The Boeing 747 Classics
The mid-1960s saw the development and introduction of many new jetliners. None, however, has matched the dramatic
impact of the 747. Increasingly crowded skies and the availability of large-thrust engines added to the incentive for creating
the giant 747. It all began with the 747-100, the first in the 747 Classics series, which also includes the -200 and -300
747-100 - The World's First Jumbo Jet
The 747-100 entered commercial service in 1970. Initially, engines only were available from Pratt & Whitney,
but by 1975 engines also were available from General Electric and Rolls-Royce. Boeing delivered 250 of the 747-100s, the last
in 1986. Boeing built two versions of the 747?100 passenger airplane, one of which had a higher payload capacity and was known
as the -100B. The 747-100 also was available as a short-range airplane, which had a modified body structure to accommodate
a greater number of takeoffs and landings. This model typically was used by airlines on short flights with a high-passenger
capacity, as many as 550. Boeing also built the 747-100SP (Special Performance), which had a shortened fuselage and was designed
to fly higher, faster and farther non-stop than any 747 model of its time.
747-200 - Continuing the Legacy
Although the 747-200 was developed after the 747-100, it was built during roughly the same time frame. The
first -200 went into commercial service in 1971, and Boeing delivered a total of 393, the last in 1991. Although its external
appearance is nearly identical to the 747-100, it was designed to carry more payload. In addition to being offered as a passenger
airplane, the -200 was the first 747 to be configured as a freighter, a combination passenger-freighter and a convertible.
From the beginning, the 747 was designed to serve as an all-cargo transport. The first 747 Freighter could
easily carry 100 tons (90,000 kg) across the Atlantic Ocean or across the United States. Its operating cost was 35 percent
less per ton mile than the 707 Freighter. The 747 Freighter has a hinged nose to allow cargo loading through front of the
airplane, with the option of a large side-cargo door.
The 747-200 Convertible was configured to serve as a passenger airplane, a freighter or a combination of both.
This airplane responded to airlines' needs to carry different payloads at different times of the years, such as higher passenger
capacities during the summer and more cargo during the winter. Similar to the convertible is the ?200 Combi, which was designed
to serve as a passenger-only airplane or as a passenger-freighter mix.
The combi has a large side-cargo door on the main deck, and is used by airlines to make better use of their
routes during different times of the year. The convertible has a nose cargo door similar to the freighter.
747-300 - Moving Forward With Significant Changes
The 747-300 entered commercial service in 1983, and was the first to integrate the most significant changes
of the 747 Classics. These changes included an extended upper deck and improved engines with a reduced fuel burn of 25 percent
per passenger. In addition, passenger capacity increased 10 percent by extending the upper deck and relocating the new straight
stairway to the rear of the upper deck (prior models had a spiral-shaped staircase in the center of the upper deck). Boeing
delivered 81 747-300s in passenger, combi and short-range configurations, the last in 1990.