The Boeing 747, workhorse of the jumbo jet fleet since 1968, has undergone a radical redesign from Boeing, giving it these odd-looking bowed wings that add to its aerodynamic efficiency. The updated plane is dubbed the 747-8, represented here in these 3D renderings from Boeing.

The upturned wings resemble those of Boeing's upcoming 787 Dreamliner, a super-efficient design that's been exceeding the company's sales expectations thus far. The 747-8's new wings, along with quieter and cleaner-running jet engines, make it more environmentally friendly because it will burn a lot less fuel, with a corresponding reduction in exhaust. Expect the first freighter versions of this plane to be rolled out in 2009, with passenger versions to follow.


Boeing 747-8 makes the skies a bit more friendly [Sci Fi Tech]