Boeing 747 'Jumbo Jet' family

The Boeing 747 is one of the most iconic airliners ever built and has often been credited with reducing the cost of air travel and bringing it to masses. It is ironic that the development of the 747 started as a stop gap for the American Supersonic Transport;.

Boeing 747 aircraft

 

The four engine 747 has a hump like appearance, this is because it was initially designed as a freighter aircraft and required a front cargo door but the cockpit was in the way, so the designers decided to place the cockpit high up above the cargo door.

Juan Trippe, the president of Pan American World Airways had asked Boeing to build an aircraft twice the size of the Boeing 707. Joe Sutter transferred from the 737 development to manage the new design. At the time it was thought that the 747 was only going to be a stop gap design and would be used as a freight aircraft.

One of the main issues with the design was the requirement for larger engines than had been built to date, fortunately the high by-pass engines were being developed for the Lockheed C-5 Galaxy, Pratt & Whitney followed the example and developed the JT9D.

At first it could not be decided what to do with the "pod" area on the upper deck behind the cockpit. It was at first that this would be used as a lounge with no fixed passenger seats, however airline economics would rule in the end and passenger seats were fitted.

On 30th September 1968, the first 747 was rolled out at Boeing’s plant at Everett, at the time over 26 airliners had ordered the aircraft. The first flight of the aircraft was on 9th February 1969 and although there was a problem with one of the flaps, the flight went well.

The major issue during testing was with the JT9D engines that were prone to stall and surge, the problems were so severe that the entry into service was delayed. The delays nearly caused Boeing to go bankrupt!

The aircraft entered service with Pan Am on the New York- London route on 22nd January 1970. The entry into service was smooth with few issues. Unfortunately the recession of the early 1970's affected sales and few aircraft were sold. Fortunately for Boeing, many airlines saw the 747 as iconic and bought them, even if it was uneconomical for them.

The initial version of the 747 was the -100, the -200 followed in 1971 with more powerful engines and higher MTOW. The shortened 747SP (Special Performance) was introduced in 1976.

The larger -300 was developed and launched in 1980, this aircraft was longer and had an extended upper deck, this increased airspeed and seating capacity.

A major development started in 1985 with the longer range -400. This aircraft also introduced a new glass cockpit and had a cockpit crew of two, rather than three (the third member being the Flight Engineer).

The original aircraft had JT9D engines, from the -100B General Electric CF6 & Rolls Royce RB211-524 engines were offered as an option. On the -400 the Pratt & Whitney PW4062 was offered instead of the JT9D.

In November 2005 Boeing announced the development of the new variant, the -8 this aircraft is quieter, more economical and environmentally friendly and the fuselage was further lengthened. The aircraft was only offered with the General Electric GEnx-2B67 engines. There are two versions of the -8, the -8F freighter and the passenger version, the -8i for Intercontinental.

Total  sales (to Dec 2017):

747-100 - 176
747-200 - 393
747-300 - 81
747SP - 45
747-400 - 675
747-8 - 150

Total: 1,568

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747-100/200

The original version of the aircraft, this aircraft is 70.66m (231ft 10in) and can carry up to 550 passengers, although the typical passenger load is 366 in three class configuration.

The aircraft had three flightcrew, two pilots and one Flight Engineer.

 

747-300/SP

The -300 had the same fuselage length as the -100/200 but has a higher seating capacity of 660, although the normal seating capacity is 400 in three class configuration. The major difference visually is the larger upper deck.

The 747SP is much shorter than the other aircraft being 14.3m shorter at 56.3m (184ft 9in) but required a taller fin at 19.9m (65ft 5in).

The aircraft had three flightcrew, two pilots and one Flight Engineer.

 

747-400

The -400 was a major revision of the 747 with a greater wing span of 6ft and winglets.

One of the major changes was on the flightdeck with the introduction of the Glass cockpit and the reduction to two crew members from three.

 

747-8

Another major upgrade is the -8 with new engine, a longer fuselage at 76.25m (250ft 2in), although the maximum passenger capacity is lower at 605 but typical load is 467 in three class.

One of the major changes is to the flight deck which is common with the 787 (hence the -8 name).

 


Cockpit Poster

Boeing 747-400 Cockpit Poster


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Cockpit Revolution has been developing cockpit posters for the last 5 years and are drawn by a Flight Engineer using his expertise in aircraft engineering and training.

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