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FoxtrotSierra
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How many of UA's 777's are older than their 747's?

Tue Nov 14, 2017 2:25 am

I have frequently seen the old age of UA's 744 fleet cited as a reason to retire them. However, UA was the launch customer of the 777, so I would imagine that a good portion of their 777 fleet must be older than the 744's. Does anyone know many of UA's 777's are older than the 744's, by how many years (on average), and why old age is a reason to retire the 744's but not the even older 777's?
 
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flyingclrs727
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Re: How many of UA's 777's are older than their 747's?

Tue Nov 14, 2017 2:42 am

The 777's have just two engines and are more efficient than the 747's. The oldest 772's still have lots of commonality with the other 777's in the fleet. They are being reconfigured for domestic service and will have 10-abreast seating just like the new 77W's. The 747 fleet has no commonality with anything else in UA's fleet. It wasn't worthwhile to retrofit a nitrogen inerting sysyten onto them.
 
777PHX
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Re: How many of UA's 777's are older than their 747's?

Tue Nov 14, 2017 2:48 am

It's not the age of the individual airframes, moreso the age of the design. The 744 was developed in the mid 80s using engine technology from the early 80s. The 777 is a decade younger than that.
 
tjh8402
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Re: How many of UA's 777's are older than their 747's?

Tue Nov 14, 2017 3:06 am

FoxtrotSierra wrote:
I have frequently seen the old age of UA's 744 fleet cited as a reason to retire them. However, UA was the launch customer of the 777, so I would imagine that a good portion of their 777 fleet must be older than the 744's. Does anyone know many of UA's 777's are older than the 744's, by how many years (on average), and why old age is a reason to retire the 744's but not the even older 777's?


I can't easily find when the last 747 was delivered (without having to sort through a bunch of tear jerker stories about the planes retirement) so I can't answer for sure if some were newer. As far as why, as others have said, the 744s were retired when they were because UA didn't want to have to install the fuel inerting system required for 2018. Originally, they were going to wait for the A35k, but Boeing's offer of seriously discounted 77Ws to replace them changed their minds and prompted them to take advantage of the opportunity to retire the 744 early and save $ on the refits. There is no such impending large cost on the 77A's, nor any particularly standout direct replacement right now for their mission (not many planes that can haul 364 people for substantially less $ on short flights, especially considering the 77A's are paid off). UA has plenty of other 777s still in the fleet, so even though they are a different variant, they aren't an orphan subfleet, and UA needed the extra lift on domestic routes. It's also a lot easier to fill a 77A than a 744. These are just about the highest seating capacity airplanes of any US airline period, much less on domestic routings (the United 77Ws seat 2 more people and DL's 744s seat 12 more). not many that can support an airplane that big without reducing frequency, which customers don't like. A 744 domestic configuration would probably be ~450 people, which would be difficult to fill and would probably trash yields on a route.
 
TW870
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Re: How many of UA's 777's are older than their 747's?

Tue Nov 14, 2017 3:10 am

If you measured it by 777s that were delivered before the last 747-400 delivered, that would be the majority of the 777-200s. I worked the first revenue flight of a 747-400 in late-1999, and I believe we took frames into 2000. In 2000 we were in the process of getting the 6 2-class 777s for the hub-to-hub and Hawaii trips (ships N210UA-N215UA), and were just starting to take the heaviest PW4090-powered airplanes with the lower lobe crew rests. All of the sUA 777-200 series airplanes had been delivered by 2003. We would have taken 747-400s for even longer, but some orders were converted to 777s. You have to remember that the 777 performance improvements from Boeing, as well as the extension of ETOPS certification, made the airplane become vastly more capable in the late-1990s. I recall being at work in 1998 or 1999 and hearing the rumors that the 777 was going to be redeployed in Asia. Pilots and flight attendants were shocked, and couldn't imagine a non-747 on the Asia network. Obviously, times changed.
 
United1
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Re: How many of UA's 777's are older than their 747's?

