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Old 03-07-2015, 06:02 PM   #1
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The Qantas B747-400 City of Canberra, VHO-JA, the holder of the record for the longest non stop commercial flight from London to Sydney in 1989, today made one of its shortest flights ever, a mere 17 minutes, from Sydney to the tiny Illawarra Airport near Albion Rail on the NSW south coast, where it will preserved as a museum exhibit and tourist attraction.
Amazing to think that a 25 year old 747-400 has become a museum exhibit via a generous gesture from Qantas to donate the aircraft due for retirement from the fleet. Happily Qantas has turned the economic corner and is back in the black, to the relief of shareholders.
(This non boating thread may be headed for OT, but let`s start it here out of deference to our many aircraft pilots and enthusiasts).
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Old 03-07-2015, 10:08 PM   #2
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Good on Qantas.

The 747, in my opinion, is the most impressive "modern" commercial passenger jet. I love to see them in flight or taking off or landing. Unfortunately, it's becoming a rare sight.
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Old 03-07-2015, 10:34 PM   #3
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The 747 has pretty much seen its day other than as a freighter. The 747-8 Intercontinental is the best looking of the entire 747 series in my opinion, but it's not selling. The 777 has pretty much booted it out of the top spot: the CEO of Emirates today refers to the 777 as the "Queen of the Skies," a title once reserved for the 747.

When the 777 entered service in the early 90s a lot of airlines were still very leery of long-range twin-engine operations. Today nobody bats an eye over them. When we go to Dubai from Seattle it's a 16 hour non-stop flight on an Emirates 777-300ER. Nobody even notices-- or cares-- how many engines are on the wings.
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Old 03-07-2015, 11:38 PM   #4
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Good on Qantas.

The 747, in my opinion, is the most impressive "modern" commercial passenger jet. I love to see them in flight or taking off or landing. Unfortunately, it's becoming a rare sight.
I've always enjoyed my British Airways 747 flight, Seattle - London each year. What a large, comfortable plane on a boring 9+ hour flight, racing the sun. I went on-line to book my flight last week only to discover my BA048 flight is now a Boeing 777. (At least it's Boeing!!)

My son tells me they are coming to the end of the 747 line soon. His group has been reassigned to design work on the new 777 Max.

Sorry to see the old girl go.
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Old 03-08-2015, 01:14 AM   #5
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Lauda was an early adopter of long range twins, 767, then 777, Vienna-Sydney. The flights Lauda was Captain were fast. Gradually the 777 replaces 747 long haul to/from Australia, with the 787 appearing more, though many people prefer the A380. Qantas made a mistake not buying the 777 imo, Air NZ does well with them and is in profit, and with revamped 767s. I used to prefer the 777 to the A330, after my last Europe trip, not so sure. Qantas is revamping its remaining 747s with A380 type interiors.
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Old 03-08-2015, 01:25 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Edelweiss View Post
I've always enjoyed my British Airways 747 flight, Seattle - London each year. What a large, comfortable plane on a boring 9+ hour flight, racing the sun. I went on-line to book my flight last week only to discover my BA048 flight is now a Boeing 777. (At least it's Boeing!!)
Seen on an airline pilot's map case: "If it's not Boeing, I'm not going."
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Old 03-08-2015, 04:25 AM   #7
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My only third flight in an airliner was SFO to JFK on a then new 747 in 1970.

(My second flight was to Seattle in 1969, where Boeing Field was lined with 747s)

The plane had only been in service a time and takeoff was delayed a few hours for maintenance, so they really plied us with drinks.

And in those days, drinking age was 18, and no one was ever carded in any case (well, anyplace but Seattle)
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Old 03-08-2015, 09:18 AM   #8
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Nice story and video:

Qantas retires its oldest aircraft, the City of Canberra 747-400, to Wollongong aviation museum - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)
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Old 03-08-2015, 11:59 AM   #9
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I think the 747 is ugly due to it's up-thrusted fuselage top. Impressive but no beauty.

A better configuration for all these aircraft would be a big twin w engine struts and two more engines above the wing like the new Honda airplane. Two engines below the wing as typical and two engines above the wing in a rather mirrorlike image. This four engine configuration could loose any TWO engines and the plane is still very flyable. A "T" tail may be required.
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Old 03-08-2015, 12:14 PM   #10
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The 747 was not designed to be a passenger aircraft. It was designed to be a freighter. The idea-- fostered in large part by Juan Tripp of PanAm-- was that passenger service would move to Boeing's then-in-development SST. But Juan needed a new, larger passenger plane sooner than the SST would be ready for service. So the concept was to develop a large plane that would temporarily be used in passenger service and then would be converted to freight service. That plane was the 747, which is why the plane has the raised flight deck. This was to allow cargo loading the full length of the fuselage and accomodate a nose door.

The SST was subsequently killed by Congress and the 747 had to fill the bill for the large passenger plane Juan (and then other airlines) wanted.

When the SST was in development, Boeing painted a full-size sillouette of the plane on the north wall of the high-bay building at the Developmental Center on Boeing Field. This builidng was at the time painted dark brown. When I hired in, the sillouette had long since been painted over but as the paint faded that sillouette would start to show through. Eventually it would become obvious enough that Facilities would paint the wall again.

The plane was huge. In length it was almost the same size as the 747-100 if not longer. Much larger than the Concorde, which is tiny in comparison to what the Boeing SST would have been. Boeing built a full size mockup of the fuselage complete with an interior in the DC. I've seen film of it but it was long gone by the time I got here.

And Eric, Boeing has studied engines above the wing (we did it very successfully with the YC-14) but it was determined that the structural requirements make it impractical on a large aircraft (among other reasons).

The 787-8 with it's 787-style wings and stretched fuselage is actually a very good looking plane in my opinion. When I see them on the asssembly line they are simply huge--- they appear to be much larger than the previous models, which of course they aren't. But something about the proporations of the -8 makes the overall shape really work nicely.

Plus new wing eliminates the silly weinglet of the -400 which I've had aerodynamicists here tell me reduces drag and fuel burn by exaclty the amount required to compensate for having the wingtip. In other words, no gain.
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Old 03-08-2015, 12:22 PM   #11
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My son tells me they are coming to the end of the 747 line soon. His group has been reassigned to design work on the new 777 Max.
The MAX is the new 737. The new 777 for now is simply referred to as the 777-X.
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Old 03-08-2015, 12:27 PM   #12
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My only third flight in an airliner was SFO to JFK on a then new 747 in 1970.

(My second flight was to Seattle in 1969, where Boeing Field was lined with 747s)
Many years ago, the longest non-stop "regularly scheduled flight"
was Chicago, Il to Perth, AU. A 747 with two flight crews and it was north of 22 hours. No, never did it. . .I could barely handle LA to Sydney which was 15 hours. Took me two days to recover from those trips.
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