Boeing has rolled out its new 747-8 Intercontinental passenger jet, in a ceremony attended by thousands of guests, customers, employees, government officials and suppliers at its plant in Everett, Washington on February 13.
At an event themed “Incredible, Again”, the first 747-8I was revealed in a new “Sunrise” red-orange livery, which Boeing says symbolises prosperity and good luck, and is a marked departure from Boeing’s standard blue corporate scheme.
“The new 747-8 Intercontinental features the latest in innovative technologies – applying many of the breakthroughs also found on the 787 Dreamliner,” Boeing Commercial Airplanes president and CEO Jim Albaugh said.
The first 747-8I, RC001, is due to fly in approximately six week’s time, launching a 600 hour flight test program due to lead to first deliveries in the fourth quarter of 2011.
Compared to the 747-400, Boeing claims the 747-8I offers 12 per cent lower operating costs, 16 per cent better fuel economy, and generates a 30 per cent smaller noise footprint, although sales have been modest, with 33 firm orders placed by Lufthansa, Korean Air and a small number of VIP customers.
Lufthansa Group fleet management executive vice president Nico Buchholz said that the 747-8 would be “a great complement to our fleet, fitting nicely into the 400-seat category, improving our fleet’s eco-efficiency even further”.
“As launch customer, we are looking forward to welcoming this new aircraft to our fleet next year as it adds to our ongoing fleet modernisation and environmental efforts,” Buchholz said.
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