I can’t even believe that I can see (and think) straight enough to hammer out this post of Boeing 747-200 side view templates. You see, it was just moments ago that I finished up the entire series of illustrations featuring both the painted and polished aluminum versions of all three engine options, and…I’m spent. However, despite my delirious state, I’m far too anxious to put the 747-200 behind me and I think I’m just gonna power through this…
If you recall my last post about the 747-100, I mentioned that I chose not to create templates of the 747-100B since it looked identical the 747-200. While the -100B and -200 were somewhat different internally, they were virtually identical on the exterior and I figured there was no point in creating templates for both. If you are in dire need of a 747-100B template, these 747-200 illustrations will suffice.
Anyway, since I’ve got a lot of individual illustrations to upload, I’ll present this entire post as a history of the 747-200 and insert the proper templates along the way where needed.
The birth of the 747-200 (featuring Pratt & Whitney engines)
The 747-200 was designed and built to be a longer-range variant of the 747-100, which was not surprising surprising considering the relatively short range of that launch model. However, the date of the launch of the 747-200 was interesting, since it came only 13 months after the launch of the original 747 (February 1971). Did Boeing realize all along that the 747-100 was somewhat handicapped and needed to be refreshed as soon as possible?
The only major external differences between the 747-100 and 747-200 are the windows on the upper deck. The -100 featured six (three on each side) while the -200 featured 20 (10 on each side). Note that the 747SR and 747-100B also adopted this revised window configuration. To make things even more nauseatingly confusing, the first 747-200’s featured the 6-window configuration on the upper deck.
The 747-200 entered into passenger service in February 1971 featuring Pratt & Whitney JT9D-7 engines. Note that it was technically referred to as the 747-200B, which was the designation of the standard passenger version. The freighter was referred to as the -200F, the convertible model was the -200C, and the combi was referred to as the -200M.
747-200 with General Electric engines
It was only 18 months after the initial launch of the 747-200 that Boeing and General Electric announced a new engine offering for the model. The announcement of the CF6-50-powered 747 came on August 1, 1972.
747-200 with Rolls Royce engines
With the announcement of a Rolls Royce RB211-524B engine option on June 17, 1975, the 747-200 was the first of the type to provide three different engine options from three different manufacturers. Pretty neat for the history and evolution of the 747, but a total pain for me to illustrate all three types.
More interesting facts about the 747-200:
Personally, I think the most interesting thing about the -200 was the fact that it was produced all the way to 1991. That’s not all that long ago if you really think about it, especially for an aircraft as low-tech as this one was. Here are some other neat facts and figures about the 747-200 which are worth noting:
- Production ran from 1971 to 1991 (20 years)
- A total of 393 747-200’s were built (225 -200B, 73 -200F, 13 200C, 78 -200M, and 4 military versions)
- Iran Air was the last remaining operator of the -200B, and the retirement of the last aircraft happened in May 2016
- At the time of this writing, all remaining non-military 747-200’s are freighters
- The two most famous 747-200’s belong to the United States Air Force – those aircraft (based on -200B models) are referred to as VC-25’s. These, of course, operate as Air Force One when transporting the US president.
- The third (and fourth) most famous 747-200’s are the Shuttle Carrier Aircraft for NASA.
Now that the 747-100 and 747-200 templates are complete…
It’s time to roll up my sleeves and tackle what is probably the funniest (and coolest) looking aircraft of all time: the 747SP!
That super-stubby (and highly requested) aircraft is my project for next week, and I’m very much looking forward to it. Especially considering that I’ve done most of the hard work already with these early-model 747 templates. Yes, the SP does have some very unique design elements that the -100 and -200 didn’t have, but the underlying structure is pretty much the same and I’m guessing that it won’t be all that difficult…