The Boeing 747-8 is a commercial airliner using the same engine and cockpit technology as that of the 787.
The largest-ever plane, officially announced in 2005, has lengthened fuselage, redesigned wings and improved efficiency.
As of 2009, the first 747-8 freighter will be delivered in the 4th quarter of 2010, with the passenger model programmed for 2011.
In January 8, 2010, 108 Boeing 747-8 aircrafts were on order; 32 of the passenger version and 76 of the freighter version. On February 8, 2010, the 747-8 airplane flew for the first time.
Boeing announced, on November 14, 2005, that it was introducing the 747 Advanced as the "Boeing 747-8".
This will be the first lengthened 747 to go in to production. The 747-8 and747SP are the only 747 variants with a fuselage of modified length.
Boeing declares that the new design will be quieter, more environmentally and more economical than previous versions of the 747. As a derivative of the already-common 747-400, the 747-8 has the economic advantage of related training and interchangeable parts.
The largest airliner
The 747-8, as the current new expansion of Boeing’s largest airliner, is remarkably in direct competition on long-haul routes with the Airbus A380, a full-length double-deck airplane now in service. For airlines seeking very large passenger airliners, the two have been pitched as competitors on various occasions.
Also, early in August 2008 began the production of the first 747-8 Freighter.
Although delayed by weather, its maiden test flight was almost certainly smoother than its economic prospects.
Conceived as both a freighter and a passenger plane, the 747-8 will hit the market last this year as airlines struggle to recover from their steepest decline in the postwar era.
Traffic is rebounding, but with the industry due to take delivery on at least another 1,300 aircraft, excess capacity will continue to pressure profits, the IATA says.
That’s a tough environment for manufacturers selling big new airplanes like the 747-8, especially with hot competition from the Airbus 380 on the passenger side of things. So far, Boeing has sold only 108 planes (most of the freighters) and has taken a $1 billion write-down on the development program.
Still, the jumbo jet boasts some modern technology that should win it customers when the international economy improves. Boeing claims the plan is 10 percent less costly to operate per seat-mile and 15 percent more efficient than the 747-400, which it is set to replace.
Its new General Electric engines also produce fewer emissions than previous models, Boeing says.
Boeing 747-8 Exterior
Boeing named the new airliner the 747-8 because of the technology it will share with that aircraft. Before the official launch of the 747-8, Boeing had plans to develop other variants of existing 747 models under the names 747X (Experimental) and 747-400XQLR (Experimental Quiet Long-Range). These designations were dropped in favor of a "747 Advanced" program, which evolved into the 747-8.
In 2000, Boeing offered the 747X and 747X Stretch derivatives as alternatives to the Airbus A3XX.
This was a more modest proposal than the previous -500X and -600X. It would increase the 747’s wingspan to 229 ft (69.8 m) by adding a segment at the root.
After the 747X program, Boeing continued to study improvements to the 747. The 747-400XQLR (Quiet Long Range) was meant to have an increased range of 7,980 nmi (14,780 km), with better fuel efficiency and reduced noise. Changes studied included raked wingtips similar to those used on the 767-400ER and a sawtooth engine nacelle for noise reduction. Although the 747-400XQLR did not move to production, many of its features were used for the 747 Advanced.
In early 2004, Boeing announced tentative plans for the 747 advanced that were eventually adopted. Similar in nature to the 747-X, the stretched 747 Advanced used technology from the787 to modernize the design and its systems.
The 747-8 is a development of the Boeing 747, which takes advantage of improvements in technology and aerodynamics.
Maximum take-off weight of 975,000 lb
The two variants of the 747-8 were launched in 2005, and, as of 2006, both will feature a fuselage stretch of 18.3 ft (5.6 m) over the 747-400, bringing the total length to 250 ft 2½ in (76.264 m).
The 747-8 is considered the world’s longest passenger airliner, surpassing the Airbus A340-600 by 3.6 ft (1.1 m).
Having a maximum take-off weight of 975,000 lb (442,000 kg), the 747-8 is the heaviest aircraft, commercial or military, manufactured in the United States.
