FAA certifies Boeing’s 747-8 passenger plane

The Boeing Co. has received federal certification on its 747-8 passenger plane, paving the way for it to deliver the revamped jumbo jet early next year.

On Wednesday, the Federal Aviation Administration signed off on the 747-8 passenger plane, certifying the aircraft is safe to fly commercially. European aviation officials are expected to certify the jumbo jet on Thursday.

“This is a great achievement for Boeing and for the 747-8 program,” Jim Albaugh, president of Boeing’s commercial airplanes division, said in a statement. “We look forward to delivering this fabulous airplane to our customers.”

Boeing has dubbed its upgraded passenger plane the 747-8 Intercontinental. The jet maker already received certification on a freighter version of the aircraft and delivered the first 747-8 freighter in October.

The new 747-8 Intercontinental features a new wing design, an upgraded flight deck and borrows some of the interior features that Boeing developed for its 787 Dreamliner including a more curved, upswept archways and sidewalls.

“Soon people around the world will fly on the newest 747,” Elizabeth Lund, general manager of the 747 program, said in a statement. “This is a great day for our customers and for a team that has worked incredibly hard to certify the newest version of the Queen of the Skies.”

Boeing has 36 orders for its 747-8 passenger plane.

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