Boeing 747

Boeing 747

Overview


The Boeing 747 is a wide-body
Wide-body aircraft
A wide-body aircraft is a large airliner with two passenger aisles, also known as a widebody aircraft or twin-aisle aircraft. The typical fuselage diameter is . In the typical wide-body economy cabin, passengers are seated seven to ten abreast, allowing a total capacity of 200 to 850 passengers...

 commercial airliner
Airliner
An airliner is a large fixed-wing aircraft for transporting passengers and cargo. Such aircraft are operated by airlines. Although the definition of an airliner can vary from country to country, an airliner is typically defined as an aircraft intended for carrying multiple passengers in commercial...

 and cargo transport, often referred to by its original nickname, Jumbo Jet, or Queen of the Skies. It is among the world's most recognizable aircraft, and was the first wide-body ever produced. Manufactured by Boeing
Boeing
The Boeing Company is an American multinational aerospace and defense corporation, founded in 1916 by William E. Boeing in Seattle, Washington. Boeing has expanded over the years, merging with McDonnell Douglas in 1997. Boeing Corporate headquarters has been in Chicago, Illinois since 2001...

's Commercial Airplane unit
Boeing Commercial Airplanes
Boeing Commercial Airplanes designs, assembles, markets and sells large commercial jet aircraft and provides product-related maintenance and training to customers worldwide...

 in the United States, the original version of the 747 was two and a half times the size of the Boeing 707
Boeing 707
The Boeing 707 is a four-engine narrow-body commercial passenger jet airliner developed by Boeing in the early 1950s. Its name is most commonly pronounced as "Seven Oh Seven". The first airline to operate the 707 was Pan American World Airways, inaugurating the type's first commercial flight on...

, one of the common large commercial aircraft of the 1960s.
Discussion
Ask a question about 'Boeing 747'
Start a new discussion about 'Boeing 747'
Answer questions from other users
Full Discussion Forum
 
Unanswered Questions
Recent Discussions
Encyclopedia


The Boeing 747 is a wide-body
Wide-body aircraft
A wide-body aircraft is a large airliner with two passenger aisles, also known as a widebody aircraft or twin-aisle aircraft. The typical fuselage diameter is . In the typical wide-body economy cabin, passengers are seated seven to ten abreast, allowing a total capacity of 200 to 850 passengers...

 commercial airliner
Airliner
An airliner is a large fixed-wing aircraft for transporting passengers and cargo. Such aircraft are operated by airlines. Although the definition of an airliner can vary from country to country, an airliner is typically defined as an aircraft intended for carrying multiple passengers in commercial...

 and cargo transport, often referred to by its original nickname, Jumbo Jet, or Queen of the Skies. It is among the world's most recognizable aircraft, and was the first wide-body ever produced. Manufactured by Boeing
Boeing
The Boeing Company is an American multinational aerospace and defense corporation, founded in 1916 by William E. Boeing in Seattle, Washington. Boeing has expanded over the years, merging with McDonnell Douglas in 1997. Boeing Corporate headquarters has been in Chicago, Illinois since 2001...

's Commercial Airplane unit
Boeing Commercial Airplanes
Boeing Commercial Airplanes designs, assembles, markets and sells large commercial jet aircraft and provides product-related maintenance and training to customers worldwide...

 in the United States, the original version of the 747 was two and a half times the size of the Boeing 707
Boeing 707
The Boeing 707 is a four-engine narrow-body commercial passenger jet airliner developed by Boeing in the early 1950s. Its name is most commonly pronounced as "Seven Oh Seven". The first airline to operate the 707 was Pan American World Airways, inaugurating the type's first commercial flight on...

, one of the common large commercial aircraft of the 1960s. First flown commercially in 1970, the 747 held the passenger capacity record for 37 years.

The four-engine 747 uses a double deck
Double-deck aircraft
A Double-deck aircraft has two decks for passengers; the second deck may be only a partial deck, and may be above or below the main deck. Almost all commercial aircraft have one passenger deck and one cargo deck for luggage and ULD containers, but only a few have two decks for passengers,...

 configuration for part of its length. It is available in passenger, freighter and other versions. Boeing designed the 747's hump-like upper deck to serve as a first class lounge or (as is the general rule today) extra seating, and to allow the aircraft to be easily converted to a cargo carrier by removing seats and installing a front cargo door. Boeing did so because the company expected supersonic airliners
Supersonic transport
A supersonic transport is a civilian supersonic aircraft designed to transport passengers at speeds greater than the speed of sound. The only SSTs to see regular service to date have been Concorde and the Tupolev Tu-144. The last passenger flight of the Tu-144 was in June 1978 with its last ever...

 (whose development was announced in the early 1960s) to render the 747 and other subsonic airliners obsolete, while believing that the demand for subsonic cargo aircraft would be robust into the future. The 747 in particular was expected to become obsolete after 400 were sold but it exceeded its critics' expectations with production passing the 1,000 mark in 1993. As of June 2010, 1,418 aircraft have been built, with 109 more in various configurations remaining on order.

The 747-400
Boeing 747-400
The Boeing 747-400 is a major development and the best-selling model of the Boeing 747 family of jet airliners. While retaining the four-engine wide-body layout of its predecessors, the 747-400 embodies numerous technological and structural changes to produce a more efficient airframe...

, the latest passenger version in service, is among the fastest airliners in service with a high-subsonic cruise speed of Mach
Mach number
Mach number is the speed of an object moving through air, or any other fluid substance, divided by the speed of sound as it is in that substance for its particular physical conditions, including those of temperature and pressure...

 0.85–0.855 (up to 570 mph (254.8 m/s)). It has an intercontinental range of 7,260 nautical mile
Nautical mile
The nautical mile is a unit of length that is about one minute of arc of latitude along any meridian, but is approximately one minute of arc of longitude only at the equator...

s (8,350 mi or 13,450 km). The 747-400 passenger version can accommodate 416 passengers in a typical three-class layout
Travel class
A travel class is a quality of accommodation on public transport. The accommodation could be a seat or a cabin for example. Higher travel classes are more comfortable and more expensive.-Airline booking codes:...

 or 524 passengers in a typical two-class layout. The newest version of the aircraft, the 747-8
Boeing 747-8
The Boeing 747-8 is a wide-body jet airliner developed by Boeing Commercial Airplanes. Officially announced in 2005, the 747-8 is the fourth-generation Boeing 747 version, with lengthened fuselage, redesigned wings and improved efficiency...

, is in production and flight testing in late 2010. Deliveries of the 747-8F freighter version to the launch customer Cargolux
Cargolux
Cargolux Airlines International S.A., trading as Cargolux, is a cargo airline with its head office on the grounds of Luxembourg – Findel Airport in Sandweiler, Luxembourg. It is one of the largest scheduled all-cargo airlines in Europe with a global network...

 began in October 2011; the 747-8I passenger version is to follow in 2012. The 747 is to be replaced by the Boeing Y3 (part of the Boeing Yellowstone Project
Boeing Yellowstone Project
Yellowstone is a Boeing Commercial Airplanes project to replace its entire civil aircraft portfolio with advanced technology aircraft. New technologies to be introduced include composite aerostructures, more electrical systems , and more fuel-efficient turbofan engines Yellowstone is a Boeing...

) in the future.

Background


In 1963, the United States Air Force
United States Air Force
The United States Air Force is the aerial warfare service branch of the United States Armed Forces and one of the American uniformed services. Initially part of the United States Army, the USAF was formed as a separate branch of the military on September 18, 1947 under the National Security Act of...

 started a series of study projects on a very large strategic transport aircraft. Although the C-141 Starlifter
C-141 Starlifter
The Lockheed C-141 Starlifter was a military strategic airlifter in service with the Air Mobility Command of the United States Air Force...

 was being introduced, they felt that a much larger and more capable aircraft was needed, especially the capability to carry outsized cargo that would not fit in any existing aircraft. These studies led to initial requirements for the CX-Heavy Logistics System (CX-HLS) in March 1964 for an aircraft with a load capacity of 180000 pounds (81,646.6 kg) and a speed of Mach 0.75 (500 mph (804.7 km/h)), and an unrefueled range of 5000 nautical miles (9,260 km) with a payload of 115000 pounds (52,163.1 kg). The payload bay had to be 17 feet (5.2 m) wide by 13.5 feet (4.1 m) high and 100 feet (30.5 m) long with access through doors at the front and rear.

Featuring only four engines, the design also required new engine designs with greatly increased power and better fuel economy. On May 18, 1964, airframe proposals arrived from Boeing, Douglas
Douglas Aircraft Company
The Douglas Aircraft Company was an American aerospace manufacturer, based in Long Beach, California. It was founded in 1921 by Donald Wills Douglas, Sr. and later merged with McDonnell Aircraft in 1967 to form McDonnell Douglas...

, General Dynamics
General Dynamics
General Dynamics Corporation is a U.S. defense conglomerate formed by mergers and divestitures, and as of 2008 it is the fifth largest defense contractor in the world. Its headquarters are in West Falls Church , unincorporated Fairfax County, Virginia, in the Falls Church area.The company has...

, Lockheed
Lockheed Corporation
The Lockheed Corporation was an American aerospace company. Lockheed was founded in 1912 and later merged with Martin Marietta to form Lockheed Martin in 1995.-Origins:...

 and Martin Marietta
Martin Marietta
Martin Marietta Corporation was an American company founded in 1961 through the merger of The Martin Company and American-Marietta Corporation. The combined company became a leader in chemicals, aerospace, and electronics. In 1995, it merged with Lockheed Corporation to form Lockheed Martin. The...

; while engine proposals were submitted by General Electric, Curtiss-Wright
Curtiss-Wright
The Curtiss-Wright Corporation was the largest aircraft manufacturer in the United States at the end of World War II, but has evolved to largely become a component manufacturer, specializing in actuators, aircraft controls, valves, and metalworking....

, and Pratt & Whitney
Pratt & Whitney
Pratt & Whitney is a U.S.-based aerospace manufacturer with global service operations. It is a subsidiary of United Technologies Corporation . Pratt & Whitney's aircraft engines are widely used in both civil aviation and military aviation. Its headquarters are in East Hartford, Connecticut, USA...

. After a downselect, Boeing, Douglas and Lockheed were given additional study contracts for the airframe, along with General Electric and Pratt & Whitney for the engines.

All three of the airframe proposals shared a number of features. As the CX-HLS needed to be able to be loaded from the front, a door had to be included where the cockpit usually was. All of the companies solved this problem by moving the cockpit to above the cargo area; Douglas had a small "pod" just forward and above the wing, Lockheed used a long "spine" running the length of the aircraft with the wing spar passing through it, while Boeing blended the two, with a longer pod that ran from just behind the nose to just behind the wing. In 1965 Lockheed's aircraft design and General Electric's engine design were selected for the new C-5 Galaxy
C-5 Galaxy
The Lockheed C-5 Galaxy is a large military transport aircraft built by Lockheed. It provides the United States Air Force with a heavy intercontinental-range strategic airlift capability, one that can carry outsize and oversize cargos, including all air-certifiable cargo. The Galaxy has many...

 transport, which was the largest military aircraft in the world at the time. The nose door and raised cockpit concepts would be carried over to the design of the 747.

Airliner proposal


The 747 was conceived while air travel was increasing in the 1960s. The era of commercial jet transportation, led by the enormous popularity of the Boeing 707
Boeing 707
The Boeing 707 is a four-engine narrow-body commercial passenger jet airliner developed by Boeing in the early 1950s. Its name is most commonly pronounced as "Seven Oh Seven". The first airline to operate the 707 was Pan American World Airways, inaugurating the type's first commercial flight on...

 and Douglas DC-8
Douglas DC-8
The Douglas DC-8 is a four-engined narrow-body passenger commercial jet airliner, manufactured from 1958 to 1972 by the Douglas Aircraft Company...

, had revolutionized long-distance travel. Even before it lost the CX-HLS contract, Boeing was pressed by Juan Trippe
Juan Trippe
Juan Terry Trippe was an American airline entrepreneur and pioneer, and the founder of Pan American World Airways, one of the world's most prominent airlines of the twentieth century.-Early years:...

, president of Pan American World Airways
Pan American World Airways
Pan American World Airways, commonly known as Pan Am, was the principal and largest international air carrier in the United States from 1927 until its collapse on December 4, 1991...

