- Aircraft History, Specification and Information -
Boeing 747-8
2010 Boeing 747-8R7F Freighter
N747EX (sn 35808)
The new Boeing 747 Dash 8 based @ Moses Lake Airport for initial flight testing.
Photo taken March 2010 @
Moses Lake - Grant Co Int’l Airport, WA - USA (MWH / KMWH)
Photo © Marcel Siegenthaler
Boeing 747-8R7F - Cargo Aircraft - N747EX
Boeing 747-8 Freighter - N747EX - Boeing Company at Moses Lake Airport, WA USA Boeing 747-8R7F Freighter - Taxi Into Position RWY 32R For Take-Off At Moses Lake Airport, WA USA For Test Flight - N747EX - Boeing Company
Boeing 747-8R7F Freighter - Lining-Up For Take-Off Runway 34R at Moses Lake Airport, WA USA For A Test Flight - N747EX - Boeing Company Boeing 747-8R7F Cargo Aircraft - N747EX - Moses Lake Grant Co. Int'l Airport, WA USA MWH/KMWH.jpg
Boeing 747-8R7F Dash-8 N747EX Boeing Company
Boeing 747-8 (Dash 8) - N747EX - Boeing Company Boeing 747-8R7F - Dash-8 - N747EX - Boeing Company
Boeing 747-8R7F Cargo Aircraft - N747EX - Boeing Company Aircraft Boeing 747-8R7F Freighter - N747EX - With Four General Electric GEnx-2B67 Engines
Boeing 747-8R7F Freighter - N747EX - General-Electric GEnx-2B67 Engines Boeing 747-8R7F Tail - N747EX
Boeing 747-8R7F Freighter - Landing Runway 32R At Moses Lake Grant Co International Airport,WA USA MWH/KMWH - N747EX - Boeing Company Boeing 747-8R7F Landing Runway 32R @ Moses Lake Grant Co International,WA USA MWH/KMWH - N747EX - Boeing Company
Boeing 747-8R7F Freighter Take-Off Runway 14L at Moses Lake Grant Co International, WA USA MWH/KMWH - N747EX - Boeing Company Boeing 747-8 Freighter Take-Off N747EX Boeing Company
Boeing 747-8 - Take-Off - N747EX - Boeing Company Boeing 747-8 - Test Airplane Take-Off - N747EX - Boeing Company
Boeing 747-8R7F Cargo Aircraft Take-Off - N747EX - Boeing Company N747EX Boeing 747-8R7F Cargo Aircraft Take-Off
Boeing 747-8R7F Freighter Take-Off Runway 14L @ Moses Lake Airport, WA USA For Another Test Flight - N747EX - Boeing Company

The Boeing 747-8 is a widebody commercial airliner being developed by Boeing Commercial Airplanes. Officially announced in 2005, the 747-8 is the latest evolutionary variant of the Boeing 747, with lengthened fuselage, redesigned wings and improved efficiency. As of 2009, the first 747-8 freighter is due to be delivered in the 4th quarter of 2010, with the passenger model scheduled for 2011. As of January 8, 2010, a total of 108 Boeing 747-8s were on order; 76 of the freighter version and 32 of the passenger version. The 747-8 first flew on February 8, 2010.


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. The 747X would increase the 747's wingspan to 229 ft (69.8 m) by adding a segment at the root. The 747X was to carry 430 passengers up to 8,700 nmi (16,100 km). The 747X Stretch would be extended to 263 ft (80.2 m) long, allowing it to carry 500 passengers up to 7,800 nmi (14,400 km). However, the 747X family was unable to attract enough interest to enter production. Some of the ideas developed for the 747X were used on the 747-400ER.

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 the 787 to modernize the design and its systems.

On November 14, 2005, Boeing announced that it was launching the 747 Advanced as the "Boeing 747-8". This will be the first lengthened 747 to go in to production. The 747-8 and 747SP are the only 747 variants with a fuselage of modified length.

The 747-8 will use the same engine and cockpit technology as that of the 787. Boeing says that the new design will be quieter, more economical, and more environmentally friendly than previous versions of the 747. As a derivative of the already-common 747-400, the 747-8 has the economic benefit of similar training and interchangeable parts.

The 747-8, as the current new development of Boeing's largest airliner, is notably in direct competition on long-haul routes with the Airbus A380, a full-length double-deck aircraft now in service. For airlines seeking very large passenger airliners, the two have been pitched as competitors on various occasions.

Production of the first 747-8 Freighter began in Everett in early August 2008. 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. Delivery of the first 747-8 Freighter was rescheduled from late 2009 to the third quarter of 2010. The first 747-8 Intercontinental passenger jet delivery was rescheduled from late 2010 to the second quarter of 2011. 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.

