Here comes the sun

Here comes the sun and there goes our new beauty. You couldn’t have asked for a better day than Sunday for the first flight of the 747-8 Intercontinental. The plane’s Sunrise livery sparkled in the morning sun as she left on her maiden voyage from Everett.


The Intercontinental takes off from Paine Field.

During the 4 hours and 25 minutes it was airborne, Captains Mark Feuerstein and Paul Stemer took the plane on a tour across the state of Washington including the Olympic Peninsula and parts of Eastern Washington. It even flew over Mount Baker for a nice photo op.


Beauty shot over Mount Baker.

The pilots worked in a series of tests including routine functional checks of the airplane systems as well as some stability and control tests. Thanks to the lessons learned over the past year from the 747-8 Freighter test flights, Sunday’s first flight went off without a hitch.


Captains Mark Feuerstein and Paul Stemer.

My congratulations to every member of the 747 team for a day we can all be proud of. March has been an amazing month for the program with Air China’s agreement to buy five Intercontinentals and Korean Air’s order for two 747-8 Freighters.

We’ve put together a great video showing all of Sunday’s action that you can see below.

Comments (18)

chrisC (San Jose, CA):

Elegant as ever. The best looking big plane in the skies bar none! Looking forward to flying on the Intercontinental soon. Thank you Boeing employees.

Jun Leido (Manila, Philippines):

The 747. Incredible. Always.

Congratulations to the 747 Team - employees, partners, suppliers and customers. I cannot wait to fly on this great aircraft.

Paulo M (Johannesburg, RSA):

Welcoming Sunrise, good fortune and prosperity into the 21st century.

I think you you got their attention.

I'm 747-ed at this moment -- awesome, awesome media campaign, fitting for something that looks and performs like that. Incredible again. Well done!

Terry Chamberlain (Renton, WA):

She's still the queen of the skies, of that there is no doubt! How could anybody dispute otherwise. Whoo Hoo!!

Thiagarajan K Rengasamy (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia):

Its BEST!..Its BIGGEST!...Its BEAUTIFUL!...Its BOEING 747-8 and beyond.

Congratulations Boeing! Looking forward to see it in Malaysia Airlines fleet.

Sachin Galgalikar (Everett, WA):

Kudos to the 747-8 team - the airplane has regained her rightful place as "Queen of the Skies"; hopefully, this first flight will generate some more orders!

Kevin (Los Angeles, CA):

May the 8I/F bring the grand total for all 747's to the 2000 mark and beyond!

Lauren Countryman (Everett):

1. What is the other operator which has ordered both 777F and 747-8F airplanes?

2. Three new airplane model first flights in 15 months. For jetliners, is that a record for Boeing?

If yes, is that also a record for commercial jetliner manufacturers?

Jim Henderson (Chandler, AZ):

This classic aircraft just keeps getting better. Congratulations to all the 747-8I Team on this.

BTW, the 'beauty picture' over Mt Baker is, indeed, a real beauty. It would make a great screensaver or desktop; could it be be made available in higher resolution?

Keith Warth (Sydney Australia):




Norman (Long Beach, California, United States):

What a spectacular takeoff and first flight of the 747 Intercontinental, their is still no other airliner in the world with the grace, majesty and lines that the 747 has.

Rob ( Canada) (Vancouver B.C. Canada):

Congratulations on the flight of the 747-8 i and its rebirth for the next 40 years. Serving both the passenger and freighter requirements of the worlds airlines.

To quote Nico Buchholz, Executive VP of Fleet Managment for Lufthansa who have ordered the 747-8i. The A380 performs very well, but it dosen't look as gracious as a 747.

Lufthansa ordered 20 747-8 Internationals for it performance, size and the market need to serve its customers. Compared to the 15 A380's it also has on order. They saw a need for both these aircraft to serve different market demands as one plane does always fit everyones requirements.

The 747-8i continues to be the "Queen the of Skies" as the most recognizable passenger plane in the world. Thank you Boeing for this iconic airliner that continues to fly.

Bigger (A380) does not always mean the best.

Paulo M (Johannesburg, RSA):

Lauren Countryman (Everett):

The operator with orders for both the 777F & 747-8F is Emirates Sky Cargo. Korean Air is the only so far to have both the -8I & -8F on order.


The photographer David Lilienthal at took an awesome photograph (id = 1886283) of RC001 as it left the ground, and Liz Matzelle, aka @ImperfectSense took this at rotation: You can see how the air flow carries the smoke/vapour streams from the engines over the wing. What do you call those streams.

Thomas V. Horstmann, Jr. (Portland, Oregon):

Wow, what an elegant piece of flying art! She definitely remains the Queen of the sky, while the oversized A380 remains the "Whale of the sky". I know which one I rather be flying on! GREAT JOB Boeing...

keesje (Netherlands):

Great look and great pictures.

Congratulations to everyone at Boeing with this biggest ever Boeing Aircraft.

Guarantees we'll see the 747 for decades to come.


Andrew (Seattle, WA):

I once heard an artist say that engineers create some of the most beautiful shapes out of sheer necessity. I think the 747 is an example of just that.

Wessel Groenewegen (Oss, Noord-Brabant, The Netherlands):

This is my opinion about the 747-8:
- It's a beautiful aircraft and the new colors even look better!
- The cockpit is way more advanced, just like all the systems, so the plane will fly more relaxing.
- The plane has neat modern structures, which will give the passengers a greater sense of security.

I would really love to see one been assembled! That's the most interesting part of the life of an aircraft.

I've mentioned that the Boeing Designing team is redesigning/designing a next-generation/new 777. Is this true? Please answer!

Wessel Groenewegen

Anna////Lindon, UT 84042:

I am very impressed with your latest model of the 747-8. It is the Queen of the skies. The video clip was breathtaking. The pilots appeared honored to fly it for her maiden flight/voyage. Great P.R. too on the blog.


Has anyone ever considered a new compound that preserves the aircraft with a coating/sealant? It has been used on the U.S. space shuttles. The aircraft will not be subject to the elements that oxidation would take its toll over the years.

It protects the metal or anything it coats and the longevity of it is incredible. It comes from Europe.

Randy, can I send you an email about it? And who would I need to talk to about showing Boeing and introduce it to the U.S. market?

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