Boeing unveils new 747-8 Intercontinental

There are aircrafts and then there is the Boeing 747. Over many decades, this super successful jumbo jet from Boeing has become one of the most popular long-haul aircrafts for airlines across the globe and 'the' most recognizable aircraft for the general public, putting it a league apart from all the other aircrafts. For 42 long years since its launch until 2005, the legendary Boeing 747 was also the largest aircraft in the world when the Airbus A380 came and took the crown and the attention from Boeing.

So, when a new and improved version of such an aircraft is making its debut, the event is as important as it can get for the aviation industry. At the recently concluded 2011 Paris Air Show, Boeing debuted a new version of 747, called the 747-8 Intercontinental. The new aircraft is longer than the original 747, which is identifiable by the extended hump at the top. Though the seating capacity of the new 747-8 Intercontinental is still less than that of the Airbus A380, Boeing claims that the new aircraft is lighter and more fuel efficient than its cut-throat competitor.

Unlike the original 747 which had upward pointing winglets at the ends, the 747-8 Intercontinental has slightly raked wings that slopes upwards. Boeing says that this reduces wind resistance and hence fuel consumption. As the 747 legacy is all set to continue, the competition between Airbus and Boeing is all set to heat up further with this launch. The fight for the big long-haul segment dominance between the A380 and 747-8 Intercontinental is going to get very interesting over the next decade or so. Watch out for this space!

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