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Unbuilt, experimental and unusual Boeing 747s

Dronte

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In view of the material already presented in the forum this topic will surely motivate enough crossposting but I believe that the topic deserves to take their own place.

-A 90's proposal of GE for a Super-AWACS. A wind tunnel model existed but I have not gotten pictures of the same one.

-Another proposal of the 90's of a substitution of flying observatory of the NASA (at the moment based on a C-141) based on the pattern SP

-Concepts of Boeing, also of the 90's, for versions of more capacity.

-The early 747-300 that it should be a version of smaller size and three engines.
 

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Sentinel Chicken

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The 747SP flying observatory is undergoing fit out at TSTC Waco here in Texas: http://www.sofia.usra.edu/

Latest news item on the SOFIA (Stratospheric Observatory For Infrared Astronomy):

NASA Gives Green Light For SOFIA

by Staff Writers
Columbia MD (SPX) Jul 24, 2006


A major project of NASA and the German aerospace agency DLR to build an airborne astronomical observatory has received the go-ahead to complete the nearly finished effort. Meanwhile the project continues to pass crucial milestones in its development.

Called the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy, or SOFIA, the NASA/DLR mission uses a heavily modified Boeing 747-SP aircraft to carry aloft a telescope larger than the Hubble Space Telescope.

The aircraft, which has a large opening for the telescope in its left flank, will fly to altitudes of up to 45,000 feet, putting it above more than 99 percent of Earth's obscuring water vapor. SOFIA represents one of the largest modifications ever undertaken to a Boeing 747 aircraft.

A large section of the rear of the 747 is essentially newly built, with a large cavity and pressurized bulkhead to accommodate the telescope and its intricate door and aperture system. The door will open in flight to allow astronomical observations.

NASA had held off on committing final funding to the project in its fiscal year 2007 budget submission to Congress, pending the outcome of a special review of the project by a panel of outside experts.

On June 15, following its review, NASA announced the conclusion that "there were no insurmountable technical or programmatic challenges to the continued development of (SOFIA)."

On July 6, addressing the NASA Advisory Council Science Subcommittees, Michael Griffin, the agency's administrator, said, "Having received this report, I now believe the best course going forward is to continue SOFIA ... I have made this consideration carefully, and I believe that it is the best course of action for SOFIA as well as the rest of the astronomy and astrophysics portfolio."

Last month, the aircraft, with the telescope inside, received a rigorous "Ground Vibration Test" at the L-3 Communications Integrated Systems facility in Waco, Texas. The test involved installing sensors throughout SOFIA and then shaking the aircraft for many hours per day during a 10-day span.

At times, the shaking was enough to make the wings visibly flap up and down in the hangar, by distances of a foot or more. During some parts of the test, the telescope was held stationary; during other parts, the telescope was moved slowly as it would during scientific research observations. Preliminary analysis of the test data showed no problems or surprises.

SOFIA is being prepared for its first test flight later this year. Having passed the vibration test, the airborne observatory is now scheduled for a series of aircraft ground operational tests and finishing touches. In July and August, the aircraft will undergo fueling and pressure tests, culminating in run-ups of the newly installed engines.

A joint endeavor between NASA and the DLR, SOFIA will be a major international scientific facility once it is operational. For its part, Germany contributed the 2.5-meter telescope, which is considered a marvel of engineering, and will continue to contribute twenty percent to the future operation of the flying observatory.

Future scientific operation of SOFIA will be carried out by the Universities Space Research Association, in Columbia, Md., under funding from NASA, and by the German SOFIA Institute, located at the University of Stuttgart, under funding from the DLR.

SOFIA will provide an excellent platform for the study of black hole environments, galactic evolution, the chemical composition of interstellar gas clouds, complex organic molecules in space, and the formation of stars and solar systems. SOFIA will also provide a unique opportunity for educators to partner with scientists on research missions.

"The findings of the panel that reviewed the SOFIA project did not surprise those of us who have been close to the project," said David Black, president of USRA. "I was pleased to hear of Administrator Griffin's decision, and we look forward to moving ahead as expeditiously as possible to bring this remarkable observatory to operation."

