• 1989 - 2010 Boeing 747-400

    Boeing 747-400

The Boeing 747-400 is an improved version of the 747-300, the best selling model in the 747 family.
The 747-400 is to be superseded by the Boeing 747-8 as the latest commercial model, which is programmed to begin deliveries in 2010.
The aircraft received certification on January 10, 1989 having Pratt & Whitney PW4000 engines, May 18, 1989 having General Electric CF6-80C2s and June 8, 1989 having Rolls-Royce RB211-524Gs.
Boeing delivered the first 747-400 airplane in 1989 to Northwest Airlines.

  • 1989 - 2010 Boeing 747-400
  • Year:
    1989- 2010
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Engine:
    Pratt & Whitney 4062
  • Top Speed:
    583 mph
  • Price:
    51.5 - 58.5million

The Boeing 747-400 airplanes offer their services at over 210 airports around the world; also it is called “the world’s best freighter” and the world’s fastest commercial jetliner.
The 747-400’s has also the most visible aerodynamic enhancements - the 6-foot (1.8 m) longer wing with a 6-foot-high winglet angled upward and slightly outward. These improvements reduce fuel burn and extend the airplane’s range.
So, the 747-400 aircraft will deliver more range, lower noise, better fuel economy and lower operating costs .

Long range cruising speed 907km/h

The 747-400 has a range of approximately 7,260 nautical miles (13,450 km), and the lowest cost per seat-mile of any twin-aisle airplane in service today. It has a dispatch-reliability rate of nearly 99 percent.
The 747’s longevity, durability and reputation are based on its low trip costs, leadership in high-density markets, unmatched comfort, and flexibility to serve short-, medium- and long-range routes.
The Boeing 747 is the world’s favorite aircraft as well as the world’s only 400-seat airplane.
Production of the 747-400 passenger version officially ceased on March 15, 2007.
The last four -400s on order were cancelled by Philippine Airlines (which switched to the 777-300ER).

A Versatile Family

1989 - 2010 Boeing 747-400 Exterior
- image 351531

The 747-400 is available in passenger and freighter arrangements, giving the maximum flexibility for the customers.

 The 747-400 is a premier long-range aircraft, having the right size for both airlines and passengers, also it offers value-added technology and additional payload range capability in the 747-400ER.
The 747-400 is an improved version of the 747-300 with improved wingspan, revised engines, winglets and a glass cockpit that removed the need for a flight engineer.
The 747-400 passenger version features a stretched upper deck (SUD) like the 747-300 as a standard feature. In 1989, a Qantas 747-400 flew non-stop from London to Sydney, a distance of 9,720 nmi (11,190 mi, 18,001 km) in 20 hours and 9 minutes, to set a commercial aircraft world distance record. This was a delivery flight with no commercial passengers or freight aboard.
Being considered the latest, longest ranging and best selling model of the 747 family, the 747-400 externally look like the -300, but it is a considerably superior aircraft.
Boeing launched the 747-400 in October 1985 and the first development aircraft first flew on April 29 1988. US certification (with PW-4000s) was awarded in January 1989.

The 747 400 Freighter

1989 - 2010 Boeing 747-400 Exterior
- image 351532

Boeing now offers four models of the 747-400: the all-passenger version; the Freighter; a Domestic version for short, high-density routes; and the Combi — which at the same time carries passengers and cargo on the main deck.
The 747 400 Freighter is the largest commercial cargo transport in service, having the lowest ton-mile. This aircraft carries twice as much cargo, twice as far, as the competitor’s leading freighter. The 747-400ER Freighter is a blend of payload, range and speed.
Having a maximum takeoff weight of 875,000 pounds (396,900 kg), the standard 747-400 Freighter can carry 124 tons (113,000 kg) of cargo up to 4,450 nautical miles (8,240 km).

Boeing 747-400 Exterior

1989 - 2010 Boeing 747-400 Exterior
- image 351539
Improved Aerodynamic Performance

The wingtip extension and winglet offer a fuel mileage improvement of about 3 percent.
The winglet gives the effect of having an even greater wingspan without outgrowing the standard airport slot.
These winglets are made of graphite-epoxy materials, at this time being used on the all modern Boeing aircrafts.
The composite and aluminum winglet saves 60 pounds (27 kg) per airplane compared to an all-aluminum structure.
The 747-400’s most noticeable aerodynamic enhancement over previous 747s is the 6-foot (1.8-m) longer wing with a 6-foot-high winglet angled upward and slightly outward. This change reduces fuel burn and extends the airplane’s range.
Use of advanced materials permits considerable structural weight reductions throughout the 747-400.
Also the structural carbon brakes are standard on the 747-400’s. They offer improved energy absorption characteristics resistance.
The 747-400 gets weight savings of 4,200 pounds (1,900 kg) by using higher strength aluminum alloys with improved fatigue life.
These alloys are included in the 747-400’s wing skins, stringers and lower-spar chords.