 (Pan Am), one of its most important airline customers, to build a passenger aircraft more than twice the size of the 707. During this time, airport congestion, worsened by increasing numbers of passengers carried on relatively small aircraft, became a problem that Trippe thought could be addressed by a large new aircraft.

In 1965, Joe Sutter
Joe Sutter
Joseph F. "Joe" Sutter was an engineer for the Boeing Airplane Company and chief engineer for the development of the Boeing 747 under Malcolm T. Stamper.-Early life:...

 was transferred from Boeing's 737
Boeing 737
The Boeing 737 is a short- to medium-range, twin-engine narrow-body jet airliner. Originally developed as a shorter, lower-cost twin-engine airliner derived from Boeing's 707 and 727, the 737 has developed into a family of nine passenger models with a capacity of 85 to 215 passengers...

 development team to manage the studies for a new airliner, already assigned the model number 747. Sutter initiated a design study with Pan Am and other airlines, in order to better understand their requirements. At the time, it was widely thought that the 747 would eventually be superseded by supersonic transport
Supersonic transport
A supersonic transport is a civilian supersonic aircraft designed to transport passengers at speeds greater than the speed of sound. The only SSTs to see regular service to date have been Concorde and the Tupolev Tu-144. The last passenger flight of the Tu-144 was in June 1978 with its last ever...

 aircraft. Boeing responded by designing the 747 so that it could be adapted easily to carry freight and remain in production even if sales of the passenger version declined. In the freighter role, the clear need was to support the containerized shipping
Containerization
Containerization is a system of freight transport based on a range of steel intermodal containers...

 methodologies that were being widely introduced at about the same time. Standard containers are 8 ft (2.4 m) square at the front (slightly higher due to attachment points) and available in 20 and 40 ft (6.1 and 12.2 m) lengths. This meant that it would be possible to support a 2-wide 2-high stack of containers two or three ranks deep with a fuselage size similar to the earlier CX-HLS project.

In April 1966, Pan Am ordered 25 747-100 aircraft for US$525 million. During the ceremonial 747 contract-signing banquet in Seattle on Boeing's 50th Anniversary, Juan Trippe predicted that the 747 would be "... a great weapon for peace, competing with intercontinental missiles
Intercontinental ballistic missile
An intercontinental ballistic missile is a ballistic missile with a long range typically designed for nuclear weapons delivery...

 for mankind's destiny", according to Malcolm T. Stamper
Malcolm T. Stamper
Malcolm Stamper was the longest serving President in Boeing’s history and was best known for leading 50,000 people in the race to build the 747 jetliner. Stamper grew up in Detroit and joined Boeing in 1962 after working for General Motors.His first assignment at Boeing was to sell its ailing gas...

, one of the senior management for the 747 program at the time. As launch customer, and because of its early involvement before placing a formal order, Pan Am was able to influence the design and development of the 747 to an extent unmatched by a single airline before or since.

Design effort


Ultimately, the high-winged CX-HLS Boeing design was not used for the 747, although technologies developed for their bid had an influence. The original design included a full-length double-deck fuselage with rows of eight-across seating and two aisles on the lower deck and seven-across seating and two aisles on the upper deck. However, concern over evacuation routes and limited cargo-carrying capability caused this idea to be scrapped in early 1966 in favor of a wider single deck design. The cockpit was, therefore, placed on a shortened upper deck so that a freight-loading door could be included in the nose cone; this design feature produced the 747's distinctive "bulge". In early models it was not clear what to do with the small space in the pod behind the cockpit, and this was initially specified as a "lounge" area with no permanent seating.
One of the principal technologies that enabled an aircraft as large as the 747 to be conceived was the high-bypass turbofan engine. The engine technology was thought to be capable of delivering double the power of the earlier turbojets while consuming a third less fuel. General Electric had pioneered the concept but was committed to developing the engine for the C-5 Galaxy and did not enter the commercial market until later. Pratt & Whitney was also working on the same principle and, by late 1966, Boeing, Pan Am and Pratt & Whitney agreed to develop a new engine, designated the JT9D to power the 747.

The project was designed with a new methodology called fault tree analysis
Fault tree analysis
Fault tree analysis is a top down, deductive failure analysis in which an undesired state of a system is analyzed using boolean logic to combine a series of lower-level events...

, which allowed the effects of a failure of a single part to be studied to determine its impact on other systems. To address concerns about safety and flyability, the 747's design included structural redundancy, redundant hydraulic
Hydraulic machinery
Hydraulic machines are machinery and tools that use liquid fluid power to do simple work. Heavy equipment is a common example.In this type of machine, hydraulic fluid is transmitted throughout the machine to various hydraulic motors and hydraulic cylinders and which becomes pressurised according to...

 systems, quadruple main landing gear and dual control surfaces. Additionally, some of the most advanced high-lift device
High-lift device
In aircraft design, high-lift devices are moving surfaces or stationary components intended to increase lift during certain flight conditions. They include common devices such as flaps and slats, as well as less common features such as leading edge extensions and blown flaps.-Purpose:Aircraft...

s used in the industry were included in the new design, in order to allow it to operate from existing airports. These included leading edge flaps running almost the entire length of the wing, as well as complex three-part slotted flaps
Flap (aircraft)
Flaps are normally hinged surfaces mounted on the trailing edges of the wings of a fixed-wing aircraft to reduce the speed an aircraft can be safely flown at and to increase the angle of descent for landing without increasing air speed. They shorten takeoff and landing distances as well as...

 along the rear. The wing's complex three-part flaps increase wing area by 21 percent and lift by 90 percent when fully deployed compared to their non-deployed configuration.

Boeing agreed to deliver the first 747 to Pan Am by the end of 1969. The delivery date left 28 months to design the aircraft, which was two-thirds of the normal time. The schedule was so fast paced that the people who worked on it were given the nickname "The Incredibles". Developing the aircraft was such a technical and financial challenge that management was said to have "bet the company" when it started the project.

Production plant


As Boeing did not have a plant large enough to assemble the giant airliner, they chose to build a new plant. The company considered locations in about 50 cities, and eventually decided to build the new plant some 30 miles (48 km) north of Seattle on a site adjoining a military base at Paine Field
Paine Field
Paine Field, also known as Snohomish County Airport is a public airport located in unincorporated Snohomish County, between Mukilteo and Everett, Washington...

 near Everett
Everett, Washington
Everett is the county seat of and the largest city in Snohomish County, Washington, United States. Named for Everett Colby, son of founder Charles L. Colby, it lies north of Seattle. The city had a total population of 103,019 at the 2010 census, making it the 6th largest in the state and...

, Washington. It bought the 780 acres (3.2 km²) site in June 1966.

Developing the 747 had been a major challenge, and building its assembly plant was also a huge undertaking. Boeing president William M. Allen asked Malcolm T. Stamper
Malcolm T. Stamper
Malcolm Stamper was the longest serving President in Boeing’s history and was best known for leading 50,000 people in the race to build the 747 jetliner. Stamper grew up in Detroit and joined Boeing in 1962 after working for General Motors.His first assignment at Boeing was to sell its ailing gas...

, then head of the company's turbine division, to oversee construction of the Everett factory
Boeing Everett Factory
The Boeing Everett Factory, in Everett, Washington, is an airplane assembly building owned by Boeing. Located on the northeast corner of Paine Field, it is the largest building in the world by volume at 13,385,378 m3 and covers 399,480 m2...

 and to start production of the 747. To level the site, more than 4 million cubic yards (3.1 million m³) of earth had to be moved. Time was so short that the 747's full-scale mock-up was built before the factory roof above it was finished. The plant is the largest building by volume ever built, and has been substantially expanded several times to permit construction of other models of Boeing wide-body commercial jets.

Development and testing


Before the first 747 was fully assembled, testing began on many components and systems. One important test involved the evacuation of 560 volunteers from a cabin mock-up via the aircraft's emergency chutes. The first full-scale evacuation took two and a half minutes instead of the maximum of 90 seconds mandated by the Federal Aviation Administration
Federal Aviation Administration
The Federal Aviation Administration is the national aviation authority of the United States. An agency of the United States Department of Transportation, it has authority to regulate and oversee all aspects of civil aviation in the U.S...

, and several volunteers were injured. Subsequent test evacuations achieved the 90-second goal but caused more injuries. Most problematic was evacuation from the aircraft's upper deck; instead of using a conventional slide, volunteer passengers escaped by using a harness attached to a reel. Tests also involved taxiing such a large aircraft. Boeing built an unusual training device known as "Waddell's Wagon" (named for a 747 test pilot, Jack Waddell) that consisted of a mock-up cockpit mounted on the roof of a truck. While the first 747s were still being built, the device allowed pilots to practice taxi maneuvers from a high upper-deck position.

On September 30, 1968, the first 747 was rolled out of the Everett assembly building before the world's press and representatives of the 26 airlines that had ordered the airliner. Over the following months, preparations were made for the first flight, which took place on February 9, 1969, with test pilots Jack Waddell and Brien Wygle at the controls and Jess Wallick at the flight engineer's station. Despite a minor problem with one of the flaps, the flight confirmed that the 747 handled extremely well. The 747 was found to be largely immune to "Dutch roll
Dutch roll
Dutch roll is a type of aircraft motion, consisting of an out-of-phase combination of "tail-wagging" and rocking from side to side. This yaw-roll coupling is one of the basic flight dynamic modes...

", a phenomenon that had been a major hazard to the early swept-wing jets.

During later stages of the flight test program, flutter testing showed that the wings suffered oscillation under certain conditions. This difficulty was partly solved by reducing the stiffness of some wing components. However, a particularly severe high-speed flutter problem was solved only by inserting depleted uranium
Depleted uranium
Depleted uranium is uranium with a lower content of the fissile isotope U-235 than natural uranium . Uses of DU take advantage of its very high density of 19.1 g/cm3...

 counterweights as ballast in the outboard engine nacelle
Nacelle
The nacelle is a cover housing that holds engines, fuel, or equipment on an aircraft. In some cases—for instance in the typical "Farman" type "pusher" aircraft, or the World War II-era P-38 Lightning—an aircraft's cockpit may also be housed in a nacelle, which essentially fills the...

s of the early 747s. This measure caused anxiety when these aircraft crashed, as did China Airlines Flight 358
China Airlines Flight 358
China Airlines Flight 358 was a Boeing 747-2R7F freighter plane that crashed on December 29, 1991 shortly after takeoff from Chiang Kai-shek International Airport in Taipei, Taiwan. The aircraft was a 747, registration B-198, that had been in service for 11 years, 3 months . The aircraft had...

 at Wanli in 1991 and El Al Flight 1862
El Al Flight 1862
On 4 October 1992, El Al Flight 1862, a Boeing 747 cargo plane of the Israeli airline El Al, crashed into the Groeneveen and Klein-Kruitberg flats in the Bijlmermeer neighbourhood of Amsterdam, the Netherlands. For the location in the Bijlmermeer, the crash is known in Dutch as the "Bijlmerramp"...

 at Amsterdam
Amsterdam
Amsterdam is the largest city and the capital of the Netherlands. The current position of Amsterdam as capital city of the Kingdom of the Netherlands is governed by the constitution of August 24, 1815 and its successors. Amsterdam has a population of 783,364 within city limits, an urban population...

 in 1992.
The flight test
Flight test
Flight test is a branch of aeronautical engineering that develops and gathers data during flight of an aircraft and then analyzes the data to evaluate the flight characteristics of the aircraft and validate its design, including safety aspects...

 program was hampered by problems with the 747's JT9D engines. Difficulties included engine stalls caused by rapid movements of the throttles and distortion of the turbine casings after a short period of service. The problems delayed 747 deliveries for several months and stranded up to 20 aircraft at the Everett plant while they awaited engine installation. The program was further delayed when one of the five test aircraft suffered serious damage during a landing attempt at Renton Municipal Airport
Renton Municipal Airport
Renton Municipal Airport is located in Renton, Washington, USA. It has a single paved runway, 16/34, which is roughly 5,400' long...

, site of the Boeing Renton Factory
Boeing Renton Factory
The Boeing Company's Renton, Washington Factory is a facility where Next-Generation Boeing 737 airliners are built. Current production includes the 737-600, 737-700, 737-800, and 737-900 models.The factory lies adjacent to Renton Municipal Airport....

