Aircraft of the Month: Boeing 747-400

Cathay take-offThe Boeing 747-400 is the best-selling model of the Boeing 747 family of jet airliners. This wide-body, four-engine aircraft embodies numerous technological and structural changes from previous 747 models to produce a more efficient airframe.

Its most distinguishing feature, versus preceding 747 models, is the 6-foot winglets mounted on 6-foot (1.8 m) wing tip extensions. The winglets result in a three per cent increase in long-range cruise distance, improved take-off performance and higher cruise altitudes. Despite the increased winglets and extension, there is no additional weight added to the aircraft. This was achieved by using new aluminum alloys, which offset the weight increase of approximately 2,270 kg.

One of the most popular features of the 747-400 is the large, interior passenger volume, the largest of any commercial airliner. It also features a redesigned ‘flexible’ cabin interior that allows an airline to rearrange the seats and class configuration within eight hours.

Operators: Air China, Air France, Air New Zealand, Asiana Airlines, British Airways, China Southern Airlines, KLM, Qantas, Virgin Atlantic Airways

Manufacturer: Boeing

Country: United States

First Flight: April 29, 1988

Cockpit Crew: Two

Cruise Speed:  912 km/h  (493 knots)

Height: 19.4 m (63 ft 8 in)

Length: 70.6 m (231 ft 10 in)

Wing Span: 64.4 m (211 ft 5 in)

Passenger Capacity: 416 (3-class) or 524 (2-class)

Maximum Take-Off Weight: 396,890 kg (875,000 lb.)

Maximum Range: 13,450 km (7,260 nm)

Engine:  4 × Pratt & Whitney PW 4062

Did You Know? According to Boeing, the Wright Brothers' first flight at Kitty Hawk, N.C., could have been performed within the 45 meter economy section of a 747-400.

YVR Connection: On October 27, 2012 Cathay Pacific operated its last 747-400 on the twice-daily, non-stop YVR to Hong Kong and daily non-stop YVR to JFK. The route is now serviced by the fuel-efficient 777-300ER, which features Cathay’s new premium economy class.

To celebrate its service, we held a Boeing 747-400 photo contest on YVR Connections. View some of the contest entries on our Facebook page.

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