Wing Span - 195 ft 8 in (59.6 m)

The 747-400 also improved on the -300 with an additional fuel tank in the horizontal stabilizer, engines with improved fuel efficiency and higher thrust, an all-new interior, revised fuselage/wing fairings and newer in-flight entertainment. Like the 747-300, the passenger version of the 747-400 is characterized by a stretched upper deck (SUD).
The SUD is almost twice as long as the original 747 upper deck.
While the wingspan was increased, the overall weight of the wings was decreased due to the use of composites and aluminum alloys.

Length 70.67m
Height 19.41m
Wingspan 64.44m
Tailplane Span 22.17m
Baggage and Freight Forward Hold 26,490kg
Baggage and Freight Aft Hold 22,938kg
Baggage and Freight Bulk Compartment 6,749kg

Boeing 747-400 Interior

Cabin Volume - 885.9m³

The interior was designed with flexibility in mind. Operators can make use of ’quick change features’ to allow them to rearrange seating, relocate class dividers, lavatory and galley module positions as required. Ceiling and sidewall panels have been contoured to maximise interior space. Interior panels are made with new lightweight laminate materials with thermoplastic properties that give greater fireworthiness and lower smoke and toxicity levels.
Passenger overhead stowage capacity in the 747-400 was increased to 2.95ft³ (0.082m³) per passenger. The air distribution system has five instead of three zones offering greater control of air supply and air conditioning dependent on passenger density.

Interior Cabin Width - 20 ft (6.1 m)

The aircraft heating, ventilation and air conditioning, lighting and other electrical systems are supplied from the new 1,450hp auxiliary power unit (APU) from Pratt & Whitney Canada, which runs a fuel efficiency saving of 40%.
A new thermoplastic blend reduces smoke and toxicity levels in the event of fire, and upper-deck ceiling panels are made of improved polyester and phenolic sheet molding materials.
An optional cabin crew rest area uses space in the rear of the fuselage above the aft lavatories. This area, which can be configured for eight bunks and two seats, offers privacy as well as comfort for.
The 747-400 ensures high product quality, reduces delivery cycle times and lowers both maintenance and production costs.

Cabin Volume 885.9m³
Passengers 416 to 524

Boeing 747-400 Avionics

1989 - 2010 Boeing 747-400 Exterior
- image 351538

The 747-400 flight deck provides the same flexibility that is being integrated in all models across the Boeing fleet.
In 2002 were incorporated new Liquid Crystal Displays (LCDs) on all new 747-400s.
These LCDs offers high reliability and more capability for new functions to be included in the future.
The Engine Indicating and Crew Alerting System (EICAS) can call up the status or schematics of various systems at any time on one of the LCDs. Crews now can get an update of the aircraft’s mechanical condition while in flight.

Boeing 747-400 Engines

1989 - 2010 Boeing 747-400 Exterior
- image 351530

The first 747-400 was rolled out in January 1988 and flew for the first time on April 29, 1988. Certification was received on January 10, 1989 having the Pratt & Whitney PW4000 engines, May 18, 1989 with General Electric CF6- 80C2s and June 8, 1989 with Rolls-Royce RB211-524Gs.
The first 747-400 was delivered to launch customer Northwest Airlines on January 26, 1989, with service entry on February 9 with a flight from Minneapolis to Phoenix.
Air New Zealand carried out the first commercial flight using jatropha oil for fuel; the airline’s 747-400 had one engine burning a mix of 50% jatropha oil and 50% jet fuel for two hours during the flight while engineers collected data. Continental Airlines plans to test jatropha oil in one of its airliners on January 7, 2009. Jatropha is easy to grow, needs little fertilizer or water, and produces an oil-rich plant.

