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Jane's All the World's Aircraft: Boeing 747-400

31 October 2000

BOEING 747- 400

From Jane's All the World's Aircraft 2000-2001

Wide-bodied airliner.

(original): Announced 13 April 1966 (first ever wide-body jet airliner), with Pan American order for 25; official programme launch 25 July 1966; first flight 9 February 1969; FAA certification 30 December 1969; first delivery (to Pan Am) 12 December 1969; first route service New York-London flown 21 January 1970. 747-400 announced October 1985. In May 1990, Boeing decided to market only the -400; last -200 (a -200F Freighter for Nippon Cargo Air Lines) delivered 19 November 1991.

For all variants before 747-400, see Jane's Aircraft Upgrades. Production variants totalled 724 (205 -100, 45 SP, 393 -200 and 81 -300). Nineteen Pan American 747s modified as passenger/cargo C-19As by Boeing Military Airplanes for Civil Reserve Air Fleet (see 1990-91 edition). Boeing board approved launch of 747-400IGW in December 1997. By 21 January 2000 (30 years after first commercial service) 1,238 Boeing 747s (including 500 -400s) had been delivered, of which 1,100 remained in service; the worldwide fleet of 747s (all models) had logged more than 50 million hours in 12 million flights, carrying 2.2 billion passengers, by September 1998.

(current): Series 400 announced October 1985 as 747 development with extended capacity and range; design go-ahead July 1985; roll-out 26 January 1988; first flight 29 April 1988; certified with P&W PW4056 on 10 January 1989; certified with GE CF6-80C2B1F on 8 May 1989; R-R RB211-524G on 8 June 1989; R-R RB211-524H on 11 May 1990. Since May 1990, -400 is the only 747 marketed. 1,100th 747 rolled out 16 December 1996 and delivered to ILFC/Virgin Atlantic in January 1997. Boeing will build 12 747s in 2000, compared with 49 in 1998 and 47 in 1999.

Current Versions
747-400: Basic passenger version; standard and three optional gross weights (see below).

Detailed description applies to -400, except where indicated.

747-400M Combi: Passenger/freight version; certified 1 September 1989; maximum 266 three-class passengers with freight, 413 without; port-side rear freight door; main deck limit is seven pallets at 27,215 kg (60,000 lb); underfloor and fuel capacities as for passenger 747; 49 delivered by 31 December 1996. For all gross weights, maximum landing weight 285,763 kg (630,000 lb) and maximum zero-fuel weight 256,280 kg (565,000 lb). All three engine options available.

747-400F: All-freight version. See separate entry.

747-400 Domestic: Special high-density two-class 568-passenger version; certified 10 October 1991; ordered by Japan Air Lines (six), All Nippon (six) and Japan Air System (one). Maximum T-O weight 272,155 kg (600,000 lb) but can be certified to 394,625 kg (870,000 lb). Structurally reinforced; no winglets; lower engine thrust; five more upper deck windows; revised avionics software and cabin pressure schedule; brake cooling fans; five pallets, 14 LD-1 containers and bulk cargo under floor; GE or P&W engines.

747-400 Performance Improvement Package (PIP): Announced April 1993, and first stage implemented in July 1993. Included gross weight increase of 2,268 kg (5,000 lb). Second stage, implemented in December 1993, included longer-chord dorsal fin made of CFRP, and wing spoilers held down more tightly to reduce profile drag and leakage. These improvements were immediately applied to production aircraft and are retrofittable; PIP flight tested in leased United Airlines 747-400 May 1993.

747-400IGW: Offered from December 1997 in response to Qantas requirement; not formally launched by April 1998. One or two additional fuel tanks in hold, each of 11,600 litres (3,064 US gallons; 2,552 Imp gallons); maximum fuel capacity 240,000 litres (63,403 US gallons; 52,794 Imp gallons). Range 7,500 n miles (13,890 km; 8,630 miles) with one additional tank; 7,700 n miles (14,260 km; 8,861 miles) with two. Structural strengthening around centrebody, wing/fuselage joint, flaps and landing gear for 413,140 kg (910,825 lb) MTOW.

