I flew British Airways First Class onboard a Boeing 747-400 on their flight from Chicago to London Heathrow. “We do have a lot of flexibility to adjust, if necessary, our premium, non-premium mix,” Walsh said this spring. Some of the last built 747-400s were delivered with Dreamliner livery along with the modern Signature interior from the Boeing 777. The 747's maximum takeoff weight ranges from 735,000 pounds (333,400 kg) for the -100 to 970,000 lb (439,985 kg) for the -8. Several versions of each variant have been produced, and many of the early variants were in production simultaneously. On February 8, 2010, the 747-8 Freighter made its maiden flight. Although the C-141 Starlifter was being introduced, officials believed that a much larger and more capable aircraft was needed, especially to carry cargo that would not fit in any existing aircraft. Power is supplied by General Electric GEnx-2B67 engines. However, the 747X family was unable to attract enough interest to enter production. [188][189] As of July 2019[update], 331 747-400s remain in service. But unlike those aircraft which have a 1-2-1 configuration over two rows, the 747-8 is located in the nose of the lower deck. The British Airways 747 First Class cabin is located on the main deck and in the nose of the aircraft. When it’s time for bed, a crew member will set things up for you. The TV screen looks like it’s too far away, but actually it’s big enough and the screen is good enough quality that it feels right, and it means you can comfortably see the screen from any position when reclining. There’s a lamp built into the seat back above your head and another at the front by your TV. [180][181] Cruising speed is up to Mach 0.855 on different versions of the 747-400. When my drink was getting low, someone would notice and ask if I wanted another. Your email address will not be published. [55] The program was further delayed when one of the five test aircraft suffered serious damage during a landing attempt at Renton Municipal Airport, site of the company's Renton factory. Evergreen Aviation Technologies Corporation of Taiwan was contracted to complete modifications of 747-400s into Dreamlifters in Taoyuan. In January 2004, Boeing and Cathay Pacific launched the Boeing 747-400 Special Freighter program,[184] later referred to as the Boeing Converted Freighter (BCF), to modify passenger 747-400s for cargo use. ", "Commercial Transport Market Still in Rough Shape", "A380 buyer keeps mum about possible luxuries aboard cruise ship of the skies. [62], On January 15, 1970, First Lady of the United States Pat Nixon christened Pan Am's first 747, at Dulles International Airport (later Washington Dulles International Airport) in the presence of Pan Am chairman Najeeb Halaby. [122], For transportation of spare engines, the 747 can accommodate a non-functioning fifth-pod engine under the aircraft's port wing between the inner functioning engine and the fuselage. Passenger, freighter and combination passenger-freighter versions of the -200 were produced. "World Airliner Census". [4], Responding to requests from Japanese airlines for a high-capacity aircraft to serve domestic routes between major cities, Boeing developed the 747SR as a short-range version of the 747-100 with lower fuel capacity and greater payload capability. It may be hard to appreciate how much space you have, so look at the windows in this picture. No freighter version of this model was developed, but many 747-100s were converted into freighters. This page was last edited on 31 December 2020, at 13:57. I chose seat 2A, which I think offers slightly better privacy than the first row, and couldn’t wait to have over 10 hours in luxury. [177] As a result of the Boeing 767 development overlapping with the 747-400's development, both aircraft can use the same three powerplants and are even interchangeable between the two aircraft models. [94] Though the 747X design was less costly than the 747-500X and -600X, it was criticized for not offering a sufficient advance from the existing 747-400. ", "Boeing Offers New 747-400X Quiet Longer Range Jetliner. [111] In October 2016, UPS Airlines ordered 14 -8Fs to add capacity, along with 14 options, which it took in February 2018 to increase the total to 28 -8Fs on order. The 747 Queen of the Skies is one of the most iconic airliners ever. During the 1970s and 1980s, over 30 regularly scheduled 747s could often be seen at John F. Kennedy International Airport. [164] The variant revived the 747-300 designation, which had been previously used on a design study that did not reach production. The model was also known as the 747-200 Combi. Staff were just the right balance of attentive and efficient, and very friendly. Raised above the main deck, the cockpit creates a hump. [85] The -300 could be equipped with the same Pratt & Whitney and Rolls-Royce powerplants