All together now

We’re getting our first real look at the size and scope of the 747-8 Freighter - “all together” now that we’ve reached the milestone of “final body join.”

This is a big moment for the program, and the culmination of a lot of work by our mechanics and engineers. After the rollout of the last 747-400 in May, now we’re back in business, so to speak, building the new 747-8.


Early Monday morning in the factory in Everett, mechanics loaded the forward and aft sections of the fuselage into the final body join position. Together with the center and wing sections, it’s looking like a real airplane.

Final body join takes place in several steps. The three large sections are pulled together in special tooling, and then mechanics adjust the airplane and align the parts, before drilling the pieces together.


With final body join, now the team is getting the 747-8 Freighter ready for integrated functional and flight testing.

At about 250 feet (76.3 m) long, the 747-8 is 18 feet, 4 inches (5.6 m) longer the 747-400. That length means the -8 can handle 16% more freight. It’s the largest, longest commercial jet airplane Boeing has ever assembled.

“Bigger and better,” as the team says.

First flight for the 747-8 Freighter is scheduled for the fourth quarter.

Comments (13)

P.Sumantri (France):

I follow the 747-8 development with interest.
Is it me or is the 747-8 production leaner than the old 747-400 production? It seems there have been some modifications of the way sub assemblies are built and also the way the final assembly is done.

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Rob (Sin City Nevada):

Wow, the long anticipated update for the world's favorite plane. Next, the 747-8I. A new and exciting transportation for traveling.

Paulo M (Johannesburg, RSA):


It's interesting I guess, the Boeing 747, the Boeing 737 and the Saturn V/Apollo vehicles and missions.

In the 1960's, there was a super human effort at major aerospace companies - lead by Boeing - to develop massive and vastly impressive projects in a short time. It took a decade to prepare from scratch the giant Saturn V and Lunar Modules for safe human voyages to our nearest celestial neighbour. It took under four years for the development of the 747, it took a shorter time still for that of the 737.

Although mankind has remained away from the Moon since, the originals still are inspirational - the basic ideas and philosophies still technical masterpieces in this day and age. The technology was so cutting-edge - at the limit of what could be achieved.

Is the 747 in its latest version still in the vanguard alongside todays best? Yes. Bien sur! It's still the fastest, most efficient large airliner ever developed.

Kevin (Los Angeles, CA):

Wow, these are truly exciting photos.

Just extend the hump, and put the windows on the fuselage, and the 747-8I is just around the corner as well!

Norman (Long Beach, California, United States):

The 747-8 will win over the "mine is bigger than yours" campaign that Virgin Atlantic had in its A340-600s when Virgin first put the stretched Airbus A340 in service, the 747-8 is about three feet longer than the A340-600, Boeing now has the longest airliner in the world.

The new 747 looks spectacular even before it has been completed! I can't wait to see the rollout and first flight of the 747-8 and the Intercontinental passenger variant. It will grace the skies like no other airliner in the world.

bill (wichita, KS USA):

An incredible aircraft in the making. Interesting

Emil M. Hitt (hazelwood, missouri):

Why did we paint the test aircraft 787's and not just leave them in primer like we did with the 747 Dreamlifter and save some money. The one in today's picture shows a nice white paint job and polished tires.

Tim (Baltimore):

Hi Randy ... is that theme from the Beatles song All Together Now ? ......

Anyway ... it's great to see progress on the 747-8F and soon to be 747-8I .

I have been following the development of the 747 since the 747-500X 747-600X days back in the 90s , the development of the 747 Advanced into the 747-8F and 8I .

One thing I have not seen on your blog is detail of diagrams of the wings of the 747-8F/8I compared to the old wings of the 747 classics and the 747-400 .
Can we get pictures or diagrams of the old 747-400 and compare it to the 747-8F/8I ? .

Tim (Baltimore):

Randy I forgot to ask ...

How are you going to get the 747-8F out of the factory ? it's so BIG !

Do you have enough room in there to move them around ? .
Oh yeah another thought would the new 747-8F/8I make it the largest commercial plane in the world again ?

It's longer than the A-380 .
Just what would it be to make any plane the largest in the world? Its height ? weight ? width ? length ?

Chris C (South Africa):

Extremely impressive! It’ll be really interesting viewing the overall length of this beautiful leviathan when she’s parked adjacent the venerable 747-400. The 747-8 is certainly going to be one sleek, efficient and sexy lookin’ machine when it’s all said and done. I certainly hope that Boeing will organise a 747 formation flight, where we’ll have a 747-Classic, 747-400 and 747-8 flying in formation around Mt. Rainer or the likes.

That would be glorious. When South African Airways flew three 747s (747-300 and two 747-400s) in a three-ship formation for former State-President Thabo Mbeki’s inauguration, it was simply breath-taking. I certainly hope that the -8F will also make an appearance at Farnborough Airshow next year!

But, for the immediate, congratulations on the solid assembly progress for the -8F! It’s a pleasure to read that at least this BCA development program is progressing well.

Greg Schmitz (Anchorage AK USA):

Compare how fast this aircraft is coming together versus the 787 with its interminable delays, and you see what a difference manufacturing your aircraft in house really means.

Its really good to see the Queen of the Skies continues on.

Airbus may claim that title, its not theirs. the A380 may be the king, but this is the Queen, "Long Live the Queen"!!!!

Alessandro (Sweden):

I sincerely hope the B748 will be a success, I hope
that Boeing will offer a upgrade kit from the current
B744 to B748, when large number of B744 reach C- or D-check.


I will be very proud when this masterpiece lands the 1st time here in Luxembourg, same as when the -400 arrived.

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