Boeing 747 8 Introduction

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The Boeing 747 8 Intercontinental and Boeing 747 8 Freighter.

For over 40 years the Boeing 747 has been the Queen of the Skies, a symbol of air travel. Its introduction in 1968 radically changed the face of air travel forever with its ability to carry so many more passengers into the air at once compared to the then kings of the air; the Boeing 707 and the Douglas DC8. The result was a drastically reduced cost per seat which in turn brought air fares down to a level affordable to the ordinary man, not just the elite.

The Boeing 747 8 is the fifth generation of the 747 family. The 100 series and 200 series to look at had a short upper deck bubble, this was originally designed to be a first class bar and lounge area. The oil crises of the early 1970s soon made airlines rethink the use of this space as a potential revenue creating seating area. In the 300 series the upstairs bubble was extended and was used by many airlines as a business class seating area. The 747 400 series saw the fuselage retained but added winglets among other modifications to the design. The 747 400 series has been a long standing work horse for many world airlines.

747-8-wing-design

The Boeing 747-8 has a vastly improved wing design with more efficient lift capacity. This goes a long way toward fuel economy and therefore range.

The 747 8 is an evolutionary follow-on from the 747 400, rather than a revolutionary jump. Some of the new technologies used in the Boeing 787 Dreamliner have also been used in the 747 8, such as LED lighting in the cabin, larger passenger windows, and partial fly by wires systems. Fly by wire means that control input on the flight deck are transmitted by electric wire to actuators on the control surfaces rather than heavier hydraulic systems.

The fuselage length of the Boeing 747 has not changed since 1968 other than the shorter Boeing 747SP (Special Performance) which was popular with a few airlines that required a longer range aircraft like QANTAS, Iran Air and South African Airways. The Boeing 747 8 will be the second to depart from the standard fuselage length by adding 5.6 metres (18.3 ft) to achieve an overall length of 76.25 metres (250ft 2in). This makes Boeing 747 8 the longest passenger liner in the world beating Airbus A340-600 by 7.5cm (3in), and the largest passenger liner ever produced in the USA.

800px-Boeing_747-8F_N5017Q_in-flight

A Boeing 747 8 Freighter test aircraft. The 8F (freighter) can be distinguished by the shorter bubble behind the flight-deck as well of course as the lack of main deck windows.

Other than the obvious extra length, other remarkable things to make the Boeing 747 8 stand out are a a lack of winglets at the wing tips as in 747 400. New recalculated aerodynamics have been applied to the wings. Whilst retaining the basic sweep and structure of the 747 400 wing to contain costs, the 747 8 wing is both deeper and thicker. In addition a similar wing tip to Boeing 787 is used which resembles a sabre like shape reducing wake turbulence and therefore drag which adds to to the fuel efficiency of the new jet.

Boeing-747-8i-First-Flight-Lufthansa lands at Dulles

Lufthansa was the launch customer for the 747-8 Intercontinental (8i passenger version). Here it is landing at Dulles Airport in Washington, DC on it’s inaugural flight from Frankfurt on 01 June 2012.

If there is more you want to learn about this airliner, please visit: Boeing 747 8 Home, Boeing 747 8 Specs, Boeing 747 8 Order Book, Boeing 747 8 History, Boeing 747 8 Assembly and Boeing 747 8 Interior .

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