Boeing joins fuselage sections for first 747-8 Intercontinental

Boeing (Chicago, Seattle, Wichita and Charleston) moved closer this week toward completing assembly of the first 747-8 Intercontinental as mechanics in Everett, WA, loaded the forward and aft fuselage sections to join with the wing and center section.

The 747-8 fuselage is 250 feet 2 inches (76.3 meters) long, which is 18 feet 4 inches (5.6 meters) longer than the 747-400. The stretch provides space for 51 additional seats to accommodate 467 passengers in a typical three-class configuration and offers 26 percent more cargo volume.

The 747-8 is the new high-capacity 747 that will give airlines the lowest operating costs and best economics of any large airplane while providing enhanced environmental performance. The airplane also features a 787 Dreamliner-inspired interior that will offer passengers a greater feeling of space and comfort.

The 747 program has orders for 109 747-8 Freighter and Intercontinental airplanes. Thirty-three of those are for the 747-8 Intercontinental, with orders coming from Lufthansa, Korean Air and eight VIP customers. The first 747-8 Intercontinental delivery is scheduled for late 2011 to a VIP customer.