Boeing has taken a significant step toward completing assembly of the first 747-8 Intercontinental passenger jet, with mechanics at Boeing's widebody final-assembly plant in...

Boeing has taken a significant step toward completing assembly of the first 747-8 Intercontinental passenger jet, with mechanics at Boeing’s widebody final-assembly plant in Everett, Washington loading the aircraft’s forward and aft fuselage sections to join with its wing and center section.

Designed both in 747-8F freighter and in 747-8I passenger versions, the 747-8’s fuselage is 250 feet 2 inches (76.3 meters) long, which is 18 feet 4 inches (5.6 meters) longer than that of the 747-400. The 747-8 will have the longest fuselage of any volume-produced commercial jet in the world and as a fixed-wing aircraft is exceeded in length only by the only flying Antonov An-225 Mriya, originally built to transport the Soviet Union’s Buran space shuttle but now used commercially to transport outsize payloads.


Boeing reported on October 15, 2010 that its mechanics had loaded the first Boeing 747-8 Intercontinental passenger aircraft's forward and aft fuselage sections to join with its wing and center section

Stretching the 747-8I’s fuselage – and its upper deck, which is 5ft longer than that of the 747-400 – has provided space for 51 additional seats compared with the 747-400, allowing the Intercontinental to accommodate 467 passengers in a typical three-class configuration and offer 26 per cent more cargo volume.

“Final body join is an important milestone for the 747 program,” says Pat Shanahan, vice president and general manager of airplane programs in Boeing Commercial Airplanes. “It is a major step toward completing the structural integration and building out our all-new interior. We now have the first real look at the size and distinctive shape of the 747-8 Intercontinental. This is going to be a superb airplane for our customers both from an aesthetic and a performance perspective.”

This is how the Boeing 747-8 Intercontinental, the longest fixed-wing passenger aircraft in the world, is going to look when it is flying

Boeing claims the 747-8 will give airlines the lowest operating costs and best economics of any large aircraft, while providing enhanced environmental performance. The 747-8I also features a 787 Dreamliner-inspired interior that will offer passengers a greater feeling of space and comfort.

The 747-8 program has orders for 109 747-8 Freighter and Intercontinental aircraft. Of the total orderbook, 33 orders 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.