Old 26 October 2016, 09:55 PM
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I know this article is from a site specifically about SXM, but isn't KLM phasing out the 747 altogether fairly soon? I'm fairly certain Air France has already retired the last of theirs.
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Old 26 October 2016, 10:03 PM
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Yeah. Someone in the comments mentioned it. I think they're phasing them out in favor of A330's.

~Psihala
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  #4  
Old 26 October 2016, 10:34 PM
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Airplane

IMO, we're witnessing the sunset of the 747's passenger career. I don't think it will be much longer before the passenger use of the aircraft will be vary rare.

You'll still see them in use for cargo for a while. They're big, and can economically carry a lot of weight and handle bulky cargo. With a lot of spare parts sitting in the desert, they'll be economical for cargo duty for a while yet.
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Old 26 October 2016, 10:53 PM
jimmy101_again jimmy101_again is offline
 
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Pretty much all significant airlines are phasing out the 747. Look at it this way, when the 747 was designed and launched this is what cars looked like:


BTW, annoying use of "literally" in the press report.
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Old 26 October 2016, 11:07 PM
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Originally Posted by DrRocket View Post
IMO, we're witnessing the sunset of the 747's passenger career. I don't think it will be much longer before the passenger use of the aircraft will be vary rare.
In the US United and Delta still fly them, but IIRC both have plans to phase them out over the next few years. British Airways and Lufthansa still have a bunch of them. BA is, I believe, replacing them with A380s. I wouldn't be surprised it Lufthansa ends up being the last passenger airline flying the 747, if only because they're one of the very few to actually buy the 747-8.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jimmy101_again View Post
Look at it this way, when the 747 was designed and launched this is what cars looked like:
You could say the same thing about the 737 though, and Boeing is still selling plenty of those.
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Old 26 October 2016, 11:13 PM
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I'm not sure what the year of introduction has to do with anything. If it did, the airlines should just retire the 737 (introduced in 1968), because, gosh, look what cars looked like back then.

A new 747-8 isn't as fuel efficient as the planes replacing it to be sure, but it would still vastly out-perform a introductory model 747-100.

~Psihala
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  #8  
Old 27 October 2016, 12:03 AM
jimmy101_again jimmy101_again is offline
 
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Originally Posted by Psihala View Post
I'm not sure what the year of introduction has to do with anything. If it did, the airlines should just retire the 737 (introduced in 1968), because, gosh, look what cars looked like back then.

A new 747-8 isn't as fuel efficient as the planes replacing it to be sure, but it would still vastly out-perform a introductory model 747-100.

~Psihala
Except the air-frame was designed by the same people that did the 1970 dart.

Any plane that has been in service for a while, regardless of when it was actually designed, eventually reaches the end of its useful life. As a particular aircraft ages out in service you generally take advantage of the nearly 50 years of air craft design progress when you replace it.

The time interval between the introduction of the first commercial jet airliner and the introduction of the 747 is about one fourth the time interval from the introduction of the 747 to today. Basically the original 747 is to jet airliners what a 1930's car is to today's cars. (Ignoring any updates in the design, which were no doubt numerous.)

The de Havilland Comet went into use in 1949 but was withdrawn because it kept crashing. The 707 and DC-8 were introduced a decade later in 1958. DC-8 to 747 (introduced in 1970) was 12 years. 747 to today is 46 years.

I am not an aircraft designer but I suspect the 737 that is used today has relatively little to do with the design from the 60's except for its basic size. The wings and tail are much different designs than what the engineers in the 60's came up with. So gosh, it isn't the same design as the original and the original really was designed by 60's era car designers versus 90's+ car designers for the current aircraft. The engines are separated by multiple generations. The original avionics have pretty much zero to do with the current avionics. I suspect that there isn't a single piece of a 60's era 737 that can be used on one built in the last 20 years. Heck even the seats of the 60's era can't be used in a current aircraft. So, the wings, tail, radio, engines, avionics, doors, main body struts, ... of the original were phased out years ago. The only thing the current 737 has in common with the original is the basic size and the "737".
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Old 27 October 2016, 01:10 AM
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The B-52 is an air craft that has truly been grandfathered. There is one B-52 in active service flown by 3 generations, son, father and grandfather.
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  #10  
Old 27 October 2016, 02:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimmy101_again View Post
I am not an aircraft designer but I suspect the 737 that is used today has relatively little to do with the design from the 60's except for its basic size. The wings and tail are much different designs than what the engineers in the 60's came up with. So gosh, it isn't the same design as the original and the original really was designed by 60's era car designers versus 90's+ car designers for the current aircraft. The engines are separated by multiple generations. The original avionics have pretty much zero to do with the current avionics. I suspect that there isn't a single piece of a 60's era 737 that can be used on one built in the last 20 years. Heck even the seats of the 60's era can't be used in a current aircraft. So, the wings, tail, radio, engines, avionics, doors, main body struts, ... of the original were phased out years ago. The only thing the current 737 has in common with the original is the basic size and the "737".
And the same is true of the 747-8 and the 747-400s in service today compared to the original 747-100.

