• Hi Guest! Forum rules have been updated. All users please read here.

Unbuilt, experimental and unusual Boeing 747s

taildragger

You can count on me - I won a contest
Joined
Nov 2, 2008
Messages
199
Reaction score
21
Any information on the 747 derivative depicted here? This image was recently sold on eBay without any identifying details. It shows an aircraft based on a 747-100 or 200 with the following features:
- a rotodome that looks like it might be similar in size to that used on the E-3 but on taller struts
- a dorsal fairing behind the upper deck fairing, probably for a satellite antenna
- some sort of fairing on the aft end of the fuselage, perhaps with a dielectric tailcone
- something being streamed from a tube under the rear fuselage, perhaps a wire antenna
- a missile being launched from doors under the forward fuselage. The missile looks like a long range air-to-air type, perhaps a Phoenix or Eagle with a booster. It looks like there are a set of doors right and left of centerline under the forward and aft fuselage
- what could be optical sensors below the nosecone and above the tailcone
- a break for the nose cargo door
I have trouble imagining what sort of mission would require this set of features other than some sort of all-purpose AWACS/Command Post/Missileer battleplane.
 

Attachments

Foo Fighter

I came, I saw, I drank some tea (and had a bun).
Joined
Jul 19, 2016
Messages
802
Reaction score
55
Some kind of advanced aerial command and control like the (SP) NECAP?
 

TomS

CLEARANCE: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Apr 16, 2008
Messages
3,178
Reaction score
102
Any information on the 747 derivative depicted here? This image was recently sold on eBay without any identifying details. It shows an aircraft based on a 747-100 or 200 with the following features:
.....
I have trouble imagining what sort of mission would require this set of features other than some sort of all-purpose AWACS/Command Post/Missileer battleplane.
You're on the right track, I think. Probably intended for continental air defense, a single airframe to detect and intercept Soviet bombers in the far North.
 

Sundog

CLEARANCE: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Aug 2, 2006
Messages
2,595
Reaction score
25
Was this missile some sort of extended range phoenix?
 

TomS

CLEARANCE: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Apr 16, 2008
Messages
3,178
Reaction score
102
Was this missile some sort of extended range phoenix?
Sure looks like it. Or an extended booster version of Eagle, which amounts to almost the same thing.
 

Hood

CLEARANCE: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Sep 6, 2006
Messages
1,243
Reaction score
120
Assuming this is an early/mid-1970s design it would be too late for Eagle surely?
The APY-1 radar makes sense for a long-range stand-off interception platform, but it does also have nose and tail radars, presumably for fire-control but two such radars seem overkill, especially given the APY-1 coverage assuming they are not meant for look-down over ground cluttered areas where APY-1 performed less well?
Still not sure why the trailing comms aerial is fitted. Its hard to say if this is a command platform or a stand-off defence platform (to fill something like the GIUK gap).
A voice in the back of my mind still keeps saying "is this genuine" though.
 

taildragger

You can count on me - I won a contest
Joined
Nov 2, 2008
Messages
199
Reaction score
21
A voice in the back of my mind still keeps saying "is this genuine" though.
I can't vouch for the authenticity of the image, but:
- The eBay seller was located in Derby, Ks which is about 5 miles from Spirit Aerosystems (formerly Boeing Wichita)
- The image looks the part and, if a what-if concoction, is very well done. The physical copy is an inkjet printed copy, not the original (I assume) lithograph
 
Last edited:

Hood

CLEARANCE: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Sep 6, 2006
Messages
1,243
Reaction score
120
I can't vouch for the authenticity of the image, but:
- The eBay seller was located in Derby, Ks which is about 5 miles from Sprit Aerosystems (formerly Boeing Wichita)
- The image looks the part and, if a what-if concoction, is very well done. The physical copy is an inkjet printed copy, not the original (I assume) lithograph
In that case, this may well be an undiscovered proposal. It is certainly intriguing.
 

