Boeing 747

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Boeing 747 at a Glance
Role Widebody Jetliner
Country of Origin United States
Manufacturer Boeing
Status In production
Number Built 1387
Unit Cost 15.000.000v$-230.000.000v$

The Boeing 747 is a widebody commercial airliner, often referred to by the nickname "Jumbo Jet". It is among the world's most recognizable aircraft, and was the first widebody ever produced. Manufactured by Boeing's Commercial Airplane unit in the US, the original version of the 747 was two and a half times the size of the Boeing 707, one of the common large commercial aircraft of the 1960s. First flown commercially in 1970, the 747 held the passenger capacity record for 37 years.

The four-engine 747 uses a double deck configuration for part of its length. It is available in passenger, freighter and other versions. Boeing designed the 747's hump-like upper deck to serve as a first class lounge or (as is the general rule today) extra seating, and to allow the aircraft to be easily converted to a cargo carrier by removing seats and installing a front cargo door. Boeing did so because the company expected supersonic airliners, whose development was announced in the early 1960s, to render the 747 and other subsonic airliners obsolete, but that the demand for subsonic cargo aircraft would be robust into the future. The 747 in particular was expected to become obsolete after 400 were sold but it exceeded its critics' expectations with production passing the 1,000 mark in 1993. As of June 2009, 1,416 aircraft have been built, with 107 more in various configurations remaining on order.

The 747-400, the latest version in service, is among the fastest airliners in service with a high-subsonic cruise speed of Mach 0.85 (567 mph or 913 km/h). It has an intercontinental range of 7,260 nautical miles (8,350 mi or 13,450 km). The 747-400 passenger version can accommodate 416 passengers in a typical three-class layout or 524 passengers in a typical two-class layout. The next version of the aircraft, the 747-8, is in production and scheduled to enter service in 2010. The 747 is to be replaced by the Boeing Y3 (part of the Boeing Yellowstone Project) in the future.


Boeing 747-100

The first 747-100s were built with six upper-deck windows (three per side) to accommodate upstairs lounge areas. Later, as airlines began to use the upper-deck for premium passenger seating instead of lounge space, Boeing offered a 10-window upper deck as an option. Some -100s were retrofitted with the new configuration.

No freighter version of this model was developed by Boeing. However, 747-100s have been converted to freighters. A total of 167 747-100s were built.

Boeing 747-200

The 747-200 has more powerful engines, higher takeoff weights (MTOW) and range than the -100. A few early -200s retained the three-window configuration of the -100 on the upper deck, but most were built with a 10-window configuration on each side.

A total of 225 747-200's where built. Many 747-200s are still in operation, although most large carriers have retired them from their fleets and sold them to smaller operators. Large carriers have sped up fleet retirement following the September 11th attacks and the subsequent drop in demand for air travel, scrapping some or turning others into freighters.

Boeing 747-200F

The 747-200F is the freighter version of the -200 model. It could be fitted with or without a side cargo door. It has a capacity of 105 tons (95.3 tonnes) and an MTOW of up to 833,000 lb (378,000 kg). It entered first service in 1972 with Lufthansa.

A total of 73 747-200F's were built.

Boeing 747-300

The most visible difference between the -300 and previous models was a stretched upper deck with two new emergency exit doors and an optional flight-crew rest area immediately aft of the flight deck as standard. (The stretched upper deck had previously been offered as a retrofit and first appeared on two Japanese 747-100 SR models.) Compared to the -200, the upper deck is 23 feet 4 inches (7.11 m) longer than the -200. A new straight stairway to the upper deck instead of a spiral staircase is another difference between the -300 and earlier variants. The staircase creates room below and above for more seats. With minor aerodynamic changes, Boeing increased the cruise speed of the -300 to Mach 0.85 from Mach 0.84 on the -100/-200. The -300 features the same takeoff weight. Two of the three engine choices from the -200 were unchanged in the -300, but the General Electric CF6-80C2B1 was offered instead of the CF6-50E2 offered on the -200.

The 747-300 name, which was proposed for a variant that was never launched, was revived for this new version, which was introduced in 1980. Swissair ordered the first 747-300 on 11 June 1980. The 747-300 first flew on 5 October 1982. Swissair was the first customer to accept delivery on March 23, 1983. JALways 747-300 at Osaka-Kansai Airport.

A total of 56 747-300's were built. The 747-300 was soon superseded by the launch of the more advanced 747-400 in 1985, just two years after the -300 entered service. The last 747-300 was delivered in September 1990 to Sabena.

Today, many -300 aircraft are still active, despite a significant loss of interest in the series among large carriers who replaced the 747-300 with the 747-400. Air France, Air India and Qantas were some of the last major carriers to operate the 747-300. On 29 December 2008, Qantas flew its last scheduled 747-300 service, operating from Melbourne to Los Angeles via Auckland. On 20 January 2009, Qantas' last 747-300 was flown to the United States for storage. Carriers still using the -300 include Aerosur, Pakistan International Airlines and Saudi Arabian Airlines. Although none were constructed as dedicated freighters, a few -300s have been converted to cargo operations.

