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Old Aug 30, 06, 10:42 am   #1
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Idle Rumour: BA to nab 4 UAL 744s?

OK, this is very much a "friend of friend" style bit of 'galley gossip' so take it with a huge, unconfirmed pinch of salt! However…

Rumour has it (well, this is fact!) that BA is short of longhaul equipment - so much so that LHR-YYC is looking difficult to operate right now before it even starts. In addition, the planned 777 replacement to SYD may not happen because (just as our own Panic Stations has said before) they don’t have the flight crews available. So apparently, BA has been looking at getting 4 of UAL’s 744s second hand to ease some of the burden until the new 777 options come in 2008. UAL have several 744s in the desert and I was told their 744s are due a D check very soon anyway so it could add up – i.e. they need an overhaul anyway, so they could be sold to BA who then refit them with a decent cabin, etc.

One issue is that only BA/CX/QF (I believe) use RRs on their 744s and UA have P&Ws (sorry, I know this is very kiddiesspeculateonplaneliveries.net!) so there’s a maintenance PITA if this is true.

What do people think? Perhaps Panic Stations can be tempted to comment?
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Old Aug 30, 06, 10:54 am   #2
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QF took Ex-Malaysian 744's which had CF6's and it was the worst thing they ever did (IMHO). (I remember flying on one from SYD-LAX and there was an enormous gap between the back of F and the start of J, you could have set up a table tennis table.) Reliability was a big issue and they had a lot of "unknowns" to deal with.

However, BA used to have PW powered 747's so at least there is some sort of relationship and of course the Airbuses have IAE.

If it gets them out of a hole then maybe its worth it, but it would cost a fortune for a D-Check, cabin refit etc unless BA get very good rates off UA.
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Old Aug 30, 06, 10:55 am   #3
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by G-BOAC
One issue is that only BA/CX/QF (I believe) use RRs on their 744s and UA have P&Ws (sorry, I know this is very kiddiesspeculateonplaneliveries.net!) so there’s a maintenance PITA if this is true.

What do people think? Perhaps Panic Stations can be tempted to comment?
Very interesting - although would be interested what they would do with the smokey Pratts.

Maybe they could strike some sort of maintenance deal with UA, and potentially use them on the SFO/ORD routes.
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Old Aug 30, 06, 11:10 am   #4
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I'm no aircraft engineer but couldn't BA get some RR engines to bung on it? I somehow doubt it is that simple...
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Old Aug 30, 06, 11:16 am   #5
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chris18london
Would be interested what they would do with the smokey Pratts.
Don't call our colonial friends names
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Old Aug 30, 06, 11:33 am   #6
 
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Originally Posted by BA97
Don't call our colonial friends names
I was actually waiting for the whoosh sound of that comment passing over someone's head in yet another case of SOH failure..



I'm sure there's a way, although can't think offhand of another OW airline with PW maintenance to accomodate them. And I don't have time to trawl spitefulkiddies.net. Culturally differing IB, maybe?
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Old Aug 30, 06, 12:04 pm   #7
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by norodnik
QF took Ex-Malaysian 744's which had CF6's and it was the worst thing they ever did (IMHO).
The choice of engine brands on a few old 747's is the worst decision QF ever made?

Its not like UA took the planes out of service because they were falling out of the sky.
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Old Aug 30, 06, 12:08 pm   #8
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by norodnik
If it gets them out of a hole then maybe its worth it, but it would cost a fortune for a D-Check, cabin refit etc unless BA get very good rates off UA.
I think that its obvious that it would have to be a great deal. They are never going back in service for UA. I suspect that they were written off as part of UA's reorganization. If so then anything that they would get for them would be pure profit.
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Old Aug 30, 06, 12:10 pm   #9
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Minor pedantic point here, but UA doesn't have any 747s in the desert. There are some old ex-UA 747s parked in the desert, but they belong to someone else - UA having dumped these airplanes in its three year bankruptcy reorganization effort.
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Old Aug 30, 06, 3:20 pm   #10
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FWAAA
Minor pedantic point here, but UA doesn't have any 747s in the desert. There are some old ex-UA 747s parked in the desert, but they belong to someone else - UA having dumped these airplanes in its three year bankruptcy reorganization effort.
We like pedantry over here on the BA board.

Does anyone know how old/young the ones in the desert are? I'm guessing most of them need 'D' checks too?
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Old Aug 30, 06, 4:14 pm   #11
 
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You can't just swap the engines on a 747 or any other mainstream jet. They need different pylons, wiring, hydraulic connectors and a host of other things.

Recognising this problem and how it can affect the resale value, Boeing is designing the 787 in such a way that it will be possible to swap power plants. This is in part only possible due to the fact that most systems that were hydraulic will be electrically actuated on the dreamliner. Is this a good thing - well.......... if god/allah/budha forbid both engines were to go, you would be left with a ram air turbine between you and an uncontrolled and unscheduled termination to your flight!
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Old Aug 30, 06, 5:39 pm   #12
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Originally Posted by VC10 Boy
Recognising this problem and how it can affect the resale value, Boeing is designing the 787 in such a way that it will be possible to swap power plants. This is in part only possible due to the fact that most systems that were hydraulic will be electrically actuated on the dreamliner....
Boeing were even promoting the possibility that a 787 will happily and safely fly with a GE engine on one wing and a RR on the other. Boeing promoted this as useful (??) if say a GE powered 787 breaks down at or near to the base airport of an airline whose 787's are RR powered. A RR engine (or vice versa) could be loaned / rented for a few days to keep the a/c in service. In theory the owner of the stricken a/c would save a number of revenue days that would be lost by having to fly an engine out from their maintenance base which could be the other side of the world.

And all this is possible (claimed Boeing) because of common hardware interfaces to both engine types and more importantly, software for the engine control systems that can be reconfigured quickly to make different engine types behave identically. To the pilot, the whole thing will be transparent and he / she would not have to use any different procedures when dissimilar engines are fitted.

I have my doubts as to whether this is a real 787 benefit or not though.
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Old Aug 31, 06, 12:10 am   #13
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BA97
Don't call our colonial friends names
FRIENDS?

Originally Posted by chris18london
Quote:
Would be interested what they would do with the smokey Pratts.
PRATTS?
The latter term means nothing out here in the Colonies.

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Old Aug 31, 06, 12:16 am   #14
 
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two nations divided by a common language (oscar wilde)

Quote:
Originally Posted by sftrvlr
FRIENDS?

Originally Posted by chris18london


PRATTS?
The latter term means nothing out here in the Colonies.


sftrvlr-

when a 'lobsterback' calls you a 'pratt' he/she means you are an ..., idiot, fool...take your pick...it's a derogatory term meaning any of the above.

for the record, i love most things british and i don't usually refer to them as kingsmen or lobsterbacks...
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Last edited by eastwest; Aug 31, 06 at 12:17 am. Reason: additional comment
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Old Aug 31, 06, 12:35 am   #15
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sftrvlr

PRATTS?
The latter term means nothing out here in the Colonies.

Been a while since Palm Springs was a colony
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