|Middle East Airlines 747-200 in 1984|
|Role||Wide-body, long-range jet airliner|
|National origin||United States|
|Manufacturer||Boeing Commercial Airplanes|
|Status||In Service as cargo aircraft and limited passenger aircraft|
US$39 million (1976)
|Developed from||Boeing 747-100|
|Variants||Boeing 747-300 Boeing 747-400 Boeing 747-8|
While the 747-100 powered by Pratt & Whitney JT9D-3A engines offered enough payload and range for US domestic operations, it was marginal for long international route sectors. The demand for longer range aircraft with increased payload quickly led to the improved −200, which featured more powerful engines, increased MTOW, and greater range than the −100. A few early −200s retained the three-window configuration of the −100 on the upper deck, but most were built with a ten-window configuration on each side. The 747-200 was produced in passenger (−200B), freighter (−200F), convertible (−200C), and combi (−200M) versions.
The 747-200B was the basic passenger version, with increased fuel capacity and more powerful engines; it entered service in February 1971. In its first three years of production, the −200 was equipped with Pratt & Whitney JT9D-7 engines (initially the only engine available). Range with a full passenger load started at over 5,000 nmi (9,300 km) and increased to 6,000 nmi (11,000 km) with later engines. Most −200Bs had an internally stretched upper deck, allowing for up to 16 passenger seats. The freighter model, the 747-200F, could be fitted with or without a side cargo door, and had a capacity of 105 tons (95.3 tonnes) and an MTOW of up to 833,000 lb (378,000 kg). It entered service in 1972 with Lufthansa. The convertible version, the 747-200C, could be converted between a passenger and a freighter or used in mixed configurations, and featured removable seats and a nose cargo door. The −200C could also be fitted with an optional side cargo door on the main deck. The combi model, the 747-200M, could carry freight in the rear section of the main deck via a side cargo door. A removable partition on the main deck separated the cargo area at the rear from the passengers at the front. The −200M could carry up to 238 passengers in a three-class configuration with cargo carried on the main deck. The model was also known as the 747-200 Combi. As on the −100, a stretched upper deck (SUD) modification was later offered. A total of 10 converted 747-200s were operated by KLM. Union des Transports Aériens (UTA) also had two of these aircraft converted.
After launching the −200 with Pratt & Whitney JT9D-7 engines, on August 1, 1972 Boeing announced that it had reached an agreement with General Electric to certify the 747 with CF6-50 series engines to increase the aircraft's market potential. Rolls-Royce followed 747 engine production with a launch order from British Airways for four aircraft. The option of RB211-524B engines was announced on June 17, 1975. The −200 was the first 747 to provide a choice of powerplant from the three major engine manufacturers.
A total of 393 of the 747-200 versions had been built when production ended in 1991. Of these, 225 were −200s, 73 were −200F, 13 were −200C, 78 were −200M, and 4 were military. Many 747-200s remain in operation, although most large carriers have retired them from their fleets and sold them to smaller operators. Large carriers have sped up fleet retirement following the September 11 attacks and the subsequent drop in demand for air travel, scrapping some or turning others into freighters.
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