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Boeing Possibly About to Nail It

Boy that 787 Dreamliner debacle must have bummed a bunch of engineers out. I mean they make a hell of an airplane which first entered their minds in the 90s, it kicks ass across the board with its super efficiency, great operating cost efficacy, quiet, carbon-fiber-whatnot, the whole deal. Started taking orders in 2004, currently 843 placed without a single delivery to date. They said they’d fly that sucker’s maiden in the summer of 2007. Didn’t happen. Not one but ten delays later they finally got the wheels up, the protracted delays being blamed largely on a shortage of these things.

Anyway, unlike Nokia, I believe you’ll see Boeing doing pretty well on Wall Street tomorrow.

While watching Airwolf on one screen, leaving WordPress open on another in case I got any great ideas, … not going to mention what I was doing on screen number three, I discovered on #4 that Boeing just smashed a bottle of non-French champagne across the huyll of a fresh 747, the 747-8 Intercontinental, six years in the making, maiden voyage flown, freighter counterpart on its way and the boys and gals at Boeing think the 747-8I will change the world. Well, shell shocked by the 787, I can understand how that sensation can become more attainable. Over a hundred orders piled up already, two thirds of which are for the cargo/freighter (747-8F) version, deliveries slated to hit the FedEx it-fits-it-ships boxes when the snow melts and the girly girls stop wearing so much damn bulky clothing.


All right so what’s the big deal, how is this going to “change the world,” Boeing? Well, they stretched the sucker out 18ft to 250ft LOA, longest passenger jet in the universe by three feet over that fruity ass Airbus A340, that’s how. No that’s not just how – you can stuff 467 passengers with a normal three class configuration (or 581 in a single class) into one of these puppies with a range of 8K miles cruising at mach 0.855, a hair faster than the A340, which by the way has crashed more recently than any 747, and at 35K feet flying level can safely hit 634mph vs 587mph of the girly-man gas guzzling Airbus.

That’s fifty more passengers plus two more freight pallets, 26% more cargo space over its 747-400 predecessor. It will also be 30% quieter (more airports), 16% more fuel-efficient (more polar bears on intact ice caps) and cost its owners 13% less to move a passenger the same distance. Thirteen percent. Boeing would neither confirm nor deny speculation that the 747-8 could exceed Mach 1 without anything really bad happening. Try googling the answer to that, you’ll be up all night. I know.

Larger windows, more spacious vestibule to mitigate claustrophobia upon entry, LED lighting claimed to create both mood lightening and lower maintenance costs. From the outside the most obvious difference over the 400 is a lengthened top cabin for the Intercontinental version. Better wingtips, they really worked hard on the wingtips and probably some other shit too. It may come down to how effectively the 787 will have served as a series of expensive lessons but my money’s on this 747 variant to start popping up at an international airport near you shortly. The feds are sizing it up to replace the VC-25 as Air Force One.

Doug Simmons