Boeing 747-8 makes the skies a bit more friendly

Boeing has upgraded its trademark 747 airplane with the new 747-8, coming in both passenger and freighter flavors. Featuring new, more aerodynamic wings that curve at the tips and a sleeker body shape, the 747-8 looks almost cartoonish (perhaps due in part to the computer renderings made available by Boeing). The wings give it a much sleeker look, curving up and out rather than protruding flatly from the sides of the body. About 12 feet longer than the previous 747, it will be able to seat between 400 and 500 passengers depending on how the airline sets it up. The 747-8 is also quieter and runs cleaner than older models, burning less jet fuel and emitting less bad stuff into the atmosphere. Early orders placed for the freighter version won't be filled until 2009, so don't expect to be riding in one of these bad boys for a few years, but they should be hitting runways sometime in the near future for your cross-country voyages. More pictures after the jump.