Boeing’s largest-ever airliner 747-8 Intercontinental took off on its first flight from Paine Field, in Everett, WA. The aircraft took off at 9:59 a.m. (Pacific Time) accompanied by two T-33 chase planes.
The 747-8 Intercontinental is the passenger version of the 747-8, with a longer fuselage and upper deck, to accommodate 51 more passengers than the 747-400 (a total of 467 in a typical three-class configuration).
Cargo version of 747-8 first flew in February 2010 (five are flying now).
Two Intercontinentals are scheduled to go through a little over 600 hours of flight testing before the first airplane is delivered later this year to a private customer.
Boeing has orders for 38 Intercontinentals, from private customers, Lufthansa, Korean Air and Air China and 74 Freighters.