How much do you know about the Boeing 747-400? Here are some interesting and sometimes amusing facts and figures.
- A 747-400 has six million parts, half of which are fasteners.
- A 747-400 has 274km of wiring and 8km of tubing.
- A 747-400 consists of 66,150kg of high-strength aluminium.
- The 747-400 has 16 main landing gear tires and two nose landing gear tires.
- The 747-400 tail height is 19.4 m, equivalent to a six story building.
- The 747-400 wing weighs 43,090kg, more than 30 times the weight of the first Boeing airplane, the 1916 B&W.
- The 747-400 wing measures 524.9 m2, an area large enough to hold 45 medium-sized automobiles.
- Four World War I vintage JN4-D "Jenny" airplanes could be lined up on each of the Boeing 747 wings.
- How much weight does an additional 1.8 m wingtip extension and winglet add to the 747-400 wing? None! A weight savings of approximately 2,270 kg was achieved in the wing by using new aluminium alloys, which offset the weight increase of the wing tip extension and winglet.
Engineering and testing
- Seventy-five thousand engineering drawings were used to produce the first 747.
- The first 747 completed more than 15,000 hours of wind-tunnel testing.
- The original 747 flight test program, which led to the airplane's certification for commercial service in December 1969, used five airplanes, lasted 10 months and required more than 1,500 hours of flying.
- The 747 fleet has logged more than 56 billion km - enough to make 74,000 trips to the moon and back.
- The 747 fleet has flown 3.6 billion people - the equivalent of more than half of the world's population.
- The 747-400's range is approximately 13,570 km, an increase of nearly 4,810 km more than the first 747.
- During a typical international flight, about 5,000 kg of food supplies and more than 50,000 inflight service items (such as cutlery) are used.
- Engine thrust has grown from 43,500 pounds (19,730 kg) per engine on the early 747s to as much as 63,300 pounds (28,710 kg) on the current model.
- The diameter of the 747 engine cowling is 2.6 m.
- Engine noise from today's 747-400 is half of what it was on the original 747s delivered in 1970.
- The 747-400 can carry more than 215,000 litres of fuel, making it possible to fly extremely long routes, such as Auckland to Los Angeles.
- A 747-400 that flies 3,500 statute miles (5,630 km) and carries 126,000 pounds (56,700 kg) of fuel will consume an average of five gallons (19 litres) per mile.
- The 747-400 carries 12,490 litres of fuel in the horizontal (tail) stabiliser, allowing it to fly an additional 640 km.
- The 747-400 is up to 13 percent more fuel efficient than its predecessor, the 747-300, depending on the engine.
- At 876 m3, the 747-400 has the largest passenger interior volume of any commercial airliner, which is equivalent to more than three houses each measuring 135 m2.
- Airline cargo handlers use the 747-400's lower-lobe cargo handling system to load or unload more than 30,000 kg of cargo - the equivalent of 625 pieces of luggage combined with 20 tonnes of revenue freight - in as little as 15 minutes.
- The Wright Brothers' first flight at Kitty Hawk, N.C., could have been performed within the 45 m economy section of a 747-400.
- There are 365 lights, gauges and switches in the new-technology 747-400 flight deck, reduced from 971 on earlier 747 models.
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