"This is fantastic news and a great boost to infrared and sub-millimeter astrophysics," said Eric Becklin, SOFIA's chief scientist. Hans-Peter Roeser, leader of the DSI, said he assumes SOFIA will fly as early as this year.

"As the last FAA-required structural test before flight, our L-3 team is proud of its role in taking this observatory from design to reality," said Ed Gloviak, L-3 Integrated Systems vice president for special programs and services.
 

Dronte

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:eek: :eek: You have given me a happiness. I thought that the new airborne observatory had been canceled by budget lack.

I should leave my basement more frequently! ;D
 

Tophe

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Several years ago, there was also a "twin-boom 747" ;D art on the Web, but it disappeared rather soon. It seems it was an April fools' day joke ;) from the Boeing company, a Boeing 747 Zwilling as Airbus A-380 competitor...
 

Sentinel Chicken

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More unbuilt 747 designs:

1973 Stretch Studies (based upon the 747-100)

-Convenient break points were designed into the 747 fore and aft of the wings to allow fuselage plugs to be inserted into Section 42 between Sections 44 and 46 with a stretch of up to 50 feet
-Stretch option 1: 5 foot plug ahead of wing/approx 11 foot plug aft of wing- 666 pax short range/472 pax long range
-Stretch option 2: 25 foot plug ahead/12 foot plug aft of wing- 716 pax short range/544 pax long range
-Stretched upper deck (option 3): Full length upper deck, no fuselage stretch- 847 pax short range/624 pax long range
-Stretched upper deck/fuselage stretch (option 4): 13 foot plug ahead/12 foot plug aft of wing- 1000 pax short range/732 pax long range
- Variants shelved due to 1973 oil crisis and insufficient engines available (but stretched upper deck work led to the 747-200SUD/300/400 versions)

1976 Stretch Studies (based upon 747-200)

-Up to 25 foot stretch total of fuselage
-Stretching upper deck as far back as the trailing edge of the wing
-12 foot plug ahead/13 foot plug aft of the wing
-Led to the 747-300 version with no fuselage stretch but more modest upper deck stretch.

1971 Preliminary 747SP Proposals

-Asymmetrical three engine version- two on one wing, one engine on the other (to compete with DC-10/L-1011)
-Buried second engine in tail, one engine on each wing (similar to earlier 747-300 proposal to head off Northwest Orient's order of the DC-10- picture posted above by Dronte)

Early 1970s Stretched Freighter Proposals

-Wing root extensions giving a longer wing combined with full-length double deck
-Abandoned due to lack of 65K-75K thrust-class turbofans at the time

Military Proposals

-1970s tanker studies (also led to the Imperial Iranian Air Force 747 tankers with flying booms)- approx 230,000 lbs of offloadable fuel even after a 4600 mile flight.

-MC747 (1970s)- based upon 747-200F, it would have been armed with four Minuteman ICBMs ejected out from an aft bay in Section 46- both backwards ejecting and forwards-firing proposals studied.

-Bomber 747 (1970s)- 65 foot bomb bay capable of carrying 7 57,000 lb missiles or 2 200,000 lb missiles

-ALCM 747 (late 1970s)- 43 ALCMs carried on racks loaded via nose door and either launched from rotaty launchers or stack racks.

-Airlift 747 (late 1970s/early 1980s)- proposed alternative to further purchases of the C-5 Galaxy- based on 747-200F and would have had special nose jack to lower the sill height for the nose door. System tested in 1980 on a Flying Tigers 747-200F.

-C-33A (proposed 1990s)- alternative to C-17A Globemaster III, again based on 747-200F. Referred to as NDAA (Non-Developmental Airlift Alternative). Powered by PW4056 engines and winner of the NDAA competition. USAF elected to maintain status quo and stick with the C-17A.

(Source: Boeing 747 by Martin Bowman, Crowood Press 2000)
 

elmayerle

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The SOFIA program is quite a major undertaking. I worked at the Waco facility for some 2-1/2 years (on other programs) and I know that one was a rather challenging effort.
 

