The Boeing 747, sometimes called the “Jumbo Jet,” would have been a remarkable commercial jetliner due to the time. The world’s first wide-body airplane produced, the what are named as “Queen on the Skies,” boasted an upper deck, and also a passenger capacity that remained unrivalled for several years.
The 747-100 first entered service in 1970 with, the now defunct, PanAm. The -200 model followed in 1971, featuring more efficient engines and also a higher MTOW (Max Take-Off Weight). Boeing followed this program the shortened 747SP (Special Performance), which featured a extended range, and entered service in 1976.
Boeing then launched the -300 model in 1980, which resulted from studies to enhance the capacity on the 747. The -300 featured fuselage plugs and also a stretched upper deck. This variant, with the -100, -200, and SP, were collectively generally known as the 747 “Classics.” It was now time for the more significant upgrade.
The most commonly encountered version, the 747-400, entered service in 1989. This variant featured, combined with stretched upper deck with the -300, more fuel-efficient engines, the first to come with a 2-crew glass cockpit, eliminating the requirement for any flight engineer, and is particularly the most typical variant in service. The -400 has a lengthier wingspan compared to the classics and was fitted with winglets, which reduced drag, and is particularly the most popular aesthetic feature accustomed to distinguish the variant on the -300.
The 747-400 dominated the long-haul sell for years to come. It was operated by nearly all major airline on this planet, dominating every major airport. It wasn’t prior to the late 2000’s which the -400 were forced to face competition, following the larger Airbus A380 entered service. Boeing eventually responded by launching a brand new larger, more fuel-efficient variant.
The third generation 747-8 was released in 2009, with Lufthansa, and entered service in 2012. This variant boasted a composite fuselage, as featured within the 787, plus more fuel-efficient engines. It also featured an increase in capacity, on account of the stretched fuselage and upper deck. Sadly, it neglected to capture industry and was not able to match, much less surpass, the success with the -400.
The four-engine 747’s time is coming to a stop, through an increasing amount of airlines retiring the kind of in favour of more cost-effective twin engine aircraft. The latest passenger variant, -8, still did not attract as numerous sales as Boeing had hoped, having earned lower than 50 orders from mainly 3 airlines, as being the quad still can’t compete with the likes with the 777, 787, and Airbus A350.