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Old 3rd April 2009, 11:49   #1
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Default Airplane Review (Boeing 747-400) by a Pilot : A first for Team-BHP!

Review of an airplane is something is definitely a first for me. Have flown 8 different types from 2 to 400+ seater Boeing 747 Jumbo Jets. My favourite, I must say is what I fly now the 747-400.
First the specs:
Minimum crew 2 Pilots, 12 Cabin Crew (to man each door of the cabin, 10 doors on the main deck, 2 on the upper deck).
Max Passenger capacity 423 (12 First Class,26 Executive Class, 385 Economy Class)
Maximum Take off Weight 377.8 tons
Max Fuel Capacity 153 Tons (Specific gravity plays a huge role!)
Max Range about 14000 Kms (Average fuel burn about 10tons/hr)
No. of Engines 4, Pratt & Whitney Turbofan engines 56000 lbs of thrust/engine, all engines have thrust reversers for high speed deceleration.
Max Speed about 1150 Km/hr (We fly on a speed called Mach number. Mach 1 being the speed of sound, standard cruise is Mach 0.86 for the airplane, Never Exceed Speed being 0.92)
Maximum Altitude capability 45100 feet.
Length 213 feet Wingspan 231 feet. Height of Cockpit 60 feet.
16 main wheels and 2 nose gear wheels. Main landing gear are 4 trucks of 4 wheels each. All main landing gear wheels equipped with AntiSkid System and Autobrakes.
4 hydraulic systems, 3 airconditioning systems, 4 pressurization systems all controlled automatically with 2 controllers which alternate between flights.
It has a full glass cockpit (Glass cockpit meaning no dials and meters for instruments, everything is displayed on LCD screens in a logical format) PFD=Primary Flight Display, ND=Navigation Display EICAS=Engine Indication and Crew Alerting System. These three are the basics of a glass cockpit. It also has 3 Autopilots for system redundancy. Capable of CAT III operations and automatic landings.

Handling a heavy jet is done with a lot of touch and feel, no harsh control inputs. She is a big lady and you have to treat her right else she will bite you so bad that you wont know what hit you! The training is done on a 6 axis simulator which can duplicate everything that can possibly happen in an airplane. The visuals are very accurate and you can see the traffic on the Western Express Highway in Bombay when you come in to land! The airplane is easier to fly than the simulator except for one important detail the airplane does not have a pause button! As one of my first instructors had told me never let an airplane take you to a place where your mind has not gone 5 minutes before..

The Boeing philosophy of designing airplanes is quite different from Airbus. Both manufacturers design very safe airplanes, but from a pilots point of view (and I have flown an Airbus previously) I would say that a Boeing gives more control to the pilots whereas an Airbus has a computer watching what you do at all times (like big brother!). A Boeing is more fun to fly. My friends and colleagues who fly Airbus airplanes may differ, but this is my review!
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Old 3rd April 2009, 12:47   #2
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Wow, definitely a first in T-BHP. Btw, why is it Shifting gears? I think it can be moved to test-Drive and review section?

Ofcourse, not owned but you have the full control of your big lady

And the next question. Can we get the pics of the cockpit, upper deck etc? Never had a chance to peep in these locations, let me atleast feel how it looks.

Quote:
Maximum Take off Weight 377.8 tons
Max Fuel Capacity 153 Tons (Specific gravity plays a huge role!)
Now I understand why airlines forced their pilots to fill less fuel. Man, nearly half the weight is fuel...

Last edited by mjothi : 3rd April 2009 at 12:50.
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Old 3rd April 2009, 12:50   #3
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Terrific bit of information ! Can't wait for more !
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Old 3rd April 2009, 12:54   #4
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Great stuff, enjoyed reading all the details. I always wanted to be a pilot, aircrafts fascinate me. I couldn't but my youger brother is living my dream. Next life, I will plan a little better in advance.

Cheers.
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Old 3rd April 2009, 13:05   #5
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Super! great to have you here...

Looking forward for more
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Old 3rd April 2009, 13:06   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mjothi View Post

And the next question. Can we get the pics of the cockpit, upper deck etc? Never had a chance to peep in these locations, let me atleast feel how it looks.
+ 1 to that. Never got a chance to see the insides of the cockpit except in the movies!

Next time, can you ask your co-pilot to click some pics while flying, similar to the way we BHPians hand over the camera to the front passenger!
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Old 3rd April 2009, 13:07   #7
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No prizes for guessing who "instigated" (really using that word lately) this review :

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sam Kapasi View Post
Hey flyboy,

Welcome to Team-BHP, I hope you have a wonderful time here.

You know what I have a suggestion for you. Why don't you (and I'm serious here) post a review of your favourite airplane. Handling, speed etc. etc.

That would be a definite first on TBHP!
Some of those stats are mind-boggling on a community that considers 150 - 200 BHP cars as quick. Thanks for sharing, flyboy747!
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Old 3rd April 2009, 13:08   #8
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awesome stuff man! as sideways mentioned me too wanted to be a pilot but thanks to me being extra brilliant in pcm subjects(managed to get only passing marks) could never realize my dream

all i do now is fly as a passenger in the economy class.lol
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Old 3rd April 2009, 13:10   #9
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Thumbs up Wowie

That was an awesome bit of information. We welcome you flyboy. You've brought variety to team-bhp and let us hope that soon we'll have somebody writing a 1st on team-bhp report on Boats or hovercrafts.

As far as I know only the road transportation has been discussed on this wonderful site and well i'll say we all just got lucky with you being a member now.

Do post some pictures of the cockpit and other parts of the plane which are less or not accessible to passengers. Keep it all coming and we'll relish it.
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Old 3rd April 2009, 13:10   #10
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Give the boys the cockpit pics..

How about some airhostesses pics? Hope you dont fly for Indian Airlines then i will go with the cockpit pics.
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Old 3rd April 2009, 13:13   #11
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wow,
something new on team-bhp.
need some more info.
pics of cockpit with details, please.

edit: i missed the chance to be air force pilot.

Last edited by ASHISHPALLOD : 3rd April 2009 at 13:15.
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Old 3rd April 2009, 13:15   #12
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Awesome stuff! This should go in the review section. 8 Aircraft you said you have flown. May we request you to please review them all. It is so facinating for all of us who only get a chance to board an aircraft as a passenger. Pics would be highly appreciated. Also if you could tell how an aircraft is navigated. Guess, I am getting too greedy!
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Old 3rd April 2009, 13:17   #13
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Indeed first on TBHP !!
Snaps would be great, Thanks for sharing.
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Old 3rd April 2009, 13:21   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spitfire View Post

How about some airhostesses pics? Hope you dont fly for Indian Airlines then i will go with the cockpit pics.
Close. He must fly for the flag carrier, Air India. They're the only airline in India that operate 747s.

@flyboy747, where do they send you guys for sim training?
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Old 3rd April 2009, 13:22   #15
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Woww, for the first time I'm reading an aircraft review. I hope to see some photos also. Keep it coming..
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