Flight testing
On February 7, 2010, Boeing announced the 747-8 had successfully completed high speed taxi tests. 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.

By March 11, 2010, the 747-8F had flown thirteen flights for a total of 33 hours of flying time. On March 15, 2010, the second 747-8F first flew from Paine Field to Boeing Field, where it will be based for a short time before moving to Palmdale to continue flight testing with the first -8F. On March 17 the third and final flight-test -8F made its first flight, also between Paine Field to Boeing Field.


The 747-8 is a development of the Boeing 747, which takes advantage of improvements in technology and aerodynamics. 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 will be the world's longest passenger airliner, surpassing the Airbus A340-600 by 3.6 ft (1.1 m). With 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. 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.


747-8 Freighter
The 747 has proven to be a very popular freighter, carrying around half of the world's air freight as of 2007. In an effort to maintain this dominant position, Boeing has designed a freight variant of the 747-8, dubbed 747-8 Freighter or 747-8F. The 747-8F will be the initial model to see entry into service (EIS). As on the 747-400F, the upper deck is shorter than passenger models; the 18 feet 3½ inches (5.575 m) stretch is just before and just aft of the wing. With a 975,000 lb (442,000 kg) maximum take-off weight, it will have a total payload capability of 308,000 lb (140,000 kg) and a range of 4,390 nmi (8,130 km). Four extra pallet spaces will be created on the main deck, with either two extra containers and two extra pallets, or three extra pallets, on the lower deck.

The 747-8F is expected to achieve a 16% lower ton-mile operating cost than the 747-400F and offer a slightly greater range. The 747-8F will have more payload capacity but less range than the current 747-400ERF. When Boeing launched the -400ERF, all of the 35,000 lb (16,000 kg) increase in MTOW over the 747-400F 875,000–910,000 lb (397,000–413,000 kg) allowed airlines to take off with more fuel, burn it during flight, and land at the same weight as the regular 747-400F. This increased the range of the 747-400ERF compared to the 747-400F. Cargo carriers often move machinery or indivisible loads that require a plane with a higher payload and landing capability. As is common with cargo planes, range is given with maximum payload, not fuel. The 747-8's 65,000 lb (29,000 kg) MTOW increase has been directed exclusively to its Zero-Fuel weight or payload capacity. If taking off at maximum payload, the 747-8 takes off with its tanks not full. On trips where the payload is not at maximum, the plane can take on more fuel and extend its range.

Cargolux and Nippon Cargo Airlines first ordered the 747-8 with orders for the freighter variant in November 2005. Cargolux was to receive the first -8F.

747-8 Intercontinental
The passenger version, dubbed 747-8 Intercontinental or 747-8I, will be capable of carrying up to 467 passengers in a 3-class configuration over 8,000 nmi (15,000 km) at Mach 0.855. The 747-8I will carry 51 more passengers and two more freight pallets with 26% more cargo volume than the 747-400. Despite initial plans for a shorter stretch than the freighter model, the two variants will be the same length, increasing passenger capacity and allowing easier modification of the 747-8I to freighter use. The upper deck will be lengthened on the -8I. New engine technology and aerodynamic modifications will allow longer range.

For the 747-8, Boeing has proposed some changes to the interior layout of the aircraft. Most noticeable will be the curved stairway to the upper deck and a more spacious main passenger entrance. The 747-8's main cabin uses an interior similar to that of the 787. Overhead bins are curved, and the center row is designed to look as though it is attached to the curved ceiling, rather than integrated into the ceiling's curve like on the 777. The windows will also be of similar size to the type used on the 777, which are 8% larger than those on the current 747-400s. The 747-8 will feature a new solid-state light-emitting diode (LED) lighting system, which can create moods lighting. LED technology also offers improved reliability and lower maintenance costs.

Further down the aircraft, it has been proposed to place cabin-accessible facilities in the "crown" area, the space above the passenger cabin, currently used for air-conditioning ducts and wiring. The wiring and ducts will be moved to the side to create extra space; as a consequence, this area will not have windows. The added space can be used for galleys and crew rest areas, freeing up main deck space for additional passenger seating. During the initial 747-8 marketing phase, Boeing also proposed creating a revenue-generating "SkyLoft" passenger facility in the crown space. This facility would include "SkySuites", small individual compartments with sliding doors or curtains, featuring beds, seating, and entertainment or business equipment. A common lounge area could also be provided. Boeing also proposed smaller, more modest "SkyBunks". Access to the crown area would be via a separate stairway at the rear of the aircraft. Passengers using the SkySuites, sold at a premium price, would sit in regular economy class seats for take-off and landing, and move to the crown area during flight. However, pricing feasibility studies found the SkyLoft concept difficult to justify. In 2007, Boeing dropped the SkyLoft concept in favor of upper-deck galley storage options, which were favored by the airlines. Outfitting the crown space for sleeping remains an option on VIP aircraft.

