Boeing Joins Fuselage Sections for First 747-8 Intercontinental

(PresseBox) (Everett, Wash., ) Boeing (NYSE: BA) moved closer this week toward completing assembly of the first 747-8 Intercontinental as mechanics in Everett, Wash., loaded the forward and aft fuselage sections to join with the wing and center section.

The 747-8 fuselage is 250 feet 2 inches (76.3 meters) long, which is 18 feet 4 inches (5.6 meters) longer than the 747-400. The stretch provides space for 51 additional seats to accommodate 467 passengers in a typical three-class configuration and offers 26 percent more cargo volume.

"Final body join is an important milestone for the 747 program," said 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."

The 747-8 is the new high-capacity 747 that will give airlines the lowest operating costs and best economics of any large airplane while providing enhanced environmental performance. The airplane also features a 787 Dreamliner-inspired interior that will offer passengers a greater feeling of space and comfort.

The 747 program has orders for 109 747-8 Freighter and Intercontinental airplanes. Thirty-three of those 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.

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