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Boeing 747-8 Intercontinental takes first flight

Posted by on 21/03/2011

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Yesterday marked yet another dramatic event in aviation history as the new Boeing 747-8 Intercontinental took flight for the first time.

The 747-8I (the passenger variant) took off from Paine Field at 9:58AM PST and flew around Washington state for a few hours, then coming in for a landing at 2:25PM PST. The pilots were lucky to have the weather on their sides, and also mentioned that the trip went flawlessly. According to Boeing, the plane was also in a very ready state, unlike the 787-8 which still had much work to be done on it even during its test flight trials.

The B747-8I and 747-8F (Freighter) have come about after 4 years of work by the Boeing team, and two 8Is will be tested for 600 hours as it heads down the road towards being approved for air worthiness. Currently it stands as the biggest aircraft ever built in the United States, and is the longest in the world. The -8I can seat 467 passengers in a 3-class configuration, while the -400 can hold only 416. We have yet to see how many passenger can fit on board with a 2-class configuration.

The -8I is also a much more fuel efficient aircraft and can cruise at a very quick speed of Mach 0.855, which is even faster than the 787 and 777s.

Take a look at the take-off action yesterday morning.

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