The Chart:

Monday, November 4, 2013

One Million Dollars Per Year

The title sums up the results of the performance improvements being introduced on new 747-8s. One million in fuel costs saved per frame, per year. The improvements itemized:
  • 7,700 lbs removed
  • 1.8% fuel burn reduction in the engines
  • Tail tank enabled, with software modification to keep fuel in the tail to reduce the need for trim.
  • FMC improvements, including RNP AR and improved climb functions
  • 3.5% fuel burn improvement overall
These improvements will all be delivering this year. Boeing plans on continuing to improve the performance of the 747-8 as well. In a few more years it might actually take off with empty tanks and land twelve hours later with them overflowing.

In other rumors, Cathay's 14th frame has shown up on the charts, although it has yet to be ordered. Another interesting thing is line 1435 (RC021), the current test frame for the above improvements and former Lufthansa D-ABYE, is once again listed internally as earmarked for Lufthansa. This could be a clerical error, but I'm hopeful Lufthansa has had a change of heart.


  1. Good article, and it should be noted that the one million dollars figure applies directly to the engine portion of the PIP I believe. All the other changes will result in a decent amount of both fuel cost and trip cost savings as well.

    Unfortunately, there are rumors floating around that Arik has converted it's 2 747-8I order into 2 777-300ERs. That would be disappointing if it is true, but I suppose we can only wait to see an official announcement.

    1. It would be disappointing if true, but not entirely unexpected. Arik has a history of changing their minds often, and I was wondering if these two frames would ever get built. I wouldn't even be sure they'll end up taking the 777s.

  2. Also, that was an interesting development with RC021 being re-assigned to Lufthansa. One can hope that it means they will take the original 20 now, and perhaps maybe some number more if they see the need for additional growth, especially in the short term.