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Boeing assembles first set of 747-8 wings

Seattle (WA) – Boeing said it has assembled the first set of wings of its latest generation of 747 airplanes, the 747-8. The wings are considerably longer than what was outlined in Boeing’s initial plans, but they will improved overall performance and greater fuel capacity, the company stated.

The wings, which will be to a 747-8F (freighter) aircraft have a length of 135 foot and 3 inches each, exceeding the original wing span of 224 feet. They “incorporate the latest aerodynamic technologies to fly farther and more efficiently,” Boeing said.

The 747-8 is Boeing’s answer to the larger Airbus A380, but Boeing claims that airlines will be able to operate the 747-8 much more cost-efficiently. The plan is 18.3 ft longer than the current 747-400, stretching to 250 ft and a height of 63 ft. The engines are similar to those used for the 787 and provide a thrust of 66,500 pounds. The maximum lift off weight is 975,000 pounds or about 442 metric tons. The passenger version of the plane can carry up to 462 passengers; the maximum range is 4390 miles.

Boeing said it has 18 initial orders for the 747-8F, valued at about $5 billion – which means that each 747-8F costs about $280 million.