Boeing revealed the latest (fourth generation) Queen of the Skies: the 747-8 Intercontinental. Debuting just over a year after its freighter sister, the Intercontinental boasted Boeing’s newest house colors-a bright, fiery red and orange mix.
As the largest passenger aircraft ever designed by Boeing, this is a calculated step in an effort to compete against Airbus’ A380. Boeing pulled out all the stops, knowing it needed to have a new entry into the jumbo jet market. Boeing utilized the latest techniques developed for the 787 program, redesigned the wings and increasing carbon fiber usage within the fuselage to improve performance and minimize environmental impact. In an effort to market the plane more aggressively, Boeing deviated from a naming scheme which for four decades has progressed by 100s (e.g. 747-100, 747-200, etc) and adopted a similar naming scheme to that used by Airbus.
The dramatic rollout took place in front of 10,000 of Boeing’s employees and closest friends. As the largest commercial aircraft built in North America and the longest passenger jet in the world, the 747-8 was met on Sunday with loud cheers as the crowd stood awe struck at the aircraft’s impressive size.
Interestingly enough, eight 747-8 Intercontinentals have been ordered by private parties, to be outfitted in a Boeing Business Jet fashion. These private Intercontinentals are sure to soon bring a new meaning to luxury in the sky.