_Del_

I really should change my personal text
Joined
Jan 4, 2012
Messages
357
Reaction score
2
With the fairing an extended antenna, I would say Air Battle Management.
As an AEW platform, it almost certainly features better endurance than the Sentry.
I suppose the ability to loft even a couple of extremely long-range AAM in the Phoenix class makes some sense if you have a platform with the room and lifting margin. Both as a supplement to interceptors and for self-defense. Let go one or two, and turn tail where your (AN/AWG-9?) radar provides guidance while you try to put as much distance between you and the bandit as possible. Gives them something to think about anyway. If you disrupt an intercept for five minutes, that's almost 50 miles you gain towards safety, and around three minutes longer you stay out of range for a Mach 1.2 interceptor closing. More time to get deeper behind your own SAM batteries and to allow friendly fighters to close/engage. Bonus points if your ER-AAM hits something.
Seems like cost would be a real issue with a gold-plating an already expensive AEW/Air Battle Management platform.
 

Grey Havoc

The path not taken.
Senior Member
Joined
Oct 9, 2009
Messages
8,987
Reaction score
181
Is that a South Korean air force tail code, or are my eyes playing tricks on me?
 

TomS

CLEARANCE: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Apr 16, 2008
Messages
3,178
Reaction score
102
From Internet.
Would be nice to see the rest of the base. It seems to be an IAI Elta design, but it seems fairly old, possibly predating the fixed Phalcon AEW radars. ROKAF has wanted AEW for a long time, but as early as the mid-1990s, IAI was offering a 767-based solution with Phalcon. This might be even older, maybe late 1980s?
 

TomcatViP

Hellcat
Senior Member
Joined
Feb 12, 2017
Messages
820
Reaction score
35
What about an anti-submarine hunter tracking long range sub-hunter far out at sea?
Or an E-4++ with self defence capability for the days after doomsday.
 
Last edited:

F-14D

I really did change my personal text
Senior Member
Joined
Oct 4, 2007
Messages
1,731
Reaction score
7
Was this missile some sort of extended range phoenix?
Sure looks like it. Or an extended booster version of Eagle, which amounts to almost the same thing.
I think it's probably a booster-equipped AIM-47, which can be thought of as the nephew of the Eagle, and the father of the Phoenix. This would make sense since AIM-47 was the intended armament of USAF's F-12B.

614891
 

RanulfC

CLEARANCE: Top Secret
Joined
Mar 6, 2009
Messages
528
Reaction score
48
Any information on the 747 derivative depicted here? This image was recently sold on eBay without any identifying details.
While working AWACS there were always plans being bandied about for a "Son of the AWACS" which as far as I can gather started before the first E3 was even built and the platform waffled back and forth a lot. After GW1/DSh/DSt we made a pretty convincing argument to the design engineers that they needed a bigger airframe than the 707. (Litterally stuffing them into the spaces WE had to work in did wonders :) )

It shows an aircraft based on a 747-100 or 200 with the following features:
- a rotodome that looks like it might be similar in size to that used on the E-3 but on taller struts
Not at all sure why you'd need it to be taller the drag and aerodynamic issues of the lengthened struts isn't going to be trivial and maintenance that far up gets exponentionally harder. As it's the smaller 747 airframe I'm going to say it may actually be a bit smaller.

- a dorsal fairing behind the upper deck fairing, probably for a satellite antenna
Might be a generic "stuff under here" fairing but satellite antenna are usally pretty much flat plates/disks. (In fact ours were painted black with a white stripe JUST to mess with people) Could also be a more 'directional' antenna fairing but given it's pretty much 'behind' the upper deck bulge not sure it would work.

- some sort of fairing on the aft end of the fuselage, perhaps with a dielectric tailcone
I'd agree on advanced communications and networking systems likely. The AWACS has so many antenna on it's belly since the mid-70s that the crew could no longer safetly bail out without being torn to shreds, (bailout slide for the forward crew is in front of the antenna farm) and there was always talk of tacking a 'tail' stinger for coms on the airframe.

- something being streamed from a tube under the rear fuselage, perhaps a wire antenna
Pretty much, looks like a trailed communications antenna system which was another thing they wanted to add to AWACS but we had no room on the airframe.