as on the -200, as well as updated General Electric CF6-80C2B1 engines. Heathrow’s Terminal 5 is huge… so huge in fact that sometimes that you have to take a bus to get to one side of the terminal from the other. During the ceremonial 747 contract-signing banquet in Seattle on Boeing's 50th Anniversary, Juan Trippe predicted that the 747 would be "…a great weapon for peace, competing with intercontinental missiles for mankind's destiny". [36], Boeing agreed to deliver the first 747 to Pan Am by the end of 1969. [27] In early models it was not clear what to do with the small space in the pod behind the cockpit, and this was initially specified as a "lounge" area with no permanent seating. ", "Boeing Launches New, Longer-Range 747-400", "Boeing's 747-8F lifts off on maiden flight", "Boeing Sets 747-8 Freighter Delivery Schedule for Mid-Year 2011", "Boeing pushes 747-8F delivery back to mid-2011/", "Lufthansa conducts inaugural flight of world's first Boeing 747-8 Intercontinental passenger aircraft from Frankfurt to Washington, D.C.", "Boeing starts work on replacing Air Force One", "Volga-Dnepr Group acquires 20 Boeing 747-8 freighters", "Boeing's 747 Struggles Indicate Large-Aircraft Market Decline", "Boeing: UPS Orders 14 Additional 747-8 Freighters, Plus Four 767 Freighters", "Fifty years on, Boeing's 747 clings to life as cargo carrier", "Boeing Quietly Pulls Plug on the 747, Closing Era of Jumbo Jets", "Boeing slashes output, delays 777X to 2022 and confirms end for 747", "Boeing 747-100/200/300 Technical Specifications. Lawrence, Philip K. and David Weldon Thornton. [248], Accidents due to design deficiencies included TWA Flight 800, where a 747-100 exploded in mid-air on July 17, 1996, probably due to sparking electricity wires inside the fuel tank;[249] this finding led the FAA to propose a rule requiring installation of an inerting system in the center fuel tank of most large aircraft that was adopted in July 2008, after years of research into solutions. Allen later said, "It was really too large a project for us. 3D and G is the only option if you want to be next to your travel partner – the gap between 3 A and D, or between 3G and K, is too large to comfortably communicate with your neighbour. The first -100B order, one aircraft for Iran Air, was announced on June 1, 1978. [200], 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. Please help us & disable adblock. There is a side table by the window where your Laurent Perrier Champagne and macadamia nuts (a Lufthansa tradition) will be served prior to take-off. What makes this really special though, is that it’s one of the few remaining 747s, the most iconic passeneger aircraft of all time, and you have the incredible ground experience with the Porsche transfer and the amazing Lufthansa First Class Terminal at Frankfurt. The large cabins allow airlines to get creative and make iconic products, such as the Singapore Airlines Suites or Etihad Residence. The partial double-deck aircraft was designed with a raised cockpit so it could be converted to a freighter airplane by installing a front cargo door, as it was initially thought that it would eventually be superseded by supersonic transports. Details here. Maintaining the same 747 handling characteristics would be important to minimize pilot retraining. ", "Virgin Orbit performs LauncherOne aircraft flight tests - SpaceNews.com", "Cosmic Girl takes LauncherOne on its first captive carry flight test – NASASpaceFlight.com", "FAA Regulatory and Guidance Library (PDF). [119][120], The 747 has redundant structures along with four redundant hydraulic systems and four main landing gears each with four wheels; these provide a good spread of support on the ground and safety in case of tire blow-outs. Your email address will not be published. Boeing decided instead to pursue a shortened four-engine 747, resulting in the 747SP. It is quite far away from your seat when upright so you have to unbuckle to get to it, but it is easily big enough to stow your carry on. ", "Stratolaunch Flies World's Largest Plane for the First Time", "Boeing Outlines the "Value" of Its 747 Plans", "Boeing Shelves 747X to Focus on Faster Jet. [52][53], The flight test program was hampered by problems with the 747's JT9D engines. In 1979, Qantas became the first airline in the to operate an all Boeing 747 fleet with seventeen. [4], The 747-100B model was developed from the -100SR, using its stronger airframe and landing gear design. ", "J.A.L. The first 747-400BCF was redelivered in December 2005. [85] Passenger, short range and combination freighter-passenger versions of the 300 series were produced. Lufthansa have maintained pillows, duvets and mattress in First Class. During the final months before delivery of the first aircraft, the company had to repeatedly request additional funding to complete the project. Lufthansa