. On December 13, 1969 the test aircraft was being taken to have its test equipment removed and a cabin installed when pilot Ralph C. Cokely undershot the airport's short runway. The 747's right, outer landing gear was torn off and two engine nacelle
Nacelle
The nacelle is a cover housing that holds engines, fuel, or equipment on an aircraft. In some cases—for instance in the typical "Farman" type "pusher" aircraft, or the World War II-era P-38 Lightning—an aircraft's cockpit may also be housed in a nacelle, which essentially fills the...

s were damaged. However, these difficulties did not prevent Boeing from taking one of the test aircraft to the 28th Paris Air Show
Paris Air Show
The Paris Air Show is the world's oldest and largest air show. Established in 1909, it is currently held every odd year at Le Bourget Airport in north Paris, France...

 in mid-1969, where it was displayed to the general public for the first time. The 747 achieved its FAA
Federal Aviation Administration
The Federal Aviation Administration is the national aviation authority of the United States. An agency of the United States Department of Transportation, it has authority to regulate and oversee all aspects of civil aviation in the U.S...

 airworthiness certificate in December 1969, making it ready for introduction into service.

The huge cost of developing the 747 and building the Everett factory meant that Boeing had to borrow heavily from a banking syndicate. During the final months before delivery of the first aircraft, the company had to repeatedly request additional funding to complete the project. Had this been refused, Boeing's survival would have been threatened. Ultimately, the gamble succeeded, and Boeing held a monopoly in very large passenger aircraft production for many years.

Entry into service


On January 15, 1970, First Lady of the United States
First Lady of the United States
First Lady of the United States is the title of the hostess of the White House. Because this position is traditionally filled by the wife of the president of the United States, the title is most often applied to the wife of a sitting president. The current first lady is Michelle Obama.-Current:The...

 Pat Nixon
Pat Nixon
Thelma Catherine "Pat" Ryan Nixon was the wife of Richard Nixon, 37th President of the United States, and was First Lady of the United States from 1969 to 1974. She was commonly known as Patricia or Pat Nixon.Born in Nevada, Pat Ryan grew up in Los Angeles, California...

 christened Pan Am's first 747, Clipper Victor
Clipper Victor
Clipper Victor was a Boeing 747-121 which began service with Pan Am in 1970. It was the first Boeing 747 in service and is notable for its brief but significant history. Its tail number was and was named Clipper Victor...

, at Dulles International Airport
Washington Dulles International Airport
Washington Dulles International Airport is a public airport in Dulles, Virginia, 26 miles west of downtown Washington, D.C. The airport serves the Baltimore-Washington-Northern Virginia metropolitan area centered on the District of Columbia. It is named after John Foster Dulles, Secretary of...

 (later renamed Washington Dulles International Airport) in the presence of Pan Am chairman Najeeb Halaby
Najeeb Halaby
Najeeb Elias Halaby Jr. was a US businessman, government official, and the father of Queen Noor of Jordan.-Early life and ancestry:Halaby was born in Dallas, Texas. His father was Najeeb Elias Halaby Sr. a Syrian Christian, who emigrated to the United States from Syria in 1891...

. Instead of champagne, red, white and blue water was sprayed on the aircraft. The 747 entered service on January 22, 1970, on Pan Am's New York–London route; the flight had been planned for the evening of January 21, but engine overheating made the original aircraft unusable. Finding a substitute delayed the flight by more than six hours to the following day.

The 747 enjoyed a fairly smooth introduction into service, overcoming concerns that some airports would not be able to accommodate an aircraft that large. Although technical problems occurred, they were relatively minor and quickly solved. After the aircraft's introduction with Pan Am, other airlines that had bought the 747 in order to stay competitive began to put their own 747s into service. Boeing estimated that half of the early 747 sales were to airlines desiring the aircraft's long range rather than its payload capacity. While the 747 had the lowest potential operating cost per seat, this could only be achieved when the aircraft was fully loaded; costs per seat increased rapidly as occupancy declined. A moderately loaded 747, one with only 70 percent of its seats occupied, used more than 95 percent of the fuel needed by a fully occupied 747.

When economic problems in the United States and other countries after the 1973 oil crisis
1973 oil crisis
The 1973 oil crisis started in October 1973, when the members of Organization of Arab Petroleum Exporting Countries or the OAPEC proclaimed an oil embargo. This was "in response to the U.S. decision to re-supply the Israeli military" during the Yom Kippur war. It lasted until March 1974. With the...

 led to reduced passenger traffic, several airlines found they did not have enough passengers to fly the 747 economically, and they replaced them with the smaller and recently introduced McDonnell Douglas DC-10
McDonnell Douglas DC-10
The McDonnell Douglas DC-10 is a three-engine widebody jet airliner manufactured by McDonnell Douglas. The DC-10 has range for medium- to long-haul flights, capable of carrying a maximum 380 passengers. Its most distinguishing feature is the two turbofan engines mounted on underwing pylons and a...

 and Lockheed L-1011 TriStar
Lockheed L-1011
The Lockheed L-1011 TriStar, commonly referred to as the L-1011 or TriStar, is a medium-to-long range, widebody passenger trijet airliner. It was the third widebody airliner to enter commercial operations, following the Boeing 747 and the McDonnell Douglas DC-10. Between 1968 and 1984, Lockheed...

 trijet
Trijet
A Trijet is an aircraft powered by three jet engines. Early twin-jet designs were limited by the FAA's "60-minute rule", whereby the flight path of twin-engined jetliners was restricted to within 60 minutes' flying time from a suitable airport, in case of engine failure. In 1964 this rule was...

 wide bodies (and later the 767
Boeing 767
The Boeing 767 is a mid-size, wide-body twin-engine jet airliner built by Boeing Commercial Airplanes. It was the manufacturer's first wide-body twinjet and its first airliner with a two-crew glass cockpit. The aircraft features two turbofan engines, a supercritical wing, and a conventional tail...

 and A300
Airbus A300
The Airbus A300 is a short- to medium-range widebody jet airliner. Launched in 1972 as the world's first twin-engined widebody, it was the first product of Airbus Industrie, a consortium of European aerospace companies, wholly owned today by EADS...

 twinjet
Twinjet
A twinjet or twin jet is a jet aircraft powered by two engines. Such configuration of an aircraft is the most popular today for commercial airliners, for fighters, and many other kinds, because while offering safety from a single engine failure, it is also acceptably fuel-efficient.-Aircraft...

s). Having tried replacing coach seats on its 747s with piano bars in an attempt to attract more customers, American Airlines eventually relegated its 747s to cargo service and in 1983 exchanged them with Pan Am for smaller aircraft; Delta Air Lines
Delta Air Lines
Delta Air Lines, Inc. is a major airline based in the United States and headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia. The airline operates an extensive domestic and international network serving all continents except Antarctica. Delta and its subsidiaries operate over 4,000 flights every day...

 also removed its 747s from service after several years. Delta would later merge with Northwest Airlines
Northwest Airlines
Northwest Airlines, Inc. was a major United States airline founded in 1926 and absorbed into Delta Air Lines by a merger approved on October 29, 2008, making Delta the largest airline in the world...

, which operates 747s.

International flights that bypassed traditional hub airports and landed at smaller cities became more common throughout the 1980s, and this eroded the 747's original market. However, many international carriers continued to use the 747 on Pacific routes. In Japan, 747s on domestic routes are configured to carry close to the maximum passenger capacity.

Improved 747 versions


After the initial 747-100 model, Boeing developed the , a higher maximum takeoff weight (MTOW) variant, and the (Short Range), with higher passenger capacity. Increased maximum takeoff weight can allow an aircraft to carry more fuel and have longer range. The model followed, entering service in 1971. It featured more powerful engines and higher takeoff weight. Passenger, freighter and combination passenger-freighter versions were produced. The shortened 747SP
Boeing 747SP
The Boeing 747SP is a modified version of the Boeing 747 jet airliner which was designed for ultra-long-range flights. The SP stands for "Special Performance". Compared with its predecessor, the 747-100, the 747SP retains its wide-body, four-engine layout, along with its double-deck design, but...

 (special performance) with a longer range was also developed in the mid-1970s.

The 747 line was further developed with the launching of the 747-300 in 1980. The resulted from Boeing studies to increase the seating capacity
Seating capacity
Seating capacity refers to the number of people who can be seated in a specific space, both in terms of the physical space available, and in terms of limitations set by law. Seating capacity can be used in the description of anything ranging from an automobile that seats two to a stadium that seats...

 of the 747. Solutions such as fuselage plugs and extending the upper deck over the entire length of the fuselage were rejected. The early designation of the −300 was 747SUD for "stretched upper deck", then 747-200 SUD, followed by 747EUD, before the 747-300 designation was used. The −300 model was first produced in 1983. It included a stretched upper deck, increased cruise speed and increased seating capacity
Seating capacity
Seating capacity refers to the number of people who can be seated in a specific space, both in terms of the physical space available, and in terms of limitations set by law. Seating capacity can be used in the description of anything ranging from an automobile that seats two to a stadium that seats...

. Passenger, short range and combination freighter-passenger versions were produced.
In 1985, development of the longer range 747-400 began. The new variant had a new glass cockpit
Glass cockpit
A glass cockpit is an aircraft cockpit that features electronic instrument displays, typically large LCD screens, as opposed to the traditional style of analog dials and gauges...

, which allowed for a cockpit crew of two instead of three. Development cost soared, and production delays occurred as new technologies were incorporated at the request of airlines. Insufficient workforce experience and reliance on overtime contributed to early production problems on the 747-400. The −400 entered service in 1989.

In 1991, a record-breaking 1,087 passengers were airlifted aboard a 747 to Israel as part of Operation Solomon
Operation Solomon
Operation Solomon was a 1991 covert Israeli military operation to take Ethiopian Jews to Israel.In 1991, the sitting Ethiopian government of Mengistu Haile Mariam was close to being toppled with the recent military successes of Eritrean and Tigrean rebels, threatening Ethiopia with dangerous...

. The 747 was the heaviest airliner in regular service until the use of the Antonov An-124
Antonov An-124
The Antonov An-124 Ruslan is a strategic airlift jet aircraft. It was designed by the Ukrainian SSR's Antonov design bureau, then part of the Soviet Union. It is the world's largest ever serially-manufactured cargo airplane and world's second largest operating cargo aircraft...

 Ruslan in 1982. The 747-400ER model regained that distinction in 2000. The Antonov An-225
Antonov An-225
The Antonov An-225 Mriya is a strategic airlift cargo aircraft, designed by the Antonov Design Bureau in the 1980s. It is the world's heaviest aircraft. The design, built in order to transport the Buran orbiter, was an enlargement of the successful An-124 Ruslan...

 cargo transport
Cargo aircraft
A cargo aircraft is a fixed-wing aircraft designed or converted for the carriage of goods, rather than passengers. They are usually devoid of passenger amenities, and generally feature one or more large doors for the loading and unloading of cargo...

 remains the world's largest aircraft by several measures (including the most accepted measures of maximum takeoff weight and length); one has been completed and is in service . The Hughes H-4 Hercules
Hughes H-4 Hercules
The Hughes H-4 Hercules is a prototype heavy transport aircraft designed and built by the Hughes Aircraft company. The aircraft made its only flight on November 2, 1947 and the project was never advanced beyond the single example produced...

 is the largest aircraft by wingspan
Wingspan
The wingspan of an airplane or a bird, is the distance from one wingtip to the other wingtip. For example, the Boeing 777 has a wingspan of about ; and a Wandering Albatross caught in 1965 had a wingspan of , the official record for a living bird.The term wingspan, more technically extent, is...

, but it only flew once.

Further developments


Since the arrival of the 747-400
Boeing 747-400
The Boeing 747-400 is a major development and the best-selling model of the Boeing 747 family of jet airliners. While retaining the four-engine wide-body layout of its predecessors, the 747-400 embodies numerous technological and structural changes to produce a more efficient airframe...