Boeing 747-400

The 747-400 is an improved model with increased range. It has wing-tip extensions of 6 ft (1.8 m), winglets of 6 ft (1.8 m), which improve the 747-400's fuel efficiency by 4% compared to previous 747 versions. It has a new glass cockpit designed for a flight crew of two instead of three. The use of electronics reduced the number of dials, gauges and knobs from 971 to 365. It has tail fuel tanks, revised engines and a new interior. The longer range was used by some airlines to bypass traditional fuel stops, such as Anchorage.

The passenger version first entered service in February 1989 with Northwest Airlines on the Minneapolis to Phoenix route. Some of the last built Boeing 747-400s were delivered with Dreamliner livery along with the modern interior from the Boeing 777.

The last passenger version of the 747-400 was delivered in April 2005. Boeing announced in March 2007 that it had no plans to produce further passenger versions of the -400. As of June 2009, 692 of the 747-400 series aircraft had been delivered with two aircraft (-400ERFs) to be delivered.

At various times, the largest operator of the 747-400 has been Singapore Airlines, Japan Airlines, or British Airways.

Boeing 747-400ER

The 747-400ER (Extended range) was launched on 28 November 2000 following an order by Qantas for 6 aircraft. This was ultimately the only order for the passenger version. The -400ER can fly an additional 805 km or carry 6,800 kg more freight. Qantas received the first -400ER on 31 October 2002.

The 747-400ER includes the option of 1 or 2 additional 3,240 US gallon body fuel tanks in the forward cargo hold. Manufactured by Marshall Aerospace, these tanks utilize innovative metal to metal honeycomb bonded technology to achieve a high dry weight to fuel volume ratio. Similar technology has been used in the development by Marshall of body fuel tanks for the 777-200LR and P-8A Poseidon MMA aircraft.

Boeing 747-400D

The 747-400D (Domestic) is a high density seating model developed for short-haul domestic Japanese flights. The aircraft is capable of seating a maximum of 568 passengers in a 2-class configuration or 660 passengers in a single-class configuration. The -400D lacks the wing tip extensions and winglets included on other variants. The benefits of winglets would be minimal on short routes. The -400D may be converted to the long range version when needed. The 747-400D is also unusual in having more windows on both sides of the upper deck than the basic -400 series (2 portside, 4 starboard).

The 747-400 Domestic first flew on 18 March 1991 and entered service with Japan Airlines on 22 October 1991. The last was delivered to All Nippon Airways in December 1995.

Boeing 747-400M

The 747-400M (a passenger/freight or "Combi" variant) first flew on 30 June 1989 and entered service with KLM on 12 September 1989. The -400M has a large cargo door fitted to the rear of the fuselage. The last 747-400M was delivered to KLM on 10 April 2002

Boeing 747-400F

The 747-400F (Freighter) is an all freight version which uses the fuselage design of the 747-200F. The aircraft's first flight was on 4 May 1993 and it entered service with Cargolux Airlines on 17 November 1993. Major customers include Atlas Air, Cargolux, China Airlines, Korean Air, Nippon Cargo Airlines, Polar Air Cargo, and Singapore Airlines. The -400F can be easily distinguished from the passenger -400 by its shorter upper-deck hump.

The United States Air Force has purchased one 747-400F to act as "Airborne Laser" carriers, designated YAL-1A. The aircraft has been heavily modified to carry a nose mounted turret and Chemical Oxygen Iodine Laser (COIL) equipment.

Boeing had orders for one 747-400F aircraft to be delivered as of April 2009.

Boeing 747-400ERF

The 747-400ERF is the freight version of the -400ER, launched on 30 April 2001. The -400ERF was delivered to Air France (via ILFC) on 17 October 2002. The 747-400ERF has a maximum payload of 248,600 pounds (112,760 kg)(maximum takeoff weight is 910,000 pounds) and offers the cargo airline the choice of either adding 22,000 pounds (9,980 kg) more payload than other 747-400 freighters, or adding 525 nautical miles (972 km) to the maximum range. It has a maximum range of 9,200 km, about 525 km farther than other 747-400 freighters, and has a strengthened fuselage, landing gear and parts of its wing, along with new, larger tires.

Boeing has two 747-400ERFs to be delivered as of April 2009. The new 747-8 Freighter will have more payload capacity but less range than the 747-400ERF.

Boeing 747SP

The Boeing 747SP is a widebody commercial 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.

Boeing 747-8I

Boeing announced a new 747 variant, the 747-8 (referred to as the 747 Advanced prior to launch) on 14 November 2005, which will use the same engine and cockpit technology as the 787, hence the use of the "8". Plans call for the new design to be quieter, more economical and more environmentally friendly. The 747-8 is stretched to add more payload capacity. This involves lengthening from 232 to 251 feet (70.8 to 76.4 m), surpassing the Airbus A340-600 to become the world's longest airliner.

The passenger version, dubbed 747-8 Intercontinental or 747-8I, will be able to carry up to 467 passengers in a 3-class configuration and fly more than 8,000 nmi (15,000 km) at Mach 0.855. As a derivative of the already common 747-400, the 747-8 has the economic benefit of similar training and interchangeable parts.[156] The 747-8I is scheduled to enter service in 2010.