business class 747-400. Lufthansa’s decidedly more spacious First Class cabin with eight seats on the Boeing 747-8. [91], Since the arrival of the 747-400, several stretching schemes for the 747 have been proposed. [231], Like its predecessor, the 747X family was unable to garner enough interest to justify production, and it was shelved along with the 767-400ERX in March 2001, when Boeing announced the Sonic Cruiser concept. [43] Time was so short that the 747's full-scale mock-up was built before the factory roof above it was finished. It’s only a slight difference though and in reality row 2 is just as private because the people in row 1 are looking forward and have their partitions up too. A number of other governments also use the 747 as a VIP transport, including Bahrain, Brunei, Source for orders and deliveries: Boeing data through end of November 2020, 19896/019 – 747-132(SF) registration N481EV at the, 19651/025 – 747-121 registration N747GE at the, 19778/027 – 747-151 registration N601US nose at the, 20107/086 – 747-123 registration N905NA, a NASA Shuttle Carrier Aircraft, at the, 20269/150 – 747-136 registration G-AWNG nose at, 20239/160 – 747-244B registration ZS-SAN nicknamed, 20541/200 – 747-128 registration F-BPVJ at. [9] In 1965, Joe Sutter left the 737 development program to design the 747, the first twin aisle airliner. The Singapore A380 has been the benchmark in first class luxury over the last decade. [92] The proposed models would have combined the 747's fuselage with a new 251 ft (77 m) span wing derived from the 777. ", "Boeing Proposes 747-400X Quiet Longer Range. [51] This measure caused anxiety when these aircraft crashed, for example El Al Flight 1862 at Amsterdam in 1992 with 282 kilograms (622 lb) of uranium in the tailplane (horizontal stabilizer). Service is excellent, but so it is on Etihad or Emirates or Cathay. It has a pronounced 37.5° wing sweep, allowing a Mach 0.85 (490 kn; 900 km/h) cruise speed, and its heavy weight is supported by four main landing gear legs with four-wheel bogies each. The variant is designed to be quieter, more economical, and more environmentally friendly. The first flight took place on February 9, 1969 and the 747 was certified in December of that year. The 747 remained the largest passenger airliner in service until the Airbus A380 began airline service in 2007. Each is an “open suite” – these are not the fully enclosed private suites like you’ll find on Etihad, Emirates, or Singapore. These are open seats that have a privacy partition which can be raised when you want to sleep. The seats are located at the lower deck right at the nose of the aircraft. Overall, the 747 trijet would have had more payload, range, and passenger capacity than both of them. Boeing president William M. Allen asked Malcolm T. Stamper, then head of the company's turbine division, to oversee construction of the Everett factory and to start production of the 747. Of the 1,544 produced, 890 are retired; as of 2018[update], a small subset of those which were intended to be parted-out get $3 million D-checks before flying again. The 747-300M features cargo capacity on the rear portion of the main deck, similar to the -200M, but with the stretched upper deck it can carry more passengers. [236], As of July 2019[update], there were 462 Boeing 747s in airline service, with Atlas Air and British Airways being the largest operators with 33 747-400s each. ", Boeing 747 "Double Decker" Early Proposed Design Model at Boeing Corporate Archives - mid-to-late 1960s, Boeing 747 "Anteater" Early Proposed Designs Model at Boeing Corporate Archives - mid-to-late 1960s, "Mechanical Engineering 100 Years of Flight. The -100BSR first flew on November 3, 1978, with first delivery to All Nippon Airways (ANA) on December 21, 1978. A total of 10 combi 747-200s were operated by KLM. During the late 1960s and early 1970s, Boeing studied the development of a shorter 747 with three engines, to compete with the smaller Lockheed L-1011 TriStar and McDonnell Douglas DC-10. Orders 15 More of Boeing's 747-400s. The bed is 81 inches long when flat, compared to 78 in business, or the 31 inch seat pitch in economy. While the first 747s were still being built, the device allowed pilots to practice taxi maneuvers from a high upper-deck position. Lufthansa 747 first class seats. ", "Uranium Pollution from the Amsterdam 1992 Plane Crash. [24] The original design included a full-length double-deck fuselage with eight-across seating and two aisles on the lower deck and seven-across seating and two aisles on the upper deck. [177], The 747-8 Freighter, or 747-8F, is derived from the 747-400ERF. Young -400s are sold for 320 million yuan ($50 million) and Boeing stopped converting freighters, which used to cost nearly $30 million. [147] A total of 45 747SPs were built,[4] with the 44th 747SP delivered on August 30, 