Check out the flight path above for an airliner, from earlier today. Did a pilot get lost? Or bored? Nope — It was actually the inaugural flight for Boeing’s newest model 747 aircraft, the 747-8, and the largest passenger aircraft yet for Boeing with up to 467 seats in a three-class configuration. The flight took off from Paine Field in Everett, Washington, adjacent to Boeing’s massive assembly plant. It landed four-and-a-half hours later at nearby Boeing Field. In the meantime, the plane underwent operational testing along the crazy spaghetti-shaped pattern shown above. (View the full stats for Boeing Flight #8 at FlightAware.com here.) Video of the plane’s take-off is below, courtesy of airlinereporter.com:
Boeing touts the 747-8′s advanced fuel efficiency and economies-of-scale in carrying more passengers than earlier models. It is meant to rival the fully double-decker Airbus A380, which carries 525 passengers in a three-class configuration.
The 747-8 is scheduled for its first deliveries by the end of the year. So far, Lufthansa and Korean Air have orders for the new model.
A cargo version of the 747-8 has been undergoing flight testing for six weeks now, and will be delivered to customers beginning this summer.