Boeing 747-8 Completes Successful Maiden Journey

Mar 21, 2011, 13:13 by David Hope

The Boeing 747-8 Intercontinental, the company's largest airliner, has had a successful maiden flight and the U.S. company says it expects to begin deliveries to airlines by the end of the year.

The 747-8 Intercontinental took off from Paine Field in Everett, Wash., at 1 p.m. EDT Sunday and flew for 4 hours before landing at Boeing Field, the Seattle Times reported.

Although the jumbo jet has sold slowly so far, Boeing officials say they believe it will have successful sales.

This will be "the year of the 747," program manager Elizabeth Lund said.

Air China has ordered five 747-8s, making for a total of 38 orders for the passenger model and 76 for a freighter version.

The 747-8 is 250 feet long, with a 224-foot wingspan.

It features an extended forward fuselage hump that stretches all the way back to the wings, which are newly designed as are the engines and the advanced flight deck.

Its list price is $317 million, but large discounts are standard in the industry and aircraft-valuation firm Avitas estimates the real market price at about $166 million, the Times reported.

Source: UPI