First look - 747-8 Intercontinental

Next year we plan to deliver the first passenger model of the new 747-8.

But for now we can enjoy the fact that fuselage assembly has begun on the Intercontinental. Take a look:

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In Everett, mechanics have loaded the panels for the front section, known as Section 41 for the first 747-8 Intercontinental.

This piece of the airplane is 31 feet 8-inches (9.6 m) long, and as you know, this is where the flight deck and typically first class cabin are located.

The program began production on the 747-8 Intercontinental in early May with the start of wing assembly.

Boeing has 109 orders for the 747-8. 33 of those are for this new passenger model - offering better environmental performance and the best economics of any large passenger airplane.

By the way, we had other significant news about the -8 today. The very successful Freighter version has received expanded Type Inspection Authorization. It’s a big step for flight test and means we’re ready to move on to more advanced testing conditions for the 747-8 Freighter.

Comments (15)

Chris C (South Africa):

The 747 is the world's greatest commercial airplane and with the arrival of the highly-efficient, ultra-capable 747-8Intercontinental, it just gets even better! I'm looking forward to finally seeing this incredible airplane flying, and I'm sure that at "rollout" at year-end, she'll have a one or two more airline livery insignia on the side of her sleek fuselage! ;) Good to see that the -8I VIP continues to sell with yet another firm order booked. I'm sure a significant -8I order is near as well...there's positive signs.

David Parker Brown (Lynnwood, WA):

What a wonderful start to what will be one of the most beautiful airplanes ever made (I think the Dreamliner and Starship are in close competition).

Thanks for the additional photos. It is always great to see the actual workers making the planes!

David
AirlineReporter.com

P.Sumantri (France):

I expressed my surprise concerning the production rate increase for the 747-8 (click here). As I said in the blog entry, with 2 aircraft per month the backlog will be delivered in just five years. I can't believe you will close the 747-8 production in five or six years.
Are there more 747-8 orders in the pipeline this year?

Paulo M (Johannesburg, RSA):

Beautiful! On the Section 41, there are three passenger windows on each side. Those rounder window frames are clearly off the 777. This plane is going to be something special. Thanks for sharing.

Dieter Rapp Junior (Sao Paulo S.P Brazil):

Boeing Airplanes are the best of the "WORLD".

John (NY):

The 747-8 Intercontinental is a nice plane but the A380 is a superior aircraft with lower CASM and a better passenger experience.

Cristiano Arruda (Campo Grande, MS, Brazil):

I am very happy for your posting that great feat on the 747-8 roadmap. I was very anxious to see the very first pictures of the 747-8i because it is the aircraft I wish, I aim to buying.

I am not kidding, I know that my "roadmap" is arduous, but I do believe in the potential of that aircraft. And moreover, the placement of the windows of the 747-8i make not the ambient claustrophobic like it can be in the widebodies of the competitor.

This difference gives the passengers a higher pleasure to fly due to the sensation of being tuned to the sunlight, thus aware of the real time and what is going on all around the aircraft, and also, it is very important, the windows of the 747-8i permit the passengers to pass more time enjoying the scenes, as the interior of the competitor makes the passengers to look to materials instead of having better feelings by accessing natural light and scenes thus causing a mix of spirit and the outer world.

Thank you very much. This post made my day to thrill.

Norman (Long Beach, California, United States):

The most recognizable section of the 747-8 Intercontinental the upper deck is starting to take shape and at this point the 777 style windows already looks distinguishable from the upper deck from the 747-300 and 400 series.

John Toler (Hubbard, Texas):

I worked for BI in DEN after getting out of the US Army in 1965 and airplanes are in my blood. We had 707's, 720's, then 727's and 747's at the end of the "plain plane" era! Since then, I have flown nearly 2 million miles on Boeing aircraft and I really appreciate your journal.

Boeing is a great example of what is great about our country! Keep up the great work!

Evers P. (Oldenzaal, the Netherlands):

Nice pics of section 41,

Clearly visible are the larger passenger windows on the 747-8I, compared to earlier 747 series.
Two questions :
-Are the windows the same as on the 777 (interchangeble) or only equal sized and diff. shaped ?
- Are the upperdeck windows on the 747-8F also larger than on earlier 747 freighters ?

Thiagarajan (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia):

Looking forward to its first flight

Scott Putnam (Redding, California ):

Thanks for the pictures! Is that a window at the top of the cockpit?

My father's from Everett, so I've spent my 42 years taking tours of the Boeing plant, watching each model come to life. Looking at the plane in it's elemental green, puts me into a nostalgic frame of mind. It seems like only yesterday I was watching the SP, the Megatop, and the 400 come to life. A few years from now, even this new and fancy "8" will be but a "recent" memory. How time flies.

Jerry (Mesa):

A gorgeous aircraft to be sure.

Am I right that the upper window seen in the second photograph is to provide better visibility when docking with the ISS?

Paulo M (Johannesburg, RSA):

@Jerry (Mesa)

lol. This whole section will be used on the - Star Ship Enterprise!

btw., it's an escape hatch for the flight deck crew ;)

Tom Hull (Beijing, China):

Randy,

would you care to comment on an article from Bloomberg on June 22 titled, "Emirates Growth Splurge Rattles Long-Haul Rivals," specifically the comment from the second paragraph that say, "The 25-year-old company is building up a fleet of 90 Airbus SAS A380 aircraft with 45,000 seats and operating costs the manufacturer says are 12 percent lower than Boeing Co.’s latest 747."

True?

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