Tue Nov 14, 2017 3:13 am

FoxtrotSierra wrote:
I have frequently seen the old age of UA's 744 fleet cited as a reason to retire them. However, UA was the launch customer of the 777, so I would imagine that a good portion of their 777 fleet must be older than the 744's. Does anyone know many of UA's 777's are older than the 744's, by how many years (on average), and why old age is a reason to retire the 744's but not the even older 777's?


Its more age of the design and economics of the aircraft as well as the availability of spare parts than the actual age but....

1989 3 744
1990 5 744
1991 4 744
1992 6 744
1993 4 744
1994 2 744
1995 9 772
1996 2 744, 7 772
1997 5 744, 14 77E
1998 5 744, 10 77E
1999 7 744, 14 77E
2000 1 744, 4 77E, 6 772
2001 8 77E
2002 6 77E
2007 2 77E
2010 2 77E
2016 2 77W
2017 12 77W
2018 +4 77W
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flyfresno
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Re: How many of UA's 777's are older than their 747's?

Tue Nov 14, 2017 6:13 am

I’m not sure about the 777X, but the 744 has a much better cargo capacity than any of the older 777s. On heavy cargo routes that are also consistently full, such as SFO-HKG, I’m sure UA is throwing away some money in retiring the 744 in favor of the 777, but it’s likely not enough to outweigh all of the costs listed above. That’s really the only advantage I can see to keeping the 744 around.
 
KICT
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Re: How many of UA's 777's are older than their 747's?

Tue Nov 14, 2017 6:47 am

This is a silly thread. Similarly, Southwest actually had some 737-300s and 737-700s that were only a matter of weeks apart in age.
 
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Re: How many of UA's 777's are older than their 747's?

Tue Nov 14, 2017 7:08 am

Seriously?
Have none of you ever heard of planespotters.net?
I mean, ten minutes over there, and a little bit of, you know, COUNTING, and you could easily answer the primary question.
Now, the ensuing discussion might be of value. But do your own legwork!

Personally, I don't think it was the absolute age of the UA 744s that made them "old." I think it was easy/concise PR and CEO speak for "we really find ourselves with some very poorly maintained, huge airplanes, and we're not interested in investing in them the amount of funds they require to keep going, and we feel that we can buy new 77Ws and whatnot to accomplish or missions with a better ROI."

But no one wants to see that in a press release. So instead, you say, "They're old, they're leaving."

And in some ways, they're right; Delta completely gutted the Northwest 744s from nose to tail. It bought those aircraft ZERO additional time vis-a-vis United's ghetto clunkers.
Delta's customers certainly had a better experience, particularly in economy class, but that doesn't necessarily translate into more profits or higher fares paid.
 
tjh8402
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Re: How many of UA's 777's are older than their 747's?

Tue Nov 14, 2017 3:40 pm

flyfresno wrote:
I’m not sure about the 777X, but the 744 has a much better cargo capacity than any of the older 777s. On heavy cargo routes that are also consistently full, such as SFO-HKG, I’m sure UA is throwing away some money in retiring the 744 in favor of the 777, but it’s likely not enough to outweigh all of the costs listed above. That’s really the only advantage I can see to keeping the 744 around.


I can't easily find the numbers to back it up, but I'm pretty sure the 77W has more cargo space in the belly than the 744 (it's a longer plane with the same/fewer passengers and less landing gear) as well as better payload.
 
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iahcsr
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Re: How many of UA's 777's are older than their 747's?

Tue Nov 14, 2017 4:45 pm

As of two days ago UA has no 747s of any age.... :worried: :cry:
Working Hard, Flying Right Friendly....
 
727LOVER
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Re: How many of UA's 777's are older than their 747's?

Tue Nov 14, 2017 5:09 pm

KICT wrote:
This is a silly thread. Similarly, Southwest actually had some 737-300s and 737-700s that were only a matter of weeks apart in age.


Same for AA's MD80s and 737-800s......but you shouldn't discourage people from asking a question.

I'm also curious why UA is getting rid of theirs now while BA is keeping theirs another 7 years ?!!!
"We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope." - Martin Luther King, Jr.
 