747-400X: Growth version in passenger and Combi variants; replaces more ambitious -500/-600 projects abandoned in late 1990s. Original -400X revised in 1999. Based on 747-400 airframe, but with strengthened wing of increased span of about 69.8 m (229 ft) and area of 632 m² (6,800 sq ft); fuselage increased in length by only 1.27 m (4 ft 2 in); additional inboard flap; additional fuel in enlarged wing torsion box; MD-11-type trailing-edge wedges (of which flight tests began in October 1998), strengthened fuselage sections and landing gear and modifications to cargo and fuel systems to permit carriage of additional 45,359 kg (100,000 lb) of fuel. Power plant expected to be Alliance GP7167, rated at 300 to 325 kN (67,441 to 73,061 lb st). Maximum T-O weight 473,500 kg (1,043,900 lb). In typical three-class configuration, the 747-400X will carry 446 passengers. Range more than 8,690 n miles (16,093 km; 10,000 miles) with 430 passengers.

747-400X Stretch: Extended version of 747-400X with fuselage length increased to 80.2 m (263 ft) by means of plugs at fore and aft of wing box; extended horizontal stabiliser tips based on those of 747SP; rudder of increased chord; new main landing gear; uprated engines. In typical three-class configuration, the 747-400X Stretch will carry 500 passengers. Maximum take-off weight 473,095 kg (1,043,000 lb); range more than 7,820 n miles (14,484 km; 9,000 miles). Projected seat-mile costs lower than those of 747-400. Interest reported from Asian carriers in mid-1999.

747-200X: Temporary designation for 1997 studies for passenger derivative of 747-400F, combining that version's short top deck with accommodation for up to 380 passengers; range up to 7,991 n miles (14,800 km; 9,196 miles).

See table on earlier page. Launch customer Northwest Orient Airlines ordered 10 -400s with PW4000s and 420-passenger interior October 1985; first delivery 26 January 1989.

July 1996 Air China contract for three aircraft valued at US$510 million.

Design Features
Wing has Boeing aerofoil and 3.66 m (12 ft 0 in) greater span than 747-300; sweepback at quarter-chord 37º 30'; thickness/chord ratio 13.44 per cent inboard, 7.8 per cent at mid-span, 8 per cent outboard; dihedral at rest 7º; incidence 2º; winglets, canted 22º outward and swept 60º, increase range by 3 per cent; upper deck extended rearward by 7.11 m (23 ft 4 in).

Flying Controls
Conventional and powered.

Elevators: Four elevator sections mechanically linked with breakable shear devices; each elevator has dual hydraulic-powered control units; control feel and three individual autopilot input servos mounted on central elevator quadrant; all surfaces have position transmitters; feel computer-operated by pitot pressure and tailplane angle.

Rudder: Upper rudder surface operated by three hydraulic actuators served by two hydraulic systems, lower surface by two actuators fed by remaining two hydraulic systems; each rudder has separate yaw damper module; left and right digital air data computers provide signals for controlling rudder ratio changer on each rudder surface according to air data and tailplane angle; combined feel actuator, rudder centring and trim actuator in rear servo area; mechanical cable linkage between rudder pedals and aft actuator area; rudder trim control switches on centre console.

Tailplane: Tailplane angle set by hydraulic motor-driven shaft and ball screw with primary and secondary hydraulic brakes; flight control unit and air data computer signals sent to tailplane through dual stabiliser, trim and rudder ratio modules, which automatically apply Mach trim, and by dual-stabiliser control modules; tailplane trim limits computed according to flap positions.

Lateral control: Pilot and co-pilot aileron linkage can be physically separated if necessary; all four ailerons operate at low speeds; outboard ailerons are locked out at cruising speed; the inboard spoiler panel on each wing used on ground only; remainder have variable ratio response and spoiler mixer units; there are trim, centring and feel units.

Leading-edge and trailing-edge devices: Krueger flaps inboard of engines; variable camber slats between and outboard of engines lie flat when retracted and adopt camber curvature when extended. Two flap assemblies on each wing, one inboard of engines and the other between engines; three sections, fore flap, mid-flap and aft flap, move rearwards as single flat panel up to 5º deflection; thereafter, three sections separate progressively to form three slots, and camber angles relative to each other increase progressively.

Automatic flight control system: Combines autopilot, flight director and automatic tailplane trim and sends commands through triple independent flight control computers; system automates all flight phases except take-off; dual digital air data computers; pilots' primary flight and navigation displays are large-size cathode-ray tubes; two engine indicating and crew alerting screens, one on main panels, one on console; three multifunction control and display panels control flight management system, navigation and communications; flight control computers (autopilot) and inertial reference units are triplicated; new features include full-time autothrottle and dual-thrust management system included in flight management computer; integrated radio control panels and automatic start and shutdown of APU.