Actually, though, I'm pretty sure the doors on the 737 actually are the same ones used in the 1960s. I know I've heard that flight attendants hate the doors on the 737 because they're heavy and don't have power assist like every other modern plane has. I know they did change the overwing exits on the 737NG models to comply with European regulations, however.
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  #11  
Old 27 October 2016, 02:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimmy101_again View Post
I am not an aircraft designer but I suspect the 737 that is used today has relatively little to do with the design from the 60's except for its basic size. The wings and tail are much different designs than what the engineers in the 60's came up with. So gosh, it isn't the same design as the original and the original really was designed by 60's era car designers versus 90's+ car designers for the current aircraft. The engines are separated by multiple generations. The original avionics have pretty much zero to do with the current avionics. I suspect that there isn't a single piece of a 60's era 737 that can be used on one built in the last 20 years. Heck even the seats of the 60's era can't be used in a current aircraft. So, the wings, tail, radio, engines, avionics, doors, main body struts, ... of the original were phased out years ago. The only thing the current 737 has in common with the original is the basic size and the "737".
Most of the that also applies to the original 747 compared to the 747-8. New wings, new engines, new avionics, and they are 19 feet longer overall, with an upper deck that is 23 feet longer than the original. Glass cockpit avionics replaced the original several versions previously, the current version has about 2/3 fewer dials, gauges and knobs than the original. Current versions can travel at Mach 8.55 compared to Mach 8.4 for the original due to changes in engines and aerodymanics. Body structure and landing gear have strengthened. Current airframes are rated for twice the lifespan of the original, they have more than 2000 miles longer range.

In other words, the only thing the current 747 has in common with the original is the "747" (they aren't even the same basic size).
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  #12  
Old 27 October 2016, 08:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimmy101_again View Post
BTW, annoying use of "literally" in the press report.
Yes, definitely. For most of the people on the beach, the 747 wouldn't be vertically overhead at all - it would be off to the side somewhere at a distinct angle. They should have said "figuratively". My subsequent thoughts on this matter have led me to literally type this post using my laptop keyboard!
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  #13  
Old 27 October 2016, 01:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimmy101_again View Post
Pretty much all significant airlines are phasing out the 747. Look at it this way, when the 747 was designed and launched this is what cars looked like:
On that note, I'll remind you that Dodge is still producing a Dart. And that it has little to do with the picture you posted (except the name).

Likewise, the current 747s are much more moderns than their 60's counterparts. The air frame is similar, but the innards are much different, as are the engines.

747's are still being produced, but at a much lower rate. 18 deliveries in 2015. Airbus delivered 27 A380's in 2015.

OY
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  #14  
Old 27 October 2016, 10:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DrRocket View Post
You'll still see them in use for cargo for a while. They're big, and can economically carry a lot of weight and handle bulky cargo. With a lot of spare parts sitting in the desert, they'll be economical for cargo duty for a while yet.
This morning UPS announced they're buying 14 747-8 freighters.
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Old 27 October 2016, 10:58 PM
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Originally Posted by overyonder View Post
On that note, I'll remind you that Dodge is still producing a Dart...
Are they? I know the Dart won't have a 2017 model, and I thought they'd already switched the Belvidere lines over to the more profitable Cherokee, but I could be wrong on the latter. Pity. I was hoping to upgrade from the Neon to an Argon or Xenon. It wouldn't have been as much fun, but it would still have been a gas.

Anyhow, as an actual aircraft designer, I can chip in a few things about the 747, besides that I was there for the first takeoff:

* The air, and our understanding of how it behaves, certainly haven't changed much. It's mostly 1/2pV^2 times a few other things to find lift and drag. What has changed a lot is the computational power to apply what we know to finesse subtleties like wing/fuselage/nacelle interactions and other down-in-the-weeds aspects for those last few percentage points.

* Airframe materials have changed a lot. Carbon fiber was known but little used in 1968, and now we are making entire airliners (and sport aircraft and supercars) out of it.

* Maturing metallurgy technologies have made engines much better and more efficient. Again, there's not much about jet engine performance that Frank Whittle's 1930s equations didn't address. But we now have metals and forming processes that allow higher temperatures and pressures, which result in greater efficiency, lower pollution, and lower noise.

* Electronics. Yup.

* Probably the biggest changes are in the economics of running an airline. The routing and pricing structures don't favor big birds like the 747 like they once did, and many of those niches are occupied by things like A380 or 777.

* A really interesting book on how the modern airliner came to be, and why it looks like it does, is _The Road to the 707_. Though not the greatest bit of writing, it is interesting and engaging and uncovers a few of the odd engineering inflection points that might otherwise have not seen the light of day.

Thanks, Bob K.
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Old 27 October 2016, 11:11 PM
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There are 2 big reasons why the 747 won't continue as long as the 737 will. Engines 3 and 4. As BoKu pointed out, flights have changed. A 777 can carry almost as many passengers as a 747 can but it only has two engines. I never worked as an aviation mechanic, but I trained as one and jet engines are fantastically expensive to maintain. Just those savings would make a 777 a much better bet.
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Old 28 October 2016, 12:33 PM
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Originally Posted by BoKu View Post
Are they? I know the Dart won't have a 2017 model, and I thought they'd already switched the Belvidere lines over to the more profitable Cherokee, but I could be wrong on the latter. Pity.
Actually I just noticed that production ended in Sep 2016 in the US. On-going in China.

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Originally Posted by BoKu View Post
I was hoping to upgrade from the Neon to an Argon or Xenon. It wouldn't have been as much fun, but it would still have been a gas.


OY
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  #18  
Old 28 October 2016, 03:59 PM
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. Current versions can travel at Mach 8.55 compared to Mach 8.4 for the original due to changes in engines and aerodymanics.
I do hope you meant Mach .855 and Mach .84.
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Old 28 October 2016, 04:51 PM
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I do hope you meant Mach .855 and Mach .84.
Doh!
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  #20  
Old 29 October 2016, 12:04 AM
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Originally Posted by UrbanLegends101 View Post
I do hope you meant Mach .855 and Mach .84.
The other way would have been much cooler, though. Concorde cruised at what, Mach 4 or so? A Mach 8.55 747 could get you to Europe in less than half the time! With like 5x the passengers! That is if Boeing's engineers could get it to cruise at that speed without tearing itself apart.
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