Boeing 747

The Boeing 747-100 was the world’s first jumbo jet when it entered commercial service in 1970. Boeing delivered 250 of the 747-100s before halting production in 1986. The version with the most payload capacity was the 747-100B. The 747-100SP was a special performance version engineered to fly faster, higher, and farther than any other 747.

In 1971, the 747-200 arrived and when it was retired twenty years later, Boeing had manufactured 393 of that type. Not only was the 747-200 used as a passenger plane, it was also used by cargo companies to haul freight. The airplane could be converted for either or both purposes even on the same flight.

The 747 Freighter was designed for dedicated cargo transportation and could carry up to 100 tons. It was used for trans-Atlantic flights as well as on domestic routes. The 747 Freighter cost 35 percent less to operate than the older 707 Freighter and cargo was easily loaded and unloaded through the hinged nose and optional side-cargo door.

Boeing introduced the 747-300 in 1983. It featured more fuel-efficient engines and a larger upper deck that could accommodate 10 percent more passengers. The manufacturer built the last of the 81 747-300s in 1990.

Boeing has customized several airplanes for special uses, most often for the United States military. Two 747-200s were used to transport the President under the call sign “Air Force One.” Boeing supplied two more of the 200 models to the United States Air Force for emergency control and command posts. Several 747 aircraft have been used as airborne tankers but the main features can be summarized in the following table:

Boeing 747-8

Cruise speed: Mach 0.855 for the Intercontinental, and Mach 0.845 for the Freighter
Range: 8,000 nautical miles for the Intercontinental, 4,475 nautical miles for the Freighter
Ceiling: 43,000′
Length: 250′ 8″
Wingspan: 224′ 7″
Height: 64′ 2″
Maximum weight: 970,000 pounds
Empty weight: 610,000 pounds for the Intercontinental, and 702,000 pounds for the Freighter
Engine(s): Four GEnx-2B67 engines with 66,500 pounds of thrust each
Crew: Two
Passengers: 467