Boeing Co. rolled out a new jumbo jet Sunday, hoping to relive the glamour surrounding the birth of the 747 more than 40 years ago and use it to boost slow sales.
The 747-8 Intercontinental will seat 467 passengers, 51 more than the current version of the 747, and burn less fuel while offering passengers more comfort, the U.S. plane manufacturer says, Chicago Tribune reports.
Boeing has targeted the end of March for the first flight of the aircraft, which it calls the Intercontinental, said Todd Zarfos, vice president of engineering for the 747-8. Work on the freighter during the past year is expected to make regulatory certification for the passenger version easier, he said.
"Those fixes have already been incorporated in the Intercontinental," Zarfos said in an interview after Boeing showed the new aircraft to customers, employees and investors yesterday in Everett, Washington. "The airplane itself is largely the same as a 747-8 freighter."
Meeting benchmarks such as first flight and delivery is important for Chicago-based Boeing, with the plastic-composite 787 Dreamliner delayed by three years, the 747 freighter about two years late and the passenger jet a year behind schedule, analysts said, according to Bloomberg.
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