, several stretching schemes for the 747 have been proposed. Boeing announced the larger 747-500X and preliminary designs in 1996. The new variants would have cost more than US$5 billion to develop, and interest was not sufficient to launch the program. Boeing offered the more modest 747X and 747X stretch derivatives in 2000 as alternatives to the Airbus A3XX
Airbus A380
The Airbus A380 is a double-deck, wide-body, four-engine jet airliner manufactured by the European corporation Airbus, a subsidiary of EADS. It is the largest passenger airliner in the world. Due to its size, many airports had to modify and improve facilities to accommodate it...

. However, the 747X family was unable to attract enough interest to enter production. Boeing switched from the 747X studies to pursue the Sonic Cruiser
Boeing Sonic Cruiser
|-References:*Haenggi, Michael. "The Sonic Future?". Boeing Widebodies. MBI, 2003. ISBN 0-7603-0842-X.-External links:* * * * . Seattle PI, November 4, 2001* . Flight International, January 7, 2003*...

 in 2001 and, after the Sonic Cruiser program was put on hold, the 787. Some of the ideas developed for the 747X were used on the 747-400ER.

After several variants were proposed but later abandoned, some industry observers became skeptical of new aircraft proposals from Boeing. However, 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. The 747 remained the largest passenger airliner
Airliner
An airliner is a large fixed-wing aircraft for transporting passengers and cargo. Such aircraft are operated by airlines. Although the definition of an airliner can vary from country to country, an airliner is typically defined as an aircraft intended for carrying multiple passengers in commercial...

 in service until the Airbus A380
Airbus A380
The Airbus A380 is a double-deck, wide-body, four-engine jet airliner manufactured by the European corporation Airbus, a subsidiary of EADS. It is the largest passenger airliner in the world. Due to its size, many airports had to modify and improve facilities to accommodate it...

 began airline service in 2007.

On November 14, 2005, Boeing announced it was launching the 747 Advanced as the Boeing 747-8
Boeing 747-8
The Boeing 747-8 is a wide-body jet airliner developed by Boeing Commercial Airplanes. Officially announced in 2005, the 747-8 is the fourth-generation Boeing 747 version, with lengthened fuselage, redesigned wings and improved efficiency...

. The last 747-400s were completed in 2009. , most orders of the 747-8 have been for the freighter variant. On February 8, 2010, the 747-8 Freighter made its maiden flight
Maiden flight
The maiden flight of an aircraft is the first occasion on which an aircraft leaves the ground of its own accord. This is similar to a ship's maiden voyage....

. The first scheduled delivery of the 747-8 will be to Cargolux
Cargolux
Cargolux Airlines International S.A., trading as Cargolux, is a cargo airline with its head office on the grounds of Luxembourg – Findel Airport in Sandweiler, Luxembourg. It is one of the largest scheduled all-cargo airlines in Europe with a global network...

 in mid-2011. Eventually, the 747 may be replaced in Boeing's lineup by a new design named "Y3".

Design


The Boeing 747 is a large, wide-body (two-aisle) airliner with four wing-mounted engines. The wings have a high sweep
Swept wing
A swept wing is a wing planform favored for high subsonic jet speeds first investigated by Germany during the Second World War. Since the introduction of the MiG-15 and North American F-86 which demonstrated a decisive superiority over the slower first generation of straight-wing jet fighters...

 angle of 37.5 degrees for a fast, efficient cruise of Mach 0.84 to 0.88, depending on the variant. The sweep also allows the 747 to use existing hangar
Hangar
A hangar is a closed structure to hold aircraft or spacecraft in protective storage. Most hangars are built of metal, but other materials such as wood and concrete are also sometimes used...

s. Seating capacity is more than 366 with a 3–4–3 seat arrangement (a cross section of 3 seats, an aisle, 4 seats, another aisle, and 3 seats) in economy class and a 2–3–2 arrangement in first class on the main deck. The upper deck has a 3–3 seat arrangement in economy class and a 2–2 arrangement in first class.

Raised above the main deck, the cockpit
Boeing fuselage Section 41
Section 41 is the forward portion of a Boeing aircraft, from the nose to aft of the cockpit. In some models it includes the forward door and may extend to the first class cabin. Along with the wings, it is one of the most complex parts of an aircraft, and includes the largest share of an...

 creates a hump. The raised cockpit is to allow front loading of cargo on freight variants. The upper deck behind the cockpit provides space for a lounge or extra seating. The "stretched upper deck" became available as an option on the 747-100B variant and later as standard on the 747-300. The 747-400 cockpit roof section also has an escape hatch from which crew can exit in the event of an emergency if they cannot exit through cabin.

The 747's maximum takeoff weight ranges from 735,000 pounds (333,400 kg) for the −100 to 970,000 lb (439,985 kg) for the −8. Its range has increased from 5,300 nautical miles (6,100 mi, 9,800 km) on the −100 to 8,000 nmi (9,200 mi, 14,815 km) on the −8I.

The 747 has multiple structural redundancy including four redundant hydraulic systems and four main landing gears with four wheels each, which provide a good spread of support on the ground and safety in case of tire blow-outs. The redundant main gear allows for landing on two opposing landing gears if the others do not function properly. In addition, the 747 has split control surfaces and sophisticated triple-slotted flaps
Flap (aircraft)
Flaps are normally hinged surfaces mounted on the trailing edges of the wings of a fixed-wing aircraft to reduce the speed an aircraft can be safely flown at and to increase the angle of descent for landing without increasing air speed. They shorten takeoff and landing distances as well as...

 that minimize landing speeds and allow the 747 to use standard-length runways. For transportation of spare engines, 747s can accommodate a non-functioning fifth-pod engine under the port wing of the aircraft between the inner functioning engine and the fuselage.

Variants




The 747-100 was the original variant launched in 1966. The 747-200 soon followed, with an order in 1968. The 747-300 was launched in 1980 and was followed in 1985 by the 747-400. Ultimately, the 747-8 was announced in 2005. Several versions of each variant have been produced, and many of the early variants were in production simultaneously. The International Civil Aviation Organization
International Civil Aviation Organization
The International Civil Aviation Organization , pronounced , , is a specialized agency of the United Nations. It codifies the principles and techniques of international air navigation and fosters the planning and development of international air transport to ensure safe and orderly growth...

 (ICAO) classifies variants using a shortened code formed by combining the model number and the variant designator (e.g. "B741" for all −100 models).

747-100


The first 747-100s were built with six upper-deck windows (three per side) to accommodate upstairs lounge areas. Later, as airlines began to use the upper-deck for premium passenger seating instead of lounge space, Boeing offered a ten-window upper deck as an option. Some −100s were retrofitted with the new configuration. The −100 was equipped with Pratt & Whitney JT9D-3A
Pratt & Whitney JT9D
-Bibliography:* Gunston, Bill. World Encyclopedia of Aero Engines. Cambridge, England. Patrick Stephens Limited, 1989. ISBN 1-85260-163-9-External links:*...

 engines. No freighter version of this model was developed by Boeing. However, 747-100s have been converted to freighters. A total of 167 747-100s were built.

747SR


Responding to requests from Japanese airlines for a high-capacity aircraft to serve domestic routes between major cities, Boeing developed the 747SR as a "short range" variant of the 747-100 with lower fuel capacity and greater payload capability. With increased economy class seating, up to 498 passengers could be carried in early versions and more than 550 in later models. The 747SR had an "economic design life objective" of 52,000 flights during 20 years of airline operation, compared to 24,600 flights in 20 years for the standard 747. The initial 747SR model, the −100SR, had a strengthened body structure and undercarriage to accommodate the added stress accumulated from a greater number of takeoffs and landings. Extra structural support was built into the wings, fuselage, and the landing gear along with a 20 percent reduction in fuel capacity.
The initial order for the −100SR, four aircraft for Japan Air Lines (JAL, later Japan Airlines), was announced on October 30, 1972; rollout occurred on August 3, 1973, and the first flight took place on August 31, 1973. The type was certified by the FAA on September 26, 1973, with the first delivery on the same day. The −100SR entered service with JAL, the type's sole customer, on October 7, 1973, and typically operated Japanese domestic flights. Seven −100SRs were built from 1973 and 1975, each with a 520000 pounds (235,868 kg) MTOW and Pratt & Whitney JT9D-7A
Pratt & Whitney JT9D
-Bibliography:* Gunston, Bill. World Encyclopedia of Aero Engines. Cambridge, England. Patrick Stephens Limited, 1989. ISBN 1-85260-163-9-External links:*...

 engines derated to 43000 pound-forces (191,273.5 N) of thrust.

Following the −100SR, Boeing produced the −100BSR, a 747SR variant with increased takeoff weight capability. Debuting in 1978, the −100BSR also incorporated structural modifications for a high cycle-to-flying hour ratio; a related standard −100B model debuted in 1979. The −100BSR first flew on November 3, 1978, with first delivery to All Nippon Airways
All Nippon Airways
, also known as or ANA, is one of the largest airlines in Japan. It is headquartered at the Shiodome City Center in the Shiodome area in Minato, Tokyo, Japan. It operates services to 49 destinations in Japan and 35 international routes and employed over 14,000 employees as of May 2009...

 (ANA) on December 21, 1978. A total of 20 −100BSRs were produced for ANA and JAL. The −100BSR had a 600,000 lb MTOW and was powered by the same JT9D-7A engines used on the −100SR. ANA operated the type on domestic Japanese routes with 455 or 456 seats until retiring its last aircraft on March 10, 2006.

In 1986, two −100BSR SUD models, featuring the stretched upper deck (SUD) of the −300, were produced for JAL. The type's maiden flight occurred on February 26, 1986, with FAA certification and first delivery on March 24, 1986. JAL operated the −100BSR SUD with 563 seats on domestic routes until their retirement in the third quarter of 2006. While only two −100BSR SUDs were produced, in theory, standard −100Bs can be modified to the SUD certification. Overall, 29 747SRs were built, including seven −100SR, 20 −100BSR, and two −100BSR SUD models.

747-100B


The 747-100B model was developed from the −100SR, utilizing its stronger airframe and undercarriage design. The type had an increased fuel capacity of 48,070 US gallons, allowing for a 5000 nautical miles (9,260 km) range with a typical 452-passenger payload, and an increased MTOW of 750000 lb (340,194.3 kg) was offered. The first −100B order, one aircraft for Iran Air, was announced on June 1, 1978. This aircraft first flew on June 20, 1979, received FAA certification on August 1, 1979, and was delivered the next day. Nine −100Bs were built, one for Iran Air
Iran Air
Iran Air , formally Airline of the Islamic Republic of Iran is the flag carrier airline of Iran, operating services to 60 destinations, 35 international and 25 domestic. The cargo fleet operates services to 20 scheduled and 5 charter destinations...

 and eight for Saudia
Saudi Arabian Airlines
Saudi Arabian Airlines is the flag carrier airline of Saudi Arabia, based in Jeddah. It operates domestic and international scheduled flights to over 90 destinations in the Middle East, Africa, Asia, Europe and North America...

 (now Saudi Arabian Airlines). Unlike the original −100, the −100B was offered with Pratt & Whitney JT9D-7A, General Electric CF6-50
General Electric CF6
The General Electric CF6 is a family of high-bypass turbofan engines produced by GE Aviation. A development of the first high-power high-bypass jet engine available, the TF39, the CF6 powers a wide variety of civilian airliners. The basic engine core formed the basis for the LM2500, LM5000, and...

, or Rolls-Royce RB211-524 engines. However, only RB211-524 (Saudia) and JT9D-7A (Iran Air) engines were ordered.

747SP



The idea for the 747SP came from a joint request between Pan American World Airways and Iran Air
Iran Air
Iran Air , formally Airline of the Islamic Republic of Iran is the flag carrier airline of Iran, operating services to 60 destinations, 35 international and 25 domestic. The cargo fleet operates services to 20 scheduled and 5 charter destinations...

, who were looking for a high-capacity airliner with enough range to cover Pan Am's New York–Middle Eastern routes and Iran Air's planned Tehran–New York route. The Tehran–New York route when launched was the longest non-stop
Non-stop flight
A non-stop flight, especially in the aviation industry, refers to any flight by an aircraft which does not involve any intermediate stops. A "direct flight" is not the same as a "non-stop flight"...

 commercial flight in the world. The 747SP is 48 in 4 in (14.73 m) shorter than the 747-100. Fuselage sections were eliminated fore and aft of the wing, and the center section of the fuselage was redesigned. The SP's flaps used a simplified single-slotted configuration. The 747SP, compared to earlier variants, had a tapering of the aft upper fuselage into the empennage
Empennage
The empennage , also known as the tail or tail assembly, of most aircraft gives stability to the aircraft, in a similar way to the feathers on an arrow...

