The 747-8 compared to the 747-400

The 747-8 is externally similar to the 747-400, but it has a higher gross weight, a longer fuselage, a new higher-aspect-ratio wing, and new higher-bypass-ratio engines. The 747-8 also incorporates advanced alloys, updated systems, and improved aerodynamic efficiency for better cruise, takeoff, and landing performance.

Boeing designed the newest 747-8 model to have as much commonality as possible with the 747-400 while also incorporating advanced technology from the 787. For example, the 747-8 and 747-400 have the same type rating and ground-support equipment. Flight handling characteristics of the 747-8 are also very similar to the 747-400.