Proof of Performance

We usually don’t celebrate anniversaries until at least the one year mark. But as we approach six months in service, it’s definitely worth celebrating the accomplishments of the 747-8 Freighter. 14 of the airplanes have been delivered to five customers across the globe. And in every category - from in-service reliability, to fuel burn, to payload capability - the 747-8F is performing as well or better than we predicted.


Cargolux put its 747-8F into service in October 2011.


Cathay Pacific took delivery in November 2011.

Our designers knew the airplane would give our customers double-digit improvements in fuel burn. But the in-service performance numbers show fuel burn is a full percentage point more efficient than we expected. On top of that, the airplane exceeded dispatch reliability targets and is also giving big improvements to airlines in capacity, allowing them to carry 16 percent more revenue-producing freight than the 747-400 Freighter. We also received news this week that the 747-8 is now approved to operate at 200 airports around the world, with London Heathrow Airport being the 200th to get the nod.


Atlas Air’s subsidiary, Global Supply Systems, is operating the 747-8F for British Airways World Cargo.


AirBridgeCargo took its first 747-8F in January of this year.

But the best endorsements for the 747-8F are coming from the pilots who fly them. One told us if you talk to the crews, the biggest problem is getting the smile off their faces. We intend to keep those smiles coming.


Korean Air Cargo took double delivery of a 747-8F and a 777 Freighter in February 2012.

Comments (19)

Nick de Cook (Oss, the Netherlands):

Great news!
I wish more airlines would order the -8i (and ofcourse the -8f)
Might there be a combi version. A lot of people think KLM (our flag carrier) could use these!

Good luck building more awesome planes!

Kevin (Los Angeles, CA):

Only 6 months into the service, there are already hundreds of -8F photos in taken by the spotters all over the world.

The BA and Cathay liveries would look so good on the -8I as well.

Gus (Minneapolis):

These photos really tell the story of a marvelous airplane. The last shot is gorgeous . I wish you continued success

Steven (Birmingham, UK):

Are both the I and the F certified to use London Heathrow now or just one of them

Varun (Chicago IL USA):

Congrats on this fantastic aircraft. It is truly a beautiful and operational aircraft. It provides unmatched efficiency while still looking majestic. Randy, do you know when the 747-8I will be delivered to Lufthansa? I know you are reluctant in telling us delivery dates, but is it any time soon. I am looking forward in seeing one of these birds flying with passengers, and seeing Lufthansa's new interior. Also, Randy, what is the status of the 737MAX. Is it still in wind tunnel testing, from your blog a while ago, or have they moved on to any other development processes. Well, wish all of the Boeing teams good luck for a great future to come.

Peter Evers (Oldenzaal, The Netherlands):

If I understand correctly the airplane is performing one percent better aerodynamically than calculated. The airplane is a 1% low consumer than the calculated base value.
However this base value has been calculated (in the FMC data base)) with the above spec. engines (2.5% higher TSFC) and the higher Operational empty weight of the first assembled aircraft.
This is (partly) corrected by increasing the maximum operational weights (MTOW,MZFW and LW).
Further gains in SFC are to be expected after the GEnx-2B Product Improvement Program (PIP) has been completed (end of 2012) and furher empty weight reductions are effectuated at the assembly line.

Glenn (San Diego California, United states of America):

Very well designed, beautifully built too! Well done Boeing! Well done indeed. :-) congrats on that double delivery of the -8f & the 777! Geep up the good work!

Mark (NYC USA):

Great news and congrats Boeing on the 747-8F benchmarks. It will only get better as more enter service. I'm very hopeful that there will be lots of interest in the 747-8I. I think the 748F is making a great case for anyone who may be considering.

I love the AirBridgeCargo livery. My only recommendation would be to go old school and paint the nose cone black! I also love the Cathay Pacific and CargoLux liveries.

As I always say, 'Go Boeing!'

Patrick McArdle (BT&E Flight Test Engineering. KBFI):

During flight testing, I had the privilege of flying with two different crews, each from a major customer. Their veteran 747-400 pilots loved how well the airplane handled in every phase of flight, as they took it through steep turns, touch-and-gos, and stall approaches. The 747 Program folks in Everett did a really great job on this derivative. Whilst our Dreamliner gets most of the attention, The Queen of the Skies rules supreme, as always.

Randy Tinseth:

Hi Steven,

Both the Intercontinental and Freighter have regulatory approval for Heathrow-- meaning it will fit into the airport's operations (clearances, pavement loading and parking requirements, etc).

Randy Tinseth:

Thanks Varun. I know there is a lot of interest in the Lufthansa delivery and we'll share a date as soon as we can. As for the MAX, we'll keep everyone up to date as we reach next steps.

Norman (Long Beach, CA):

The 747-8 freighter is the ultimate aerial 18 wheel big rig of the skies. The 747-8 Intercontinental will be the ultimate head turner at airports, and a graceful one.

James David (Alberta, Canada):

Cheers for such achievement!747-8F is really doing well in the market and its nice to read that pilots love it too. Keep the crews smiling with your aircraft's performance! What a beautiful aircraft!

James David teaches people how to buy single engine airplanes & has a passion for the Cessna 177

Jeffrey Magnet (MA):

Hello Randy ,
Gemini Jets just announced their Apr 2012 releases and the B747-8f British Air Cargo is one of them :)).
I have some comments for you . I just saw the three hour documentary on Smithsonian about the A380. In it they say that this aircraft will supersede the B747 as the dominant high capacity aircraft . Singapore and JAL have just retired their B747 fleets (?). The A380 has 253 orders for passenger because they abandoned the A380 freighter and the B747-i or f have 106 with the majority of them freighters . Do you have any comments ?
Also , Airbus is up 12 delivered aircraft for first quarter of 2012 vs 2011 . Boeing is up a whopping 33 !!! In that mix Airbus has delivered 104 A319, 320 and 321s vs Boeings 99 B737s. What does that say about the regional markets ?
Are Transaero's B747-8i order confirmed ? What about Cathay Pacific's supposed order for B747is ?
Thank you,
(I wonder what Boeing's 797 will look like and what numbers will follow that?)

Jeffrey Magnet (MA):

Hello Randy ,

When will we see the photo of Air France's 50th B777?

Paulo M (Johannesburg, RSA):

That 1% economy improvement is equivalent to about 80 km more range for the -8F and around 150 km more for the -8I - assuming it carries over. Obviously, nice news.

Mark Moffat (Gresham, Or):


I noticed that the Dreamliner will not be coming to Portland, Or, During its trip around the world. We can we expect to see this great airplane up close here in Oregon?

Ed Kaplanian (Mukilteo,Washington):

Great article on the dispatch reliability of the 737
Next Generation vs Airbus 320.It would be nice to compare the cost of ownership of a 737 NG vs the A320,I bet Boeing will exel in this area.

topthailand (bankok):

I need to know 747-8 can called 747-800?
And 747-8f vs 747-8i which type is bigger?

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