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lightsaber
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Re: How many of UA's 777's are older than their 747's?

Tue Nov 14, 2017 5:23 pm

United1 wrote:
Its more age of the design and economics of the aircraft as well as the availability of spare parts than the actual age but....

1989 3 744
1990 5 744
1991 4 744
1992 6 744
1993 4 744
1994 2 744
1995 9 772
1996 2 744, 7 772
1997 5 744, 14 77E
1998 5 744, 10 77E
1999 7 744, 14 77E
2000 1 744, 4 77E, 6 772
2001 8 77E
2002 6 77E
2007 2 77E
2010 2 77E
2016 2 77W
2017 12 77W
2018 +4 77W

That is an interesting list. The 772s were about 6 years younger than the oldest 744s. But as noted, it was discounted 77Ws that sealed the fate of the 744s combined with retrofit costs. There were 26 744s delivered prior to 772 deilvery. After than, 20 744s delivered.

However, aircraft tend to have worse economics and reliability after the 3rd heavy maintenance interval. Every UA 744 would have completed that 3 maintenance intervals. The issue for the 744 is the 772 systems are less finicky with age. I'm not saying perfect, but the cost per airframe doesn't climb as fast (every aircraft costs more to maintain every heavy maintenance interval). The 777 was designed with better maintenance access, which helps cut the service costs.

It isn't just twin versus quad (that is some impact). It is intrinsic design improvements that cut maintenance bills. The 77As also benefit from the fact parts are still in production for new build 777s.

Lightsaber
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Re: How many of UA's 777's are older than their 747's?

Tue Nov 14, 2017 7:14 pm

727LOVER wrote:
KICT wrote:
This is a silly thread. Similarly, Southwest actually had some 737-300s and 737-700s that were only a matter of weeks apart in age.


Same for AA's MD80s and 737-800s......but you shouldn't discourage people from asking a question.

I'm also curious why UA is getting rid of theirs now while BA is keeping theirs another 7 years ?!!!


UA was using their 744s on the longer tpac routes where their higher fuel burn was a big penalty and a twin could pay for itself much easier. I think BA is gonna be keeping theirs mostly on shorter TATL flights, especially the JFK shuttle which is relatively short and which seems to benefit from the high J 744s capacity. I think BA's are also newer and better maintained (UA's suffering reliability problems and being the victims of years of neglect), not to mention BA had a much larger fleet, so the economies of scale made the plane more affordable. Wouldn't surprise me if BA has retired more 744s at this point than UA.
 
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Re: How many of UA's 777's are older than their 747's?

Tue Nov 14, 2017 7:16 pm

Remember the very very big elephant in the hanger with the 747 too - fuel tank inerting.
 
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Re: How many of UA's 777's are older than their 747's?

Tue Nov 14, 2017 7:41 pm

TW870 wrote:
If you measured it by 777s that were delivered before the last 747-400 delivered, that would be the majority of the 777-200s. I worked the first revenue flight of a 747-400 in late-1999, and I believe we took frames into 2000. In 2000 we were in the process of getting the 6 2-class 777s for the hub-to-hub and Hawaii trips (ships N210UA-N215UA), and were just starting to take the heaviest PW4090-powered airplanes with the lower lobe crew rests. All of the sUA 777-200 series airplanes had been delivered by 2003. We would have taken 747-400s for even longer, but some orders were converted to 777s. You have to remember that the 777 performance improvements from Boeing, as well as the extension of ETOPS certification, made the airplane become vastly more capable in the late-1990s. I recall being at work in 1998 or 1999 and hearing the rumors that the 777 was going to be redeployed in Asia. Pilots and flight attendants were shocked, and couldn't imagine a non-747 on the Asia network. Obviously, times changed.



I think you meant 1989...
 
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OneSexyL1011
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Re: How many of UA's 777's are older than their 747's?

Tue Nov 14, 2017 8:02 pm

XAM2175 wrote:
Remember the very very big elephant in the hanger with the 747 too - fuel tank inerting.

