747 JET

747 JET

Since its inception in the early sixties, the Boeing 747 has had a significant part to play in the aircraft industry. The plane has had inspirational effects on its rivals in the plane manufacturing industry. The effect was to make them think of better ways to develop their own planes, an accomplishment that few designers have managed. The plane was the first of its kind and was able to carry a record number of passengers, a record it has held for more than three decades. The ingenuity behind the aircraft’s design made it top in cost-effectiveness. This is due to its fuel efficiency and speed. The aircraft could make long journeys in record-breaking time and this led to the increase in the number of destinations it travelled. The plane also had a huge capacity thus greatly cutting the flying costs for airline companies and the consumers (Mecham, 2010). Many more designs of aircrafts have come up since the 747 each having its own significant impact on the industry.

The competition in the market is increasing everyday and the challenges facing the 747 increasing with it. One of the challenges is the declining economy in many parts of the world. Another challenge is where airline companies have increased the number of destinations and thus they have resulted to investing in smaller aircrafts due to the frequent stops. However, there is still hope for the 747 evidenced by the recent stagnation in re-inventions in the aircraft industry (Boeing.com, 2011). The stagnation however is not expected to hold for long due to the recent technological advances that are being made in the plane manufacturing industry and the economic situation, which is expected to improve. Moreover, for the plane to have a guaranteed future, Boeing has to work day and night to improve its performance and cost effectiveness, the same way it did more than thirty years ago. The increasing cost of jet fuel is becoming an alarming concern among the airliners and each company is sourcing for the planes with the highest fuel efficiency (Boeing.com, 2006)

The company is planning to improve on the designs of the current aircraft that shall enable it to carry more passengers, consume less fuel and carry more fuel to enable it fly further. The new budget is intended at ten billion dollars almost triple what was the budget five years ago. Currently, the production is being marked down from seven planes a week to five planes a week since the company says that its customers are reducing their demand. This is due to the harsh economic times the world is experiencing (Norris & Wagner, 1987).

Each model in the 747 range of planes has its own unique design. The engineers create new designs to improve previous ones. For instance, the 747-8, which is an improvement of the 747-400 has a larger and more efficient wingspan and design and has better engines. This has improved the planes fuel efficiency and has greatly lowered its operational costs (Boeing.com, 2009). Boeing’s engineers have a plan underway of changing the materials used in manufacturing the aircraft. This is with the hope that the total weight of the aircraft shall reduce and thus increase the speed and mileage capabilities of the aircraft. The engineers have also incorporated a digital flight deck in addition to having an upper deck that shall reduce the number of cabin members to only two (Gillie, 2011). This has greatly improved its popularity among airline companies, which fly long distance routes.

The 747 plane’s design technology is set to be improved by the company’s engineers in the future. This shall mean that the big plane shall be preferred by airline companies more than the smaller planes. It shall also mean an increase in demand for the plane. This shall also place the plane in a better position among its competitors and improve customer confidence in the company and the plane. The plane is going to reduce the number of gadgets on its cockpit in the future. This shall be a drop from nine hundred and seventy one to three hundred and sixty five only. This shall also mean a significant reduction in the crew required to operate the plane from three to two.

Boeing, in an eco friendly gesture, has come up with a design of a less noisy plane and one with fewer emissions thus avoiding air and sound pollution. However, Boeing is not the only company concerned about environmental issues. Other plane manufacturing companies have come up with designs that they hope will be environmental friendly and decrease the jet exhaust diameter, incorporate the use fuel cells to power the electrical system, minimizing the expansion of the engine’s diameter, using ceramic composites and nanotechnology.

In the general physical design of the plane, many changes are bound to occur in the future. These include an increase in the maximum physical number of passengers from four hundred and fifty two to five hundred and fifty four, an increase in the total amount of fuel it can carry from approximately one hundred and eighty three litres to two hundred and seventeen liters. The future design is expected to carry about three hundred and ninety seven tons as the maximum weight when taking off, an increase from three hundred and thirty three tons. This shall mean increased luggage capacity.