, a double-hinged rudder, and longer vertical and horizontal stabilizers. Power was provided by Pratt & Whitney JT9D-7(A/F/J/FW) or Rolls-Royce RB211-524 engines.

The 747SP was granted a supplemental certificate on February 4, 1976 and entered service with Pan Am, the launch customer and Iran Air, that same year. The aircraft was chosen by airlines wishing to serve major airports with short runways.

A total of 45 747SPs were built. The 44th 747SP was delivered on August 30, 1982. Boeing re-opened the 747SP production line to build one last 747SP five years later in 1987 for an order by the United Arab Emirates government. In addition to airline use, one 747SP was modified for NASA
NASA
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration is the agency of the United States government that is responsible for the nation's civilian space program and for aeronautics and aerospace research...

 Dryden Flight Research Center
Dryden Flight Research Center
The Dryden Flight Research Center , located inside Edwards Air Force Base, is an aeronautical research center operated by NASA. On March 26, 1976 it was named in honor of the late Hugh L. Dryden, a prominent aeronautical engineer who at the time of his death in 1965 was NASA's deputy administrator...

's SOFIA
Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy
The Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy is a joint project of NASA and the German Aerospace Center to construct and maintain an airborne observatory. NASA awarded the contract for the development of the aircraft, operation of the observatory and management of the American part of the...

 experiment.

747-200


While the −100 powered by Pratt & Whitney JT9D-3A engines offered enough payload and range for US domestic operations, it was marginal for long international route sectors. The demand for longer range aircraft with increased payload quickly led to the improved −200, which featured more powerful engines, increased MTOW, and greater range than the −100. In its first three years of production, the −200 was equipped with Pratt & Whitney JT9D-7
Pratt & Whitney JT9D
-Bibliography:* Gunston, Bill. World Encyclopedia of Aero Engines. Cambridge, England. Patrick Stephens Limited, 1989. ISBN 1-85260-163-9-External links:*...

 engines (initially the only engine available). A few early −200s retained the three-window configuration of the −100 on the upper deck, but most were built with a ten-window configuration on each side. The −200 was produced in passenger (−200B), freighter (−200F), convertible (−200C), and combi (−200M) versions.

The 747-200B was the basic passenger version, with increased fuel capacity and more powerful engines; it entered service in February 1971. Range with a full passenger load started at over 5000 nmi (9,260 km) and increased to 6000 nmi (11,112 km) with later engines. Most −200Bs had an internally stretched upper deck, allowing for up to 16 passenger seats. The freighter model, the 747-200F, could be fitted with or without a side cargo door, and had a capacity of 105 tons (95.3 tonnes) and an MTOW of up to 833,000 lb (378,000 kg). It entered service in 1972 with Lufthansa. The convertible version, the 747-200C, could be converted between a passenger and a freighter or used in mixed configurations, and featured removable seats and a nose cargo door. The −200C could also be fitted with an optional side cargo door on the main deck.

The combi model, the 747-200M, could carry freight in the rear section of the main deck via a side cargo door. A removable partition on the main deck separated the cargo area at the rear from the passengers at the front. The −200M could carry up to 238 passengers in a three-class configuration if cargo was carried on the main deck. The model was also known as the 747-200 Combi. As on the −100, a stretched upper deck (SUD) modification was later offered. A total of 10 converted 747-200s were operated by KLM. Union des Transports Aériens (UTA) also had two of these aircraft converted.
After launching the −200 with Pratt & Whitney JT9D-7 engines, on August 1, 1972 Boeing announced that it had reached an agreement with General Electric to certify the 747 with CF6-50 series engines to increase the aircraft's market potential. Rolls-Royce followed 747 engine production with a launch order from British Airways
British Airways
British Airways is the flag carrier airline of the United Kingdom, based in Waterside, near its main hub at London Heathrow Airport. British Airways is the largest airline in the UK based on fleet size, international flights and international destinations...

 for four aircraft. The option of RB211-524B engines was announced on June 17, 1975. The −200 was the first 747 to provide a choice of powerplant from the three major engine manufacturers.

A total of 393 of the 747-200 versions had been built when production ended in 1991. Of these, 225 were −200s, 73 were −200F, 13 were −200C, 78 were −200M, and 4 were military. Many 747-200s remain in operation, although most large carriers have retired them from their fleets and sold them to smaller operators. Large carriers have sped up fleet retirement following the September 11 attacks and the subsequent drop in demand for air travel, scrapping some or turning others into freighters.

747-300


The most visible difference between the −300 and previous models was a stretched upper deck with two new emergency exit doors and an optional flight-crew rest area immediately aft of the flight deck as standard. Compared to the −200, the upper deck is 23 in 4 in (7.11 m) longer. The stretched upper deck had previously been offered as a retrofit and first appeared on two Japanese 747-100SR aircraft. The −300 has a new straight stairway to the upper deck instead of a spiral staircase on earlier variants. The staircase creates room below and above for more seats. With minor aerodynamic changes, Boeing increased the −300's cruise speed to Mach 0.85 from Mach 0.84 on the −200 and −100 models. The −300 features the same takeoff weight. For available engines on the −300, the Pratt & Whitney and Rolls-Royce engine versions were unchanged from the −200, but the General Electric engine changed to the CF6-80C2B1
General Electric CF6
The General Electric CF6 is a family of high-bypass turbofan engines produced by GE Aviation. A development of the first high-power high-bypass jet engine available, the TF39, the CF6 powers a wide variety of civilian airliners. The basic engine core formed the basis for the LM2500, LM5000, and...

 version.

The 747-300 designation, which was first used in a design study that was later shelved, was revived for this version, which was introduced in 1980. Swissair ordered the first 747-300 on June 11, 1980. The 747-300 first flew on October 5, 1982. Swissair was the first customer to accept delivery on March 23, 1983. In addition to the passenger version, two other versions (−300M, −300SR) were available. The 747-300M has cargo capacity in the rear portion of the main deck similar to the −200M, but with the stretched upper deck it can carry more passengers. The 747-300SR is a short range version to meet the need for a high-capacity domestic model. Japan Airlines operated such aircraft with more than 600 seats on the Okinawa–Tokyo route and elsewhere. Boeing never launched a newly built freighter version of the 747-300, but it modified used passenger −300 models into freighters starting in 2000.

A total of 81 aircraft were delivered, 56 for passenger use, 21 −300M and 4 −300SR versions. The 747-300 was soon superseded by the more advanced 747-400 in 1985, just two years after the −300 entered service. The last 747-300 was delivered in September 1990 to Sabena
Sabena
SABENA was the national airline of Belgium from 1923 to 2001, with its base at Brussels National Airport. After its bankruptcy in 2001, the newly formed SN Brussels Airlines took over part of SABENA's assets in February 2002, which then became Brussels Airlines...

. Today, many −300 aircraft are still active, despite several large carriers that replaced their 747-300s with 747-400s. Air France
Air France
Air France , stylised as AIRFRANCE, is the French flag carrier headquartered in Tremblay-en-France, , and is one of the world's largest airlines. It is a subsidiary of the Air France-KLM Group and a founding member of the SkyTeam global airline alliance...

, Air India
Air India
Air India is the flag carrier airline of India. It is part of the government of India owned Air India Limited . The airline operates a fleet of Airbus and Boeing aircraft serving Asia, Australia, Europe and North America. Its corporate office is located at the Air India Building at Nariman...

, Pakistan International Airlines
Pakistan International Airlines
Pakistan International Airlines Corporation commonly known as PIA, is the flag carrier airline of Pakistan. The airline has its head office on the grounds of Jinnah International Airport in Karachi. and operates scheduled services to 24 domestic destinations and 38 international destinations in 27...

 and Qantas
Qantas
Qantas Airways Limited is the flag carrier of Australia. The name was originally "QANTAS", an initialism for "Queensland and Northern Territory Aerial Services". Nicknamed "The Flying Kangaroo", the airline is based in Sydney, with its main hub at Sydney Airport...

 were some of the last major carriers to operate the 747-300. On December 29, 2008, Qantas flew its last scheduled 747-300 service, operating from Melbourne to Los Angeles via Auckland.

747-400


The 747-400 is an improved model with increased range. It has wing-tip extensions of 6 ft (1.8 m) and winglets of 6 ft (1.8 m), which improve the 747-400's fuel efficiency by four percent compared to previous 747 versions. It has a new glass cockpit designed for a flight crew of two instead of three. The use of electronics reduced the number of dials, gauges and knobs from 971 to 365. It has tail fuel tanks, revised engines and a new interior. The longer range was used by some airlines to bypass traditional fuel stops, such as Anchorage. Powerplants include the Pratt & Whitney PW4062
Pratt & Whitney PW4000
|-See also:-External links:* * *...

, General Electric CF6-80C2
General Electric CF6
The General Electric CF6 is a family of high-bypass turbofan engines produced by GE Aviation. A development of the first high-power high-bypass jet engine available, the TF39, the CF6 powers a wide variety of civilian airliners. The basic engine core formed the basis for the LM2500, LM5000, and...

, and Rolls-Royce RB211-524.

The was offered in passenger (−400), freighter (−400F), combi (−400C), domestic (−400D), extended range passenger (−400ER) and extended range freighter (−400ERF) versions. The freighter version does not have an extended upper deck. The 747-400D was built for short range operations and does not include winglets, but these can be retrofitted. Cruising speed is up to Mach 0.855 on different versions of the 747-400.
The passenger version first entered service in February 1989 with launch customer Northwest Airlines
Northwest Airlines
Northwest Airlines, Inc. was a major United States airline founded in 1926 and absorbed into Delta Air Lines by a merger approved on October 29, 2008, making Delta the largest airline in the world...

 on the Minneapolis to Phoenix route. The combi version entered service in September 1989 with KLM. The freighter version entered service in November 1993 with Cargolux
Cargolux
Cargolux Airlines International S.A., trading as Cargolux, is a cargo airline with its head office on the grounds of Luxembourg – Findel Airport in Sandweiler, Luxembourg. It is one of the largest scheduled all-cargo airlines in Europe with a global network...

. The 747-400ERF entered service in October 2002 and the 747-400ER entered service the following month with Qantas
Qantas
Qantas Airways Limited is the flag carrier of Australia. The name was originally "QANTAS", an initialism for "Queensland and Northern Territory Aerial Services". Nicknamed "The Flying Kangaroo", the airline is based in Sydney, with its main hub at Sydney Airport...

, the only airline ever to order the passenger version. In January 2004 Boeing and Cathay Pacific
Cathay Pacific
Cathay Pacific is the flag carrier of Hong Kong, with its head office and main hub located at Hong Kong International Airport, although the airline's registered office is on the 33rd floor of One Pacific Place...

 launched the Boeing 747-400 Special Freighter program, later referred to as the Boeing Converted Freighter (BCF). The first 747-400BCF was redelivered in December 2005.

The last passenger version of the 747-400 was delivered in April 2005 to China Airlines. Some of the last built Boeing 747-400s were delivered with Dreamliner livery along with the modern Signature interior from the Boeing 777. Boeing announced in March 2007 that it had no plans to produce further passenger versions of the −400. However, orders for 36 −400F and −400ERF freighters were already in place at the time of the announcement. A total of 694 of the 747-400 series aircraft had been delivered. At various times, the largest operator of the 747-400 has been Singapore Airlines
Singapore Airlines
Singapore Airlines Limited is the flag carrier airline of Singapore. Singapore Airlines operates a hub at Changi Airport and has a strong presence in the Southeast Asia, East Asia, South Asia, and "Kangaroo Route" markets...

, Japan Airlines
Japan Airlines
is an airline headquartered in Shinagawa, Tokyo, Japan. It is the flag carrier of Japan and its main hubs are Tokyo's Narita International Airport and Tokyo International Airport , as well as Nagoya's Chūbu Centrair International Airport and Osaka's Kansai International Airport...

, or British Airways
British Airways
British Airways is the flag carrier airline of the United Kingdom, based in Waterside, near its main hub at London Heathrow Airport. British Airways is the largest airline in the UK based on fleet size, international flights and international destinations...

