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A Boeing 747-400F freighter of Singapore Airlines Cargo.
Boeing 747 'Jumbo Jet'
The Boeing 747 Jumbo Jet was the largest passenger aircraft in operational service in the world for almost forty years, until in October 2007 the Airbus A380 took over this position. The 747 was the first widebody aircraft to fly and being much larger than its predecessors like the Boeing 707 and Douglas DC-8 meant a revolution in air transport.
Single passenger deck
An important decision was the choice for a wide single passenger deck instead of two. To get a better nose shape, Boeing decided to put the cockpit on top of the passenger cabin. For aerodynamic reasons engineers faired the cockpit gently into the main body, creating a small upper deck that could be reached via a spiral staircase, remembering Boeing's earlier Stratocruiser airliner.
Boeing 747-100 /-200 / SR
The first version, introduced by Pan Am, was the 747-100. Boeing soon followed with the 747-200B, which took to the air for the first time on 11 October 1970. The first airline to fly this version was KLM. Other early versions are the 747-200F Freighter with a hinged nose and an optional side cargo door, the 747-200C Convertible with a cabin that could easily be changed from passenger layout to cargo configuration and the 747-200M Mixed (or Combi) with a combined passenger and cargo main deck. The 747SR is a short-range version for routes demanding high capacity. This version is mainly used on domestic flights in Japan.
The Boeing 747SP (Special Performance) is a short-body long-range version of the Jumbo Jet. It flew for the first time on 4 July 1975 and the first delivery to Pan Am took place in March 1976. The SP's fuselage is 14.35 m (47 ft 1 in) shorter compared to the earlier 747-models. SP components are about 90 per cent common with the 747-100 and -200. The vertical tail is increased in height and area and the construction of the aircraft is lightened where possible and cost-effective. No more than 45 747SP aircraft have been sold.
The first flight of the 747-300 took place on 5 October 1982. This version's most important difference compared to the earlier models was an extended upper deck, a 'longer bulge', so to say with room for extra passengers. The first 747-300 entered service with Swissair in March 1983. Some 747-200s, including ten KLM aircraft, were modified to have the stretched upper deck as well. Later KLM had two of these modified 747-200s converted to freighters.
Boeing 747-400 of Virgin Atlantic.
During the late 1980s Boeing developed the 747-400, with the same fuselage length and extended upper deck as the 747-300, but with a larger wingspan, winglets, a highly modernised digital flight deck, higher weights and a lower fuel consumption thanks to improved engines. The 747-400 made its maiden flight on 29 April 1988. It is also available in a 'short-bulge' cargo version (747-400F)and as a combi (747-400M). The 747-400D (Domestic) for short-range flights doesn't have winglets. The 747-400ER is an improved extended range version, of which also a freighter variant exists, the 747-400ERF.
Boeing 747-8F in flight. - Photo: Boeing
The newest version of the Boeing 747 is the 747-8, of which Boeing developed two versions: the 747-8I (Intercontinental) passenger plane and the 747-8F (Freighter). Both versions will be 5,6 meter longer than the 747-400. The new version is named 747-8 to underline the use of modern technology from the 787 Dreamliner twinjet, including the General Electric GEnx turbofan engines.
JAL and ANA fly Boeing 747-400's on domestic flights within Japan. They lack the winglets.
All Nippon Airways
Air France Cargo
NCA Nippon Cargo
ANA All Nippon
Royal Air Maroc
Air China Cargo
Cathay Pacific C.
China Airlines C.
EVA Air Cargo
Global Supply S.
Great Wall Airlines
Korean Air Cargo
Polar Air Cargo