Approximately 10,000 guests, including customers, Boeing employees, government officials, partners and suppliers gathered in the factory to witness the premiere of the Intercontinental at an event themed "Incredible, Again."
Boeing Commercial Airplanes President and Chief Executive Officer Jim Albaugh said the newest 747 incorporates technological advancements that make it an extremely productive airplane for customers. "The new 747-8 Intercontinental features the latest in innovative technologies - applying many of the breakthroughs also found on the 787 Dreamliner," said Albaugh. "We think our customers will value the low operating costs and passengers will enjoy the comfort of the striking new interior."
"As the only airplane in the 400 to 500-seat market, the 747-8 Intercontinental will give operators an airplane perfectly suited for long, heavily travelled routes around the world," said Pat Shanahan, vice president and general manager, Airplane Programs, Boeing Commercial Airplanes. "The new 747-8 Intercontinental will set a new standard in economic and environmental performance, while providing a world-class passenger experience."
The 747-8 Intercontinental and Freighter were launched in December 2006, with the Freighter version making its first flight on February 8th 2010. The 747-8I features an all-new supercritical wing design with fly-by-wire controls, a larger empennage, new avionics, 787-inspired interior, new General Electric GEnx-2B engines and a 5.6m (18.3ft) stretch over its predecessor the 747-400.
Perhaps the biggest surprise of the launch was the livery that the aircraft is wearing. Boeing had kept the design a secret having covered up the whole aircraft when it was moved from the paint shop to the hangar for the launch. When the curtain dropped the design was finally revealed with a major change from the traditional Boeing blue demo livery. The aircraft is painted in a new Sunrise livery of red-orange that will only appear on the first 747-8 Intercontinental. Boeing said that "The new colour palette honours many key Boeing customers whose cultures recognize these colours as symbols of prosperity and good luck." Undoubtedly this was aimed at the Asian carriers which will be the 747-8I's projected biggest market in competition with the Airbus A380.
Another first for Boeing was that the 747-8I had a non airline launch customer. The first aircraft is set to be delivered in the fourth quarter of 2011 and will be handed over to a completion centre to become the biggest Boeing Business Jet (BBJ) to date. First airline delivery will be to Lufthansa in 2012. "The 747-8 Intercontinental will be a great complement to our fleet, fitting nicely into the 400-seat category, improving our fleet's eco-efficiency even further," said Nico Buchholz, executive vice president, Lufthansa Group Fleet Management.
A total of thirty three 747-8I aircraft have been ordered, with Lufthansa the major customer accounting for twenty aircraft, along with Korean Air, which holds orders for five. The remaining eight aircraft are all for private customers as VIP BBJs.
2011-02-19 - Paul Dopson
The new 747-8 has a completely redesigned state of the art wing. This has improved aerodynamics with greater fuel capacity without compromising speed. Its predecessor, the 747-400, used a modified wing which based its origins on the original 747. Forty years of design advancement is incorporated into the new high lift wing including lighter materials and an advanced raked wing tip. The supercritical design is able to increase efficiency and give a higher air speed. The wing controls are driven by an all new roll axis fly by wire system.
The enhanced flight deck is all new and shares a lot of the technology employed in the 787. It shares the same type rating as the 747-400 and commonality to the 777 and 787, which will reduce training time for a pilot switching between types.
The 747-8 uses the GEnx engine based on the engine that powers the 787. This engine incorporates the latest materials and is designed to improve performance, minimise fuel consumption and to be much quieter than those on earlier 747 types. The most obvious visual aspects of the GEnx engine are the noise reducing chevrons. The 747-8 is the only type to have exhaust nozzle and nacelle chevron designs that reduce noise during take off.
Hope that helps.
2011-02-17 - Krishna
Well, everything quite good, and impressed. Could you stress the points more about the differences made from the previous, for instance, 'all new super critical wing desing, advanced avionics, longer empennage.' I would be very grateful if you could help me in this...
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