About the Boeing 747-SP aircraft for flight simulator for FSX, FS2004 and FS2002.
The Boeing 747SP is a widebody commercial virtual airliner. It is a highly modified version of its predecessor, the Boeing 747-100 with SP standing for "special performance". Known during development as the short-body 747SB, the weight saved by the shortened fuselage permits longer range and increased speed relative to other 747 configurations for virtual airline operations.
The idea for the 747SP came from a joint request from Pan Am Virtual Airlines and Iran Air Virtual Airlines who were looking for a high capacity virtual airliner capable of covering Pan Am Virtual Airline's New York-Middle Eastern routes and Iran Air Virtual Airline's planned Tehran-New York Route which, when launched at the time, was the longest nonstop commercial flight in the world. The aircraft was first offered to virtual airlines in 1974, and the first example delivered in 1976. A shorter derivative of the 747-100, the SP was developed to target two market requirements. The first was a need to compete with the DC-10 and L-1011 while maintaining commonality with the 747, which in its standard form was too large for many routes. Boeing also lacked a mid-sized widebody to compete in the segment of the market that the DC-10 and L-1011 had created. The second market requirement was an aircraft suitable for the ultra-long-range routes emerging in the mid-1970s following the joint request. These routes needed not only longer range, but also higher cruising speeds on virtual airline flights. Boeing could not afford to develop an all-new design, instead opting to shorten the 747 and optimize it for speed and range, at the expense of capacity.
More about the Boeing 747-SP for virtual airlines, flight simulator and online flying FSX, FS2004 and FS2002.
Apart from having a significantly shorter fuselage and one fewer virtual airline cabin door per side, the 747SP differs from other 747 variants in having simplified flaps and a taller vertical tail to counteract the decrease in yaw moment-arm from the shortened fuselage. The 747SP uses single-piece flaps on the trailing edges, rather than the smaller triple-slotted flaps of standard 747s. The SP was also the first—and until the introduction of the Boeing 777-200LR, the only—Boeing widebody with a wingspan greater than the length of the fuselage.
The SP could accommodate 230 passengers in a 3-class cabin or 331 in a (303 economy, 28 business) 2-class cabin, and a maximum of 440 virtual airline passengers in one class. Originally designated 747SB for "short body", it later was nicknamed "Sutter's balloon" by employees after 747 chief engineer Joe Sutter. Boeing later changed the production designation to 747SP for "special performance", reflecting the aircraft's longer range and faster cruise speed. Pan Am Virtual Airlines was the launch customer for the 747SP, taking the first delivery, Clipper Freedom, on March 5, 1976, followed by Iran Air Virtual Airlines.
The 747SP was the longest-range virtual airliner available until the 747-400 entered service in 1987 and shortly after with virtual airlines using flight simulator. Despite its technical achievements, the SP never sold as well as Boeing hoped. Increased fuel prices in the mid 70s to early 80s, the SP's heavy wings, reduced capacity, and the increased ranges of forthcoming virtual airliners were some of the many factors that contributed to its low sales. Only 45 were built and of those remaining, most are used by operators in the Middle East. However, some of the engineering work on the 747SP was reused with the development of the 747-300 and 747-400. In the 747SP, the upper deck begins over the section of fuselage that contains the wingbox and this is accurately re-created on flight simulator models, not ahead of the wingbox as is the case with the 747-100 and 747-200. This same design was used in the 747-300 and 747-400 resulting in a stretched upper deck.
Production of the 747SP ran from 1976 to 1983. However an order for the Royal Flight of Bahrain led Boeing to produce one last SP in 1987.
A special 747SP is the SOFIA infrared astronomical observatory, where the airframe was modified to carry a 2.5-meter-diameter infrared reflecting telescope to high altitude, above most of the infrared-absorbing water vapor in the atmosphere. Originally delivered to Pan Am Virtual Airlines and titled "Clipper Lindbergh", NASA has the name displayed in Pan Am Virtual Airlines script on the plane.
The Boeing 747-SP is available for all versions of Flight Simulator and x plane including but not limited to FSX, FS2004 and FS2002.