End of an ERA part 4: The marvels of the 747

747 revolutionize jet travel. Some even say that 747 is the cause of Concorde’s failure. So today we will have a deep look in what ways did 747 revolutionize the way we travel.

But before we start make sure to read the previous part this series.

Here are the 5 ways in which 747 had revolutionized the way we travel.


In 1960s there was no engine had the power to push the 747. Boeing had two options. First one was to increase the number of engines on the aircraft and second was to develop a brand new engine. Boeing went which the second option as they predicted rise in fuel price and also more engines would mean more maintainence cost.

Boeing approached Pratt & Whitney to design the engine. They came up with the JT9D engine. It was the first commercial turbo-fan engine. It was made up of Titanium and Nickel alloy. The engine featured a single-stage fan, a three-stage low-pressure compressor, and an eleven-stage high-pressure compressor coupled to a two-stage high-pressure turbine and four-stage low-pressure turbine. The JT9D-3, the earliest certified version of the engine, weighed 8,608 lb (3,905 kg) and produced 43,500 lbf (193 kN) thrust.


During 1950s and 60s airport congution was the biggest problem. Many small airplanes carried less passengers. For example at that time the most common planes were the Boeing 707 or the Douglas DC-8, and had a capacity of 100 to 150 passengers only. Pan Am wanted two and a half sized aircraft to reduce seat cost.

The solution: A bigger and larger aircraft. This means if Boeing’s aircraft should not only be larger in size but also acomodate more passenger.

The Twin Aisle concept solved this problem. Now-a-days most long haul aircraft have two aisles.


In 1960s the runways weren’t as long. This meant that 747 had to land on the runways built for half of its size. So it had to approch slowly during landing and take-off quickly.

Boeing developed a Krüger flaps which were placed on the entire leading and trailing edge as well as complex three-part slotted flaps along the trailing edge of the wing. Krüger Flaps are lift enhancement devices that may be fitted to the leading edge of an aircraft wing.

Flaps on a 747 increase its lift to about 20%.

Flaps of 747


To land on the ground an aircraft needs a landing gear. The 747 was a gigantic aircraft. A standard landing gear made up of 3 truck of wheels couldn’t take that wieght. Boeing’s solution was adding more number of gears.

Also the 747 was the first to have body gear steering. This means wheels from its body gear also turns. This is entensively used in long aircrafts like the Boeing B777 and Airbus A380. This mechanism helps it to turn quickly in short distance.


747 was a long aircraft and oprating it by cables was not at all possible. Boeing had to come with a extraordinary solution. It was the hydraulic. Pilot’s inputs were executed by the hydraulics. This paved the path for the fly-by-wire system.

Hydraulic oprated surfaces on a 747

Boeing 747 paved the path for modern aviation. Almost evey plane flying out in the sky, has atleast some or the other technology which 747 brought in the industry.

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