Up in the air

First flight of the 747-8!


The -8 Freighter took to the skies at 12:39 p.m. Seattle time on Monday, February 8, 2010.


It’s all just a little bittersweet for me. Obviously, I worked hard in my previous role to sell this airplane, and I’m extremely excited to see it flying. But since I’m still in Asia following the Singapore Air Show, and visiting customers, I didn’t get to see this historic flight in person.

Nonetheless, I’m sure I’ll get to see this great airplane fly many times in the future as we begin our flight test program. 747 Chief Pilot Mark Feuerstein and Capt. Tom Imrich were at the controls for the test flight - the first of more than 1,600 flight hours coming up.


On approach back to Paine Field at the conclusion of first flight.


Touch down at 4:18 p.m.

At the conclusion of the flight, Feuerstein told reporters that the new 747-8 Freighter reached a speed of 230 knots (264 mph/426 kph) and an altitude of 17,000 feet (5,181 meters). He said the airplane handled just like a 747-400.

As Feuerstein put it, “a big day for a big airplane.”

Comments (20)

Steve (Siggenthal Station, Switzerland):

Congratulations to all at Boeing!!! What a beautiful sight! 2nd amazing "Boeing" sights in one day for me...just watched the Space Shuttle go up this morning here in Titusville. Nice job on both!

Norman (Long Beach, California, United States):

I saw the 747-8 take off on AP via USA Today as soon as I got home from school.
The new 747 looks spectacular in the air, congratulations to all involved in the project.

TF (AZ):

Congratulations to the Boeing team on the 747-8! It's a beauty. Great takeoff and landing.

Thiagarajan (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia):

I stayed awake to watch 747-8's maiden flight and let me tell you..Its worth every moment of it.

Congratulations Boeing!

Azamiruddin (Kedah, Malaysia):

Same with Thiagarajan, I stayed awake just to watch it fly in the air.

Congratulation Boeing!

p/s: Company I'm working with rite now supplied the INBD & OTBD Spoiler, and also OTBD Aileron Skin for this plane.

Chris C (South Africa):

The venerable 747-400 is by far the sweetest commercial airplane to fly, and an absolutely phenomenal airplane! I’m absolutely thrilled to hear that the 747 program Chief Pilot, Capt. Mark Feuerstein, confirmed that the new, advanced and highly efficient 747-8F handled just like the -400, as that clearly indicates that the new -8F is a simply awesome machine! Great commonality kept there, especially considering the -8F is 5.6m longer than the standard 747, significantly heavier with larger engines and an all-new super-critical wing!

How exciting this all is as we’re able to witness a new, exciting and special era being launched for the venerable 747 family, and with the -8, a proud legacy and tradition of the mighty 747 continues in sheer excellence, period!!

Well done Boeing on another successful first flight of yet another game-changing, technologically advanced and market preferred product!!

Seven hundred and forty seven cheers for the new, 21st-Century 747!! Best wishes for the on-going sales campaigns and flight test program!

Kevin (Los Angeles, CA):

Fusion of modern technology and classic beauty!

Ike (Everett, Wa. ):

I watched as the Queen hit the skies. It appeared to only take half the runway to take off and it was a very quiet airplane. Compared to the 400, this airplane is awesome. I am very proud to be a part of this historic event.

Angel (Murcia (Spain)):

Beautiful takeoff and landing, Welcome to the new member of 747 family.

Congratulations to all people of Boeing.


Ken (Chicago):

Congrats! The Queen of the Skies still rules. I can't wait to fly on the Intercontinental. Any chance we can see some air-to-air photos; especially of the Mt. Rainier fly-by?

Oliver (Austria):

Congratulations to Boeing on the first flight of the 747-8!

Hernán Saldaña (Lima, Peru):

Congrats to Boeing on this historic event. I have been a fan of the 747 for many years and I am definitely happy to see a new version flying.

Rany, can you upload some pictures with the gear up as you did with the Dreamliner? I am pretty sure we will all love that :-)

R Lee (NYC):

The 747 has the grace and pose no other aircraft possess. The -8 continues this reputation.

Paulo M (Johannesburg, RSA):

Wow, what a sight - I think I was a bit dumbstruck yesterday - especially having witnessed this event live a few hours after the launch of the Space Shuttle Endeavour for STS-130. Pretty awesome really. Will definitely take note of the remaining launches and try get them all live.

From the webcast and a couple of youtube videos, the 747-8F sounds pretty quite so I'm looking forward to the numbers in that respect.

Today is the 41st anniversary of the maiden flight of the 747-100 - a great legacy. But as Mark Feuerstein says, just the shape and the way it flies are the same. I'm looking forward to the flight test!

What an aircraft to have waited for!!

John (Seattle):

All I can say is WOW! What a beauty with that simple, clean, elegant paint job with the giant "8" incorporated into the tail graphics. The "Queen of the Skies" is back, better that ever!!!

P.Sumantri (France):
Jason B (Renton, WA):

I'm sorry you weren't there to see it in person. The takeoff and landing were both magnificent. Just like her legacy 747 ancestors, the -8 presents a striking image in the sky on final approach. She is a beautiful airplane very becoming of Boeing's long standing reputation for building high quality airplanes.

P.Sumantri (France):

You posted "Life begins @ 40" on August 17, 2007.
I posted "Life starts at 40" yesterday.

Philip Medlock (San Antoniio, TX):

One more day (Feb. 9th) and it would have been 41 years to the day (Feb. 9th 1969) from the first flight of the first 747.

miquel (aalten,netherlands):

Beautiful, Beautiful!! The queen of the skies is back....What a magnificent airplane!I Watched the movie of the take off and it was amazing to see Joe Sutter standing in the crowd watching the take off of his baby...What a moment must it be for him.

Many congrats to Boeing and all the 747 fans!

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