Yep. All because a 747 got shot dow......errr I mean "exploded" after take off.
Cough cough TWA800
 
77H
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Re: How many of UA's 777's are older than their 747's?

Tue Nov 14, 2017 8:26 pm

flyfresno wrote:
I’m not sure about the 777X, but the 744 has a much better cargo capacity than any of the older 777s. On heavy cargo routes that are also consistently full, such as SFO-HKG, I’m sure UA is throwing away some money in retiring the 744 in favor of the 777, but it’s likely not enough to outweigh all of the costs listed above. That’s really the only advantage I can see to keeping the 744 around.


Completely untrue. From a cargo *capacity* stand point the the 77A/E have 2 more positions than the 744 (32 L3 positions vs 30 L3 positions). Additionally, UA's 744's could only take 4 pallets whereas the 77A/E could take as many as 8. The reason this matters is that pallets, if fully built out is often the most efficient use of belly space.

As for payload, the 744 beats the 77A handedly. However, the 77E competes very well with the 744 on payload. I'd take a trip72 over a 74 any day of the week and twice on Mondays. The 77W is in a completely different league. Depending on the crew rest situation, the 77W offers 42-44 L3 positions and has extraordinary payload offerings, even when full.

77H
 
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lightsaber
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Re: How many of UA's 777's are older than their 747's?

Tue Nov 14, 2017 8:37 pm

77H wrote:
The 77W is in a completely different league. Depending on the crew rest situation, the 77W offers 42-44 L3 positions and has extraordinary payload offerings, even when full.

77H

The 77W is a combi.
So is the A359
So is the A350-1000
So is the 789 and 787-10.

We're in a new realm.
From what I'm reading, cargo rates are up, so this will help UA.

Lightsaber
You only have the first amendment with the 2nd. If you're not going to offend someone with what you say, you don't have the 1st.
 
9w748capt
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Re: How many of UA's 777's are older than their 747's?

Tue Nov 14, 2017 8:45 pm

Do posters here get paid by the apostrophe?
 
rbavfan
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Re: How many of UA's 777's are older than their 747's?

Tue Nov 14, 2017 8:50 pm

tjh8402 wrote:
flyfresno wrote:
I’m not sure about the 777X, but the 744 has a much better cargo capacity than any of the older 777s. On heavy cargo routes that are also consistently full, such as SFO-HKG, I’m sure UA is throwing away some money in retiring the 744 in favor of the 777, but it’s likely not enough to outweigh all of the costs listed above. That’s really the only advantage I can see to keeping the 744 around.


I can't easily find the numbers to back it up, but I'm pretty sure the 77W has more cargo space in the belly than the 744 (it's a longer plane with the same/fewer passengers and less landing gear) as well as better payload.


Note he was talking older 777's which are the 772 series not the 77W's that are brand new and were never in the fleet before.
However the 774 & 772 both carry 32 LD3's but the 744 has higher passenger counts and as such would have less space for cargo with a full passenger load. So no they are not really loosing much, if any cargo capacity.
 
Bald1983
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Re: How many of UA's 777's are older than their 747's?

Tue Nov 14, 2017 8:53 pm

FoxtrotSierra wrote:
I have frequently seen the old age of UA's 744 fleet cited as a reason to retire them. However, UA was the launch customer of the 777, so I would imagine that a good portion of their 777 fleet must be older than the 744's. Does anyone know many of UA's 777's are older than the 744's, by how many years (on average), and why old age is a reason to retire the 744's but not the even older 777's?


I suspect that the early 777's of UAL were non-extended range models. Also in calculating age of the extended range models, twenty of them came from Continental Airlines when they merged.
 
77H
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Re: How many of UA's 777's are older than their 747's?

Tue Nov 14, 2017 8:54 pm

rbavfan wrote:
tjh8402 wrote:
flyfresno wrote:
I’m not sure about the 777X, but the 744 has a much better cargo capacity than any of the older 777s. On heavy cargo routes that are also consistently full, such as SFO-HKG, I’m sure UA is throwing away some money in retiring the 744 in favor of the 777, but it’s likely not enough to outweigh all of the costs listed above. That’s really the only advantage I can see to keeping the 744 around.