TopSpeed=583 mph

The Engine thrust has grown from 43,500 pounds (19,730 kg) per engine on the early 747s to as much as 63,300 pounds (28,710 kg) on the current model.
The diameter of the 747 engine cowling is 8 feet 6 inches (2.6 m).
A 747-400 that flies 3,500 statute miles (5,630 km) and carries 126,000 pounds (56,700 kg) of fuel will consume an average of five gallons (19 L) per mile.
The 747-400 carries 3,300 gallons (12,490 L) of fuel in the horizontal (tail) stabilizer, allowing it to fly an additional 350 nautical miles.
The 747-8 will use the GEnx engine, being developed for the 787 Dreamliner, and will have a greater payload, have a longer range of 14,816km (8,000nm) and fly at Mach 0.86.
The 747-400 is powered three engine systems.

Engine models (x 4) PW 4062; GE CF6-80C2B5F; RR RB211-524H
Engine thrust (x 4) 63,300 lbf (282 kN) PW; 62,100 lbf (276 kN) GE; 59,500 lbf (265 kN) RR
Maximum speed at 35,000 ft Mach 0.92 (614 mph, 533 kn, 988 km/h)
Cruising speed at 35,000 feet Mach 0.85 (567 mph, 493 knots, 912 km/h)

Boeing 747-400 Safety

The baseline 747-400 delivers more range, better fuel economy, lower operating costs, lower noise than the previous 747 versions.
The 747-400 has a range of approximately 7,260 nautical miles (13,450 km) and a lowest cost per seat-mile of any twin-aisle aircraft in service today, this airplane also has a dispatch-reliability rate of nearly 99 percent.

Boeing delivered the first 747-400 in 1989 to Northwest Airlines. Since the first 747 delivery in 1969, Boeing has secured orders for more than 1,523 747s. Of those, more than 40 customers had ordered 694 747-400s, making it the most popular widebody airplane in history.

The 747’s longevity, durability and popularity are based on its low trip costs, leadership in high-density markets, unmatched comfort, and flexibility to serve short-, medium- and long-range routes.

Boeing 747-400 price

The price of this aircraft was between $ 51.5 - 58.5million.


Four 252.4kN (56,750lb) Pratt & Whitney PW-4056 turbofans

  • or 266.9kN (60,000lb) PW-4060s,
  • or 275.8kN (62,000lb) PW-4062s, 252.4kN (56,750lb) General Electric CF6-80-C2B1Fs
  • or 273.6kN (61,500lb) CF6-80-C2B1F1s or -80-C2B7Fs,
  • or 258.0kN (58,000lb) RollsRoyce RB-211-524G or -524Hs,
  • or 262.4 to 266.9kN (59 to 60,000lb) RB-211-524G/H-Ts.


747-400 - Max cruising speed 939km/h (507kt), long range cruising speed 907km/h (490kt). Design range with 420 three class pax at 396,895kg (875,000lb) MTOW 13,491km (7284nm) with PW-4000s, 13,444km (7259nm) with GEs, 13,214km (7135nm) with RB-211s.


  • 747-400 - Standard operating empty with PW-4056s 180,985kg (399,000lb),
  • with CF6-80-C2B1Fs 180,755kg (398,500lb),
  • with RB-211s 181,755kg (400,700lb);operating weights at optional MTOW
  • with PW-4056s 181,485kg (400,100lb),
  • with CF6-80-C2B1Fs 181,255kg (399,600lb),
  • with RB-211s 182,255kg (401,800lb).
  • Max takeoff 362,875kg (800,000lb), or optionally 377,845kg (833,000lb), or 385,555kg (850,000lb), or 396,895kg (875,000lb).

Boeing 747-400 Specifications

Typical 3-class configuration (no cargo) N/A
Typical 3-class configuration (with cargo) 568
Typical 1-class configuration N/A
Maximum Payload 246,000 lb (111,605 kg)
Total Cargo Volume 24,815 cu ft (703 cu m)
Lower Deck Volume 6,095 cu ft (173 cu m)
Upper Deck Volume 18720 cu ft (530 cu m)
Engines (maximum thrust) Pratt & Whitney 4062, 45,400 lb (20,612 kg)
General Electric CF6-80C2B1F, 44,700 lb (20,294 kg)
Maximum Fuel Capacity 53,985 U.S. gal (204,355 L)
Maximum Takeoff Weight 833,000 lb (378,182 kg)
Maximum Range 1,805 nautical miles (2,905 km)
Typical Cruise Speed, at 35,000 feet 0.85 Mach, 565 mph (910 km/h)
Basic Dimensions
Wing Span 195 ft 8 in (59.6 m)
Overall Length 231 ft 10 in (70.6 m)
Tail Height 63 ft 8 in (19.4 m)
Interior Cabin Width 20 ft (6.1 m)
Julia Baciu
About the author
What do you think?
Show Comments
Aviation Finder: