|Boeing 747. Photo: Arconics
[Avionics Today 08-29-2016] A recent poll by aviation software provider Arconics revealed that respondents found the Boeing 747 to be the greatest civil aircraft of all time. With more than 1,000 votes cast in the Arconics online poll, the Boeing 747 flew away with the top honors, with 38 percent of the vote. To put this victory in context, the second-placed aircraft, the Concorde, won 14 percent of votes.
There were 515 Boeing 747 aircraft in airline service as of July 2016, comprising 19 747-200s, five 747-300s, 394 747-400s, 96 747-8s and a single 747SP. Arconics AeroDocs customers, Cathay Pacific and Qatar Airways, currently operate 747-400s.
According to Arconics, a Boeing 747-8 costs around $350 million and the 747-400 passenger version can accommodate 416 passengers in a typical three-class layout, 524 passengers in a typical two-class layout, or 660 passengers in a high density one-class configuration.
The 747-400 is the most common passenger version in service and has a high-subsonic cruise speed of Mach 0.85 – 0.855.