This article first appeared in the  April 1973 Flight Test News.

A Lufthansa German Airlines 747F set a new record for airlift March 11 when it carried 219,562 pounds of cargo in a single load from Frankfurt, Germany, to New York. This figure is equal to 99,620 kilograms, or 109.8 U.S. tons.

The Boeing-built airplane, only one like it in the world, is operated on six round trip flights a week between the two cities. The load exceeded Lufthansa’s previous record of 211,952 by 7,610 pounds, the difference being about the load of one old DC-3. Although loads very widely, typical loads for the airplane are about 140,000 pounds. The 747F has the structural capability of carrying about 260,000 pounds over shorter distances.

Since Lufthansa put the big cargo jet into service April 19, 1972, the 10-month average load factor from Frankfurt to New York has been 69 per cent while the load factor back to Frankfurt has averaged 56.9 per cent, according to Lufthansa figures. Total cargo moved to date has exceeded 54 million pounds.

Beginning April 1, the 747F will operate to New York via Boston three days a week and via Philadelphia one day a week, and continue its present schedule the other two days.

Another of the jumbo freighters is scheduled to begin transatlantic service in 1974 with the delivery of the first of three 747Fs ordered by Seaboard World Airlines, Inc. In addition, three 747Cs (convertibles) which, can carry either freight or passengers have been ordered by World Airways for delivery beginning in May.

LIGHTPLANE PLUS…A 747’s wing is so efficient that the superjet with all four engines can travel 17.3 miles forward for each 5,280 feet it descends. This 17.3-to-1 glide angle is even better than that of modern lightplanes (up to about 12-to-1), but the glide speed is higher-Mach .825 at the highest weight and altitude.

This article first appeared in the  April 1973 Flight Test News.

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