The Chart:

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Air Force One

Businessweek has an article on the next Air Force One. It looks like Boeing is going to be the sole bidder, and the speculation is that the US Government will want three 747-8Is. The problem is they don't want them until after 2020, and with the current sales rate of the 747-8, there's concern if the line can stay open that long. The solution to that problem is to sell more frames. Seems simple enough.

Speaking of sales, Lufthansa is rumored to be ordering 50 wide bodies, a mixture of Boeing 777X and Airbus A350. 747 haters on various forums are declaring this to be the end of the 747-8I, getting so ridiculous as to state these 777X will replace the 747-8I prematurely and Boeing will buy the 747-8Is back. Lufthansa, however, previously stated this order was to focus on replacing their A340s, some of which are extremely young (which is sad; I really like the A340). So, there's no basis for this anti 747 speculation. I speculate the people spreading this nonsense are A380 fans who view the 747-8 as a nuisance. The truth is neither frame is selling well due to much deeper reasons than competition with each other. I'm hoping those reasons dissipate and both frames see strong success. I'm still expecting Lufthansa to place a top up order for both the 747-8I and the A380 at some point. We will see.

Line 1463 (RC604) VQ-BRH for AirBridgeCargo (formerly stored at Pinal Airpark for half a year) delivered this week, and should fly off next week.


  1. The 777-9X is anything but the end of the 747-8!
    I've read everything those pro-Airbus 747 haters dished out, and they've been doing it for awhile, and it's gotten really old!
    I see the 777-9X, -8X and 787-10 as an A350 killer though!
    Don't worry, the Queen ain't going nowhere!

  2. Doesn't a four-engine plane offer better redundancy than a two-engine plane? If the premise is to be able to take off with one engine out, a two-holer has to have "double-sized" engines and a lot of rudder to counteract completely asymmetric thrust, whereas a quadjet only needs about 33% more thrust margin (probably a little more, since the outboard engines are further off-center than the inboard). Does that influence the relative thrust at cruise, and therefore put a quadjet into a less-optimal fuel burn at cruise? If not, I'm just not grasping why the overhaul/replacement cost for four smaller engines is that much of an operating cost delta versus two much larger engines. Anyone able to shed any light?