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Boeing 747 8 Intercontinental and Freighter History

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Boeing 747 8 History

The Boeing 747, since its inception in 1968, has been the workhorse for many of the worlds airlines.

Various improvements have been made to the basic design over the years as technology has advanced as well as the demands of the travelling public. For four decades the 747 reigned as the largest passenger airliner in the skies.

Global trends such as the advent of Low Cost Carriers and higher fuel and other operating costs started to put pressure on plane makers to sharpen their pencils and work towards new designs that would not only be more fuel efficient but also comply with stricter noise reduction levels demanded at so many airports today.

…more fuel efficient but also comply with stricter noise reduction …

In the 1990s and into the new century, Boeing investigated different options such as the 747 500X and 747 600X which was a stretched version of the 747 using a derivative of the Boeing 777 wing. This was publicised at the Farnborough Airshow of 1996 but attracted little interest. The idea was shelved.

In 2000 Boeing offered a 747X which was a less dramatic change to the basic model with a stretched fuselage of some 263 ft (80.2 m). The wing span would be increased by inserting a segment at the wing root bringing the span to 229 ft (69.8 m). The pressure was onto compete with the proposed solution from Airbus, the Airbus A380.

Boeing 747-8F Atlas Air

An Atlas Air Boeing 747-8 Freighter in flight.

Boeing 747 8 History Time Line

Timeline of the 747-8
July 1996 The 500X and 600X stretched 747s are proposed at the Farnborough Airshow with little interest shown.
2004 Early this year Boeing announced plans for the 747 Advanced which were eventually adopted.
14 November 2005 The 747 Advanced was named the Boeing 747 8.
October 2006 The design and configuration of the freighter version were firmed up.
August 2008 Work begins in Everett on the first cargo version of the Boeing 747 8.
14 November 2008 Boeing announces delays to the program, brought about by changes to the design, limited resources and a strike.
February 2009 Lufthansa was the sole customer signed up for the passenger version, the Boeing 747 8 Intercontinental. Boeing reassessed the project.
21 July 2009 A photograph is released of an assembled cargo version plane.
October 2009 The first flight of the Boeing 747 8 Intercontinental is delayed until early 2010.
12 November 2009 Cargoluxs’ first of thirteen planes is fully assembled and enters the paint shop.
04 December 2009 Korean Airlines orders five Boeing 747 8 Intercontinentals becoming the second customer for the passenger liner.
December 2009 First engine runs of the Boeing 747 8.
08 January 2010 Guggenheim Aviation Partners reduce their order of four freighters down to two.
07 February 2010 First high speed taxi tests.
08 Febraury 2010 The Boeing 747-8 Freighter made its maiden flight from Paine Field, lifting off at 12:39pm and landing again at 4:18pm.
15 March 2010 The second Boeing 747-8 Freighter made its first flight from Paine Field to Boeing Field, and on to Palmdale to start tests with the first aircraft.
17 March 2010 A third aircraft joins the first two in testing.
March 2010 Korean Airlines adds two freighters to their firmed-up order.
April 2010 Possible defects in the upper fuselage with the potential to cause cracks found as well as a flutter caused by the main landing gear doors are found.
19 April 2010 Test aircraft No.2 is moved to Palmdale to complete engine tests in order to get the type certificate.
14 June 2010 The initial flight-worthiness testing is completed and the FAA gives Boeing an expanded type of inspection authorisation.
June 2010 The three Boeing 747 8s clock up 500 hours in test flying but Boeing decided a fourth was required to complete testing on time.
July 2010 A Boeing 747 8 Freighter is displayed at the Farnborough Airshow.
23 July 2010 The fourth aircraft painted in Cargolux colours makes its first flight.
21 August 2010 A Boeing 747 8 Freighter takes off from Victorville, California weighing 1,005,000 pounds(455,860Kgs). Maximum take off weight is set at is 975,000 pounds (442,253 kg).
30 September 2010 Boeing announces another delay, with Cargoluxs first aircraft to be delivered in mid 2011.
20 March 2011 First flight of the 747-8 Intercontinental passenger version at Everett.
26 April 2011 The second 747-8 Intercontinental passenger version makes its first flight.
19 August 2011 The Boeing 747 8 Freighter receives an amended type certificate jointly from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA)
17 September 2011 Cargolux states it would not accept delivery of the first two aircraft due for 19 and 21 September due to unresolved contract issues with Boeing.
25 October 2011 The 747-8 Intercontinental passenger version conducts tropical testing in Barbados.
December 2011 Lufthansa conducts evaluation tests with the 747-8 Intercontinental.
14 December 2011 The 747-8 Intercontinental passenger version receives type certification from the FAA.
12 October 2011 Boeing presents Cargolux with their first 747 8 Freighter.
05 May 2012 Lufthansa takes delivery of its first Boeing 747-8 Intercontinental.
04 June 2012 First commercial passenger flight of the Boeing 747-8 Intercontinental by Lufthansa from Frankfurt to Washington.

Main landing gear of the Boeing 747 8 Freighter

If there is more you want to learn about this airliner, please visit: Boeing 747 8 Home, Boeing 747 8 Specs, Boeing 747 8 Order Book, Boeing 747 8 Interior, and Boeing 747 8 Assembly,

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