The cargo version of the Boeing 747-8 is a really nice looking airplane from most angles, but I’ve got to admit that this side profile view isn’t very flattering. This is a very long and lean aircraft, and viewing it directly from the side like this only exaggerates those proportions to levels which seem a bit comical IMHO. The problem is no doubt caused by the shortened second-level “hump” just behind the cockpit windows. It sort of reminds me of a lump on the head, just like you used to see when Tom and Jerry beat the ever-living crap out of each other during after-school cartoons. It doesn’t look right at all from this angle, and the lack of windows down the side of the fuselage doesn’t help either. “Tubeliner” is a totally appropriate term here.
However, I personally think that this is one of the best looking airplanes when viewed from almost any other angle. Lean and long is a good thing – especially when viewed from a three-quarter front view! But nice angles like that don’t work well as template illustrations so all I’ve got for you today are these side view drawings. Maybe someday once I’ve created templates of every major commercial aircraft past and present will I venture into illustrating other views. But that’s a long way off, so don’t hold your breath…
I just read yesterday that Boeing has slowed down 747-8 production once again to .5 airframes a month. That’s unfortunate considering how good of a commercial airliner this is. It’s even better in cargo configuration, but four-engine aircraft are quickly falling out of fashion these days thanks to how good (efficient/reliable) twin-engine competitors are becoming. The US government wants a 747-8 for the next Air Force One, and since interest from the airlines is drying up fast, it’s likely the two AF1 frames will be the last. That’s just my opinion of course, but the future isn’t looking good for the 747.
With this 747-8F, I’ve now got three 747 templates available (the 747-400 and 747-8i). The 747 has always been my favorite commercial aircraft, so I’m itching to fill in the blanks and create illustrations of all the other variants to make my collection complete. The 747-100 and -200 are similar enough that I could create both at the same time, and the -300 (with the stretched upper deck) shouldn’t be too difficult based on how much it shares with the -400. Famous last words I know. I always assume these things are going to be easy but it never really works out that way!