Compared to the 747-400, the main technical changes will be on the wing of the aircraft, which will undergo a complete design overhaul. The sweep and basic structure will be kept to contain costs, but the wing will be thicker and deeper, with the aerodynamics recalculated.
Offers a range of 8,130 km
The pressure distribution and bending moments will be different, with the new wing for the passenger version being planned to hold 64,225 US gal (243,120 L) of jet fuel, and the cargo aircraft 60,925 US gal (230,630 L). The new wing will have single-slotted outboard flaps and double-slotted inboard flaps. Raked wingtips, similar to the ones used on the 777-200LR, and 777-300ER models, are used on the new 747 variant instead of winglets used on the 747-400. These wingtip structures help reduce the wingtip vortices at the lateral edges of the wings, decreasing wake turbulence and drag, and thereby increasing fuel efficiency.
The extra fuel capacity in the redesigned wing compared to the 747-400 obviates the need to radically change the horizontal tail unit to accommodate auxiliary tanks, further saving costs. The -8’s vertical tail unit will be largely unchanged with a height of 63 feet 6 inches (19.35 m). Some carbon fiber-reinforced plastic will be part of the 747-8’s airframe to reduce weight. However, structural changes will mostly be evolutionary, rather than revolutionary with respect to the 747-400.
The General Electric GEnx, which is one of the two powerplant choices currently offered for the Boeing 787, will be the only engine available for the 747-8. However, the 747 variant will be adapted to provide bleed air for conventional aircraft systems and feature a smaller diameter to fit on the 747 wing.
The flight tests of the GEnx 2b engine fitted to a Boeing 747-100 aircraft at the left inner engine began in March 2009.
Some use of composites will be made in the 747-8’s airframe to reduce weight; however structural changes will mostly be evolutionary rather than revolutionary with respect to the 747-400. The 747-8 will feature an enhanced wing with improved aerodynamics. It will have single-slotted outboard flaps and double-slotted inboard flaps. Raked wingtips, similar to the ones currently on the 777-200LR and 777-300ER models and the 787-8 and 787-9 design, will replace the winglets on the 747-400. These structures help reduce the wingtip vortices at the lateral edges of the wings, decreasing drag and thereby increasing fuel efficiency.
|Wing span||224 ft 7 in (68.5 m)|
|Length||250 ft 2 in (76.3 m)|
|Height||63 ft 6 in (19.4 m)|
|Thrust||66,500 pounds (GEnx-2B67)|
|Cruise speed||Mach 0.85 - Intercontinental|
|Maximum Takeoff Weight||975,000 pounds (442,250 kg)|
Boeing 747-8 Interior
The 747-8 Intercontinental will be 244 ft/74.3 meters long (stretched 12 ft/3.6 m compared to the baseline 747-400),permitting it to carry 34 more passengers and two more freight pallets. New modern engine technology and aerodynamic modifications extend range to 8,000 nautical miles (14,803 km), allowing non-stop flights such as Hong Kong – New York or Sydney – Dallas/Fort Worth.
On November 14, 2008, Boeing announced a delay to the 747-8 program, citing limited availability of engineering resources within Boeing, design changes, and the recent strike by factory workers.
On July 21, 2009, Boeing released a photograph of the first cargo airplane, its fuselage and main wing assembled.
In February 2009, only one airline customer (Lufthansa) had ordered the 747-8I passenger model, and Boeing announced it was reassessing the 747-8 project. Chief executive Jim McNerney stated that continuation of the project was not a foregone conclusion. The company was assessing various options.
In October 2009, Boeing announced that it had delayed first flight on the 747-8 until first quarter 2010 and delayed 747-8I delivery. The company took a $1 billion charge for this delay. In response, launch customer Cargolux told the Wall Street Journal it still intended to take delivery of the thirteen freighters it had ordered; Lufthansa confirmed its commitment to the passenger version. On November 12, 2009, Boeing announced that Cargolux’s first airplane was fully assembled and entering the Everett plant’s paint shop. It will undergo flight testing prior to delivery.