Wing and tail surfaces are aluminium alloy dual-path fail-safe structures; advanced aluminium alloys in wing torsion box save 2,721 kg (6,000 lb); advanced aluminium honeycomb spoiler panels; CFRP winglets and main deck floor panels; advanced graphite/phenolic and Kevlar/graphite in cabin fittings and engine nacelles; frame/stringer/stressed skin fuselage with some bonding. Improved corrosion protection and further coverage with compound introduced from 1993.

Landing Gear
Twin-wheel nose unit retracts forward; main gear consists of four four-wheel bogies; two, mounted side by side under fuselage at wing trailing-edge, retract forward; two, mounted under wings, retract inward; nosewheel steerable up to 70º left or right from tillers; full rudder pedal travel gives up to 7º for use at high speed; two centre main legs steer up to 13º when nosewheels are steered more than 20º and speed is less than 20 kt (37 km/h; 23 mph); carbon disc brakes on all mainwheels, with individually controlled digital anti-skid units; one of three brake pressure supplies automatically selected; mainwheel diameter increased to 56 cm (22 in); 125 cm (49 in) diameter low-profile tyres; new wheels save 816 kg (1,800 lb) weight. Minimum ground turning radius, with body gear steering, is 48.46 m (159 ft 0 in) at wingtip and 27.73 m (91 ft 0 in) at nosewheels.

Power Plant
Four 252 kN (56,750 lb st) Pratt & Whitney PW4056, 252 kN (56,750 lb st) General Electric CF6-80C2B1F, 258 kN (58,000 lb st) Rolls-Royce RB211-524G or RB211-524H turbofans.

Further optional engines are 267 kN (60,000 lb st) PW4060, 276 kN (62,000 lb st) PW4062, 274 kN (61,500 lb st) CF6-80C2B1F1 or CF6-80C2B7F.

Fuel in four main tanks in wings can feed to any engine; in addition there are a centre-wing tank and reserve tanks in outer wing; optional tailplane tank; vent and surge tanks in outer wings and starboard tailplane; jettison pumps in inner main tanks; APU fed from port inner tank; automatic refuelling through two receptacles under each wing leading-edge between engines; automatic condensate scavenging and flame arresters in vent outlets.

Fuel capacity 204,355 litres (53,985 US gallons; 44,952 Imp gallons) with P&W and R-R engines; 203,523 litres (53,765 US gallons; 44,769 Imp gallons) with GE engines; at 377,840 kg (833,000 lb) and 394,625 kg (870,000 lb) T-O weights, fuel capacity including tailplane tank is 216,846 litres (57,285 US gallons; 47,700 Imp gallons) with P&W and R-R engines and 216,013 litres (57,065 US gallons; 47,516 Imp gallons) with GE engines; optional tailplane tank holds 12,492 litres (3,300 US gallons; 2,748 Imp gallons) transferable fuel (must be full for take-off at 394,625 kg; 870,000 lb gross weight).

Two-crew flight deck, with seats for two observers; two-bunk crew rest cabin accessible from flight deck. Optional overhead cabin crew rest compartments above rear of main deck cabin (four bunks, four seats; eight bunks, two seats; two bunks, two seats, five sleeper seats). Typical 421-seat three-class configuration accommodates 42 business class on upper deck; 24 first class in front cabin, 29 business class in middle cabin and 326 economy class in rear cabin on main deck. Maximum upper deck capacity 69 economy class. Centre overhead stowage bins 0.16 m3 (5.7 cu ft) volume per 1.02 m (40 in) long bin; outboard bins 0.45 m3 (15.9 cu ft) volume per 1.52 m (60 in) long bin; 0.083 m3 (2.95 cu ft) bin volume per passenger (three-class). Two modular upper deck toilets, 14 on main deck, relocatable and vacuum-drained into four waste tanks. Basic galley configuration, one on upper deck, seven centreline and two sidewall on main deck; toilets and galleys can be quickly relocated if required fittings are installed; advanced integrated audio/video/announcement system.

Underfloor freight: forward compartment, five 2.44 m (96 in) � 3.18 m (125 in) pallets or 16 LD-1 containers; aft compartment, 14 LD-1 containers and 23.6 m3 (835 cu ft) bulk cargo or 16 LD-1 and 13.9 m3 (490 cu ft) bulk cargo; pallets and LD-1s can be interlined with Boeing 767.

