El Al 747-200 in a superseded colour scheme.

Pakistan International Airlines

JAL 747-400 in a superseded colour scheme.

The Boeing 747, also popularly known as the jumbo jet, is the largest passenger airliner yet built (though the under-construction Airbus A380 will be larger). The four-engined 747 combines passenger-carrying capacities of up to 450 people with its unique two-deck configuration (the small upper deck is usually used for business-class passengers), with high-subsonic speeds (0.85 Mach or 565 mph) and intercontinental range (8,430 statute miles, or 13,570 km, for the 747-400 version), in some configurations sufficient to fly Sydney-London non-stop (though no airline schedules such long routes). By July 2003, a total of 1372 aircraft have been built or ordered in various 747 configurations.

Table of contents
1 Variants
2 Powerplant
3 Facts & Trivia
4 Disasters
5 Airlines
6 External links



The first edition of the jet, the 747-100, rolled out of the Boeing factory in Everett, Washington, USA on 2 September 1969. This factory is the largest building ever built. The 747-100 entered service in 1970. It was later replaced by the 747-100B, a very similar aircraft with a stronger airframe and undercarriage design. Another -100 variant, the 747-100SR, has a capacity of up to 550 passengers and is used on domestic flights in Japan.

747-100 aircraft can usually be distinguished by their upper deck, which has only three windows. However, some airlines have recently purchased "SUD," or "stretched upper deck" modifications, which make the upper deck almost idential to a 747-300's.


The 747-200 has the same capacity as a 747-100, but can fly 30% farther. It can be distinguished by its eight-window upper deck (but, again, some airlines have given their -200 aircraft SUD).

It was the first 747 variant designed to carry air freight, and has been produced in three different freight models. The 747-200F is a pure freighter, the 747-200C is a "convertible" aircraft that can carry either passengers or freight, and the 747-200M is a "combi" aircraft that can carry both at the same time.


The 747SP, or "Special Performance," was first delivered in 1976. It sacrificed capacity for speed and range: although only 220 passengers could fit in a 3-class cabin, the aircraft could fly up to 10,200 miles at speeds of up to 610 mph. Some airline insiders call it the "74 Short" because of its stubby appearance. The 747SP was the longest-flying airliner available until the Airbus A340, and found its way into the fleets of American Airlines, Pan Am, and Qantas, airlines that needed its range for trans-South Pacific routes. (American later used its 747SP's for services to Tokyo.)


The 747-300 was the first 747 model to feature a "stretched upper deck," which increased its capacity over earlier models. It also had a slightly longer operating range than the 747-200. Combi (747-300M) and Japanese domestic (747-300SR) models were also built.


The 747-400 is the latest model of the 747, and also the only series still in production. It added winglets, new flight decks and in-flight entertainment to the basic design of the -300 series.

The -400 is available in combi (747-400M) and freighter (747-400F) variants. The Japanese domestic variant, the 747-400D, is the highest-capacity passenger aircraft in the world, capable of carrying 568 passengers.

The 747-400ER is 400's extended range version: it also comes in an all-freight version, the 747-400ERF.

There are currently plans to develop a new model, the 747-400XQLR, which stands for Extra Quiet Long-Range.

Government and military models

The current U.S. Presidential aircraft, VC-25A, is among the most famous 747 models. It is popularly known as Air Force One, even though that name refers to any United States Air Force aircraft carrying the President. VC-25A is based on the civilian Boeing 747-2G4B. Other special 747s include four 747-200s which were converted for the U.S. Air Force to airborne emergency command and control posts, a 747 to transport the Space Shuttle and aerial refueling tankers. A recent addition to the military's 747 arsenal is the Airborne Laser, a component of the National Missile Defense plan.

A number of other governments also use the 747 as a VIP transport, including Bahrain, Iran, Japan, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Taiwan, and the United Arab Emirates.


(747-100) four Pratt & Whitney JT9D-7A turbofans or four Rolls-Royce RB211-524B2 turbofans or four General Electric CF6-45A2 turbofans

(747-200/300) four Pratt & Whitney JT9D-7R4G2 turbofans or four RB211-524D4 turbofans or four General Electric CF6-50E2 turbofans

(747-400) four Pratt & Whitney PW4062 turbofans or four Rolls-Royce RB211-524H turbofans or four General Electric CF6-80C2B5F turbofans

Facts & Trivia


747 aircraft have been involved in many famous air disasters. However, very few have been due to design flaws in the aircraft itself: most have been because of pilot error, or, more commonly, terrorists targeting the high-profile nature of the 747.


Some of the airlines that use or have used the Boeing 747 include:

External links