.

747 LCF Dreamlifter


The 747-400 Dreamlifter (originally called the 747 Large Cargo Freighter or LCF) is a Boeing-designed modification of existing 747-400s to a larger configuration to ferry Boeing 787 Dreamliner sub-assemblies to the Boeing plant in Everett, Washington, for final assembly. Evergreen Aviation Technologies Corporation
Evergreen Group
The Evergreen Group is the organizational designation used by a Taiwan-based conglomerate of shipping, transportation, and associated service companies. The Evergreen Group arose in 1975 from the diversification of the original Evergreen Marine Corporation, which was established in 1968 and...

 of Taiwan was contracted to complete modifications of 747-400s into Dreamlifters in Taiwan
Taiwan
Taiwan , also known, especially in the past, as Formosa , is the largest island of the same-named island group of East Asia in the western Pacific Ocean and located off the southeastern coast of mainland China. The island forms over 99% of the current territory of the Republic of China following...

. The aircraft flew for the first time on September 9, 2006 in a test flight. The Dreamlifter's intended purpose is to transport sub-assemblies for the Boeing 787. The aircraft is certified to carry only essential crew and not passengers. Modification of four aircraft was completed by February 2010.

747-8


Boeing announced a new 747 variant, the 747-8 (referred to as the 747 Advanced prior to launch) on November 14, 2005. The variant will use the same engine and cockpit technology as the 787, hence the use of the "8". Plans call for the new design to be quieter, more economical and more environmentally friendly. The 747-8's fuselage was lengthened from 232 to 251 feet (70.8 to 76.4 m). When the 747-8 enters service, it will surpass the Airbus A340-600
Airbus A340
The Airbus A340 is a long-range four-engine wide-body commercial passenger jet airliner. Developed by Airbus Industrie,A consortium of European aerospace companies, Airbus is now fully owned by EADS and since 2001 has been known as Airbus SAS. a consortium of European aerospace companies, which is...

 as the world's longest airliner. The 747-8 is equipped with General Electric GEnx-2B67
General Electric GEnx
The General Electric GEnx is an advanced dual rotor, axial flow, high-bypass turbofan jet engine in production by GE Aviation for the Boeing 787 and 747-8...

 engines.
The 747-8 Freighter version or 747-8F is derived from the 747-400ERF. The 747-8F can accommodate 154 tons (140 tonne
Tonne
The tonne, known as the metric ton in the US , often put pleonastically as "metric tonne" to avoid confusion with ton, is a metric system unit of mass equal to 1000 kilograms. The tonne is not an International System of Units unit, but is accepted for use with the SI...

s) of cargo. To aid loading and unloading, it features an overhead nose-door. It has 16 percent more payload capacity than the 747-400F and can hold seven additional standard air cargo containers. The 747-8 Freighter made its maiden flight on February 8, 2010. Deliveries of the 747-8F are to begin in mid-2011.

The passenger version, named 747-8 Intercontinental or 747-8I, will be able to carry up to 467 passengers in a 3-class configuration and fly more than 8000 nmi (14,816 km) at Mach
Mach number
Mach number is the speed of an object moving through air, or any other fluid substance, divided by the speed of sound as it is in that substance for its particular physical conditions, including those of temperature and pressure...

 0.855. As a derivative of the already common 747-400, the 747-8 has the economic benefit of similar training and interchangeable parts. The 747-8I is to begin deliveries in late 2011. The first test flight was on March 20, 2011.

Several units are under construction at Boeing's Everett facility. The 747-8 has received 126 total orders with 76 for the −8F, and 50 for the −8I as of June 2011.

Government, military and other variants



  • C-19 – The U.S. Air Force gave this designation to the 747-100s used by some U.S. airlines and modified for use in the Civil Reserve Airlift Fleet.
  • VC-25
    Boeing VC-25
    The Boeing VC-25 is the designation of a United States Air Force passenger transportation aircraft, a military version of the Boeing 747 airliner. The A-model is the only variant of the VC-25....

     – This aircraft is the U.S. Air Force Very Important Person (VIP) version of the 747-200B. The U.S. Air Force operates two of them in VIP
    Very Important Person
    A Very Important Person, or VIP is a person who is accorded special privileges due to his or her status or importance.Examples include celebrities, heads of state/heads of government, major employers, high rollers, politicians, high-level corporate officers, wealthy individuals, or any other...

     configuration as the VC-25A. Tail numbers 28000 and 29000 are popularly known as Air Force One
    Air Force One
    Air Force One is the official air traffic control call sign of any United States Air Force aircraft carrying the President of the United States. In common parlance the term refers to those Air Force aircraft whose primary mission is to transport the president; however, any U.S. Air Force aircraft...

    , which is technically the air-traffic call sign for any United States Air Force
    United States Air Force
    The United States Air Force is the aerial warfare service branch of the United States Armed Forces and one of the American uniformed services. Initially part of the United States Army, the USAF was formed as a separate branch of the military on September 18, 1947 under the National Security Act of...

     aircraft carrying the U.S. President
    President of the United States
    The President of the United States of America is the head of state and head of government of the United States. The president leads the executive branch of the federal government and is the commander-in-chief of the United States Armed Forces....

    . Although based on the 747-200B design, they include several innovations introduced on the 747-400. Partially completed aircraft from Everett, Washington, were flown to Wichita
    Wichita, Kansas
    Wichita is the largest city in the U.S. state of Kansas.As of the 2010 census, the city population was 382,368. Located in south-central Kansas on the Arkansas River, Wichita is the county seat of Sedgwick County and the principal city of the Wichita metropolitan area...

    , Kansas, for final outfitting.
  • E-4B
    Boeing E-4
    The Boeing E-4 Advanced Airborne Command Post, with a project name of "Nightwatch", is an aircraft operated by the United States Air Force...

     – Formerly known as the National Emergency Airborne Command Post (referred to colloquially as "Kneecap"), this aircraft is now referred to as the National Airborne Operations Center (NAOC).
  • YAL-1
    Boeing YAL-1
    The Boeing YAL-1 Airborne Laser Testbed, weapons system is a megawatt-class chemical oxygen iodine laser mounted inside a modified Boeing 747-400F. It is primarily designed as a missile defense system to destroy tactical ballistic missiles , while in boost phase. The aircraft was designated...

     – This is the experimental Airborne Laser, a component of the National Missile Defense
    National Missile Defense
    National missile defense is a generic term for a type of missile defense intended to shield an entire country against incoming missiles, such as intercontinental ballistic missile or other ballistic missiles. Interception might be by anti-ballistic missiles or directed-energy weapons such as lasers...

     plan.
  • Shuttle Carrier Aircraft
    Shuttle Carrier Aircraft
    The Shuttle Carrier Aircraft are two extensively modified Boeing 747 airliners that NASA uses to transport Space Shuttle orbiters...

     – Two 747s were modified to carry the Space Shuttle
    Space Shuttle
    The Space Shuttle was a manned orbital rocket and spacecraft system operated by NASA on 135 missions from 1981 to 2011. The system combined rocket launch, orbital spacecraft, and re-entry spaceplane with modular add-ons...

    . One is a 747-100 (N905NA), and the other is a 747-100SR (N911NA). An SCA carried the Space Shuttle Enterprise in the late 1970s, and has since carried all Space Shuttles.


  • A number of other governments also use the 747 as a VIP transport, including Bahrain, Brunei, India, Iran, Japan, Kuwait, Oman, Pakistan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates. Several new Boeing 747-8
    Boeing 747-8
    The Boeing 747-8 is a wide-body jet airliner developed by Boeing Commercial Airplanes. Officially announced in 2005, the 747-8 is the fourth-generation Boeing 747 version, with lengthened fuselage, redesigned wings and improved efficiency...

    s have been ordered by Boeing Business Jet
    Boeing Business Jet
    |-External links:* .* .*...

     for conversion to VIP transport for several unidentified customers.
  • C-33 – This aircraft was a proposed U.S. military version of the 747-400 intended to augment the C-17
    C-17 Globemaster III
    The Boeing C-17 Globemaster III is a large military transport aircraft. Developed for the United States Air Force from the 1980s to the early 1990s by McDonnell Douglas, the C-17 is used for rapid strategic airlift of troops and cargo to main operating bases or forward operating bases throughout...

     fleet. The plan was canceled in favor of additional C-17 military transports.
  • KC-33A – A proposed 747 was also adapted as an aerial refueling
    Aerial refueling
    Aerial refueling, also called air refueling, in-flight refueling , air-to-air refueling or tanking, is the process of transferring fuel from one aircraft to another during flight....

     tanker and was bid against the DC-10-30 during the 1970s Advanced Cargo Transport Aircraft (ACTA) program that produced the KC-10A Extender. Before the Khomeini
    Ruhollah Khomeini
    Grand Ayatollah Sayyed Ruhollah Musavi Khomeini was an Iranian religious leader and politician, and leader of the 1979 Iranian Revolution which saw the overthrow of Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, the Shah of Iran...

    -led revolution, Iran bought four 747-100 aircraft with air-refueling boom conversions to support a fleet of F-4 Phantoms. It is unknown whether these aircraft remain usable as tankers. Since then, other proposals have emerged for adaptation of later 747-400 aircraft for this role.
  • 747 CMCA – This variant was considered by the U.S. Air Force as a Cruise Missile Carrier Aircraft during the development of the B-1 Lancer
    B-1 Lancer
    The Rockwell B-1 LancerThe name "Lancer" is only applied to the B-1B version, after the program was revived. is a four-engine variable-sweep wing strategic bomber used by the United States Air Force...

     strategic bomber. It would have been equipped with 50 to 100 AGM-86 ALCM
    AGM-86 ALCM
    The Boeing AGM-86 ALCM is a U.S. subsonic air-launched cruise missile built by Boeing Company and operated by the United States Air Force. The missiles were developed to increase the effectiveness and survivability of Boeing B-52H Stratofortress bombers...

     cruise missile
    Cruise missile
    A cruise missile is a guided missile that carries an explosive payload and is propelled, usually by a jet engine, towards a land-based or sea-based target. Cruise missiles are designed to deliver a large warhead over long distances with high accuracy...

    s on rotary launchers. This plan was abandoned in favor of more conventional strategic bombers.

  • 747 AAC – Boeing also considered developing the 747 into an aerial aircraft carrier for up to 10 "microfighters". With a double-decker hangar and two launching bays, it was believed that the scheme might actually be cheaper than establishing a short-term land base. However nothing came of the scheme, or its complementary 747 AWACS version, which would have carried two of the "microfighters" for reconnaissance.
  • Evergreen 747 Supertanker – A Boeing 747-200 modified as an aerial application platform for fire fighting using 20000 gallons (75,708.2 l) of firefighting chemicals.
  • Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy
    Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy
    The Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy is a joint project of NASA and the German Aerospace Center to construct and maintain an airborne observatory. NASA awarded the contract for the development of the aircraft, operation of the observatory and management of the American part of the...

    (SOFIA) - A former Pan Am Boeing 747SP modified to carry a large infrared-sensitive telescope, in a joint venture of NASA and DLR
    German Aerospace Center
    The German Aerospace Center is the national centre for aerospace, energy and transportation research of the Federal Republic of Germany. It has multiple locations throughout Germany. Its headquarters are located in Cologne. It is engaged in a wide range of research and development projects in...

    . High altitudes are needed for infrared astronomy
    Infrared astronomy
    Infrared astronomy is the branch of astronomy and astrophysics that studies astronomical objects visible in infrared radiation. The wavelength of infrared light ranges from 0.75 to 300 micrometers...

    , so as to rise above infrared-absorbing water vapor in the atmosphere.

Undeveloped variants


Boeing has studied a number of 747 variants that have not gone beyond the concept stage.

747 trijet


During the late 1960s and early 1970s, Boeing studied the development of a shorter 747 with three engines
Trijet
A Trijet is an aircraft powered by three jet engines. Early twin-jet designs were limited by the FAA's "60-minute rule", whereby the flight path of twin-engined jetliners was restricted to within 60 minutes' flying time from a suitable airport, in case of engine failure. In 1964 this rule was...

