July 21: The first Boeing 747-8 Freighter nears the final stages of assembly at the company’s Everett plant in Washington as the fuselage sections are mated to the wing section.
“It is exciting to see this aeroplane taking shape,” said Mo Yahyavi, Vice President and general manager of the 747 Program. “The 747-8 is the largest commercial jet we have assembled.”
The 747-8 Freighter is a high-capacity 747 that is intended to give cargo operators lower operating costs and enhanced environmental performance over its predecessors. It is 76.3m long, 5.6m longer than the 747-400 Freighter, providing 16% more revenue cargo volume compared to the 400 version.
Boeing has 78 orders from leading cargo operators for the 747-8, including Cargolux, Nippon Cargo Airlines, AirBridgeCargo Airlines, Atlas Air, Cathay Pacific, Dubai Aerospace Enterprise, Emirates SkyCargo, Guggenheim and Korean Air.
The 747-8 is Boeing’s answer to the Airbus A380, and both freighter and passenger versions are planned. The 747-8 Intercontinental will seat 467 passengers in a three-class configuration and have a 14,815km range, using the latest technology developed for the 787 Dreamliner. The first Freighter will be delivered in 2010 and the first Intercontinental in 2011.