Several units are under construction at Boeing's Everett facility. The 747-8I has received 27 orders as of June 2009.

Boeing 747-8F

Boeing announced a new 747 variant, the 747-8 (referred to as the 747 Advanced prior to launch) on 14 November 2005, which will use the same engine and cockpit technology as the 787, hence the use of the "8". Plans call for the new design to be quieter, more economical and more environmentally friendly. The 747-8 is stretched to add more payload capacity. This involves lengthening from 232 to 251 feet (70.8 to 76.4 m), surpassing the Airbus A340-600 to become the world's longest airliner.

Offered is the 747-8 Freighter or 747-8F, which derives from the 747-400ERF. The 747-8F can accommodate 154 tons (140 tonnes) of cargo. To aid loading and unloading, it features an overhead nose-door. It has 16 percent more payload capacity than the 747-400F and can hold seven additional standard air cargo containers. The 747-8F is scheduled to enter service in 2009.

Several units are under construction at Boeing's Everett facility. The 747-8F has received 78 orders as of June 2009.


747-100 747-200B 747-300 747-400
747-8I 747SP
Cockpit Crew Three Two Three
Typical seating capacity 452 (2-class)
366 (3-class)
496 (2-class)
412 (3-class)
524 (2-class)
416 (3-class)
467 (3-class) 331 (28 first, 303 economy)
Length 231 ft 10 in (70.6 m) 250 ft 8 in (76.4 m) 184 ft 9 in (56.31 m)
Wingspan 195 ft 8 in (59.6 m) 211 ft 5 in (64.4 m) 224 ft 7 in (68.5 m) 195 ft 8 in (59.64 m)
Tail height 63 ft 5 in (19.3 m) 63 ft 8 in (19.4 m) 63 ft 6 in (19.4 m) 65 ft 10 in (20.06 m)
Weight empty 358,000 lb
(162,400 kg)
383,000 lb
(174,000 kg)
392,800 lb
(178,100 kg)
393,263 lb
(178,756 kg)
ER: 406,900 lb
(184,600 kg)
472,900 lb
(214,503 kg)
336,870 lb (152,780 kg)
Maximum takeoff weight 735,000 lb
(333,390 kg)
833,000 lb
(377,842 kg)
875,000 lb
(396,890 kg)
ER: 910,000 lb
(412,775 kg)
975,000 lb
(442,253 kg)
670,000 lb (304,000 kg)
Cruising speed
(at 35,000 ft altitude)
Mach 0.84
(555 mph, 893 km/h, 481 knots )
Mach 0.85
(567 mph, 913 km/h, 493 kn)
ER: Mach 0.855
(570 mph, 918 km/h, 495 kn)
Mach 0.855
(570 mph, 918 km/h, 495 kn)
.88 Mach (535 knots, 990 km/h)
Maximum speed Mach 0.89
(594 mph, 955 km/h, 516 kn)
Mach 0.92
(614 mph, 988 km/h, 533 kn)
Mach 0.92 (614 mph, 533 kn, 988 km/h) 0.92 Mach (591 knots, 1,095 km/h)
Required runway at MTOW* 10,466 ft (3,190 m) 10,893 ft (3,320 m) 9,902 ft (3,018 m)
ER: 10,138 ft (3,090 m)
10,138 ft (3,090 m)
Maximum range
5,300 NM
(9,800 km)
6,850 nmi
(12,700 km)
6,700 nmi
(12,400 km)
7,260 nmi
(13,450 km)
ER: 7,670 nmi
(14,205 km)
8,000 nmi
(14,815 km)
6,650 nm (7,650 mi, 12,325 km) with 276 passengers
Max. fuel capacity 48,445 U.S. gal
(40,339 imp gal/183,380 L)
52,410 U.S. gal
(43,640 imp gal/199,158 L)
57,285 U.S. gal
(47,700 imp gal/216,840 L)
ER: 63,705 U.S. gal
(53,045 imp gal/241,140 L)
64,225 U.S. gal
(53,478 imp gal/243,120 L)
Engine models (x 4) PW JT9D-7A
RR RB211-524B2
GE CF6-50E2
RR RB211-524D4
GE CF6-80C2B1
RR RB211-524D4
PW 4062
GE CF6-80C2B5F
RR RB211-524G/H
ER: GE CF6-80C2B5F
GEnx-2B67 4× Pratt & Whitney JT9D-7R4W turbofan engines
Engine thrust (per engine) PW 46,500 lbf
(207 kN)
RR 50,100 lbf
(223 kN)
PW 54,750 lbf (244 kN)
GE 52,500 lbf (234 kN)
RR 53,000 lbf
(236 kN)
PW 54,750 lbf
(244 kN)
GE 55,640 lbf
(247 kN)
RR 53,000 lbf (236 kN)
PW 63,300 lbf (282 kN)
GE 62,100 lbf (276 kN)
RR 59,500/60,600 lbf (265/270 kN)
ER: GE 62,100 lbf
(276 kN)
66,500 lbf
(296 kN)
46,500 lbf (206.8 kN) each