Slash Boxes

SoylentNews is people

posted by cmn32480 on Saturday July 30 2016, @05:04AM   Printer-friendly
from the old-tech-phased-out dept.

Arthur T Knackerbracket has found the following story:

Six months after slicing production of the iconic Boeing 747 to just one plane a month, the aerospace company has decided to halve the rate of production and flagged it is close to killing off the plane.

A new Form 10-Q filed with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission spells out the ugly situation as “Lower-than-expected demand for large commercial passenger and freighter aircraft and slower-than-expected growth of global freight traffic have continued to drive market uncertainties, pricing pressures and fewer orders than anticipated.”

Boeing has therefore “canceled previous plans to return to a production rate of 1.0 aircraft per month beginning in 2019.”

The company still has “32 undelivered aircraft” on its books, some yet to be built. But it also has “a number of completed aircraft in inventory” for which buyers cannot be found.

Production of the 747 will therefore been reduced just six planes a year as of September 2016 and the filing makes it plain that Boeing knows it may soon have a difficult decision to make.

“If we are unable to obtain sufficient orders and/or market, production and other risks cannot be mitigated,” the filing says, “we could record additional losses that may be material, and it is reasonably possible that we could decide to end production of the 747.”

The 747 remains a fine aircraft, but twin-engine planes can now match it for capacity and, crucially, for long flights over areas where airports are scarce.

Original Submission

This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.
Display Options Threshold/Breakthrough Mark All as Read Mark All as Unread
The Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not responsible for them in any way.
  • (Score: 1) by toddestan on Saturday July 30 2016, @11:37PM

    by toddestan (4982) on Saturday July 30 2016, @11:37PM (#382102)

    Until recently, the airlines had to use quad-engined planes on some routes, such as South America to Australia where there really is no place to make an emergency landing for a large portion of the flight. The idea being of course that having four engines is better if one or two of them quit on you. Though recently the regulations have been lifted so that some twin-engine airplanes can now be used for those routes, the idea being that the planes are so reliable now that the risk with only two engines is minimal.

    At this point I'm not sure who is buying 747's now, unless they are cargo variants where the 747 still has several advantages, such as the nose-cone door to allow for large cargo, and four engines that allow for heavier cargo. Fun fact: The 747 was designed primarily as a cargo plane, with the passenger variant expected to be relatively short-lived as Boeing expected passenger planes to go supersonic in a few years.