The Boeing B747-8 “Jumbo Jet” is a long haul cargo aircraft capable of transporting 140,000 kg via an internal pallet system. Cargo pallets require a high-loader to access its main deck.
History and Features
The quadjet 747 uses a double-deck configuration for part of its length and is available in passenger, freighter, and other versions.
Raised above the main deck, the cockpit creates a hump. This raised cockpit allows front loading of cargo on freight variants. The upper deck behind the cockpit provides space for a lounge and/or extra seating.
The 747 cockpit roof section also has an escape hatch from which crew can exit during the events of an emergency if they cannot do so through the cabin.
The 747 has redundant structures along with four redundant hydraulic systems and four main landing gears each with four wheels; these provide a good spread of support on the ground and safety in case of tire blow-outs. The main gear are redundant so that landing can be performed on two opposing landing gears if the others are not functioning properly.
The 747 also has split control surfaces and was designed with sophisticated triple-slotted flaps that minimize landing speeds and allow the 747 to use standard-length runways. For transportation of spare engines, the 747 can accommodate a non-functioning fifth-pod engine under the aircraft’s port wing between the inner functioning engine and the fuselage.
Boeing announced a new 747 variant, the 747-8, on November 14, 2005. Referred to as the 747 Advanced prior to its launch, the 747-8 uses the same engine and cockpit technology as the 787, hence the use of the “8”. The variant is designed to be quieter, more economical, and more environmentally friendly. The 747-8’s fuselage is lengthened from 232 to 251 feet (70.8 to 76.4 m), marking the first stretch variant of the aircraft.
The 747-8 Freighter, or 747-8F, is derived from the 747-400ERF. The variant has 16% more payload capacity than its predecessor, allowing it to carry seven more standard air cargo containers, with a maximum payload capacity of 154 tons (140 tonnes) of cargo. As on previous 747 freighters, the 747-8F features an overhead nose-door and a side-door on the main deck plus a side-door on the lower deck (“belly”) to aid loading and unloading.
The 747-8F made its maiden flight on February 8, 2010. The variant received its amended type certificate jointly from the FAA and the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) on August 19, 2011. The -8F was first delivered on October 12, 2011.
The 747-8 has received 107 total orders for the -8F as of May 2019.
Aircraft of similar capability are: Airbus A340, Ilyushin Il-96, Antonov An-124, Boeing 777, McDonnell Douglas MD-12, Sukhoi KR-860.