The timing of the first flight of Boeing's latest passenger version of its venerable 747 jumbo jet has been rumored for weeks. Now Boeing has confirmed those reports.
If the weather and the plane’s systems are willing, the first 747-8 Intercontinental could leave the ground from Everett’s Paine Field as early as 10 a.m. Sunday.
The aircraft has successfully passed a battery of ground tests simulating a flight, and the freighter versions of the 747-8 have been flying in tests for more than a year.
Expect to see much more of the distinctive aircraft, painted in an orangish version of Boeing’s new corporate livery, as it takes more test flights around the area in the coming months.
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The 747-8 brings new efficiencies to the 747 line with new wings, engines and electronics and a new interior. The passenger version will carry 467 passengers in a typical three-class arrangement, about 50 more than its shorter predecessor, the 747-400.
Three airlines, Lufthansa, Korean and Air China, have ordered a total of 30 747-8Is. VIP customers, wealthy individuals and governments have ordered 8 of the passenger versions as business jets.