On December 4, 2009 another passenger airline, Korean Air, became the second customer for the -8I passenger model, placing an order for five airliners. On January 8, 2010, Guggenheim Aviation Partners (GAP) announced the reduction of its -8F order from four to two aircraft.
Boeing 747-8 Intercontinental
The 747-8 Intercontinental is the only jetliner capable of carrying up to 450 passengers in a 3-class configuration over 8,000 nautical miles (14,816 km) at 0.86 Mach.
British Airways, Japan Airlines, Pakistan International Airlines, and Cathay Pacific are viewed as potential 747-8 operators, given their historical links with Boeing and the fact that none of them have purchased the Airbus A380 as of yet. British Airways CEO Willie Walsh has said he is glad the airline has not ordered the A380,"More cost-cutting needed, new chief Walsh tells BA." Osborne, A. While former CEO Rod Eddington has stated that his preferred 747-400 replacement program consisted of 747-8s and 777-300ERs.
On February 7, 2010, Boeing announced the 747-8 had successfully completed high speed taxi tests. The day after, on February 8, 2010, after a 2.5 hour weather delay, the 747-8 Freighter made its maiden flight, taking off from Paine Field, WA at 12:39 PST.
The aircraft landed at 4:18 pm PST. Boeing estimates that they need more than 1,600 flight hours to certify the 747-8.
The second test flight in late February, a ferry flight to Moses Lake, Washington, tested new navigation equipment. Further flight testing will take place in Moses Lake, conducting initial airworthiness and flutter tests, before moving to Palmdale, California for the majority of flight tests, so as to not interfere with 787 flight tests based out of Boeing Field in Seattle.
|Seating capacity||467 (3-class)|
|Length||250 ft 2 in (76.25 m)|
|Wingspan||224 ft 7 in (68.45 m)|
|Height||63 ft 6 in (19.35 m)|
|Cabin width||20.1 ft (6.1 m)|
|Empty weight||472,900 lb (214,500 kg)|
|Maximum landing weight||682,000 lb (309,000 kg)|
|Maximum take-off weight||975,000 lb (442,000 kg)|
|Cruising speed at 35,000 feet||Mach 0.855 (570 mph, 495 kn, 917 km/h)|
|Maximum speed at 35,000 ft||Mach 0.92 (614 mph, 533 kn, 988 km/h)|
|Range fully loaded||8,000 nmi (15,000 km)|
|Cargo capacity||5,705 cu ft (161.5 m3)|
|Service ceiling||43,000 ft (13,000 m)|
|Thrust (4x)||66,500 lbf (296 kN)|
Boeing 747-8 Avionics
Feuerstein, pictured on the flightdeck of a 747-8, will captain the first flight. He was at the controls of the first 747-8F (RC501) yesterday as it underwent some final rigorous tests as the new Jumbo is prepared to fly. These closed-loop "gauntlet" tests trick the systems into believing the aircraft is flying, and test the responses.
With over 7,000 flying hours, Feuerstein was previously assistant chief pilot for both the 747 and 787 programmes and has also served as Boeing’s deputy military/special projects pilot. This saw him flight-testing various military derivatives of commercial aircraft such as the KC/RC-135, E-6 and E-767.
Imrich will be co-pilot for the first flight and has a vast amount of 747 experience. He has flown the original "747 Ship 1" - now in Seattle’s Museum of Flight - and during his time with the US Federal Aviation Administration issued the first type-rating for the 747-400, in 1988. He was also co-pilot for the production flight-testing of the final 747-400 (line no 1,419), early last year.
Once gauntlet tests are complete, RC501 will be prepared for taxi tests and then its first flight, which could take place before the end of January. The test program will involve three 747-8Fs and the bulk of the flying will be operated from Palmdale in California. Certification and first delivery to Cargolux is due before year-end.
Boeing 747-8 Engines
Using 787-technology engines the aircraft will be quieter, it will produce lower emissions, and achieve better fuel economy than any competing jetliner.
The 747 Intercontinental will provide nearly equivalent trip costs and 13 percent lower seat-mile costs than the 747-400, plus 26 percent greater cargo volume.
