Boeing’s ‘world’s longest’ 747-8 jumbo makes ‘perfect’ maiden flightMarch 21st, 2011 - 12:15 pm ICT by ANI
Melbourne, Mar 21 (ANI): The first Boeing 747-8 Intercontinental, newest and biggest jumbo jet from the US aerospace giant, successfully took off on its maiden flight Sunday.
The new version of the classic double-decker 747 left the Paine Field airport near Boeing’s Seattle headquarters at 9:58 a.m. under mostly blue skies and cheers from a crowd of Boeing workers and other guests, reports the Age.
The red, white and orange-liveried aircraft landed just over four hours later having been taken through its paces over Washington state, on the northwest Pacific coast.
“It just went perfectly,” said chief test pilot Mark Feuerstein after the flight, adding that, while it still faces months of test flights before being certified, “the airplane is actually ready to go fly right now”.
The largest passenger plane, the 747-8 can carry 467 passengers in a three-class configuration and is designed for long-haul routes.
The plane is a longer and more fuel-efficient update of Boeing’s double-decker 747 jumbo jet.
In a tribute to Joe Sutter, the chief engineer of the original 747 and who is celebrating his 90th birthday on Monday, the initials ‘JFS’ were painted on the landing gear bay door of the first 747-8 Intercontinental.
“It makes me feel real good. The fellas are telling me I’m part of the team,” he said.
The 747-8 - the world’s longest aircraft at 76.4 m - was unveiled to the public in February, six years after the project was announced in 2005, and roughly two years behind schedule.
The new aircraft now has to undergo more than 600 hours of test flight, to be ready be certified at the end of the year, said senior Boeing executive Elizabeth Lund.
Using 787 Dreamliner engine technology, Boeing says its new aircraft will achieve better fuel economy than any competing jetliner.
The first 747-8 is due to be delivered to an as-year-unidentified customer - not an airline - in late 2011. (ANI)
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