The Chart:

Sunday, December 16, 2012

5,000 lbs Down, 5,000 lbs To Go.

There's an article about jumbo jet backlogs on Aviation Week here, and I direct you to page three. 747-8 Chief Project Engineer (and Iron Maiden lead singer) Bruce Dickinson reveals that they've reached 5,000 pounds in weight reduction and are "on our way to a 10,000-lb. weight reduction". This, along with the 1.6%+ engine fuel burn improvement, 4% increased thrust, flight computer improvements, and reactivation of the tail fuel tank, should boost customer interest in the jet.

There are some interesting comments from Lufthansa in the article about what benefits the tail fuel tank offers besides increased range. I'm starting to think line 1435, D-ABYE, is being modified to enable the tank and will probably be used to test it along with other upgrades. It'd then make sense why this frame has been under refurbishment for so long and might not deliver until as late as 2015. Boeing is planning a test program in 2013 for all of these major improvements, and it'd make sense to me to use already existing frames like D-ABYE and maybe some of the rejected Atlas frames.

You might notice there's red on the Production chart again. Line 1438 was parked last week at the tower apron. I think refurbishment has been completed on her, but with Cathay's two remaining (original order) deliveries not expected to take place till mid year 2013, I suppose they're in no rush to put engines on and fly the thing around. I also think Boeing likes having crippled airframes parked all over their airport. Some sort of empty nest syndrome.

Here are some pics from test flights for lines 1422 and 1468 today. Both should be getting ready to deliver soon.


  1. Different Bruce Dickinson:

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