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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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Maybe a larger 787
By tygrus on 2/10/2010 1:21:58 AM , Rating: 2
How much of the 787 technology and design features have gone into the 747 like dimensions ?

RE: Maybe a larger 787
By Amiga500 on 2/10/2010 5:25:30 AM , Rating: 2
The engines are very modified General Electric GENx's... a cousin of what would be found on a 787.

Bar that... virtually nothing will have been carried over, except standardised rivets etc.

RE: Maybe a larger 787
By stromgald30 on 2/11/2010 4:53:27 PM , Rating: 2
This 747-8 freighter is just an update to keep the 747 somewhat competitive with the A380. 787 technology won't get to the 747 until they complete Y3, which is the third plane in Boeing's Yellowstone project plan.

The 787 is Y2 (actually the first plane, the # has more to do with size). The next plane Boeing's working on, a 737 replacement, will be Y1, so a 747 sized plane with 787 technology from Boeing won't be built until at least a decade from now.

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