Just as the 747-400ER freighter is the latest 747 cargo-carrying improvement, the 747-400 Freighter was a dramatic improvement over its predecessor.
Compared to the 747-200 Freighter it replaced, the 747-400 Freighter carries an additional 15 tons of payload or flies 840 nautical miles (1,556 km) farther. And, more fuel-efficient engines and larger wings enable the 747-400 Freighter to burn 10 to 16 percent less fuel than previous versions.
Advanced materials allow considerable structural weight reductions, improved damage tolerance and fatigue resistance throughout both the freighter and passenger versions of the 747-400.
The two-crew flight deck and reduced maintenance costs for avionics and engines provide further savings in direct operating costs.
The 747-400 Freighter has the same upper deck as the 747-200 Freighter. However, the upper-deck floor was revised to make room for two additional 10-foot-high (3.1 m) pallets on the main deck.
By relocating the upper-deck access ladder and revising guide rails and tie-down equipment, Boeing created an additional pallet position in the nose of the airplane. These changes resulted in 774 cubic feet (21.9 cu m) more cargo space on the main deck than on the 747-200F.
Two additional LD-1 or LD-3 containers will fit into the aft lower hold and -- depending on the pallet and container mix -- two additional containers will fit into the forward lower hold, adding up to 700 cubic feet (19.8 cu m) of additional containerized cargo volume in the lower hold.
The 747-400 Freighter's improved powered cargo-handling system makes for smooth, fast loading and unloading.