The Boeing 747-400 is the latest version of the Boeing 747 in service. The -400 series is the best selling and the most advanced model of the 747 family. The 747-400 is being replaced by the Boeing 747-8, expected to enter service in 2009.
The 747-400 was announced by Boeing Commercial Airplanes in October 1985. Compared to the 747-300 the 747-400 has 6 ft (1.83 m) wing tip extensions and 6 ft (2 m) winglets, an all-new glass cockpit which dispensed with the need for a flight engineer, tail fuel tanks, revised engines, an all-new interior, revised fuselage/wing fairings and newer in-flight entertainment to the basic design of the -300 series. Like the 747-300, the passenger version of the 747-400 included the stretched upper deck (SUD) as a standard feature. The SUD was almost twice as long as the standard upper deck. It had previously been offered as a retrofit and first appeared on two Japanese 747-100 SR models. While the wingspan was increased, the overall weight of the wings was decreased due to the use of composites and aluminum alloys.
It was rolled out in January 1988 and first flew on April 29, 1988. Certification was received on January 10, 1989 with PW4000 engines, May 18, 1989 with CF6-80C2s and June 8, 1989 with RB211-524Gs. The first 747-400 was delivered to Northwest Airlines on January 26, 1989, with service entry on February 9. The extended range freighter (ERF) entered service in October 2002. The next month, the extended range (ER) passenger version entered service with Qantas, the only airline ever to order the passenger version of the 747-400ER. Qantas uses the aircraft on its Melbourne-Los Angeles flights, which are too long to operate using a standard 747-400.
The Boeing Signature Interior was later made available on the 747-400, either as interior refitting on existing 747-400s or as a "fresh-from-installation" option on newer 747-400s and 747-400ERs. One example, China Airlines's four newest Boeing 747-400s, (tail number B-1821x), were newly built with Boeing Signature Interior. One of the newest Boeing 747-400s (B-18210), has a combined Boeing/China Airlines livery painted in 787 Dreamliner colors.
Production of the 747-400 passenger version officially ended on March 15, 2007. Production of -400 freighters and -400ER freighters continues with thirty six yet to be delivered