New 747-8 Family Of Aircraft Launched

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Boeing has gone back and forth for years on the fate of its 747 line, but Monday the company announced a decision -- they will go forward with the 747-8, stretched and upgraded, available as a freighter or a 446-seat passenger jet. The company already has orders for 18 freighters, which will be 18 feet longer than the current 747-400 version. Those orders are worth $5 billion. "The 747-8 will use the technologies of the 787 Dreamliner to ...offer greater fuel efficiency, improved operating economics, and be more friendly to the environment with reduced noise and emissions," said Alan Mulally, CEO of Boeing Commercial Airplanes. Both versions of the new 747 will feature GE's 787-technology GEnx engines, meet Stage 4 and QC2 noise requirements, have reduced emissions, offer lower trip costs and have an upgraded flight deck and an improved wing, Boeing said. The 747-8 Intercontinental passenger airplane will be stretched 11.7 feet compared to the 747-400 to accommodate 34 additional seats in a typical three-class configuration. It will have a range of 8,000 nm. "The 747-8 also fits easily in today's aviation infrastructure, flying into more than 210 airports worldwide without additional, expensive infrastructure changes required," Boeing added in its news release ... a clear swipe at Airbus, which has required airports to adapt to its new super-sized A380.