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March 13, 2000

Boeing unveiled Long-Range version of 777 - to have additional fuel tank under passengers.

Flight International of March 7-13, 2000, page 5 headline reads: "Boeing goes ahead with 777 variants but declines to reveal customers." The new 777 variant would be capable of a range of 16,330 miles holding a maximum of 195,270 liters or 51,585 gallons.

Boeing 777-200LR to have additional fuel tanks under passengers in the rear portion of the fuselage

Boeing, not satisfied with hanging engines and landing gear on fuel tank supporting structure and placing a central fuel tank underneath the passengers, have now placed additional fuel tanks underneath the passengers in the rearward fuselage section of this latest 777 variant. Is there no end to the complete disregard for passenger safety? 

A respected member of an industry group told us that our statements made no sense.  Admitedly our comments were exceedingly brief and designed for people who were already familiar with our web-site.  We clarified the situation by writing the following which reinforces our point:

While center fuel tanks are dangerous as was shown by the fatal TWA flight 800, at least center fuel tanks are encased in the strongest part of the aircraft, the center section, which offers some protection in an accident. Placing them in the rearward fuselage, as shown by Boeing [see picture above] is another matter. How many accidents are on record where stretched fuselages in both Douglas and Boeing aircraft have broken in two or three pieces in relatively minor accidents such as hard landings or running off the runway fuselages due to hard landings. Surely, this condition can only be exacerbated by the placement of these added fuel tanks. The fragility of stretched fuselages has been repeatedly demonstrated without rearward placed fuel tanks. Is it lunacy to expect anything better from a stretched B777 with rearward fuel tanks? We don't think so.

Further, if there was no alternative, no means of segregating fuel and passengers our argument would have little validity aside from the point made in th previous paragraph.

Indeed, if you review in particular the spectacular 1935 Burnelli UB-14 crash you'll see that this crash demonstrated that the cabin of a properly designed aicraft could remain intact even under extreme circumstances but that segregating fuel from engines and fuel from passengers was successful in preventing a fire - especially with the high-octane fuel as was used by the UB14 and most planes of the 1930s.(see the comment made by the National Fire Protection Association in 1947.)

In light of the above, we're sure you understand why the perpetuation of the fundamentally flawed conventional designs while preventing the Burnelli Company from producing it's superior, safer and less costly product, is a crime against humanity.

We hope you'll take the time to review the material linked above and that you'll keep an open mind toward a design that has proven itself despite outrageous blackballing (and is now the recipient of the highest compliment: it is being copied - by Boeing and Aerospatiale.)

 

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