I can't easily find the numbers to back it up, but I'm pretty sure the 77W has more cargo space in the belly than the 744 (it's a longer plane with the same/fewer passengers and less landing gear) as well as better payload.


Note he was talking older 777's which are the 772 series not the 77W's that are brand new and were never in the fleet before.
However the 774 & 772 both carry 32 LD3's but the 744 has higher passenger counts and as such would have less space for cargo with a full passenger load. So no they are not really loosing much, if any cargo capacity.


UA's 744's had 30 L3 positions. UA's 77A models have 32 L3positions, and most of the 77E's have 28-30 L3 positions due to lower deck crew rests. Some airlines may have 744s with 32 positions but the discussion here is based on UA. I am looking at the load card for UA747 SFO-HNL (Final UA 747 flight as I type this). 30 L3 positions + bulk.

77H
Last edited by 77H on Tue Nov 14, 2017 8:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
rbavfan
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Re: How many of UA's 777's are older than their 747's?

Tue Nov 14, 2017 8:57 pm

727LOVER wrote:
KICT wrote:
This is a silly thread. Similarly, Southwest actually had some 737-300s and 737-700s that were only a matter of weeks apart in age.


Same for AA's MD80s and 737-800s......but you shouldn't discourage people from asking a question.

I'm also curious why UA is getting rid of theirs now while BA is keeping theirs another 7 years ?!!!


BA main ops are at LHR. It's slot restricted and until 779's are available they have nothing to replace it with other than A380's which are to big for a replacement. 779 is almost a seat capacity match.
 
CRJ900
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Re: How many of UA's 777's are older than their 747's?

Tue Nov 14, 2017 9:01 pm

XAM2175 wrote:
Remember the very very big elephant in the hanger with the 747 too - fuel tank inerting.


Does this apply to all operators of the B744? Is BA implementing this then?
Come, fly the prevailing winds with me
 
george77300
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Re: How many of UA's 777's are older than their 747's?

Tue Nov 14, 2017 11:01 pm

rbavfan wrote:
727LOVER wrote:
KICT wrote:
This is a silly thread. Similarly, Southwest actually had some 737-300s and 737-700s that were only a matter of weeks apart in age.


Same for AA's MD80s and 737-800s......but you shouldn't discourage people from asking a question.

I'm also curious why UA is getting rid of theirs now while BA is keeping theirs another 7 years ?!!!


BA main ops are at LHR. It's slot restricted and until 779's are available they have nothing to replace it with other than A380's which are to big for a replacement. 779 is almost a seat capacity match.


BA is replacing some with A35K when they get them in 2019 I believe and with a new Club World Seat. Hopefully 2-4-2 will be gone.
A306 A313 A319 A320 A321 A332 A333 A343 A345 A346 A388

B712 B733 B734 B735 B738 B742 B744 B752 B763 B772 B77E B773 B77W
 
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Channex757
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Re: How many of UA's 777's are older than their 747's?

Tue Nov 14, 2017 11:10 pm

rbavfan wrote:
727LOVER wrote:
KICT wrote:
This is a silly thread. Similarly, Southwest actually had some 737-300s and 737-700s that were only a matter of weeks apart in age.


Same for AA's MD80s and 737-800s......but you shouldn't discourage people from asking a question.

I'm also curious why UA is getting rid of theirs now while BA is keeping theirs another 7 years ?!!!


BA main ops are at LHR. It's slot restricted and until 779's are available they have nothing to replace it with other than A380's which are to big for a replacement. 779 is almost a seat capacity match.

BA have no intention of buying the 777-9. Their replacement aircraft will be the A350-1000.

The remaining 744s at BA are continuing on for a while yet as they are relatively young for 744s, and more importantly bought and paid for. Their resale value is extremely low (scrap only basically) so if they don't cost anything to lease, why not keep them flying for now seeing as fuel is relatively cheap?
 