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.. another AWACS proposal, source unfortunately unknown
 

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Jemiba

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... or a A380 built by Boeing! And here I even have the source :Aviation Week1965 18-27 !
 

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Archibald

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flateric said:
Archibald, it's useful to use search option of this forum and, of course, browse through various postings here)))
Boeing CX-HLS entry, initially posted by Pometablava here
http://www.secretprojects.co.uk/forum/index.php?topic=219.msg1426#msg1426
The second ilustration of Boeing CX-HLS is from highly recommended Bill Norton's Lockheed C-5 Galaxy (Warbirdtech series Vol.36)
::) :-\
Hmmm I usually browse the forum before posting, but this time no... and well, this was not totally off topic ;D

Thanks for the links!!!
 

hesham

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A surprise my dear Jemiba,

the project of Aviation Week 1965 was redesign again in 1995
and submitted to UHCA/VLCT program,as double deck Boeing
747X,developed from Model 747-400.
 

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elmayerle

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Sentinel Chicken said:
The 747SP flying observatory is undergoing fit out at TSTC Waco here in Texas: http://www.sofia.usra.edu/
Well, actually it's at the Waco facility of the Integrated Systems Division of L3 Communications which was formerly a division of Raytheon who'd bought it as Chrysler Technologies. I worked there, though not on SOFIA, from 2000 to 2002 and it's a good place. They also do a lot of spcialized completion work (a few private aircraft for the Sultan of Brunei as well as the Japanese equivalent of Air Force One are among them) and the do a lot of work with EP-3 upgrades and conversions (and that's all I can say on that last subject).
 

boxkite

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Two artist's impression of what I'm thinking it's the Boeing CX-HLS/C-5 entry. The hinges/hydraulic cylinders are looking very fragile in times of heavy metal :eek: ...

SOURCE: aero February 1965
 

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hesham

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Sentinel Chicken said:
The 747SP flying observatory is undergoing fit out at TSTC Waco here in Texas: http://www.sofia.usra.edu/

Latest news item on the SOFIA (Stratospheric Observatory For Infrared Astronomy):

NASA Gives Green Light For SOFIA

by Staff Writers
Columbia MD (SPX) Jul 24, 2006


A major project of NASA and the German aerospace agency DLR to build an airborne astronomical observatory has received the go-ahead to complete the nearly finished effort. Meanwhile the project continues to pass crucial milestones in its development.

Called the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy, or SOFIA, the NASA/DLR mission uses a heavily modified Boeing 747-SP aircraft to carry aloft a telescope larger than the Hubble Space Telescope.

The aircraft, which has a large opening for the telescope in its left flank, will fly to altitudes of up to 45,000 feet, putting it above more than 99 percent of Earth's obscuring water vapor. SOFIA represents one of the largest modifications ever undertaken to a Boeing 747 aircraft.

A large section of the rear of the 747 is essentially newly built, with a large cavity and pressurized bulkhead to accommodate the telescope and its intricate door and aperture system. The door will open in flight to allow astronomical observations.

NASA had held off on committing final funding to the project in its fiscal year 2007 budget submission to Congress, pending the outcome of a special review of the project by a panel of outside experts.

On June 15, following its review, NASA announced the conclusion that "there were no insurmountable technical or programmatic challenges to the continued development of (SOFIA)."

On July 6, addressing the NASA Advisory Council Science Subcommittees, Michael Griffin, the agency's administrator, said, "Having received this report, I now believe the best course going forward is to continue SOFIA ... I have made this consideration carefully, and I believe that it is the best course of action for SOFIA as well as the rest of the astronomy and astrophysics portfolio."

Last month, the aircraft, with the telescope inside, received a rigorous "Ground Vibration Test" at the L-3 Communications Integrated Systems facility in Waco, Texas. The test involved installing sensors throughout SOFIA and then shaking the aircraft for many hours per day during a 10-day span.

At times, the shaking was enough to make the wings visibly flap up and down in the hangar, by distances of a foot or more. During some parts of the test, the telescope was held stationary; during other parts, the telescope was moved slowly as it would during scientific research observations. Preliminary analysis of the test data showed no problems or surprises.