, to compete with the smaller L-1011 TriStar and DC-10
McDonnell Douglas DC-10
The McDonnell Douglas DC-10 is a three-engine widebody jet airliner manufactured by McDonnell Douglas. The DC-10 has range for medium- to long-haul flights, capable of carrying a maximum 380 passengers. Its most distinguishing feature is the two turbofan engines mounted on underwing pylons and a...

. The 747 trijet would have had more payload, range, and passenger capacity. The center engine would have been fitted in the tail with an S-duct
S-duct
An S-duct is a unique type of jet engine intake duct, used in several types of trijet aircraft. In this configuration, the intake is in the upper rear center of the aircraft, just below the stabilizer, while the exhaust is at the rear of the aircraft. The S-duct is located in the tail, or...

 intake similar to the L-1011's. However, engineering studies showed that a total redesign of the 747 wing would be necessary. Maintaining the same 747 handling characteristics would be important to minimize pilot retraining. Boeing decided instead to pursue a shortened four-engine 747, resulting in the 747SP. In the 1990s, the Boeing 777
Boeing 777
The Boeing 777 is a long-range, wide-body twin-engine jet airliner manufactured by Boeing Commercial Airplanes. It is the world's largest twinjet and is commonly referred to as the "Triple Seven". The aircraft has seating for over 300 passengers and has a range from , depending on model...

, a long-range twinjet airliner smaller than the 747-400, entered service in the market where the 747 trijet had been targeted.

747-500X, −600X and −700X


Boeing announced the 747-500X and −600X at the 1996 Farnborough Airshow. The proposed models would have combined the 747's fuselage
Fuselage
The fuselage is an aircraft's main body section that holds crew and passengers or cargo. In single-engine aircraft it will usually contain an engine, although in some amphibious aircraft the single engine is mounted on a pylon attached to the fuselage which in turn is used as a floating hull...

 with a new 251 ft (77 m) span wing derived from the 777
Boeing 777
The Boeing 777 is a long-range, wide-body twin-engine jet airliner manufactured by Boeing Commercial Airplanes. It is the world's largest twinjet and is commonly referred to as the "Triple Seven". The aircraft has seating for over 300 passengers and has a range from , depending on model...

. Other changes included adding more powerful engines and increasing the number of tires from two to four on the nose landing gear and from 16 to 20 on the main landing gear.

The 747-500X concept featured an increased fuselage length of 18 ft (5.5 m) to 250 ft (76.2 m) long, and the aircraft was to carry 462 passengers over a range up to 8,700 nautical miles (10,000 mi, 16,100 km), with a gross weight of over 1.0 Mlb (450 Mg). The 747-600X concept featured a greater stretch to 279 ft (85 m) with seating for 548 passengers, a range of up to 7,700 nmi (8,900 mi, 14,300 km), and a gross weight of 1.2 Mlb (540 Mg). A third study concept, the 747-700X, would have combined the wing of the 747-600X with a widened fuselage, allowing it to carry 650 passengers over the same range as a 747-400. The cost of the changes from previous 747 models, in particular the new wing for the 747-500X and −600X, was estimated to be more than US$5 billion. Boeing was not able to attract enough interest to launch the aircraft.

747X and 747X Stretch


As Airbus progressed with its A3XX
Airbus A380
The Airbus A380 is a double-deck, wide-body, four-engine jet airliner manufactured by the European corporation Airbus, a subsidiary of EADS. It is the largest passenger airliner in the world. Due to its size, many airports had to modify and improve facilities to accommodate it...

 study, Boeing in 2000 offered the market a 747 derivative as an alternative. This was a more modest proposal than the previous −500X and −600X that would retain the 747's overall wing design and add a segment at the root, increasing the span to 229 ft (69.8 m). Power would have been supplied by either the Engine Alliance GP7172 or the Rolls-Royce Trent 600, which were also proposed for the 767-400ERX. A new flight deck based on the 777's would be used. The 747X aircraft was to carry 430 passengers over ranges of up to 8,700 nmi (10,000 mi, 16,100 km). The 747X Stretch would be extended to 263 ft (80.2 m) long, allowing it to carry 500 passengers over ranges of up to 7,800 nmi (9,000 mi, 14,500 km). Both would feature an interior based on the 777's signature architecture. Freighter versions of the 747X and 747X Stretch were also studied.
Like its predecessor, the 747X family was unable to garner enough interest to justify production, and it was shelved along with the 767-400ERX in March 2001, when Boeing announced the Sonic Cruiser
Boeing Sonic Cruiser
|-References:*Haenggi, Michael. "The Sonic Future?". Boeing Widebodies. MBI, 2003. ISBN 0-7603-0842-X.-External links:* * * * . Seattle PI, November 4, 2001* . Flight International, January 7, 2003*...

 concept. Though the 747X design was less costly than the 747-500X and −600X, it was criticized for not offering a sufficient advance from the existing 747-400. The 747X did not make it beyond the drawing board, but the 747-400X being developed concurrently moved into production to become the 747-400ER.

747-400XQLR


After the end of the 747X program, Boeing continued to study improvements that could be made to the 747. The 747-400XQLR (Quiet Long Range) was meant to have an increased range of 7,980 nmi (9,200 mi, 14,800 km), with improvements to boost efficiency and reduce noise. Improvements 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, which has now been launched as the 747-8
Boeing 747-8
The Boeing 747-8 is a wide-body jet airliner developed by Boeing Commercial Airplanes. Officially announced in 2005, the 747-8 is the fourth-generation Boeing 747 version, with lengthened fuselage, redesigned wings and improved efficiency...

.

Operators



Year Total 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003 2002 2001 2000 1999 1998 1997 1996 1995 1994 1993 1992 1991 1990
Orders 1527 2 1 5 2 25 68 48 10 4 17 16 26 35 15 36 56 32 16 2 23 31 122
Deliveries 1418 1 0 8 14 16 14 13 15 19 27 31 25 47 53 39 26 25 40 56 61 64 70

Year 1989 1988 1987 1986 1985 1984 1983 1982 1981 1980 1979 1978 1977 1976 1975 1974 1973 1972 1971 1970 1969 1968 1967 1966
Orders 56 49 66 84 42 23 24 14 23 49 72 76 42 14 20 29 29 18 7 20 30 22 43 83
Deliveries 45 24 23 35 24 16 22 26 53 73 67 32 20 27 21 22 30 30 69 92 4

  • Data through March 2011, table updated on April 8, 2011.

Accidents and incidents


As of September 2010, the 747 has been involved in 124 accidents or incidents
Aviation accidents and incidents
An aviation accident is defined in the Convention on International Civil Aviation Annex 13 as an occurrence associated with the operation of an aircraft which takes place between the time any person boards the aircraft with the intention of flight and all such persons have disembarked, in which a...

, including 49 hull-loss accidents
Aviation accidents and incidents
An aviation accident is defined in the Convention on International Civil Aviation Annex 13 as an occurrence associated with the operation of an aircraft which takes place between the time any person boards the aircraft with the intention of flight and all such persons have disembarked, in which a...

, resulting in 2,852 fatalities. The 747 has been in 31 hijackings
Aircraft hijacking
Aircraft hijacking is the unlawful seizure of an aircraft by an individual or a group. In most cases, the pilot is forced to fly according to the orders of the hijackers. Occasionally, however, the hijackers have flown the aircraft themselves, such as the September 11 attacks of 2001...

, which caused 25 fatalities.

Few crashes have been attributed to design flaws of the 747. The Tenerife disaster
Tenerife disaster
The Tenerife airport disaster occurred on March 27, 1977, when two Boeing 747 passenger aircraft collided on the runway of Los Rodeos Airport on the Spanish island of Tenerife, one of the Canary Islands...

 resulted from pilot error, air traffic control (ATC) error and communications failure, while the Japan Airlines Flight 123
Japan Airlines Flight 123
Japan Airlines Flight 123 was a Japan Airlines domestic flight from Tokyo International Airport to Osaka International Airport on August 12, 1985. The Boeing 747-146SR that made this route, registered , suffered mechanical failures 12 minutes into the flight and 32 minutes later crashed into two...

 and China Airlines Flight 611
China Airlines Flight 611
China Airlines Flight 611 was a regularly scheduled flight from Chiang Kai-shek International Airport in Taoyuan to Hong Kong International Airport in Hong Kong...

 crashes stemmed from improper aircraft repair. United Airlines Flight 811
United Airlines Flight 811
United Airlines Flight 811 experienced a cargo door failure in flight on Friday, February 24, 1989, after its stopover at Honolulu International Airport, Hawaii...

, which suffered an explosive decompression mid-flight on February 24, 1989, led the National Transportation Safety Board
National Transportation Safety Board
The National Transportation Safety Board is an independent U.S. government investigative agency responsible for civil transportation accident investigation. In this role, the NTSB investigates and reports on aviation accidents and incidents, certain types of highway crashes, ship and marine...

 (NTSB) to issue a recommendation that 747-200 cargo doors similar to those on the Flight 811 aircraft be modified. Korean Air Lines Flight 007 was shot down by the Soviets in 1983 after it had strayed into Soviet territory, causing U.S. President Ronald Reagan to authorize the then-strictly military Global Positioning System
Global Positioning System
The Global Positioning System is a space-based global navigation satellite system that provides location and time information in all weather, anywhere on or near the Earth, where there is an unobstructed line of sight to four or more GPS satellites...

 (GPS) for civilian use. TWA Flight 800
TWA Flight 800
Trans World Airlines Flight 800 , a Boeing 747-131, exploded and crashed into the Atlantic Ocean near East Moriches, New York, on July 17, 1996, at about 20:31 EDT, 12 minutes after takeoff, killing all 230 persons on board. At the time, it was the second-deadliest U.S...

, a 747-100 that exploded in midair on July 17, 1996, led the Federal Aviation Administration
Federal Aviation Administration
The Federal Aviation Administration is the national aviation authority of the United States. An agency of the United States Department of Transportation, it has authority to regulate and oversee all aspects of civil aviation in the U.S...

 to propose a rule requiring installation of an inerting system
Inerting system
An inerting system increases the safety of a fuel tank, ball mill, or other sealed or closed-in tank that contains highly flammable material. Inert in scientific terminology means ‘not readily reactive with other elements; forming no chemical compounds or something that is not chemically...

 in the center fuel tank of most large aircraft that was adopted in July 2008, after years of research into solutions. It is expected that the new safety system will cost US$100,000 to $450,000 per aircraft and weigh approximately 200 pounds (90.7 kg).

Aircraft on display


As increasing numbers of "classic" 747-100 and 747-200 series aircraft have been retired, some have found their way into museums or other uses. The City of Everett, the first 747 and prototype is at the Museum of Flight
Museum of Flight
The Museum of Flight is a private non-profit air and space museum at King County International Airport , south of downtown Seattle, Washington. It was established in 1965 and is fully accredited by the American Association of Museums...

, Seattle, Washington, USA where it is sometimes leased to Boeing for test purposes.

Other 747s in museums include those at the National Aviation Theme Park Aviodrome, Lelystad
Lelystad
Lelystad is a municipality and a city in the centre of the Netherlands, and it is the capital of the province of Flevoland. The city, built on reclaimed land, was founded in 1967 and was named after Cornelis Lely, who engineered the Afsluitdijk, making the reclamation possible...

, Netherlands; the Qantas Founders Outback Museum
Qantas Founders Outback Museum
The Qantas Founders Outback Museum is a transport museum at Longreach, Queensland, Australia. The museum is home to a decommissioned Qantas Boeing 747-200, which can be observed by the general public. It also holds the airline's first jet, a Boeing 707-138....

, Longreach, Queensland, Australia; Rand Airport
Rand Airport
Rand Airport is an airport in Germiston, South Africa. It was constructed in the 1920s as the main airport for Johannesburg, but the city outgrew it and replaced the airport firstly with Palmietfontein Airport in the late 1940s, then with the larger Jan Smuts International Airport in the...

, Johannesburg
Johannesburg
Johannesburg also known as Jozi, Jo'burg or Egoli, is the largest city in South Africa, by population. Johannesburg is the provincial capital of Gauteng, the wealthiest province in South Africa, having the largest economy of any metropolitan region in Sub-Saharan Africa...

