It made its debut during one of the most elaborate unveilings we’ve ever done. The very first 747-8 Intercontinental, introduced to the public in February 2011 with a surprise “sunrise” livery, has now been delivered to an undisclosed BBJ customer. It marked the 10th Intercontinental delivery to date and the 25th 747-8 delivery this year.
The first 747-8 Intercontinental during its premiere in February 2011.
The airplane was fondly known as “Big Red” because of its red and orange livery. That livery was designed to honor the many Boeing customers whose cultures recognize these colors as symbols of prosperity and good luck.
The airplane was a key member of the Intercontinental flight test program. From crosswinds testing in Iceland, to Function and Reliability and ETOPs, “Big Red” helped verify time and time again that the airplane met all certification requirements. Since the conclusion of the flight test program, the airplane has undergone refurbishment to restore it to a delivery configuration. One of the final steps prior to delivery was repainting the airplane - removing its famous livery.
Me and my son Joel at the premiere of the 747-8I in Feb. 2011.
While that distinctive livery will now only live in photos, we can take comfort knowing the airplane is where it belongs—with our customer. So long to our lady in red. Thanks for bringing smiles to so many faces.