SOFIA is being prepared for its first test flight later this year. Having passed the vibration test, the airborne observatory is now scheduled for a series of aircraft ground operational tests and finishing touches. In July and August, the aircraft will undergo fueling and pressure tests, culminating in run-ups of the newly installed engines.

A joint endeavor between NASA and the DLR, SOFIA will be a major international scientific facility once it is operational. For its part, Germany contributed the 2.5-meter telescope, which is considered a marvel of engineering, and will continue to contribute twenty percent to the future operation of the flying observatory.

Future scientific operation of SOFIA will be carried out by the Universities Space Research Association, in Columbia, Md., under funding from NASA, and by the German SOFIA Institute, located at the University of Stuttgart, under funding from the DLR.

SOFIA will provide an excellent platform for the study of black hole environments, galactic evolution, the chemical composition of interstellar gas clouds, complex organic molecules in space, and the formation of stars and solar systems. SOFIA will also provide a unique opportunity for educators to partner with scientists on research missions.

"The findings of the panel that reviewed the SOFIA project did not surprise those of us who have been close to the project," said David Black, president of USRA. "I was pleased to hear of Administrator Griffin's decision, and we look forward to moving ahead as expeditiously as possible to bring this remarkable observatory to operation."

"This is fantastic news and a great boost to infrared and sub-millimeter astrophysics," said Eric Becklin, SOFIA's chief scientist. Hans-Peter Roeser, leader of the DSI, said he assumes SOFIA will fly as early as this year.

"As the last FAA-required structural test before flight, our L-3 team is proud of its role in taking this observatory from design to reality," said Ed Gloviak, L-3 Integrated Systems vice president for special programs and services.
NASA USRA.
http://www.flightglobal.com/PDFArchive/View/1997/1997%20-%200007.html?search=aircraft%20project%201985
 

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Caravellarella

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Dear Dronte, Martin W. Bowman's title on the Boeing 747 (ISBN 1-8626-242-6; The Crowood Press) mentions a "Phase B" Boeing 747 version. This is the only time I have ever seen it mentioned in print, but it involved a new wing with span increased by 24 feet for long range use. Obviously such a wing was never developed and appears to have superseded by the standard Boeing 747B, later known as the 747-200B in 1970......

Such an interesting development would have led to early increases in range and payload; increases that only happened in the late 1970s with the introduction of higher powered engines from all three engine suppliers to the 747 programme. Would anyone out have ever seen an illustration of the "Phase B" wing?

Best wishes, Terry (Caravellarella).
 

hesham

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Hi,

http://www.flightglobal.com/pdfarchive/view/1989/1989%20-%202008.html?search=scramjet%20aircraft
 

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Tophe

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Sentinel Chicken said:
More unbuilt 747 designs:
1971 Preliminary 747SP Proposals
-Asymmetrical three engine version- two on one wing, one engine on the other (to compete with DC-10/L-1011)
(Source: Boeing 747 by Martin Bowman, Crowood Press 2000)
Dear Sentinel Chicken,
is there in the book a picture to say if my interpretation below is right or wrong?
 

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PMN1

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The Trijet looks bloody ugly....
 

fightingirish

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Asymmetrical three engine version...
PMN1 said:
The Trijet looks bloody ugly....
Looks like a test bed for an engine for the B777 successor.
 

flateric

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1). Double-decker 747 (initial studies of 747)
2,3). 747-800X ca 2003
...possibly the next version 747, the
747-800X. This airplane will do routes like Hong
Kong to New York. It will carry payloads from
Singapore to many important destinations. It will
meet the severe, new strict noise rules emanating
from such places as Heathrow and Amsterdam. Its
cargo systems are new, lighter and more durable.
The environment for the passenger has been
upgraded to the configuration that was developed
for the 777 – the Boeing Signature Interior -- which
is getting high marks for passenger acceptance.
4) 747-800X and 747X
Besides the 747-800, there’s the 747X that still is
under study (Figure 15). This airplane has a
somewhat larger wing, derived from the current
wing. It will cruise several hundred miles farther. It
will carry about 20 percent more in payload for the
passenger airplane, and somewhat greater
payload for the freighter airplane. Its cruise speed
again will be up at .87 Mach number.
 

