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Why hasn't Boeing updated the 747 with technology/designs from the 787 Dreamliner? Surely this would be a very successful aircraft as it could have the best of both designs.

Has Boeing explained why? Are there any reasons this couldn't or shouldn't be done?

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They did, in the 747-8:

Wikipedia:

Similar in nature to the 747X, the stretched 747 Advanced used technology from the Boeing 787 Dreamliner to modernize the design and its systems. On November 14, 2005, Boeing announced that it was launching the 747 Advanced as the "Boeing 747-8"

(Emphasis mine)

The 747-8 includes technology in the cockpit, cabin, wings, and engines borrowed or learned from the 787 and 777 aircraft programs. Obviously you can't just pull the wings off of a 787 and stick them on a 747, but the wings were redesigned with aerodynamic information learned in the 777/787 program.

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  • $\begingroup$ Have they increased the window size and made them electronically dimming? Also is the cabin pressurised to a higher level, @RonBeyer $\endgroup$
    – SRawes
    Commented May 18, 2017 at 14:52
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    $\begingroup$ @SRawes Yes, the windows are larger, but I'm not sure if they are electronically dimming. If you want to read about the similarities between the 787 interior and the 747-8 interior, here is a good read with a video. $\endgroup$
    – Ron Beyer
    Commented May 18, 2017 at 16:28
  • $\begingroup$ I think it really comes down to money, there isn't enough demand for planes in the 747 size category to justify a clean-sheet design with a composite fuselage. $\endgroup$ Commented Oct 24, 2017 at 4:34
  • $\begingroup$ The are not electronically dimming on the 747-8. But much bigger and that's a nice thing for passengers :) $\endgroup$
    – Peter
    Commented Mar 5, 2020 at 15:13

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