- a missile being launched from doors under the forward fuselage. The missile looks like a long range air-to-air type, perhaps a Phoenix or Eagle with a booster. It looks like there are a set of doors right and left of centerline under the forward and aft fuselage
Not as odd as it may sound since, being bored on TDY, (yes MOST good military stories start with that line don't they :) ) we discovered that there was a (now) blank panel on the flight engineers station that was labeled in the T.O. as "Missile System Control Panel" that lead to a wiring run that lead... Nowhere... It terminated dirctly below the cockpit in the forward lower lobe with a capped off run that went aft and branched off to the Engine Ferry hardpoint. (The E3 can attach an 'extra' engine to the right side of the aircraft to carry to a TDY destination, though it was clear it had other uses as it was plumbed for fuel/fluid and electrical connections but none of them went beyond the inner wall of the airframe)

There was a software change that could be loaded so that the radar would be able to be used for long range "hand-off' of SAHR missiles like the AIM-7 and AIM-120 to help with a "salvo fire" situation but we'd have to hand them back for final guidance as we didn't have final targeting capability. (And yes I laughed LONG and HARD over one suggestion that the AWACS itself might have carried "AIM-9's" for self defense... And then had to explain how I knew that wasn't a 'thing' that was going to happen :) ) I'm pretty sure we could have handled a very long range heavy missile like the Phoenix. Especially if it had it's own terminal guidance system.

Now actually carrying them ON the aircraft wasn't often discussed simply because, (given the airframe size) there just wasn't a lot of room but on a 747 frame that might make some sense for something like a long range AA missile bus. But the 'job' isn't really plausible especially with internal carry of more than few of such large weapons AND the launcher system. And in between those doors is your nose gear and systems as well which also cuts down on your load. So maybe four of those birds when you could carry about a dozen on the wings?

- what could be optical sensors below the nosecone and above the tailcone
Not even sure but they could be an early or different 'anti-missile' system such as the over engine 'cans' and laser dazzlers we currently have. Not at all sure what good any optical system would do you as this thing will likely always be radiating and if it's in 'visual' range it's in big trouble.

- a break for the nose cargo door
Ya that doesn't make a lot of sense unless you're loading "pre-packaged" missiles? It's really easier to load and unload through the launch system.

I have trouble imagining what sort of mission would require this set of features other than some sort of all-purpose AWACS/Command Post/Missileer battleplane.
Really it doesn't have 'enough' of any one system to be good at any one mission and to limited to do them all at once. MIght simply be a general illustration of everything it COULD do but not sure how that'd be a 'selling' point.

Randy
 

taildragger

You can count on me - I won a contest
Joined
Nov 2, 2008
Messages
199
Reaction score
21
After GW1/DSh/DSt we made a pretty convincing argument to the design engineers that they needed a bigger airframe than the 707. (Litterally stuffing them into the spaces WE had to work in did wonders :) )

Thanks for the background info. I didn't realize that the E-3 was tight on space - your comments illuminate the trouble the British had with space trying to develop the smaller AEW Nimrod for a similar role with similar vintage technology but with 2 antennae.
 

trexslee

CLEARANCE: Restricted
Joined
Apr 23, 2019
Messages
34
Reaction score
27
From L+K 14/1981.
The one 747 stretch proposal in the middle appears to be the same length as or perhaps slightly longer than the Boeing 747-600X later in 1996, which was around 279 feet in length.
 
Last edited:

hesham

CLEARANCE: Above Top Secret
Joined
May 26, 2006
Messages
23,769
Reaction score
816
From L+K 13/1966,

early Model to Boeing 747,right ?.
 

Attachments

carsinamerica

CLEARANCE: Confidential
Joined
Feb 19, 2010
Messages
104
Reaction score
6
From L+K 14/1981.
The one 747 stretch proposal in the middle appears to be the same length as or perhaps slightly longer than the Boeing 747-600X later in 1996, which was around 279 feet in length.
Close, but it's hard to pin down. When you count window frames and try to equi-space them, it looks like about 22 frames (the 747-600X was 27.5 frames). However, if you just compare base length, it comes out to about 277 feet. It's hard to say how precise this is. I've seen several proposals from 1979 centered around a 6-frame forward, 8-frame aft stretch, plus the SUD.

What's interesting, though, is that this is the only proposed 747 variant I've ever seen with 6 main-deck entry doors. Even the 747-600X didn't have that.

There were some earlier proposals (circulated in the 24 July 1975 issue of Flight International, that talked about a stretch of 50 to 70 feet to meet the anticipated needs of British Airways. I've never seen any sketchwork or schematics to accompany the latter proposal. That surely would have need six, and perhaps seven, main entry doors.

