END of an ERA part 3 : The varients.

Varients are the improvement in the original design. It can be increase in capacity or upgradation of engines. The 747 has a loads of varients. So today we will discuss about it. But before we start make sure that you have read the PART 1 and PART 2 of the this blog-series.

1. 747-100

The 747-100 was the original 747 with 6 upper deck windows for upper deck lounge. The -100 was powered by Pratt & Whitney JT9D-3A engines. No freighter version of this model was developed, but many 747-100s were converted into freighters.

A total of 168 747-100s were built; 167 were delivered to customers, while Boeing kept the prototype.


1.1 747-100SR

The -100SR (Short Range) was built in response to requests from Japanese airlines for a high-capacity aircraft to serve domestic routes between major cities, Boeing developed the 747-100SR version of the 747-100 with lower fuel capacity and greater payload capability. With increased economy class seating, up to 498 passengers could be carried in early versions and up to 550 in later models.

Following the -100SR, Boeing produced the -100BSR, a 747SR variant with increased takeoff weight capability and powered by JT9D-7A or General Electric CF6-45 engines.

Total orders of -100SR and -100BSR were 29 and Boeing Deliveried all of them.

747-100SR with SUD

1.2 747-100B

The 747-100B model was developed from the -100SR, using its stronger airframe and landing gear design. The type had an increased fuel capacity of 48,070 US gal (182.0 m3), allowing for a 5,000-nautical-mile (9,300 km) range with a typical 452-passenger payload, and an increased MTOW of 750,000 lb (340 t) was offered. Pratt & Whitney JT9D-7A, General Electric CF6-50, or Rolls-Royce RB211-524 engines. However, only RB211-524 and JT9D-7A were used.

Airlines ordered 9 -100B in total.


2. 747SP

The development of the 747SP stemmed from a joint request between Pan American World Airways and Iran Air, who were looking for a high-capacity airliner with enough range to cover Pan Am’s New York–Middle Eastern routes and Iran Air’s planned Tehran–New York route. The aircraft was chosen by airlines wishing to serve major airports with short runways

Power was provided by Pratt & Whitney JT9D-7A or JT9D-7F or JT9D-7J or JT9D-7FW or Rolls-Royce RB211-524 engines

SP was the smallest varient of the 747 family.

A total of 45 747SPs were built, with the 44th 747SP delivered on August 30, 1982. In 1987, Boeing re-opened the 747SP production line after five years to build one last 747SP for an order by the United Arab Emirates government. And one 747SP for the SOFIA project. (Flying telescope).


3. 747-200

747-200 was the improved version of the -100 with higher range and payload capacity. A few early -200s retained the three-window configuration of the -100 on the upper deck, but most were built with a ten-window configuration on each side. -200 was powered by the JT9D-7 engines.

The 747-200 was produced in passenger (-200B), freighter (-200F), convertible (-200C), and combi (-200M) versions.

The -200 had 389 order of all varients. As of March 2020 5 -200 are in use.


4. 747-300

The 747-300 features a 23-foot-4-inch-longer (7.11 m) upper deck than the -200. The stretched upper deck (SUD) has two emergency exit doors and is the most visible difference between the -300 and previous models. After being made standard on the 747-300, the SUD was offered as a retrofit, and as an option to earlier variants still in-production. It also had a straight staircase instead of sprial on earlier models. It was powered by Pratt & Whitney JD9D-7 or RB-211-524 or General Electric CF6-80C2B1 engines.

A total of 81 747-300 series aircraft were delivered, 56 for passenger use, 21 -300M and 4 -300SR versions. While some -300 customers continued operating the type, several large carriers replaced their 747-300s with 747-400s. As of 2019 only 2 -300 are in service with Mahan Air and TransAVIAexport Airlines.


5. 747-400

 The -400 is considered the revolutionary aircraft in the 747 family. The 747-400 is an improved model with increased range. It has wingtip extensions of 6 ft (1.8 m) and winglets of 6 ft (1.8 m), which improve the type’s fuel efficiency by four percent compared to previous 747 versions. The 747-400 introduced a new glass cockpit designed for a flight crew of two instead of three, with a reduction in the number of dials, gauges and knobs from 971 to 365 through the use of electronics.

Engine options were Pratt & Whitney PW4062, General Electric CF6-80C2, and Rolls-Royce RB211-524.

The -400 was offered in passenger (-400), freighter (-400F), combi (-400M), domestic (-400D), extended range passenger (-400ER), and extended range freighter (-400ERF) versions. Length of the upper deck varied. In the -400, -400ER, and -400D had the upper deck same as the -300 while the -400F and ERF had short upper deck.

442 747-400, 6 747-400ER, 40 747-400ERF, 126 747-400F and 61 of the 747-400M were ordered. Making the total order of 694 aircrafts.

Air India ONE: 747-400 in which Indian PM travells

5.1 747-LCF or 747-400 Dream)lifter

LCF means Large Cargo Freighter. This is a version of the -400 which is used for carrying aircraft parts especially the 787 Dream)liners. The Evergreen Aviation Technologies Co. was given the contract of converting the 747-400 into the Dream)lifters. The aircraft flew for the first time on September 9, 2006 in a test flight. Modification of four aircraft was completed by February 2010. The aircraft is certified to carry only essential crew and not passengers. It has an rear cargo door due to load the cargo. It is powered by the Pratt & Whitney PW4062 engines.

Boeing has 4 of these aircraft.

747-400 Dream)lifter ot 747LCF

6. 747-8

The -8 is the most recent varint of the 747 family. It was originally aimed towards passengers but it is turing out popular among the cargo airlines like UPS and CargoLux. the 747-8 uses the same engine and cockpit technology as the 787, hence the use of the “8”. The variant is designed to be quieter, more economical, and more environmentally friendly. The 747-8’s fuselage is lengthened from 232 to 251 feet (70.8 to 76.4 m), marking the first stretch variant of the aircraft. Power is supplied by General Electric GEnx-2B67 engines.

The passeger version is call the 747-8i. “i” for Intercontinental. And the freighter version is called 747-8F. “F” for freighter. The 747-8 Freighter, or 747-8F, is derived from the 747-400ERF. The variant has 16% more payload capacity than its predecessor, allowing it to carry seven more standard air cargo containers, with a maximum payload capacity of 154 tons (140 tonnes) of cargo. 747-8F features an overhead nose-door and a side-door on the main deck plus a side-door on the lower deck (“belly”) to aid loading and unloading. The 747-8F made its maiden flight on February 8, 2010.

The passenger version, named 747-8 Intercontinental or 747-8I, is designed to carry up to 467 passengers in a 3-class configuration and fly more than 8,000 nmi (15,000 km) at Mach 0.855. As a derivative of the already common 747-400, the 747-8 has the economic benefit of similar training and interchangeable parts.The 747-8 has surpassed the Airbus A340-600 as the world’s longest airliner. The first -8I was delivered in May 2012 to Lufthansa.

47 747-8i were ordered by only three airlines. (Korean, Lufthansa and Air China). While the 747-8F has 106 orders from which 91 are delivered and 15 pendeing orders.


747 was not just an aircraft, it was an era. As we saw today how much diverse the 747 family is. We surely will see some of the aircraft still in service but there will be a time when the generation might forget it. 747 may not be in the air after sometime but it surely will be our hearts.

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