Originally Posted by Eddie P
The 747-8, though based on the venerable 747 design, is indeed a whole new aircraft.
The wing is completely new. More modern and efficient than anything else Boeing makes. Mature super critical airflow wing with completely re designed flap system and flight controls. It's fly by wire wing design, though a late comer to fly by wire, is very pilot friendly and is a true aircraft in that the pilot flies the airplane like an airplane vs. imputing "rate" commands like an Airbus. The smart fly by wire technology allows the much larger and heavier 747-8 to fly amazingly like the 747-400 as far as pilots are concerned. The efficiency is indeed amazing. The increased size though does requires very careful operation at airports, as like the A-380, it is now in a new class of size well beyond the traditional 747 and even the 747-400. However, unlike the A380 which is so airport restricted that it can not access most of the worlds airports, the 747-8 is far more flexible and authorized to use considerably more secondary airports than the A380 for alternate and emergency diversion fields. This is a majorly important thing in operation and one area that has hurt the A380 commercially.
The avionics are based on the 787 and surpass anything else beside a 787 in "gee wiz" value and usability. Many safety improvements in terms of flight path planning and control for the pilots have been brought into standard avionics of the 747-8.
The fuselage is a whole lot bigger than the 747-400 with stretch plugs ahead of and behind the wing box.
The engines are a work of art. GE Next gen technology - super quiet, very fuel efficient and a plethora of usable thrust. There is so much power yet they are amazingly efficient on fuel burn and extremely quiet.
The interiors and even the windows are different. The windows are huge. Passengers have not had such big windows since the DC-8, and that's really cool in my book.
With a software update now that actual line experience is building with airlines like Cathay Pacific, Luftansa, etc - the takeoff weights will be raised to right about 1,000,000 pounds.
The 747-8 is truly the "Queen of the Skies" - the apex jetliner borne from the vision of the original 747. It's a beautiful machine with tremendous capability and only about 350 Million USD per copy (at time of posting)
Eddie you hit the jumbo nail on the head Sir! Europeans love Airbus & Love the A380 no matter what anyone says & that's fine! I am impressed with this amazing new european giant, but with the new 747-8 Boeing only made what was perfect even better with the 747-8. . .& with a 15% fuelf efficiency improvment over the 400 series the airlines can only make money with the 747-8!
I recently had a little Boeing Birdy wisper into my ear that if enough 747-8's are sold Boeing will go ahead with a 747-9 with a 10 foot longer fusleage & more powerful & even more fuel efficiant engines.
The a380 & 747-8 & 9 simply compliment each other, the a380 carries more passengers & the 747-8 goes farther on less gas.
I look at it this way the a380 is the ugly sister you befriend in order to meet the way hotter 747-8 sister! Lol