Operating economics will offer a significant improvement over the A380.
The 747-8 is more than 10 percent lighter per seat than the A380 and will consume 11 percent less fuel per passenger than the 555-seat airplane.
That translates into a trip-cost reduction of 21 percent and a seat-mile cost reduction of more than 6 percent, compared to the A380. Both the 747-8 Intercontinental and 747-8 Freighter can use the existing infrastructure and ground equipment at most airports worldwide.
The 747-8 Freighter will be longer than the 747-400F by 5.6 m (18.3 ft) and have a maximum structural payload capability of 140 metric tonnes (154 tons) with a range of 8,130 km (4,390 nmi). Also powered by 787-technology engines, it will achieve the same environmental benefits as the 747-8 Intercontinental.
The 747-8 Freighter will have nearly equivalent trip costs and 16 percent lower ton-mile costs than the 747-400, plus 16 percent more revenue cargo volume than its predecessor. The additional 120 cu m (4,245 cu ft) of volume means the airplane can accommodate four additional main-deck pallets and three additional lower-hold pallets. Operating economics of the 747-8 Freighter will be significantly superior to the A380F.
The 747-8F’s empty weight is 80 tonnes (88 tons) lighter than the A380F, resulting in a 24 percent lower fuel burn per ton, 21 percent lower trip costs and 23 percent lower ton-mile costs than the A380F.
Boeing 747-8 Safety
On July 27 2005, Cargolux announced its desire to buy a minimum of ten 747-8F Freighters, for delivery in 2009, with options for 10 more. On the launch day itself, Nippon Cargo Airlines ordered eight 747-8Fs. NCA currently operates 13 747 freighters, with six 747-400Fs currently on order."Boeing Launches New 747-8 Family." Boeing press release. November 14, 2005.
According to Bloomberg, Boeing is staking its position as the dominant maker of the biggest passenger planes on selling Pakistan International Airlines Corp. and other Asian carriers the first of a longer, more fuel-efficient version of its 747-8 model. After introduction, the range of the base 747-8I was boosted to 8,300nm (15,372 km) from 8,000nm.
"ATW Daily News. “Thomas, G. Air Transport World. May 15, 2006.
Many airlines have shown interest in the new 747-8. However there have been no commitments for the passenger model. Cathay Pacific Airways’ chief operating officer, Tony Tyler, is quoted as saying his airline was "delighted with the 787’s launch because of what it means for the 747". Air New Zealand has also expressed interest, with an executive stating that "if Boeing launches the 747-8, we will probably buy it". Pakistan International Airlines has also shown interest in the 747-8I to replace their eight aging 747-300 aircraft.
On April 26, 2006, a report on Economic Daily News stated that China Airlines intended to sign a deal for 10 747-8 Intercontinentals for US $2.5 billion by the end of June. The next day, China Airlines denied having such an intention, stating that they intend to announce whether they will order the A380 or the 747-8 by the end of the year. China Airlines’ intention to operate only three types of aircraft (Boeing 737-800, Airbus A330-300, and Boeing 747-400), however, makes an order for the 747-8 very likely.
|3-view of the 747-8|
|Length||74.2 m (243 ft 6 in)|
|Span||68.5 m (224 ft 9 in)|
|Height||19.4 m (63 ft 8 in)|
|Wing area||524.9 mÂ² (5,650 ftÂ²)|
|Weight empty||276,691 kg (610,000 lb)|
|Maximum take-off weight||435,449 kg (960,000 lb)|
|Cruising speed||.855 Mach (570 mph, 495 kn, 917 km/h)|
|Maximum speed||.92 Mach|
|Range fully loaded||15,372 km|
|Max. fuel capacity||227,772 L (60,171 U.S. gallons)|
|Max. fuel/Range, fully loaded||15.4 L/km|
|Engines (example)||4 × General Electric GEnx-2B67, 296 kN (66,500 lbf) thrust each|
Pricing and Cost
The price for the Boeing 747-8 was 293.0 — 308.0 million US-Dollars in 2008.