Big time

The first 747-8 Freighter is now in final assembly - more than 80% assembled in fact.


Looking impressive in final assembly - we can now get a complete view of the first 747-8.

Last Friday we marked a big time milestone in Everett when mechanics turned on the power to the airplane for the first time – a complex series of tasks that energize and activate the 747-8’s systems.

With power on, the program can begin testing the 747-8 Freighter’s systems - including electrical, hydraulics and pneumatics. One 747 team leader had a descriptive way of putting it. He said, “The airplane is alive.”


747 Final Assembly mechanic George Beaudette helps “plug in” the first 747-8 Freighter on Aug. 14th - starting the “power on” process.

As we saw with 787 power on, this important step for the 747-8 validates the installation of the power distribution system as well as its functionality.

The mechanics who plugged the “stingers” into the 747-8 Freighter sent about 30 kilovolt-amperes of electricity through roughly 116 miles of wire and 9,500 connectors.


747 Final Assembly’s Mike Bryan looks on as power brings alive the flight deck of the 747-8 Freighter.

A lot of great effort and progress has gone into this airplane. Getting to this stage is the result of some close coordination between manufacturing and engineering teams, as well as our suppliers.

Of course there’s still more to accomplish before we complete assembly of the first freighter, and then fly it as scheduled in the fourth quarter.

Comments (13)

Rob (Sin City):

Wow, the whole plane, which means the 747-8I is next!

Paulo M (Johannesburg, RSA):

Show time! Fantastic plane. Can't wait to see it with the engines and wingtips on! It will be another great Boeing plane.

By the way, in the picture where 747 Final Assembly mechanic George Beaudette is plugging in the stingers, you can see some detail around the nosewheel bay - specifically patches. I imagine that the much hyped patches for the Alenia 787 barrels are like these, of course requiring a different attachment process. At some point in the 747's development, those patches were added to help redistribute forces in that part of the fuselage.

Chris C (South Africa):

Congratulations and well done on achieving Power-On for the first phenomenal 747-8F!! These photo’s are stellar as well; they clearly show how sleek this highly advanced and ultra-efficient 747 really is! All the best for the on-going sales campaigns for the -8I as well. The -8I will be a huge success, no doubt:


Beautiful flight-deck by the way!! Awesome!!

Thought (Washington, DC):

Rivets! Beautiful, sexy rivets!

Kevin (Los Angeles, CA):

Wow, what a beauty.

The remaining ~20% consist mainly of the four engines?
I can't wait to see the complete plane side by side with a 744F.

Ankih Fre (Seattle, Washington, United States):

Good. I bet the 748 will fly before the 787. How come the 747-8F flight deck is the same as the 747-400? Good work.

By the way the 747 is my favorite plane and the first 747 flew on my birthday.

Hernan Saldana (Lima - Peru):

I am glad that the 747-8F is getting to the last mile, so to speak. The 747 has been my favorite airplane and I was glad this new version is finally materializing.

If it does not find any significant delays, it may even fly before the Dreamliner. Nevertheless, it will be exciting to see two new airplanes take their first flight at a very short time span.

Norman (Long Beach, California, United States):

Progress is on a roll for the 747-8 as the power-up has come even before the arrival of the engines, the power-up can't come too early as the earlier it comes the earlier potential problems can be resolved and delays reduced.

Scott Putnam (Redding, California):

Thanks for the news and pictures Randy.

ruby2sday (Kent, Wa 98089):

We can all see that the 747 in any configuration and any model that it's the cream of the crop!!

We built it from womb to tomb and that is why it is so successful. Folks working the 787 aircraft, take a lesson from pure history!

If it aint broke, don't fix it!

Chris C (South Africa):

The 747-400’s flight-deck is beautifully designed. The pilots are cocooned in a real ‘high-rolling’ GT sports car style flight-deck feel in the 747, and it most definitely belies the sheer size of the formidable 747.

The 747-400 is without a shadow of doubt the sweetest airplane I’ve flown, and any -400 pilot will most certainly feel right at home in the new -8 flight-deck. I’m pleased to see that the landing gear lever has been downsized to the small, neat 777-style gear lever. When it’s all said and done, the 747-400’s and -8’s flight decks are really exciting places to work, period!

Esker (Seattle, WA):


The folks on the 787 had a directive to fix what wasn't broken. I think management and engineering alike have a lot to learn from the 787's delays. As Jim McNerney said, we're learning how to build planes for the next 75 years on that plane, what's a 2 year delay to pay 75 years of dividends?

However, there is much truth to not fixing what isn't broken (structural engineering wise). I have no doubt in my mind that the 747-8 will fly before the 787.

Rosie Hughes (Everett, Wa):

Makes me proud to be a Boeing Employee. I love All Boeing Airplanes. This is going to be a beauty!

Post a comment

We welcome your comments. However all comments are moderated and may not post immediately. Offensive or off-topic comments will not be posted. We will not treat any comments you submit as confidential information. Please do not submit comments that contain any confidential information belonging to anyone else.

By submitting a comment to Randy's Journal, you agree to our site terms and privacy policy, and to having your name displayed with your comment. All or part of your comment may be posted or cited in the blog. Your name and personal information will not be used for any other purpose, and we will not publish your e-mail address.


More posts