Each engine drives a hydraulic pump feeding an independent system; services are connected to supplies in such a way that loss of one supply cannot disable one system; two hydraulic systems also have air-driven pumps to maintain pressure and two have electric pumps; one electric pump can be run to provide braking when the aircraft is being towed on the ground; all four hydraulic reservoirs can be filled from a single location in the port main landing gear bay.

Hot air bled from the low-pressure and high-pressure compressors of all four engines is precooled by fan exit air and fed via a manifold to the cabin pressurisation and air conditioning system and to provide de-icing of wing leading-edge and engine nose cowling and to pressurise hydraulic tanks. Three conditioning packs in wing/fuselage fairing provide cabin air.

Each engine drives an integrated drive generator supplying 90 kVA power to respective AC busses; three generators are a dispatch item, but one will supply essential loads; APU drives two further generators; automatic start-up, load transfers and load shedding reduce crew workload; power systems may be isolated from each other for triple-channel Cat. III autoland.

Completely self-contained 1,081 kW (1,450 shp) P&WC PW901A APU, mounted clear of all flight-critical structure and flight controls in the extreme tail, drives two 90 kVA generators that can supply electrical power for whole aircraft; also supplies compressed air to operate pneumatic components; can run at up to 6,100 m (20,000 ft) and supply compressed air below 4,575 m (15,000 ft).

Forward underfloor cargo compartment heated to 5ºC by hot air exhausted from flight deck cooling equipment and avionics in main equipment centre, boosted as necessary by two electrical heaters; rear underfloor hold heated to minimum 5ºC or 18ºC (selected by crew) by engine bleed.

Overheat detection and automatic extinguishing provided in all toilets; APU automatically shut down and fire extinguisher bottles initiated on detection of fire; each engine has three dual fire detectors in series and a fourth detector for overheating. Underfloor freight compartments and upper deck hold of Combi have smoke detectors and extinguisher systems; wheel wells have overheat detectors.

Boeing launched development of new Flight Management Computer software in January 1993 to match existing aircraft to international Future Air Navigation System (FANS) during 1995. Standard avionics fit as follows:

Comms: Dual VHF and HF transceivers with Selcal; dual transponders; flight intercom with air-to-ground facility, connectable also to satcom system; cabin entertainment and passenger address and service units.

Radar: Colour weather radar transmitting in I- and G-bands.

Flight: Dual VOR; triple ILS receivers with single marker beacon receiver; dual ADF; dual DME; all nav radios automatically tuned by flight management computer system (FMCS). Automatic flight control system (AFCS) integrates autopilot, flight director and automatic stabiliser trim functions; dual digital air data computers with dual selectable pressure sensors, angle of attack sensors and total air temperature probes; FMCS allows crew to preselect flight plan using standard air traffic control language; FMCS incorporates database, updated every 28 days, which includes data on waypoints, airports, standard instrument departures (SIDs), standard terminal arrival routes (STARs), airline routes and information on specific geographic areas; triple ring laser gyro inertial reference units provide navigation input on EFIS, flight management displays or radio magnetic indicators; other systems include ground proximity warning, triple low-range radio altimeters and TCAS.

Central maintenance computer monitors electrical and electromechanical systems, performs tests and centralises maintenance data; failures are indicated in EICAS displays and stored for future reference for in-flight use or line or hangar maintenance.

Instrumentation: Electronic flight instrument system (EFIS) comprising six (left/right inboard/outboard and central upper/lower) 20.3 � 20.3 cm (8 � 8 in) integrated display units (IDU), two each for primary flight display (PFD), navigation display (ND) and engine indicating and crew alerting (EICAS) functions; all IDUs receive data from all three EFIS/EICAS interface units (EIU), updated via software data loader; PFD and EICAS primary formats automatically switch to inboard and lower IDUs respectively, with facility for manual selection of formats on different IDUs as required.