, South Africa; Technikmuseum Speyer, Speyer
Speyer
Speyer is a city of Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany with approximately 50,000 inhabitants. Located beside the river Rhine, Speyer is 25 km south of Ludwigshafen and Mannheim. Founded by the Romans, it is one of Germany's oldest cities...

, Germany; Musée de l'Air et de l'Espace
Musée de l'Air et de l'Espace
The French Air and Space Museum is a French museum, located in the south-eastern edge of Le Bourget Airport, north of Paris, and in the commune of Le Bourget. It was created in 1919 from a proposition of Albert Caquot .-Description:Occupying over of land and hangars, it is one of the oldest...

, Paris, France; Tehran Aerospace Exhibition, Tehran
Tehran
Tehran , sometimes spelled Teheran, is the capital of Iran and Tehran Province. With an estimated population of 8,429,807; it is also Iran's largest urban area and city, one of the largest cities in Western Asia, and is the world's 19th largest city.In the 20th century, Tehran was subject to...

, Iran; Jeongseok Aviation Center, Jeju
Jeju-do
Jeju-do is the only special autonomous province of South Korea, situated on and coterminous with the country's largest island. Jeju-do lies in the Korea Strait, southwest of Jeollanam-do Province, of which it was a part before it became a separate province in 1946...

, South Korea, Evergreen Aviation & Space Museum, McMinnville
McMinnville, Oregon
McMinnville is the county seat and largest city of Yamhill County, Oregon, United States. According to Oregon Geographic Names, it was named by its founder, William T. Newby , an early immigrant on the Oregon Trail, for his hometown of McMinnville, Tennessee...

, Oregon, and the National Air and Space Museum
National Air and Space Museum
The National Air and Space Museum of the Smithsonian Institution holds the largest collection of historic aircraft and spacecraft in the world. It was established in 1976. Located in Washington, D.C., United States, it is a center for research into the history and science of aviation and...

, Washington, D.C.

Upon its retirement from service, the 747 number two in the production line was dis-assembled and shipped to Hopyeong, Namyangju
Namyangju
Namyangju is a city in Gyeonggi Province, South Korea. To the east is Gapyeong County, to the west is Guri City, and to the north is Pocheon City.-History of Namyangju:...

, Gyeonggi-do
Gyeonggi-do
Gyeonggi-do is the most populous province in South Korea. The provincial capital is located at Suwon. Seoul—South Korea's largest city and national capital—is located in the heart of the province, but has been separately administered as a provincial-level special city since 1946...

, South Korea where it was re-assembled and converted into a restaurant. Originally flown commercially by Pan Am
Pan American World Airways
Pan American World Airways, commonly known as Pan Am, was the principal and largest international air carrier in the United States from 1927 until its collapse on December 4, 1991...

 as N747PA "Clipper Juan T. Trippe", and repaired for service following a tailstrike, it stayed with the airline until its bankruptcy. The 747 restaurant closed by 2009, and the B747 was demolished in 2010. The Jumbohostel
Jumbohostel
The Jumbo Hostel at Arlanda Airport near Stockholm, Sweden, is a hostel located inside a decommissioned 747-200 jetliner. It opened in 2008.-The Hotel:...

, using a converted 747-200, opened at Arlanda Airport
Stockholm-Arlanda Airport
Stockholm Arlanda Airport , is an international airport located in the Sigtuna Municipality of Sweden, near the town of Märsta, north of Stockholm and nearly , by road, south-east of Uppsala....

, Stockholm on January 15, 2009.

Specifications

Measurement 747-100B 747-200B 747-300 747-400
747-400ER
747-8I
Cockpit Crew Three Two
Typical seating capacity
Seating capacity
Seating capacity refers to the number of people who can be seated in a specific space, both in terms of the physical space available, and in terms of limitations set by law. Seating capacity can be used in the description of anything ranging from an automobile that seats two to a stadium that seats...

 
452 (2-class)
366 (3-class)
496 (2-class)
412 (3-class)
524 (2-class)
416 (3-class)
467 (3-class)
Length 231 ft 10 in (70.6 m) 250 ft 2 in (76.25 m)
Interior cabin width 20 feet (6.1 m)
Wingspan 195 ft 8 in (59.6 m) 211 ft 5 in (64.4 m) 224 ft 7 in (68.5 m)
Wing area 5,500 ft2 (510.95 m2) 5,650 ft2 (525 m2) 5963 ft2 (554 m2)
Wing sweep 37.5º
Aspect ratio 6.9 7.9 8.5
Tail height 63 ft 5 in (19.3 m) 63 ft 8 in (19.4 m) 63 ft 6 in (19.4 m)
Operating empty weight 358,000 lb
Pound (mass)
The pound or pound-mass is a unit of mass used in the Imperial, United States customary and other systems of measurement...

 
(162,400 kg)
383,000 lb
(174,000 kg)
392,800 lb
(178,100 kg)
393,263 lb
(178,756 kg)
ER: 406,900 lb
(184,600 kg)
472,900 lb
(214,503 kg)
Maximum takeoff
Takeoff
Takeoff is the phase of flight in which an aerospace vehicle goes from the ground to flying in the air.For horizontal takeoff aircraft this usually involves starting with a transition from moving along the ground on a runway. For balloons, helicopters and some specialized fixed-wing aircraft , no...

 weight
735,000 lb
(333,390 kg)
833,000 lb
(377,842 kg)
875,000 lb
(396,890 kg)
ER: 910,000 lb
(412,775 kg)
975,000 lb
(442,253 kg)
Cruising speed
(at 35000 ft (10,668 m) altitude)
Mach
Mach number
Mach number is the speed of an object moving through air, or any other fluid substance, divided by the speed of sound as it is in that substance for its particular physical conditions, including those of temperature and pressure...

 0.84
(555 mph, 893 km/h, 481 knots )
Mach 0.85
(567 mph, 913 km/h, 493 kn)
ER: Mach 0.855
(570 mph, 918 km/h, 495 kn)
Mach 0.855
(570 mph, 918 km/h, 495 kn)
Maximum speed Mach 0.89
(594 mph, 955 km/h, 516 kn)
Mach 0.92
(614 mph, 988 km/h, 533 kn)
Required runway at MTOW* 10,466 ft (3,190 m) 10,893 ft (3,320 m) 9,902 ft (3,018 m)
ER: 10,138 ft (3,090 m)
10,138 ft (3,090 m)
Maximum range
at MTOW
5,300 nmi
Nautical mile
The nautical mile is a unit of length that is about one minute of arc of latitude along any meridian, but is approximately one minute of arc of longitude only at the equator...

 
(9,800 km)
6,850 nmi
(12,700 km)
6,700 nmi
(12,400 km)
7,260 nmi
(13,450 km)
ER: 7,670 nmi
(14,205 km)
8,000 nmi
(14,815 km)
Max. fuel capacity 48,445 U.S. gal 
(40,339 imp gal
Imperial unit
The system of imperial units or the imperial system is the system of units first defined in the British Weights and Measures Act of 1824, which was later refined and reduced. The system came into official use across the British Empire...

/183,380 L
Litre
pic|200px|right|thumb|One litre is equivalent to this cubeEach side is 10 cm1 litre water = 1 kilogram water The litre is a metric system unit of volume equal to 1 cubic decimetre , to 1,000 cubic centimetres , and to 1/1,000 cubic metre...

)
52,410 U.S. gal
(43,640 imp gal/199,158 L)
57,285 U.S. gal
(47,700 imp gal/216,840 L)
ER: 63,705 U.S. gal
(53,045 imp gal/241,140 L)
64,225 U.S. gal
(53,478 imp gal/243,120 L)
Engine models (x 4) PW JT9D-7A/-7F/-7J
Pratt & Whitney JT9D
-Bibliography:* Gunston, Bill. World Encyclopedia of Aero Engines. Cambridge, England. Patrick Stephens Limited, 1989. ISBN 1-85260-163-9-External links:*...

 
RR RB211-524B2 
PW JT9D-7R4G2
GE CF6-50E2
General Electric CF6
The General Electric CF6 is a family of high-bypass turbofan engines produced by GE Aviation. A development of the first high-power high-bypass jet engine available, the TF39, the CF6 powers a wide variety of civilian airliners. The basic engine core formed the basis for the LM2500, LM5000, and...

 
RR RB211-524D4
PW JT9D-7R4G2
GE CF6-80C2B1
RR RB211-524D4
PW 4062
Pratt & Whitney PW4000
|-See also:-External links:* * *...

 
GE CF6-80C2B5F
RR RB211-524G/H
ER: GE CF6-80C2B5F
GEnx-2B67
General Electric GEnx
The General Electric GEnx is an advanced dual rotor, axial flow, high-bypass turbofan jet engine in production by GE Aviation for the Boeing 787 and 747-8...

Engine thrust (per engine) PW 46,500 lbf
Pound-force
The pound force is a unit of force in some systems of measurement including English engineering units and British gravitational units.- Definitions :...

 
(207 kN)
RR 50,100 lbf
(223 kN)
PW 54,750 lbf (244 kN)
GE 52,500 lbf (234 kN)
RR 53,000 lbf
(236 kN)
PW 54,750 lbf
(244 kN)
GE 55,640 lbf
(247 kN)
RR 53,000 lbf (236 kN)
PW 63,300 lbf (282 kN)
GE 62,100 lbf (276 kN)
RR 59,500/60,600 lbf (265/270 kN)
ER: GE 62,100 lbf
(276 kN)
66,500 lbf
(296 kN)

Sources: Boeing 747 specifications, 747 airport planning report, 747-8 airport brochure, Lufthansa 747-8 data
  • The 747 parasitic drag, CDP, is 0.022, and the wing area is 5500 square feet (511 m²), so that f equals about 121 sq ft (11.2 m²). The parasitic drag
    Parasitic drag
    Parasitic drag is drag caused by moving a solid object through a fluid medium . Parasitic drag is made up of many components, the most prominent being form drag...

     is given by ½ f ρair in which f is the product of drag coefficient CDp and the wing area.

  • "Required runway" length allows for emergency factors. Actual takeoff distances will normally be considerably shorter than those listed here. See Balanced field takeoff
    Balanced field takeoff
    A balanced field takeoff is a condition where the accelerate-stop distance required is equal to the takeoff distance required for the aircraft weight, engine thrust, aircraft configuration and runway condition...

    .

Notable appearances in media


Following its debut, the 747 rapidly achieved iconic
Cultural icon
A cultural icon can be a symbol, logo, picture, name, face, person, building or other image that is readily recognized and generally represents an object or concept with great cultural significance to a wide cultural group...

 status, appearing
G-BDXJ
G-BDXJ is the registration of a Boeing 747-236B aircraft purchased by British Airways in 1980, which after retirement found a new life as a film prop.-Aircraft history:...

 in various film productions such as the Airport series
Airport 1975
Airport 1975 is a 1974 disaster film and the first sequel to the successful 1970 film Airport. It stars Charlton Heston and Karen Black and is directed by Jack Smight....

 of disaster films, Air Force One
Air Force One (film)
Air Force One is a 1997 American action-thriller film written by Andrew W. Marlowe and directed by Wolfgang Petersen. It stars Harrison Ford, Gary Oldman, and Glenn Close, and also features Xander Berkeley, William H. Macy, Dean Stockwell and Paul Guilfoyle...

and Executive Decision
Executive Decision
Executive Decision is a 1996 action film, directed by Stuart Baird and starring Kurt Russell, Halle Berry and Steven Seagal. The original music was composed by Jerry Goldsmith...

. The aircraft entered the cultural lexicon as the original Jumbo Jet, a term coined by the aviation media to describe its size, and was also nicknamed Queen of the Skies. The 747 was also referenced in the Earth, Wind & Fire
Earth, Wind & Fire
Earth, Wind & Fire is an American soul and R&B band formed in Chicago, Illinois, in 1969 by Verdine and Maurice White. Also known as EWF, the band has won six Grammy Awards and four American Music Awards. They have been inducted into both the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Vocal Group Hall of...

 song Let's Groove
Let's Groove
"Let's Groove" is a 1981 song from the album Raise! by the R&B act Earth, Wind & Fire. The song peaked at #3 in the U.S. and in the UK. It also spent eight weeks at number one on the Hot Soul Singles chart in late-1981/early-1982 and was the second R&B song of 1982 on the year end charts...

.

See also




External links