The most outlandish proposal I've ever hear was this gem, from Flight International on 24 June 1989: "Boeing is working on a 747-400 freighter, and a possible stretched or reconfigured development that could take up to 650 passengers. The 747-400F will probably be launched this summer, to be available in late 1992/early 1993. Further ahead is a 747-500, which would have either a fuselage stretch or a double deck running the aircraft's length. Sutter says that a stretched -400 is 'a natural.' Fuselage plugs fore and aft would add 50-100ft [emphasis added], and the aircraft would require a new 230-240ft-span wing." That would make the 747 more than 332 feet long plus however much extra length would be incurred by larger horizontal and vertical stabilizers. I think that would make it the largest jetliner ever seriously contemplated (possibly even slightly longer than MDD's HSCT, the other contender). I've never seen any illustrations of this, either.

Hesham: Do you have any text that went along with this image? It'd be helpful to see what they were saying.
 

trexslee

CLEARANCE: Restricted
Joined
Apr 23, 2019
Messages
34
Reaction score
27
From L+K 14/1981.
The one 747 stretch proposal in the middle appears to be the same length as or perhaps slightly longer than the Boeing 747-600X later in 1996, which was around 279 feet in length.
Close, but it's hard to pin down. When you count window frames and try to equi-space them, it looks like about 22 frames (the 747-600X was 27.5 frames). However, if you just compare base length, it comes out to about 277 feet. It's hard to say how precise this is. I've seen several proposals from 1979 centered around a 6-frame forward, 8-frame aft stretch, plus the SUD.

What's interesting, though, is that this is the only proposed 747 variant I've ever seen with 6 main-deck entry doors. Even the 747-600X didn't have that.

There were some earlier proposals (circulated in the 24 July 1975 issue of Flight International, that talked about a stretch of 50 to 70 feet to meet the anticipated needs of British Airways. I've never seen any sketchwork or schematics to accompany the latter proposal. That surely would have need six, and perhaps seven, main entry doors.

The most outlandish proposal I've ever hear was this gem, from Flight International on 24 June 1989: "Boeing is working on a 747-400 freighter, and a possible stretched or reconfigured development that could take up to 650 passengers. The 747-400F will probably be launched this summer, to be available in late 1992/early 1993. Further ahead is a 747-500, which would have either a fuselage stretch or a double deck running the aircraft's length. Sutter says that a stretched -400 is 'a natural.' Fuselage plugs fore and aft would add 50-100ft [emphasis added], and the aircraft would require a new 230-240ft-span wing." That would make the 747 more than 332 feet long plus however much extra length would be incurred by larger horizontal and vertical stabilizers. I think that would make it the largest jetliner ever seriously contemplated (possibly even slightly longer than MDD's HSCT, the other contender). I've never seen any illustrations of this, either.

Hesham: Do you have any text that went along with this image? It'd be helpful to see what they were saying.
Well that means I was pretty close. And on to those 747 stretch proposals you mentioned, these proposals are surely crazy huge. I estimate that the 50-70 foot 747 stretch from 1975 would have carried at least 510 passengers to as much as 730. And as for the 100 foot stretch from 1989, that plane would have carried at least 750 passengers, to as many as 1150. And I think you are right. It probably would be the largest jetliner of all time if it was built. Now if that particular plane also had a full length upper deck, it would probably have an exit limit of a whopping 1500+ passengers. Now wouldn't that be crazy or what?
 

Jemiba

CLEARANCE: Above Top Secret
Staff member
Top Contributor
Senior Member
Joined
Mar 11, 2006
Messages
7,994
Reaction score
150
... Hesham: Do you have any text that went along with this image? It'd be helpful to see what they were saying.
About "Boeing is preparing a model of its next prototype for wind tunnel measurements" ... if the translator got it right.
 

GeorgeA

CLEARANCE: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Dec 31, 2006
Messages
772
Reaction score
23
You get to some practical limits in terms of terminal capability and capacity. A 300-footer would be a challenge to manage on the apron at a cramped place like JFK, for example. You'd also have a huge catering requirement. Getting several flights' worth of passengers through the same FIS at the same time is kind of a nightmare now, let alone a scenario of dumping 1500 people at once into customs and baggage processing.

There's also the economic issue of whether 1500 people want to go to the same place at the same time. The 747 was retired by several airlines in its early days because there were just too many seats to fill. I'm sure there are a handful of very high-capacity routes where a 1500-seat aircraft and carefully designed compatible infrastructure would work, but it's questionable whether there are enough to support a new aircraft development program.
 

trexslee

CLEARANCE: Restricted
Joined
Apr 23, 2019
Messages
34
Reaction score
27
You get to some practical limits in terms of terminal capability and capacity. A 300-footer would be a challenge to manage on the apron at a cramped place like JFK, for example. You'd also have a huge catering requirement. Getting several flights' worth of passengers through the same FIS at the same time is kind of a nightmare now, let alone a scenario of dumping 1500 people at once into customs and baggage processing.

