On February 13, 2011 in Everett, Washington, the Boeing Company unveiled its newest airplane – the 747-8 Intercontinental. This aircraft is 250 feet long and has a 224 foot wingspan and can carry up to 467 passengers, the largest passenger aircraft ever built by Boeing. The 747-8 was designed using technologies applied to the Boeing 787 Dreamliner, helping Boeing achieve 16 percent improved fuel economy, 16 percent less carbon emissions, and a 30 percent reduction in noise footprint than the previous 747 design according to the Boeing website.
As the crowd of approximately 10,000 excited Boeing employees, customers, government officials, partners and suppliers, waited in anticipation for the unveiling of the new aircraft, several speakers and musicians rallied their enthusiasm. “This airplane will carry more people, more cargo, further, faster, more economically than any airplane in its class,” said Elizabeth Lund, 747 Vice President and Deputy Program Manager.
The 747-8 was unveiled with a new paint scheme, not the typical Boeing blue. The aircraft was painted in a “new Sunrise livery of red-orange that only will appear on the first 747-8 Intercontinental” according to a Boeing press release. This color scheme was intended to honor major Boeing customers whose cultures recognize the colors as symbols or prosperity and good luck.
David Morrow, a Boeing Materials Review Board (MRB) engineer and graduate of West Virginia University, worked support for the 747-8F and 8I inboard flaps made by Stork Fokker in Holland and XAC in China. After spending two months in Holland and three months in Xi’an, China supporting the product, he was proud to be present at the rollout event. “It was extremely exciting (to be at the rollout) after putting so much work into this plane and traveling the world in order to help build it. The rollout was very emotional and exciting for everyone who put forth so much effort into such an advanced and groundbreaking machine.”
Lufthansa has signed up to be the launch customer for the 747-8 Intercontinental, with the first aircraft slated to be delivered in late 2011.