1982. [186] However, orders for 36 -400F and -400ERF freighters were already in place at the time of the announcement. [123][124] This fifth engine mount point is also used by Virgin Orbit's LauncherOne program. [155], The combi aircraft model, the 747-200M, could carry freight in the rear section of the main deck via a side cargo door. Personally, I found the open cabin to be inviting and the design seemed very well thought out. Only 40,000 points, an amazing deal for an 8 hour flight. [106][107] On January 29, 2016, Boeing announced that it had begun the preliminary work on the modifications to a commercial 747-8 for the next Air Force One Presidential aircraft, expected to be operational by 2020. [142], 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. [92] Boeing was not able to attract enough interest to launch the aircraft. Also note that while the 747 has been discontinued the hard product will be very similar to other aircraft such as the A380, 777, etc. Passenger versions retain the same upper deck as the -300, while the freighter version does not have an extended upper deck. Having tried replacing coach seats on its 747s with piano bars in an attempt to attract more customers, American Airlines eventually relegated its 747s to cargo service and in 1983 exchanged them with Pan Am for smaller aircraft;[74] Delta Air Lines also removed its 747s from service after several years. Rolls-Royce followed 747 engine production with a launch order from British Airways for four aircraft. No 747s were sold to any American carrier for almost three years. There is a privacy screen which raises as high as the top of the upright seat and reaches forward to the end of the armrest. The sweep also reduces the wingspan, allowing the 747 to use existing hangars. [163] 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. Standard shipping containers are 8 ft (2.4 m) square at the front (slightly higher due to attachment points) and available in 20 and 40 ft (6.1 and 12 m) lengths. Group numbering has helped a bit, but it seems that waiting for a correct number to be called is still a problem for so… [67][68] While the 747 had the lowest potential operating cost per seat, this could only be achieved when the aircraft was fully loaded; costs per seat increased rapidly as occupancy declined. Uber Eats avoids landmark ruling on workers' status by settling case with delivery rider. [89] Generally, the 747-400 held between 416 and 524 passengers. Nov 5, 2012 - Boeing 747 - New Boeing 747-8 Intercontinental - Movies, Reference, Facts, Pictures & Videos of Aircraft, Airlines, Airplanes & Flight. [98], On November 14, 2005, Boeing announced it was launching the 747 Advanced as the Boeing 747-8. There is a small storage compartment along the window, and there is a locker for each passenger at the back of the cabin. [175][176] Powerplants include the Pratt & Whitney PW4062, General Electric CF6-80C2, and Rolls-Royce RB211-524. [12] Boeing would carry the nose door and raised cockpit concepts over to the design of the 747. And it is a very enjoyable experience. It’s not so much the taste of the food, it’s the taste of a very luxurious and indulgent way of life that is normally out of reach. Boeing announced the 747 ASB (Advanced Short Body) in 1986 as a response to the Airbus A340 and the McDonnell Douglas MD-11. If you continue to use this site we will assume that you are happy with it. As of 2020[update], 61 of the jets have been lost in accidents, in which a total of 3,722 people have died. ", "Boeing: Commercial Airplanes - 747 Fun Facts", "Japan Airlines To Receive 100th Boeing 747 Aircraft. Range with a full passenger load started at over 5,000 nmi (9,300 km) and increased to 6,000 nmi (11,000 km) with later engines. The 747 was found to be largely immune to "Dutch roll", a phenomenon that had been a major hazard to the early swept-wing jets. [162], The 747-400 is an improved model with increased range. By June 2020, 1,556 aircraft had been built, with 15 747-8s remaining on order. One important test involved the evacuation of 560 volunteers from a cabin mock-up via the aircraft's emergency chutes. [54] The problems delayed 747 deliveries for several months; up to 20 aircraft at the Everett plant were stranded while awaiting engine installation. Instead of dropping away from the wing, the engine knocked off the adjacent engine and damaged the wing.