A friend of mine just recently went through 747-8 differences training at Boeing. I asked what are the biggest differences between the 744 and the 747-8. The answers were surprising, as some as the improvements were similar to the A330.
- The 747-800 has a VSD: Vertical Situation Display, which sits at bottom of ND and shows aircraft in descent profile view of what the airplane is doing. I’m told it’s active below 3000 feet, and you can see the terrain here. He says, “It’s just clutter. If I wasn’t teaching, I wouldn’t use it.”
- -800 has a Multi-function display that can move the Inboard to the lower CRTs…. Just like the A330.
- If Hydraulic Systems go, the number 2 and 3 demand pumps kick in when flaps are beyond 20. That’s new to the 744.
- There is a Nitrogen generating system for the center fuel tank. Suppressing flammability. A catalytic converter removes oxygen and supplements with nitrogen. Very cool.
- 747-800 takes 20 feet more turning radius than the 744.
- I believe it can carry 406,000 lbs of fuel, 40,000 more than 744. As comparison, the A330-300 maximum fuel load is 172, 000 lbs and the -200, is 245,000 lbs.
- "There is a switch that will take the trim back to zero!" Yes... just like the A330.
|747-800 over Mt. Baker, Washington|
- "There’s a towing switch!" The A330 has a Nose Wheel Steering towing switch too.
- -800 has an electronic checklist. Used normally on the lower CRT for “All” checklists. There are closed loop items. The computer automatically senses the non-completion of items. Select the item and it’s removed from the list. Proceed down the checklist until it say’s complete. There are no paper checklists. The item stays up there until complete. The A330 does this too... but not to this extent of removing all paper checklists. The logic for certain items are still there.
- The main deck has fire suppression and depressurizes the cabin to 25,000 feet. Cargo fire suppression has a “few” more bottles than the 744.
- Approaches. The -800 has an IAN. Integrated Approach Navigation... to fly a VOR, Backcourse, or NDB. The IAN appears to be like the A330’s Managed Nav approaches. But the -800 cannot land with autothrottles or the autopilot on, during the IAN approach. On the A330 the autopilot kicks off at 50 feet below the MDA, but she can land with autothrottles.
- It appears that the most common answer with any question on the 747-8 is: “Depends upon customer options.” But there is nothing as beautiful as the 747-800!
Enjoy the Journey!