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747-8 Intercontinental Passes 25% Design Milestone

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Boeing has passed a major milestone in the design of the 747-8 Intercontinental, completing 25% of the design releases for the new passenger airplane.

 This means a quarter of the information needed to build parts and tools for assembly has been completed and released for fabrication or procurement.

"We have made tremendous progress on the design engineering," said Mo Yahyavi, vice president and general manager for the 747 Program. "The engineering is proceeding as planned and we are a step closer to bringing the 747-8 Intercontinental to market."

Since much of the design is the same as the 747-8 Freighter, which Boeing is building first, the engineering focus is on work that is unique to the 747-8 Intercontinental, comprising mostly fuselage and interior design. The most obvious difference is that the 747-8 Intercontinental fuselage will boast an extended upper deck.

On the interior, the airplane will incorporate features from the 787 Dreamliner, including a new curved, upswept architecture that will give passengers a greater sense of space and comfort, while adding more room for personal belongings. The architecture will be accentuated by lighting technology that provides smooth transitions for a more restful flight.

"The 747 family has been a favorite among passengers," said Michael Teal, 747-8 chief project engineer. "The 747-8 Intercontinental will build on the memorable experiences they've had on a 747. The moment passengers step aboard a 747-8 Intercontinental, they will know it's a brand new airplane and enjoy a more relaxing flying experience."

As for the airplane's performance, the 747-8 will be stretched 18.3 feet (5.6 meters) from the 747-400 to provide 467 seats in a three-class configuration and a range of approximately 8,000 nautical miles (14,815 kilometers). It will deliver nearly equivalent trip costs to those of the 747-400 and 13% lower seat-mile costs, plus 26%greater cargo volume. The 747-8 Intercontinental also will be 16% more fuel efficient and create a 30% smaller noise footprint than its predecessor.

"The 747-8 Intercontinental will be a great airplane for our customers," said Yahyavi. "Our team is focused on completing the remaining detailed design needed to deliver the airplane in late 2011."

The 747-8, which includes the 747-8 Intercontinental and the 747-8 Freighter, was launched in November 2005 by Cargolux Airlines and Nippon Cargo Airlines. Lufthansa was the first airline to order the 747-8 Intercontinental in December 2006.

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