Boeing’s 747-8 rolls out

EVERETT — Awesome.

That’s the word many people chose to describe the unveiling of the Boeing Co.’s new 747-8 passenger plane.

“You were thinking it was going to be a blue livery,” said Pat Shanahan, vice president of airplane programs, during the jumbo jet’s rollout event Sunday. “My favorite color is Boeing blue.”

But the color that has epitomized Boeing wasn’t anywhere to be seen on its new 747-8 passenger plane, dubbed the Intercontinental.

Instead a reddish-orange adorned the lower half of the iconic 747 — the jet that brought Boeing to Everett more than 40 years ago.

In breaking from Boeing blue, the company sought to underscore one point: this isn’t the same 747 of four decades ago.

The 747-8 Intercontinental is bigger than its predecessors, including the 747-400. But the new jumbo jet is both more fuel-efficient and can fly farther than the 747s that have come before it.

“I often say that great companies do great things,” said Jim Albaugh, president of Boeing’s commercial airplanes division. “What you’re going to see here this morning is another expression of greatness.”

If all goes as planned, the 747-8 passenger plane could make its first flight as early as next month. Boeing plans to deliver the first 747-8 Intercontinental by year’s end.

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