The Boeing 747-400 is the racehorse of the long-haul planes. It reaches cruising speeds of up to 920 km/h and has a range of over 12,500 km. The first Boeing 747-100 in the 70s only had a range of 9,000 km. In its day the Boeing 747-400 was the largest and also the most powerful passenger plane. With a length of 70.7 metres and a wingspan of 64.4 metres it lived up to its nickname ‘jumbo jet’. It was only overtaken by a larger and more powerful flying giant in 2008, the Airbus A380.
The Boeing 747-400 was much more modern than its older colleagues. Lufthansa was the first European airline to fit the 747-400 with a satellite-supported navigation system. That enables the pilots to be much more independent from ground control. In the cockpit six large monitors, improved flight controls and a small number of instruments and switches replace the plane engineer, who was still needed in the older planes.