Lufthansa launched the 747-8 Intercontinental on December 6, 2006, becoming the first airline to order the variant. Though VIP orders have been placed, Lufthansa will receive the first 747-8Is off the production line. In December 2009, Korean Air announced the order of five 747-8Is.

Presidential aircraft replacement
The U.S. Air Force is seeking to upgrade Air Force One by replacing the Boeing VC-25 (2 heavily modified 747-200Bs). Boeing is reported to be exploring a 747-8 proposal, along with a Boeing 787 variant.

Orders and deliveries

Date Customer EIS 747‑8I 747‑8F Total Options Notes
02005-11-15 November 15, 2005 Cargolux 2010 10 10 (10) Launch customer for 747-8 Freighter (10 purchase rights, not options)
02005-11-15 November 15, 2005 Nippon Cargo Airlines 2010 8 8 6 Launch customer for 747-8 Freighter
02006-05-30 May 30, 2006 Boeing Business Jet 2011 1 1 Unidentified VIP Order
02006-09-11 September 11, 2006 Atlas Air 2010 12 12 14
02006-09-29 September 29, 2006 Boeing Business Jet 2011 2 2 Unidentified VIP Order
02006-10-09 October 9, 2006 Emirates SkyCargo 2011 10 10
02006-11-06 November 6, 2006 Boeing Business Jet 2011 1 1 Unidentified VIP Order
02006-11-30 November 30, 2006 Guggenheim Aviation Partners 2010 4 4 2
02006-12-06 December 6, 2006 Lufthansa 2011 20 20 20 Launch customer for 747-8 Intercontinental
02006-12-28 December 28, 2006 Korean Air Cargo 2010 5 5 2
02007-03-09 March 9, 2007 Nippon Cargo Airlines 6 6
02007-03-12 March 12, 2007 Volga-Dnepr 5 5 (5) Subsidiary AirBridge Cargo will operate the airplanes. (5 purchase rights)
02007-03-19 March 19, 2007 Cargolux 2010 3 3 2
02007-07-10 July 10, 2007 Boeing Business Jet 1 1 Unidentified VIP Order
02007-11-08 November 8, 2007 Cathay Pacific Airways 2011 10 10 (14)
02007-11-12 November 12, 2007 Dubai Aerospace Enterprise 2011 5 5
02008-01-08 January 8, 2008 Boeing Business Jet 2011 1 1 Unidentified VIP Order
02008-04-16 April 16, 2008 Boeing Business Jet 2012 1 1 Unidentified VIP Order
02008-07-15 July 15, 2008 Arik Air 2012 (4) Letter of Intent, not a confirmed order.
02008-09-24 September 24, 2008 Boeing Business Jet 1 1 Unidentified VIP Order
02009-04-24 April 24, 2009 Unknown -1 -1
02009-12-04 December 4, 2009 Korean Air 2013 5 5
02010-01-08 January 8, 2010 Guggenheim Aviation Partners -2 -2
Totals 11 32 76 108 46 (33)

Marketing and sales performance

The freighter version of the 747-8 has attracted many cargo airlines due to the benefit of similar training and interchangeable parts with the Boeing 747-400. In addition, the Boeing 747 has a long history of being a proven cargo aircraft and is still the plane of choice for many cargo airlines due to its long range and large cargo capacity.

Compared to the freighter version, the passenger version of the 747-8 has not seen as much success, with far fewer orders. Airlines including Emirates and British Airways considered ordering the 747-8 Intercontinental but instead opted to purchase the Airbus A380. In addition, there are 7 VIP orders for the 747-8I by various customers. Boeing Chairman and Chief Executive Jim McNerney acknowledged in a conference call to Boeing's investors on April 23, 2008 that he would like to see more orders for the passenger version of the 747-8.


Boeing 747-8I Boeing 747-8F
Cockpit crew Two
Seating capacity 467 (3-class) N/A
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) 421,200 lb (191,100 kg)
Maximum landing weight 682,000 lb (309,000 kg) 757,000 lb (343,000 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)
Mach 0.845
(564 mph, 490 kn, 908 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) 4,475 nmi (8,288 km)
Cargo capacity 5,705 cu ft (161.5 m3) 30,177 cu ft (854.5 m3)
Service ceiling 43,000 ft (13,000 m)
Engines (4x) GEnx-2B67
Thrust (4x) 66,500 lbf (296 kN)
Last updated March 20, 2010
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Boeing 747-8".
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