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New Boeing 747-400X Quiet Longer Range jetliner

Boeing has announced that the new 747-400X Quiet Longer Range could enter service in early 2004, depending on customer demand. The 747-400X Quiet Longer Range is being developed in both passenger and freighter versions. It will feature the Boeing signature twin-aisle interior on the passenger version, providing even more comfort and spaciousness to the 747's 20ft (6.1 meter) interior cross section.

The range of the passenger model is being extended to 7,980 nautical miles (14,775 kilometers), while added value also will be apparent through quieter and more environmentally responsible operation.

The 747-400X Quiet Longer Range freighter, in addition to its improved environmental characteristics, will have a simplified and lightened cargo handling system, providing greater operational efficiency, easier handling, lower maintenance costs and higher reliability. These attributes will continue the 747 freighter family's preference by the air cargo industry, which utilizes the 747F for 45 percent of the world's total freighter capacity.

"These evolutionary improvements will enhance even more the 747's unique status as the world's only true 400-seat airplane," Peace said.

"The 747-400X Quiet Longer Range will be among the quietest widebody airplanes in the sky, with noise reductions of 20 percent on takeoff and 40 percent on approach, compared to today's 747-400s," he added. "When combined with reduced fuel consumption and lower emissions, this airplane will be a great environmental performer."

In addition to this enhancement to the successful 747 family, Peace noted that the 747 is the most popular widebody airplane ever with more than 1,300 built.

Dickenson pointed out that Asia is expected to become the biggest market for commercial airplanes within the next 20 years, with requirements for more than 5,220 jets at the present value of US$537 billion.

According to data from the end of 2001, Boeing airplanes constitute 73% of the entire Asian widebody commercial airplane fleet. Last year alone, Boeing delivered 66 airplanes valued at US$8.7bn to Asia.