The two most common Boeing 747s, the 747-400, and the 747-8, share the 40-year-old model’s characteristics of four engines, two decks, the bump on the upper compartment and the ability to transform into a cargo or passenger jet due to their large size. The first 747 passenger jet, flown in 1970, is the original jumbo jet, holding the record for passenger capacity for 37 years.Continue Reading
The 747-400 can fly up to 8,357 miles on a full tank, and its maximum speed is 614 mph. It can carry up to 345 passengers. The 747s flown by British Airlines are a favorite of its pilots, as the cockpit comes with a small bedroom, and it has excellent handling characteristics. Originally designed as a first-class lounge, the planes upper deck is set aside for extra seating or cargo room on current models.
Over the jumbo jet’s time in operation, the world's fleet has transported 3.5 billion people across the globe, according to British Airways. Although the use of the 747 has diminished due to the developments of more fuel-efficient models, Luftansa, Air China, Korean Air and British Airways still use Boeing's flagship. The latest model, the 747-8, uses high-powered gas turbine engines developed by NASA for faster transport.Learn more about Airplanes & Helicopters