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First deliveries this year

For 37 years, Boeing's 747 "Jumbo Jet" was the largest commercial passenger aircraft in the world. The iconic aircraft was the bread and butter for the company, but sales have dropped as airlines have looked to the much more advanced and fuel efficient Airbus A380.

The Airbus A380 has not been without its problems though, some of which forced a delay in the development of the much awaited A380 freighter variant. Half of the world's air freight is carried on freighter versions of the 747, so Boeing saw a huge market opportunity.

The design of the previous generation, the 747-400, goes back to 1985. The new 747-800 series is much more advanced, and uses four of General Electric's GEnx-2B engines using technology developed for the 787 Dreamliner. The new aircraft will be larger and quieter, as well as more fuel-efficient and environmentally friendly.

Lower operating costs are the main reason why many current 747 operators are looking to purchase new planes. There are currently 76 orders for the 747-8F freighter model and 32 orders for the 747-8I Intercontinental passenger model.

Boeing completed the first test flight of a 747-8F yesterday from Paine Field in Everett, Washington. There are more than 1,600 flight hours in the test program scheduled.

"It was a real privilege to be at the controls of this great airplane on its first flight, representing the thousands of folks who made today possible," said 747 Chief Pilot Mark Feuerstein. "The airplane performed as expected and handled just like a 747-400."

A 747-8I could fly in the future as Air Force One, especially since Airbus has decided not to put in a bid. The current fleet uses two highly modified 747-200B aircraft delivered in 1990. They are scheduled to be replaced by 2017.

First deliveries of the 747-800 series are expected to begin by the end of this year.



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Needs better marketing
By corduroygt on 2/9/2010 2:17:01 PM , Rating: 3
In the minds of customers, 747 means old. Boeing should pull an Nvidia and call it the 797 or something like it.




RE: Needs better marketing
By putergeek00 on 2/9/2010 2:29:43 PM , Rating: 1
Note the new name of 747-800 where the old name was 747-400. It's kinda like an Athlon. :)


RE: Needs better marketing
By homebredcorgi on 2/9/2010 3:11:36 PM , Rating: 1
Actually, its name is the 747-8 not -800. (Come on DT!)

Considering this thing is being sold as a freighter I doubt customers really care what it's called.


RE: Needs better marketing
By SandmanWN on 2/9/2010 3:17:37 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Actually, its name is the 747-8 not -800. (Come on DT!)

They only typo'd it one time. Calm down spaz.
quote:
Considering this thing is being sold as a freighter I doubt customers really care what it's called.

Maybe you should RTFA. It is both commercial 747-8 I and freighter 747-8 F


RE: Needs better marketing
By bissimo on 2/9/10, Rating: -1
RE: Needs better marketing
By DopeFishhh on 2/9/2010 4:23:11 PM , Rating: 2
Perhaps marketing was trying to rely on safety record? familiarity?

All said, I highly doubt an airline is going to be persuaded by its name let alone how much you put into a marketing budget.


RE: Needs better marketing
By Belard on 2/9/2010 8:05:30 PM , Rating: 3
Naaa.

It should be renamed: GTX-848, then its a whole new plane.


By slashbinslashbash on 2/10/2010 12:26:22 AM , Rating: 2
I think it's iconic. It was the biggest passenger airplane in the world for a long, long time. It's been Boeing's flagship model for 40 years now. Anyone who's ever flown on one will remember it and tell you about it. There's no need to do away with the name. Boeing has been making 737's for as long as they have 747's, but they are still coming out with newer versions. The flying public is familiar with designations like 737-800. And when the 747-400 came out in the 80's, it was a big deal.

I think as long as the airframe is still feasible in the marketplace, the name should stay the same.


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