Boeing Has More Than Just The 787 In Its Garage
Thereís been a rash of news about the new Boeing 787, but unfortunately itís usually bad news about delays, issues, and other minor disasters that have prevented the plane from taking flight. However, the engineers and assembly line workers at Boeing do have something to smile about this holiday season. Their newest version of the jumbo jet has rolled out of the garage, and the 747-8 is the biggest airplane that they have ever built.
It kind of looks like any other 747 flying around the globe, but Boeing wants everyone to know that itís not. Most of the plane is made up of new materials, and it has a totally new design for its wings. It even stole the 787ís more fuel efficient engines and took some of its ideas for fancy electronics inside the cockpit. The airplane builder is hoping to set this new bird up to compete with the Airbus A380, which can hold over 550 passengers. The new 747 is certainly smaller than the competition, but it still will be able to hold 467 passengers and Boeing claims its more fuel efficient on a per passenger basis. Being a little greener is always a good selling point.
The plane that recently rolled off the assembly line will be going into cargo service, but first will need to pass all the ground and air tests. The first passenger plane probably wonít go into service until 2011, and Lufthansa seems to be the only commercial airline placing an order so far.
However, there might be one big order coming in soon. Uncle Sam might just be breaking out the corporate plastic as the Presidentís ride is looking a little old these days. This new plane is just one of the possibilities to replace the current generation of Air Force One. Itís probably safe to assume it will have in-flight WiFi among one or two other features.
· All New Boeing 747-8 Has Left The Building [Wired]
· Boeing coverage [Jaunted]
[Photo of the assembly line: jeffmcneill]