There's also the economic issue of whether 1500 people want to go to the same place at the same time. The 747 was retired by several airlines in its early days because there were just too many seats to fill. I'm sure there are a handful of very high-capacity routes where a 1500-seat aircraft and carefully designed compatible infrastructure would work, but it's questionable whether there are enough to support a new aircraft development program.
I believe you have a point.
 

carsinamerica

CLEARANCE: Confidential
Joined
Feb 19, 2010
Messages
104
Reaction score
6
You're the best, hesham.

I don't speak a word of Czech, but this is what Google Translate makes of that text:

A comparison of the wing at the same time, seventy-seven, with a projection for the late 1980s. The new "bearing area has a sip in a quarter of depth" [wing angle at quarter-chord?] only 34 degrees instead of the current 37.5 degrees. Composite materials are widely used in wing construction.

Planned reconstruction of the Boeing 747 with a new wing: extended spine [upper deck?] and two new fuselage sections of 3.04 [120 in] and 3.96 meters [155, perh. 160 in] (top) longer variant with 17.06 [670 in] and 8.23 meters [325 in] (middle) and a fuselage with original length, top flank cut to tail (down). This two-deck 747 m is still set up [stretched?] by two segments of 7 meters [~280 in]. The capacity of the individual versions should be 571 (647), 630 (770), 633 (770) and (800) passengers (in short-range versions). Sufficient interest of the carrier should decide on the implementation.
So, the middle one is much bigger than it originally appeared, because the bottom one isn't actually the same size as the 747-200B, after all, and they aren't to scale compared with each other. That middle proposal is a stretch of 83 feet (25.29 m), folks. Hesham, you've just come up with an image and description of the largest 747 stretch I've ever heard of, aside from that claimed 100 ft stretch that FI talked about. Three-class capacity of 633 people!

If the planform comparison is correctly scaled, then the new, reduced-sweep wing would be about 1.3 times the span of the 747 Classic wing, for a new span of 256 ft.

Things that I'm not clear about from this:
  • Why are there four sets of capacities, when they only discuss three variants?
  • Is the 7 meter stretch implying 7 meters total, or two segments of 7 meters each? Maybe the text explicates this, and Google Translate just can't parse it that closely

Hesham: Were there any pages near this, an article perhaps, that had more information, or was this just something by itself?

These stretch schemes sound a little similar to these proposals from 1973, but different in some ways, as well. Most notably, the early-70s proposals didn't incorporate the SUD as we presently understand it. The 50 feet of stretch in the first variant is just a pair of cuts in the constant-section part of the fuselage. The bottom one, though, describes a double-decker with a 7.5-meter stretch.
 

Attachments

hesham

CLEARANCE: Above Top Secret
Joined
May 26, 2006
Messages
23,769
Reaction score
816
Frankly I don't know the answer my dear Carsin,

but here is the whole page
 

Attachments

trexslee

CLEARANCE: Restricted
Joined
Apr 23, 2019
Messages
34
Reaction score
27
Hi,

I have read on Volume 81 of the Structural Engineer Journal where it read in 1994 about Boeing planning a super 747 that would have a fuselage and wingspan of 100 meters and provide 1000 seats. So, on one hand, that number of passengers would probably be the plane's exit limit. And on the other hand, that same number would also be the 3 class capacity if the fuselage has a full length second deck or if the fuselage is similar to the NLA designs that Boeing also designed at that time. What do you guys Think?
 
Last edited:

RavenOne

CLEARANCE: Confidential
Joined
Jun 18, 2008
Messages
185
Reaction score
52
Talking about unusual jumbos, I was lucky to see the 'Doomsday' Boeing E-4B NECAP from 55th Wing arrive at the 'Hall yesterday midday. It is supporting POTUS visit to France for G7.

Usually if it flies into UK, you will laugh but it flies into STN. Last time it was in the 'Hall it was 6 years ago June (same day as Paris Air Show kicked off).

So here are my photos below.

Cheers

e4b_2.jpge4b_4.jpge4b_9.jpg
e4b_11.jpg
 
Top