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Boeing 747-8 Intercontinental  (Source: Boeing)
Aircraft is the longest commercial airliner in the world

Boeing is one of the largest companies in the aviation world. Not only does the company have a vast military portfolio, but it also has an enormous presence in the civilian aviation market with some of the most popular passenger aircraft in the world. Boeing has celebrated the official premiere of the latest civilian aircraft called the 747-8 Intercontinental.

The aircraft is the passenger version of a cargo aircraft that Boeing has been working on for the past few years – the cargo plane and its passenger version are both behind schedule. The first flight for the 747-800 was conducted in February of 2010, almost exactly a year ago.

Boeing unveiled the new 747-8 Intercontinental officially at an event with about 10,000 guests including current and potential customers. Boeing is aiming the plane at the 400-500 seat market and claims that the new aircraft has unrivaled efficiency and performance.

Boeing's CEO Jim Albaugh said, "The new 747-8 Intercontinental features the latest in innovative technologies — applying many of the breakthroughs also found on the 787 Dreamliner. We think our customers will value the low operating costs and passengers will enjoy the comfort of the striking new interior."

So far the 747-8 has 33 orders on the books with 20 of the planes ordered for Lufthansa alone; Korean Air Lines is on the hook for five of the aircraft reports Bloomberg. Each of the aircraft sells for $317.5 million and will carry about 467 passengers in a three-class configuration.

Boeing thinks that the new 747-8 Intercontinental is sized well to put pressure on the larger Airbus A380 that seats about 525 passengers. Boeing's Elizabeth Lund said, "With an A380, you run the risk of not filling every seat whenever you fly. It’s, we think, really the right size most of the time in most markets."

Boeing notes that the 747-8 provides operators with 12% lower costs to operate than its predecessor the 747-400. The 747-8 gets 16% better fuel economy, has 16% less carbon emissions per passenger, and has a 30% smaller noise footprint. The aircraft also uses some interior features from the 787 Dreamliner with curved and upswept interior architecture that gives passengers the feeling of more space and adds more room for personal items.

USA Today notes that the aircraft was lengthened by 18.3-feet, making the 747-8 the longest jetliner in the world. The hump that is familiar on Boeing's 747 has been lengthened a well to cover double deck seating inside and is 13.3-feet longer than before.

The overall wingspan of the massive airliner is 224-feet and it is propelled by GEnx-2B67 engines built by GE. These engines use about 30% fewer parts than other jet engines to reduce maintenance and the chance of failure. The cruise speed for the 747-8 is Mach 0.86 or about 570 mph.

"As the only airplane in the 400 to 500-seat market, the 747-8 Intercontinental will give operators an airplane perfectly suited for long, heavily traveled routes around the world," said Pat Shanahan, vice president and general manager, Airplane Programs, Boeing Commercial Airplanes. "The new 747-8 Intercontinental will set a new standard in economic and environmental performance, while providing a world-class passenger experience."



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RE: Front window?
By stburke on 2/14/2011 11:07:29 AM , Rating: 2
It would be nice but the nose cone is where the radar array goes, and I think thats fairly important. Plus bird strikes.


RE: Front window?
By RjBass on 2/14/2011 11:18:02 AM , Rating: 4
Ahhh yes radar. Guess we need that. And I don't know, but a good ol bloddy bird strike might liven those bored passengers up a bit if they see it in action.


RE: Front window?
By therealnickdanger on 2/14/11, Rating: 0
RE: Front window?
By Solandri on 2/14/2011 1:06:09 PM , Rating: 4
Actually, cranes, swans, geese, and vultures have been spotted at 30k+ feet. There was a youtube video someone shot from a commercial flight at cruise altitude of a flock of cranes flying in the distance, but I can't find it. So you'll have to be satisfied with these:
http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-the-highest-flying...
http://www.straightdope.com/columns/read/1976/how-...

The configuration of birds' lungs is more like a tube, instead of a balloon like ours. When we exhale, a significant fraction of the air in our lungs remains. In contrast, a bird cycles nearly 100% fresh air into its lungs with each breath. Consequently, they're able to extract enough oxygen to function at altitudes where we'd pass out and die.