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ouroboros

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Whatifs based on some real things...


I think this is GE's engine testbed 747, to get an idea of what a severely uprated 747 may look like
 

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airman

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surely most interesting project is MC747 with tail of B-52 ! :eek: :eek: ;D
 

hesham

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Hi,

http://www.flightglobal.com/pdfarchive/view/1977/1977%20-%200262.html
 

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Antonio

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Boeing 747X Stretch 522 passengers

It could have been ready by 2005 said Boeing in 2001.
 

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KJ_Lesnick

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Anyone remember the B747-500X and B-747-600X models? Those things were insane how long they were stretched out to.


Kendra Lesnick
 

Jeb

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ouroboros said:
Something like this, from the more recent Bond films?
Heeeey, that's the same 747-200 that you see in the background on Top Gear during the track videos! It's located at Dunsfold Park, Surrey UK and has podded twin engines with fuel pods outboard. I never understood what the story was with it...why does it have the swapped engines and fuel pods? Just for something different?
 

Just call me Ray

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It was a prop for Casino Royale, if you've seen the movie you know exactly what I'm talking about. The fuselage was slightly altered digitally during the film's post-production.

The plane was kept there, being used in a Volkswagon commercial, and well, providing a nice backdrop for Jeremy and the Stig? :)
 

Antonio

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AWST March 2000

747 Studied in launch role.

The design, called AirLaunch, was similar in concept to the OSC Pegasus XL. AirLaunch would be developed for LEO and lower medium-altitude orbits. A military version would be to place an SMV (Space Maneuver Vehicle) in orbit while a second version would be an expendabe Conventional Payload Module for civil and military mission

Launch weight for the AirLaunch system would be about 300,000 lb
 

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Antonio

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Addendum to Sentinel Chicken's reply#4:

In early 1993, due to C-17 programme cost had escalated by 47%, the Air Mobility Command expressed interest in alternative aircraft. They looked at the C-5D and the 747-400F as a Non-Developmental Airlift Aircraft (NDAA). The L-1011 and the B-767 were examinated too. At the end, despite the savings, it was concluded the NDAA lacked the potential to be an effective replacement to the C-17.
If purchased, the 747-400F would had been designated the C-33

My sources are:

IAPR Volume 23 page 56 and Flug Revue 6/1995 pg 68

Please note there is a little contradiction with Bowman's book. My sources talk about 747-400 while the refered book talks about 747-200.
 

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Iranian F-14A

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Too bad,a Tanker/Transport KC-33 would have really been useful.
 

hesham

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Sentinel Chicken said:
Here's a drawing of the MC747:

Hi,

http://www.flightglobal.com/pdfarchive/view/1974/1974%20-%200348.html
 

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Triton

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Model of Boeing 747 "ant-eater" or "droop nose" design finalist

Another significant finalist was the "ant-eater." So called because it appeared to have a droop-snout, the ant-eater was important because it promoted the concept of a wide single deck, as well as the idea of placing the flight deck on a different level than the main passenger accommodation The design allowed freight to be loaded directly in the main deck without having to swing the nose out of the way. The same basic concept was used 30 years later by Airbus for the A300-600T Beluga transport.
Source:http://rides.webshots.com/photo/2360418390048918155DrQvBs
 

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Triton

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Boeing 747 concept models. Note the "ant-eater" or "droop nose" concept model in the lower left and the double-deck concept models in the back. Image from 747 - The Story of the Boeing Super Jet by Douglas J. Ingalls, Aero Publishers (1970).

Second image is of early 747 design that was double-decked, mid-wing. Engine pods were farther inboard than on 707. Image from 747 - The Story of the Boeing Super Jet by Douglas J. Ingalls, Aero Publishers (1970). According to Ingalls, Boeing tried about fifty variations of its double-deck concept before abandoning it.
 

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