Here at Dekarati we love the Jumbo Jet, so to hear its going to with us for years to come is great news – Deskarati –
Boeing’s 747 is now 42 years old, but only in name and shape. The aircraft that flew for the first time this month bears more in common with the high-tech 787 Dreamliner than its own venerable forebears. The aircraft with one of the world’s most recognizable silhouettes turned 40 a couple of years ago. That’s getting long in the tooth even in an industry whose products use the grandpa’s axe principle like no other – as in, it’s had six new heads and four new handles, but grandpa still loves that axe (we thought it was Triggers broom! – Deskarati).
But is Boeing’s 747 looking towards the pasture? Not on Boeing’s life. The company just this week announced the successful maiden flight of the 747-8 Intercontinental, the passenger version of a plane that takes the grandpa’s axe principle to new extremes. (The first 747-8 freighters rolled out of the Everett, Washington factory in November 2009.) Over more than three decades, the 747 evolved from the original 100 series through 200, 300 and 400 series, integrating technological upgrades and spawning new variants along the way. NASA even uses one, the SR, to piggyback space shuttles into the air. But come the 747-8, almost all that’s left of 747s past is that beautiful silhouette. The new craft bears much more in common with the 787 Dreamliner, the carbon-fiber bodied technological Boeing 747-8 Intercontinental that’s had so much trouble getting commercially airborne in recent years.
The big one is having much less difficulty. On March 20, the first Boeing 747-8 Intercontinental airborne took off from Paine Field in Everett for basic handling and performance testing, spending four hours and 25 minutes in the air before landing at Boeing Field in Seattle. Up there, it reached a cruising altitude of 19,000 feet (5,791m) at speeds of up to 250 knots (463km/h) – rather cautious all round for a craft capable of Mach 0.855 (913km/h) at its typical cruising altitude of 35,000 feet.