RE: Front window?
By Chaser on 2/14/11, Rating: -1
RE: Front window?
By Iketh on 2/15/2011 10:23:54 AM , Rating: 2
RE: Front window?
By YashBudini on 2/14/2011 10:34:24 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I've always loved the 747,

And it's speed.


RE: Front window?
By Etern205 on 2/14/2011 5:47:52 PM , Rating: 2
If there is a front window, the bird will always have time to yell out a "honk" before crashing into the window and no matter what, passengers will always have time to yell out sh*t. :P


RE: Front window?
By Chudilo on 2/14/2011 11:29:43 AM , Rating: 1
The bullet proof glass in fighter jets/bombers is among the strongest parts of the plane. It can be done, but it will make the nose considerably heavier. You won't see airlines go for this, as the boose is free on long international flights. Meaning the lounge wouldn't make them any additional money and might give some passengers more reasons to get plastered and cause trouble during a flight.
They could however sell extreme super-platinum seats with a front view, that however may only be tolerable for people into extreme sports. so it's essentially a small gimmick for very small financial gain.


RE: Front window?
By Solandri on 2/14/2011 1:10:07 PM , Rating: 3
With modern technology, you don't really need a window in the front. Just stick a camera there and feed the image into the screens in the cabin. A few airlines were doing this back in the 1980s, but the idea never really caught on. Maybe the idea of passengers in a crashing plane seeing the ground or another plane coming at them was a bit too much?


RE: Front window?
By gregpet on 2/14/2011 5:03:17 PM , Rating: 2
Wife & I flew on a a A380 to Australia. The A380 has a forward looking camera up on the tail (viewable through screen on back of seat). It was pretty interesting for about 5 minutes. There's not much worth looking at at 35,000 ft. The resolution of the camera was surprisingly poor as well (and this plane was brand new - Qantas inaugural flight from LA to Sydney).


RE: Front window?
By Zoomer on 2/14/2011 10:32:31 PM , Rating: 1
Pretty much everytime I've flown on the past decade has this. Excepting american flag carriers and crappy old commuters, of course.


RE: Front window?
By quiksilvr on 2/15/2011 9:18:49 AM , Rating: 2
Trust me, you'll want a window. There are just some things your eyes can catch better than a camera during a storm. What if it's snowing and the camera's eye is blocked? You would be seriously screwed.


RE: Front window?
By Jeffk464 on 2/14/2011 1:28:17 PM , Rating: 2
Thats what I was thinking, I have heard of large birds punching right through the the wings leading edge skin on a c130.


RE: Front window?
By mcnabney on 2/14/11, Rating: -1
RE: Front window?
By Boboshisho on 2/14/2011 12:07:21 PM , Rating: 2
All large jets have radar, but it is a weather radar and it is always in the nose of the aircraft.


RE: Front window?
By Aerosmithe on 2/14/2011 12:08:35 PM , Rating: 2
Um, commercial jets do too have radar. At the very least they have weather radar, and some can have actual tracking radar as well. I used to work at an executive jet completion center, that put custom interiors in large commercial planes for heads of state, and know for a fact that at least some of them had tracking radar.


RE: Front window?
By Iaiken on 2/14/2011 12:17:11 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
Civilian aircraft do not have radar.


Wow...

So I guess these guys have wasted their lives setting up testing facilities for civilian aircraft radomes.

http://www.ctsystemes.com/download/measurement/orb...

Thanks for clearing that up.


RE: Front window?
By PhilM on 2/14/2011 1:01:11 PM , Rating: 2
The FAA requires weather radar on all transport aircraft certified after December 31, 1964 -- see http://www.flightsimaviation.com/data/FARS/part_12...


RE: Front window?
By plowak on 2/14/2011 7:33:40 PM , Rating: 5
Yeah, right, and they don't have wings either.


RE: Front window?
By seamonkey79 on 2/15/2011 3:31:33 PM , Rating: 2
Some of them come with engines, though.

Not sure how the attach them...


RE: Front window?
By Azethoth on 2/14/2011 9:21:00 PM , Rating: 2
AFLAC!!!


"We don't know how to make a $500 computer that's not a piece of junk." -- Apple CEO Steve Jobs














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