Dimensions, External

Wing span

64.44 m (211 ft 5 in)

Wing span, fully fuelled

64.92 m (213 ft 0 in)

Wing aspect ratio


Length: overall

70.67 m (231 ft 10� in)


68.63 m (225 ft 2 in)

Height overall

19.41 m (63 ft 8 in)

Tailplane span

22.17 m (72 ft 9 in)

Wheel track

11.00 m (36 ft 1 in)


25.60 m (84 ft 0 in)

Passenger doors (10, each):


1.93 m (6 ft 4 in)


1.07 m (3 ft 6 in)

Height to sill

approx 4.88 m (16 ft 0 in)

Baggage door (front hold):


1.68 m (5 ft 6 in)


2.64 m (8 ft 8 in)

Height to sill

approx 2.64 m (8 ft 8 in)

Baggage door (forward door, rear hold):


1.68 m (5 ft 6 in)


2.64 m (8 ft 8 in)

Height to sill

approx 2.69 m (8 ft 10 in)

Bulk loading door (rear door, rear hold):


1.19 m (3 ft 11 in)


1.12 m (3 ft 8 in)

Height to sill

approx 2.90 m (9 ft 6 in)

Freighter cargo door (port):


3.05 m (10 ft 0 in)


3.40 m (11 ft 2 in)

Height to sill

4.87 m (16 ft 0 in)

Dimensions, Internal

Passenger cabin volume

885.9 m3 (31,285 cu ft)


Wings, gross

541.16 m2 (5,825.0 sq ft)

Ailerons (total)

20.90 m2 (225.00 sq ft)

Trailing-edge flaps (total)

78.69 m2 (847.00 sq ft)

Leading-edge flaps (total)

43.85 m2 (472.00 sq ft)

Inboard spoilers (total)

12.78 m2 (137.60 sq ft)

Outboard spoilers (total)

15.46 m2 (166.40 sq ft)


77.11 m2 (830.00 sq ft)


21.37 m2 (230.00 sq ft)


136.57 m2 (1,470.00 sq ft)

Elevators (total, incl tabs)

30.38 m2 (327.00 sq ft)

Weights and Loadings (letters denote engine installations as follows: P: PW4056, C: CF6-80C2B1F, R: RB211-524G/H)

Operating weight empty: P

180,985 kg (399,000 lb)

    P at max optional T-O weight

181,485 kg (400,100 lb)


180,755 kg (398,500 lb)

    C at max optional T-O weight

181,255 kg (399,600 lb)


181,755 kg (400,700 lb)

    R at max optional T-O weight

182,255 kg (401,800 lb)

Max T-O weight: P, C, R

362,875 kg (800,000 lb)


or 377,845 kg (833,000 lb)


or 385,555 kg (850,000 lb)


or 396,895 kg (875,000 lb)

Max ramp weight: P, C, R

364,235 kg (803,000 lb)


or 379,205 kg (836,000 lb)


or 386,915 kg (853,000 lb)


or 398,255 kg (878,000 lb)

Max landing weight: at standard max T-O weight:


        P, C, R

260,360 kg (574,000 lb)

    at alternative max T-O weights:


        P, C, R

285,765 kg (630,000 lb)

Max zero-fuel weight: P, C, R

242,670 kg (535,000 lb)

Max wing loading:


    P, C, R

670.5 kg/m2 (137.34 lb/sq ft)


or 712.5 kg/m2 (145.92 lb/sq ft)


or 733.4 kg/m2 (150.21 lb/sq ft)

Performance (engines as designated under Weights and Loadings)

Approach speed at basic landing weight:

    P, C, R

146 kt (270 km/h; 168 mph)

Approach speed at highest optional landing weight:  

    P, C, R

153 kt (284 km/h; 176 mph)

Initial cruise altitude at highest optional T-O weight:

    P, C, R

10,000 m (32,800 ft)

FAR T-O field length at S/L, ISA, at highest optional T-O weight: P, C

3,352 m (11,000 ft)


3,383 m (11,100 ft)

FAR landing field length at max landing weight of 285,765 kg (630,000 lb): P, C, R

2,072 m (6,800 ft)

Design range, typical international rules, 420 three-class passengers, at highest optional T-O weight:


7,284 n miles (13,491 km; 8,383 miles)


7,259 n miles (13,444 km; 8,354 miles)


7,135 n miles (13,214 km; 8,211 miles)

Boeing 747-400 advanced long-range airliner (General Electric CF6-80C2 engines) (Source: Dennis Punnett/Jane's)
Boeing 747-400 of Air China (Paul Jackson/Jane's)
Boeing 747-400 flight deck
Business class seating on the 747's upper deck (2000)
Boeing 747-400 economy class accommodation (2000)
Representative Boeing 747-400 interior configurations for dual- or multiple-class travel
Boeing 747 Combi interiors, showing all-passenger and passenger/freight arrangements

End of non-subscriber extract