Operators of the Boeing 747, the world's most recognized and prestigious airplane, are armed with new data about the future of the jetliner. They spent the past three days discussing technical and system requirements for new models of the 747, known as the 747-400X airplane and the 747X family.
The 747 "Future Developments Symposium" at Seattle's Museum of Flight and at the Boeing Everett facility where the airplane is designed and built, drew representatives from more than 30 airlines, and gave prospective 747X customers new insight about various models of the 747X family.
"The symposium was a great opportunity for Boeing and its 747 customers to exchange information about the future of this history-making airplane," said John Roundhill, vice president, Product Strategy and Development - who co-hosted the event with Walt Orlowski, 747 Program vice president and general manager. "They talked and we listened. We talked and they listened. To provide the right capability and features, we're making sure this is a customer-focused and market-driven process."
The 747X family includes a 747X Stretch passenger airplane, capable of carrying more than 500 passengers, and a 747X Stretch Freighter. Also part of the family plan is a 747X airplane capable of flying more than 8,975 nautical miles (16,620 kilometers) - matching the range of the recently launched 777-200 longer range derivative. The 747X family - which also potentially includes Combis and high-capacity Domestic versions - would incorporate a new wing, and have a maximum takeoff weight of more than a million pounds. All derivatives include a modern 777-style interior, and an updated flight deck, similar to the 777s.
"The 747X builds on 30 years of success," Orlowski said. "It is a low-risk solution for Boeing customers and airports." It's also a proven commodity: nearly 1,250 747s have been delivered -- more than 500 of them the 747-400 - making it the most popular widebody airplane in history and the flagship of any fleet.
"The 747X family, together with the 777, gives Boeing and its customers an unbeatable long-range solution," Roundhill said. "We're committed to leading in the 21st century with the 747X family."