Boeing 747-8 Intercontinental Airplane Makes First Flight

The first Boeing 747-8 Intercontinental airplane successfully took off on its maiden flight today from Paine Field in Everett, Wash.

The 747-8 is the next generation of Boeing's jumbo jet, the largest commercial plane ever built by Boeing.

Although the aircraft looks similar to the Boeing 747-400, there are major changes including a 18.3 foot stretch of the fuselage. Much of the technology found in the Intercontinental was developed from Boeing's 787 Dreamliner.

The orange paint scheme is very different than Boeing's standard blue. "The new color palette honors many key Boeing customers whose cultures recognize these colors as symbols of prosperity and good luck," Boeing says in a press release.

The customer of the first 747-8 has not been disclosed. Boeing says that it is a private buyer or government that will be taking ownership after the 600-hour flight test program is successfully concluded. Boeing hopes to deliver the first 747-8 Freighter by the end of summer 2011 and the first passenger version by the end of fourth quarter 2011.

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