[251]. ", "Final Boeing 747 Dreamlifter Enters Service. ", "Investigation of a Micro-Fighter / Airborne Aircraft Carrier Concept", "Supplementary Type Certificate ST01912LA Installation and removal of internal tanks, associated systems and support structure for the aerial dispersant of liquids", "Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy 308911 SOFIA Quick Facts", "Stratospheric Observatory For Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA)", "Boeing nets 57 new orders, including big VIP planes. [125] Virgin Orbit's 747-400, dubbed Cosmic Girl, carries the orbital-class rocket to cruise altitude, where the rocket is deployed and then carries its small satellite payload the rest of the way to space. Required fields are marked *. [133], Following the -100SR, Boeing produced the -100BSR, a 747SR variant with increased takeoff weight capability. [38] Developing the aircraft was such a technical and financial challenge that management was said to have "bet the company" when it started the project. Had this been refused, Boeing's survival would have been threatened. [194], Boeing announced a new 747 variant, the 747-8, on November 14, 2005. [65] After the aircraft's introduction with Pan Am, other airlines that had bought the 747 to stay competitive began to put their own 747s into service. [75] Later, Delta acquired 747s again in 2008 as part of its merger with Northwest Airlines, although it retired the 747-400 fleet in December 2017. [12], The airframe proposals shared a number of features. I never had to wait for anything. I added a connecting flight from Zurich on Swiss at no extra cost, which gave me an opportunity to try the utterly sensational Swiss First Class Terminal at ZRH. [138] Nine -100Bs were built, one for Iran Air and eight for Saudi Arabian Airlines. First of all keep in mind that on the 747 Lufthansa used to have first class on the upper deck. The seat is 31 inches wide, compared to 20 in business and 17 in economy. [32], The project was designed with a new methodology called fault tree analysis, which allowed the effects of a failure of a single part to be studied to determine its impact on other systems. And at the far end is the traditional Lufthansa rose in a white vase. Thus, the configuration is 1-1, 1-1, and 1-2-1. [146], The 747SP was granted a supplemental certificate on February 4, 1976 and entered service with launch customers Pan Am and Iran Air that same year. 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. The 747 entered service on January 22, 1970, on Pan Am's New York–London route;[63] the flight had been planned for the evening of January 21, but engine overheating made the original aircraft unusable. Development cost soared, and production delays occurred as new technologies were incorporated at the request of airlines. The 747X aircraft was to carry 430 passengers over ranges of up to 8,700 nmi (10,000 mi, 16,100 km). [299], Aircraft of comparable role, configuration, and era, American wide-body long–range commercial jet aircraft, For design details of a particular generation, see, Further developments and end of production, split numbers denote different limits depending on exit types installed, Mecham, M. "In review: 747, Creating the World's First Jumbo Jet and Other Adventures from a Life in Aviation. Air France 747 First Class 1969. [93] In 2000, Boeing offered the more modest 747X and 747X stretch derivatives as alternatives to the Airbus A3XX. The first thing you’ll notice is the density of this cabin – BA squeezed 14 First Class seats into the nose of the 747-400. [126], The 747-100 was the original variant launched in 1966. [84] Union de Transports Aériens (UTA) also had two aircraft converted. The bedding is high quality white cotton, with a mattress pad, a generous pillow, and a duvet. 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. For the first class Trippe actually got some of his double-decker vision in the final 747, with its famous upper deck. The option of RB211-524B engines was announced on June 17, 1975. [85] The stretched upper deck (SUD) has two emergency exit doors and is the most visible difference between the -300 and previous models. 2 undelivered Boeing testbeds) as of June 2020, econ. [16] The era of commercial jet transportation, led by the enormous popularity of the Boeing 707 and Douglas DC-8, had revolutionized long-distance travel. The Jumbo Stay hostel, using a converted 747-200 formerly registered as 9V-SQE, opened at Arlanda Airport, Stockholm in January 2009. Its seating capacity is over 366 with a 3–4–3 seat arrangement (a cross section of 3 seats, an aisle, 4 seats, another aisle, and 3 seats) in economy class and a 2–3–2 layout in first class on the main deck. The window shades are the electronic variety and have a semi-sheer panel to keep direct sun out of your wyes but still let light through, followed by a blackout panel if you want to sleep. [25][26] However, concern over evacuation routes and limited cargo-carrying capability caused this idea to be scrapped in early 1966 in favor of a wider single deck design. Insufficient workforce experience and reliance on overtime contributed to early production problems on the 747-400. [23], Ultimately, the high-winged CX-HLS Boeing design was not used for the 747, although technologies developed for their bid had an