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The model’s first flight was on May 4, 1993, and it entered service with Cargolux on November 17, 1993. Major customers included Atlas Air, Cargolux, China Airlines, Korean Air, Nippon Cargo Airlines, Polar Air Cargo, and Singapore Airlines. The −747-400F can be easily distinguished from the passenger −747-400 by its shorter upper-deck hump and lack of windows along the main deck.
The 747-400F has a main deck nose door and a mechanized cargo handling system. The nose door swings up so that pallets or containers up to 40 ft (12 m) can be loaded straight in on motor-driven rollers. An optional main deck side cargo door (like the 747-400M (Combi)) allows loading of dimensionally taller cargo modules. A lower deck (“belly”) side door allows loading of unit load devices (ULD) up to 163 cm in height. Boeing delivered 126 Boeing 747-400F aircraft with no unfilled orders as of November 2009. The last −400F was delivered to Nippon Cargo Airlines on August 2, 2008.
The 747-400 is equipped with a two-crew glass cockpit, which dispenses with the need for a flight engineer, along with more fuel-efficient engines, an optional fuel tank in the horizontal stabilizer, and revised fuselage/wing fairings. The aircraft also features an all-new interior with upgraded in-flight entertainment architecture.