United1
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Re: How many of UA's 777's are older than their 747's?

Tue Nov 14, 2017 11:34 pm

Bald1983 wrote:
FoxtrotSierra wrote:
I have frequently seen the old age of UA's 744 fleet cited as a reason to retire them. However, UA was the launch customer of the 777, so I would imagine that a good portion of their 777 fleet must be older than the 744's. Does anyone know many of UA's 777's are older than the 744's, by how many years (on average), and why old age is a reason to retire the 744's but not the even older 777's?


I suspect that the early 777's of UAL were non-extended range models. Also in calculating age of the extended range models, twenty of them came from Continental Airlines when they merged.


19 772 (PW) average 20.0 years old
33 77E (PW) average 18.8 years old
22 77E (GE) average 17.1 years old
14 77W (GE) just wee lassies averaging 6 months old

The former CO birds are on average a little newer but not as much as one would think....as was mentioned above its not exactly apples to apples comparing the ages between the 747 and 777 fleet as the 777 was designed to last longer and be cheaper to maintain.
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flyfresno
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Re: How many of UA's 777's are older than their 747's?

Tue Nov 14, 2017 11:38 pm

77H wrote:
rbavfan wrote:
tjh8402 wrote:

I can't easily find the numbers to back it up, but I'm pretty sure the 77W has more cargo space in the belly than the 744 (it's a longer plane with the same/fewer passengers and less landing gear) as well as better payload.


Note he was talking older 777's which are the 772 series not the 77W's that are brand new and were never in the fleet before.
However the 774 & 772 both carry 32 LD3's but the 744 has higher passenger counts and as such would have less space for cargo with a full passenger load. So no they are not really loosing much, if any cargo capacity.


UA's 744's had 30 L3 positions. UA's 77A models have 32 L3positions, and most of the 77E's have 28-30 L3 positions due to lower deck crew rests. Some airlines may have 744s with 32 positions but the discussion here is based on UA. I am looking at the load card for UA747 SFO-HNL (Final UA 747 flight as I type this). 30 L3 positions + bulk.

77H


Just because an a/c has the space for cargo does not mean it can carry the weight on a given stage. Older 777s were sometimes weight restricted with full cargo and pax on long stage lengths, the 747 almost never was.
 
77H
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Re: How many of UA's 777's are older than their 747's?

Tue Nov 14, 2017 11:49 pm

flyfresno wrote:
77H wrote:
rbavfan wrote:

Note he was talking older 777's which are the 772 series not the 77W's that are brand new and were never in the fleet before.
However the 774 & 772 both carry 32 LD3's but the 744 has higher passenger counts and as such would have less space for cargo with a full passenger load. So no they are not really loosing much, if any cargo capacity.


UA's 744's had 30 L3 positions. UA's 77A models have 32 L3positions, and most of the 77E's have 28-30 L3 positions due to lower deck crew rests. Some airlines may have 744s with 32 positions but the discussion here is based on UA. I am looking at the load card for UA747 SFO-HNL (Final UA 747 flight as I type this). 30 L3 positions + bulk.

77H


Just because an a/c has the space for cargo does not mean it can carry the weight on a given stage. Older 777s were sometimes weight restricted with full cargo and pax on long stage lengths, the 747 almost never was.


That is a valid point, but those familiar with air cargo would tell you that capacity and payload are two separate things. Your initial assertion was that the UA 744 had more capacity (read: space/volume) than the 772 (A/E). I countered by explaining that the UA 744s had 30 L3 positions vs 32 L3 positions on the 772A/E. Many of the 77E models have lower deck crew rests that take up ~2-4 positions. For those frames, the 744 actually has more usable volume. I understand its semantics but you based a justification for keeping the 744s around for cargo purposes and my point was that the 744 isn't the most optimal cargo hauler. I say this as a person in the air cargo industry.

There was a time about 2 years ago now where UA sent in 744's as equipment subs in the market I work. While it was great seeing a 744 it was a pain in the butt working with it.

77H

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