Boeing delivered the new 747-8 Freighter in 2011 and the 747-8 Intercontinental in 2012, updating the iconic jumbo jet with aerodynamically improved wings and more efficient engines.
The 747-8, a programme launched in 2005, represents a new benchmark in fuel efficiency and noise reduction, allowing airlines to lower fuel costs and fly into more airports at more times of the day. The 747-8 Intercontinental (the passenger variant of the aircraft) improves fuel efficiency by 16% compared to the 747-400, and has a 30% smaller noise footprint, which complies with strict noise standards set by airports such as Heathrow.
The 747-8 has a new wing, based on the advancements made for Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner; raked wingtips for aerodynamic performance; new high-efficiency engines and a range of other technologies that increase its fuel efficiency. The 747-8 Freighter provides greater efficiency with more cargo capacity than any other freighter in production today.
Boeing continues to improve the environmental performance of the aircraft. Since introduction into service in 2011, the 747-8's fuel efficiency has been improved by an additional 3.5%. That includes a performance improvement package introduced in 2013 with engine improvements, flight management computer software improvements and other changes to reduce fuel use and CO2.