influence. The carrier operates two versions of First Class on its small B747 subfleet: The ‘old’ First Class cabin configuration features 10 seats, with 3 seats on each side and two pairs of seats in the center (row 2 & 3). The moving-line evaluation for the 747 began in July, when a plane was first turned nose forward in the last of three 747 assembly positions. [274][275], A former Pakistan International Airlines 747-300 was converted into a restaurant by Pakistan's Airports Security Force in 2017. A vlog of our BA First Class experience flying from London Heathrow to Las Vegas McCarran airport. [84] In its first three years of production, the -200 was equipped with Pratt & Whitney JT9D-7 engines (initially the only engine available). He has an immense passion for aviation and loves to … [50], During later stages of the flight test program, flutter testing showed that the wings suffered oscillation under certain conditions. [229] A new flight deck based on the 777's would be used. ", "Red, White And Q Farewell For Qantas Aircraft. Air France, Air India, Pakistan International Airlines, and Qantas were some of the last major carriers to operate the 747-300. )[29], One of the principal technologies that enabled an aircraft as large as the 747 to be drawn up was the high-bypass turbofan engine. The upper deck has a 3–3 seat arrangement in economy class and a 2–2 layout in first class.[118]. [160] Iran Air retired the last passenger 747-200 in May 2016, 36 years after it was delivered. [83]:86 The 300 series resulted from Boeing studies to increase the seating capacity of the 747, during which modifications such as fuselage plugs and extending the upper deck over the entire length of the fuselage were rejected. The bed is 81 inches long when flat, compared to 78 in business, or the 31 inch seat pitch in economy. We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. Referred to as the 747 Advanced prior to its launch, the 747-8 uses the same engine and cockpit technology as the 787, hence the use of the "8". [42] To level the site, more than four million cubic yards (three million cubic meters) of earth had to be moved. I did not use the IFE on this flight, though I noticed the system was much older than on the A380–there still appeared to be at least three dozen films to choose from. The company considered locations in about 50 cities,[39] and eventually decided to build the new plant some 30 miles (50 km) north of Seattle on a site adjoining a military base at Paine Field near Everett, Washington. [20] Boeing responded by designing the 747 so that it could be adapted easily to carry freight and remain in production even if sales of the passenger version declined. [278][279][280][281], Following its debut, the 747 rapidly achieved iconic status, appearing in numerous film productions such as Airport 1975 and Airport '77 disaster films, Air Force One, Die Hard 2, and Executive Decision. 939 km/h (507kt), *Overlapping production times like between the 747-400 and the 747-8 have been decided in favor of newer models. Regarded as the best business class seat in the sky, the iconic BA throne has been somewhat left behind while other first class products have evolved into enclosed suites and rooms. KLM will stop flying their 747s in 2021, BA by 2024, and Qantas are stopping in 2020. It feels nice and you will get a good sleep. It was my first time flying long haul First Class with British Airways and I was really looking forward to seeing what they had to offer. It entered service with Pan Am on January 22, 1970; it was the first airplane dubbed a "Jumbo Jet". Rows 1 and 2 are virtually identical and ideal for solo travellers. [148] Iran Air is the last civil operator of the type; its final 747-SP (EP-IAC) was to be retired in June 2016. The "stretched upper deck" became available as an alternative on the 747-100B variant and later as standard beginning on the 747−300. Flying 747 First Class with British Airways was a pleasant experience, but if it wasn’t for being a reward flight, we would think long and hard before paying the full fare to fly in the cabin. [224] The derivative would use more efficient unducted fan (UDF) engines (propfans) made by General Electric, be stretched (including the upper deck section) to a capacity of 500 seats, have a new wing to reduce drag, cruise at a faster speed to reduce flight times, and have a range of at least 8,700 nmi (16,000 km), which would allow airlines to fly nonstop between London, England and Sydney, Australia.[225]. Korean Air B747-8 First Class – Seating and Interior The Korean Air B747-8 First Class cabin certainly is spacious, yet private. Airbus competed with later variants with the heaviest versions of the A340 until surpassing the 747 in size with the A380, introduced in 2007. This is perhaps the best part of flying Lufthansa First Class because it’s so special.