Boeing has firmed up the configuration of its latest 747 variant, the 747-8 Intercontinental, with particular emphasis on passenger-pleasing aspects of the aircraft''s cabin.
The 747-8 Intercontinental is an upgrade of the venerable jumbo jet designed to bridge the seating capacity gap between Airbus''s A330/A340 and Boeing''s own 777 at one end and the A380 at the other. As well as offering improved economics and environmental performance, as compared with the 747-400, the upgraded jumbo will have a new interior designed specifically to put passengers at their ease.
It carries a close resemblance with the 787, with a similar curved, upswept architecture that not only provides a sense of space and comfort, but also provides more room for personal belongings. Also similarly, LED lighting technology will be used to create what Boeing calls "airy brightness" and provide smooth transitions between numbers of lighting modes specific to various phases of flight.
The aircraft will also borrow from the 777, with windows similar in size to those on the twinjet, at 15.3in tall and 10.8in wide, and larger than those on the 747-400.
The 747-8 Intercontinental will be stretched 18.3ft compared with the 747-400 to accommodate 467 seats in three-class configuration. That compares with the 471 seats in Singapore Airlines'' A380s, in which admittedly significant amount of extra volume has been deployed lavishly to give extra space to premium passengers.
First 747-8 Intercontinental deliveries are scheduled for late 2010. Lufthansa has 20 aircraft on order, while Cargolux Airlines and Nippon Cargo Airlines have ordered the freighter version.