The 747 has had a big and positive impact in the aircraft industry. The plane has always been a step ahead of the others in terms of technology and design. Boeing’s rivals have always been tasking the company to come up with better designs for the 747, a task that Boeing has not laid back on since it keeps setting the trends by improving the various 747 models (Boeing.com, 2006). Challenges in technology and the uncertainty in the economic future have made the company consider the environment as a base for innovative improvement. This has made other industry players anxious and they have all gone back to the drawing board.

The future plane shall also be able to cover approximately eight thousand four hundred miles, which is an increase from five thousand three hundred. The general cruising speed at a maximum altitude of thirty five thousand feet shall have the smallest increase from five hundred and fifty five miles per hour to five hundred and sixty five miles per hour. The planes controls shall also shift from analog to digital while also increasing the wingspan. The length, height and cabin width of the plane shall remain the same even in the future.

The cost of manufacture of the plane is expected to increase considerably in the future to allow the incorporation of all the changes in design. This shall be important since the company shall need to remain competitive in the market as the technology keeps on advancing. Small plane manufacturing industries, including Boeing itself, shall be affected in a way as to reduce their sales since the bigger plane, the 747 series, shall have grown more efficient in the job of ferrying not only goods but also passengers. In other companies that only produce the small planes, it shall mean a reduction in sales and revenue altogether (Norris & Wagner, 1987).

The companies that manufacture the different parts used to put the plane together, shall have to also advance technologically and produce state of the art parts or face closure due to lack of competitiveness in the market. This is because they are expected to be innovative as the time goes by. They are also supposed to device better and newer equipment to be fitted on the new ultramodern planes. Most of the parts manufacturing companies shall also in the future be expected to merge with Boeing to enable them access funding for carrying out extensive research on ways to manufacture better and more advanced machinery (Boeing.com, 2006). The small plane manufacturing companies shall be largely affected by this move since most airlines shall prefer the bigger and more cost effective planes. The companies might face huge losses or even closure.

The 747’s uses are also expected to increase. Previously, the plane was used as a shuttle carrier by NASA, it was also used by the United States government as the Presidential transport and modified versions of it were used by the military to ferry either goods or soldiers (Reals, 2010). This was before the advances that are expected in the future. Therefore, the plane shall acquire more interests by more groups in the future due to its advances. Competition shall remain present from other large plane manufacturers but it shall play the part of a healthy motivator and not threaten the operations and production of the state of the art 747 series planes by Boeing.

References

Boeing.com. (2006). Boeing contracts Spain’s Aernnova for engineering services on 747-8 program. M2PressWIRE. Retrieved from EBSCOhost.

Boeing.com. (2009). Boeing Assembles First Set of 747-8 Wings. M2PressWIRE. Retrieved from EBSCOhost.

Boeing.com. (2011). Everything you wanted to know about the Boeing 747, history, pictures and news. Retrieved From: http://www.boeing-747.com/everything-about-the-boeing-747-8/Boeing-747-8 new-wing-design.html

Gillie, J. (2011, January 19). Boeing will debut its new 747-passenger jet Feb. 13 [The News Tribune]. Retrieved January 25, 2011, from http://blog.thenewstribune.com/business/2011/01/19/ boeing-will-debut-its-new-747-passenger-jet-feb-13.

Mecham, M. (2010). Freight Forward. Aviation Week & Space Technology, 172(9), 42-45. Retrieved from EBSCOhost.

Norris, G. & Wagner, M. (1987). Boeing 747: design and development since 1969. Minneapolis, MN: Motorbooks International.

Reals, K. (2010). Four teams submit future aircraft designs to NASA. Retrieved 18 January 2011, from http://www.flightglobal.com/articles/2010/08/13/346132/four-teams-submit-future-aircraft-designs-to-nasa.html

Schofield, A. (2010). Qantas Capacity Crunch. Aviation Week & Space Technology, 172(41), 32. Retrieved from EBSCOhost.

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