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First PHOTOS: The stunning Boeing 747-8

Last updated on: March 21, 2011 14:56 IST

First PHOTOS: The stunning Boeing 747-8

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The Boeing 747-8 Intercontinental successfully began its flight test programme on Sunday (March 20), taking off from Paine Field in Everett, Washington, in front of several thousand employees, customers, suppliers and community leaders.

The airplane landed four hours and 25 minutes later at Boeing Field in Seattle.

The 747-8 Intercontinental's first flight marks the beginning of a flight test programme that will finish in the fourth quarter.

With 747 chief pilot Mark Feuerstein and captain Paul Stemer at the controls, the newest member of the 747 family took off at 9:59 a.m. and landed at 2:24 p.m. local time.

"What a great privilege to be at the controls of such a great airplane on its first flight," said Feuerstein. "And what an honor to share this day with the thousands of men and women who designed and built this airplane."

Monday's flight was the first of more than 600 flight hours in the test programme for the new 747-8 Intercontinental.

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Image: The Boeing 747-8 Intercontinental taxis down the runway before its maiden flight from Paine Field, in Everett, Washington on March 20, 2011.
Photographs: Robert Sorbo/Reuters
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The airplane followed a route over Eastern Washington, where it underwent tests for basic handling and performance. The airplane reached a cruising altitude of 19,000 feet (5,791 meters), and a speed of up to 250 knots, or about 288 miles per hour (463 kilometers).

"This a great day for the 747-8 team and for all of Boeing. What an honour it is to see such a beautiful airplane fly," said Elizabeth Lund, vice president and general manager of the 747-8 programme.

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Image: The 747-8 Intercontinental takes off from Paine Filed in Everett, Washington.
Photographs: Courtesy, Boeing
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First PHOTOS: The stunning Boeing 747-8

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The airplane unveiled on Monday is painted in a new Sunrise livery of red-orange that only will appear on the first 747-8 Intercontinental and is a significant departure from Boeing's standard blue.

The new colour palette honours many key Boeing customers whose cultures recognise these colours as symbols of prosperity and good luck.

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Photographs: Courtesy, Boeing
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First PHOTOS: The stunning Boeing 747-8

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The 747-8 applies interior features from the 787 Dreamliner that includes a new curved, upswept architecture giving passengers a greater feeling of space and comfort.

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Photographs: Courtesy, Boeing
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First PHOTOS: The stunning Boeing 747-8

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The 747-8 Intercontinental will have the lowest seat-mile cost of any large commercial jetliner, with 12 per cent lower costs than its predecessor, the 747-400.

The airplane provides 16 per cent better fuel economy, 16 per cent less carbon emissions per passenger and generates a 30 per cent smaller noise footprint than the 747-400.

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Image: Thousands of Boeing employees and guests take a closer look at the fuselage of the brand new 747-8 jumbo passenger jet.
Photographs: Anthony Bolante/Reuters
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First PHOTOS: The stunning Boeing 747-8

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The 747-8 door-two entryway features a dramatic sweeping staircase leading to the upper deck.

The new entryway will greatly enhance the passenger appeal and create a strong first impression.

It also will facilitate improved passenger flow during boarding and deplaning.

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Image: Interior view of the plane.
Photographs: Courtesy, Boieing
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First PHOTOS: The stunning Boeing 747-8

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Korean Air and VIP customers have joined launch customer Lufthansa in ordering a total of 33 747-8 Intercontinentals.

First delivery of the 747-8 Intercontinental is scheduled for the fourth quarter. Air China also has agreed to order five Intercontinentals, pending government approval.

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Image: The Boeing 747-8 Intercontinental is followed by a chase plane.
Photographs: Robert Sorbo/Reuters
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First PHOTOS: The stunning Boeing 747-8

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A visitor takes a close look at a model of the latest Boeing 747-8.

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Photographs: Bobby Yip/Reuters
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First PHOTOS: The stunning Boeing 747-8

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The 747-8 features a stretched fuselage compared to that of the 747-400. It is 18 feet, 4 inches (5.6 meters) longer than its predecessor.

Much of the stretch -- 13 feet, 4 inches (4.1 meters) -- is located in the forward fuselage.

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Image: The front fuselage is put in place.
Photographs: Courtesy, Boeing
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First PHOTOS: The stunning Boeing 747-8

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The remaining additional 5 feet (1.5 meters) are located aft of the wing.

The 747-8's stretched fuselage provides for 51 additional seats to accommodate 467 passengers in a typical three-class configuration and 26 percent more cargo volume.

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Photographs: Courtesy, Boeing
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The 747-8 Intercontinental takes to the sky from Paine Field in Everett, Washington.

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The 747-8 Intercontinental lands at Boeing Field in Seattle after a four-hour, 25-minute flight.


Photographs: Courtesy, Boeing
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