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The Boeing 747 is a widebody commercial airliner, often referred to by the nickname Jumbo Jet.[5][6] It is among the world's most recognizable aircraft,[7] and was the first widebody ever produced. Manufactured by Boeing's Commercial Airplane unit in the United States, the original version of the 747 was two and a half times the size of the Boeing 707,[8] one of the common large commercial aircraft of the 1960s. First flown commercially in 1970, the 747 held the passenger capacity record for 37 years.[9]

The four-engine 747 uses a double deck configuration for part of its length. It is available in passenger, freighter and other versions. Boeing designed the 747's hump-like upper deck to serve as a first class lounge or (as is the general rule today) extra seating, and to allow the aircraft to be easily converted to a cargo carrier by removing seats and installing a front cargo door. Boeing did so because the company expected supersonic airliners (whose development was announced in the early 1960s) to render the 747 and other subsonic airliners obsolete; while believing that the demand for subsonic cargo aircraft would be robust into the future.[10] The 747 in particular was expected to become obsolete after 400 were sold[11] but it exceeded its critics' expectations with production passing the 1,000 mark in 1993.[12] As of June 2009, 1,416 aircraft have been built, with 107 more in various configurations remaining on order.[2]

The 747-400, the latest version in service, is among the fastest airliners in service with a high-subsonic cruise speed of Mach 0.85 (567 mph or 913 km/h). It has an intercontinental range of 7,260 nautical miles (8,350 mi or 13,450 km).[13] The 747-400 passenger version can accommodate 416 passengers in a typical three-class layout or 524 passengers in a typical two-class layout. The next version of the aircraft, the 747-8, is in production and scheduled to enter service in 2010.[14] The 747 is to be replaced by the Boeing Y3 (part of the Boeing Yellowstone Project) in the future.

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